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Jobs for Philosopher?

  1. Dec 6, 2005 #1
    Okay, I want to be a philosopher.
    I think about life alot, the meaning of life, people's interaction and I think i figured out alots of things already in my own interpretation.

    Is there any job available for a thinker like me except becoming a teacher or another confucius? Any jobs for Philosopher? Philosophy major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2005 #2
    I have no factual information but I guess your career choices would be either getting a faculty position at some university or flipping burgers.
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    Many people who have an undergrad degree in philosophy end up going into law.
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #4


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    He might get fired for flipping burgers because he will be thinking about flipping burgers too much, and not actually flipping them. :tongue:

    I don't think there is much out there for a Philosophy Degree, probably nothing. If you think about life so much, I find it surprising that you aren't into physics or anything of the sort.

    Philosophy is cool and everything, but you studying philosophy doesn't really make you a better of a thinker, in my opinion. I'm taking a philosophy course next term, but I don't expect anything out of it besides a history lesson (which is why I'm taking it).

    I believe Paul S. Halmos got his Ph. D in Philosophy and he admitted that getting a Ph. D. in Philosophy you must become a mindless drone, so I don't know where being a mindless drone becomes useful. :confused:

    Note: Like MIH said above, Law is probably a good direction. She is right. Most people argue that they Law Students choose to take Art Degrees because they are easier, hence higher marks, and easier entry into Law School.

    Note: I know of two Law Students, and they both agree with what I said in the previous note.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  6. Dec 6, 2005 #5


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. Dec 6, 2005 #6
    Study logic. Logic goes hand in hand with computer science/programming. You can be a philosopher that does programming. Med schools like philo majors too.
  8. Dec 7, 2005 #7
    but the thing about physics and engineering is that they require a lot of work and talents in math. I can't even take an integral now and I am drowning in my electrical engineering class.
  9. Dec 7, 2005 #8


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    Write books! Either textbooks or popularizations - start early and be persistent.
  10. Dec 7, 2005 #9

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    Just for fun, here is a list of famous philosophy majors:
    http://www.clemson.edu/caah/philosophy/website/html/Famous majors.html

    I thought the "Hollywood" group was the most interesting:

    Wes Anderson (director and filmmaker - Rushmore and The Royal Tennenbaums)
    Steve Allen (writer and comedian)
    Woody Allen (director, writer and comedian)
    George Carlin (Comedian and actor)
    David Duchovny (actor on X-FILES)
    Harrison Ford (actor)
    Chris Hardwick (MTV host)
    Jimmy Kimmel (comedian and former star of The Man Show)
    Jay Leno (Host, The Tonight Show)
    Peter Lynch (director)
    Amy Madigan (Actress)
    Steve Martin (comedian & actor)
    Dennis Miller (comedian)
    Joan Rivers (comedian)
    Susan Sarandon (actress)
    Gene Siskel (movie reviewer, SISKEL & EBERT AT THE MOVIES)
    Steve Thomas--Host, This Old House
    Dave Thomas (one of the "Mackenzie Brothers" on SCTV)
    Alex Trebeck (Host of Jeopardy)
  11. Dec 7, 2005 #10
    Philosophy is fun, but there's not much you can do. Your best bet is probably just leaving it as a hobby and do something else that you like.

    The LAST thing we need is another hippy running around giving his opinion on things nobody cares about. ;)
  12. Dec 13, 2005 #11
    You could always get a good factory or construction job with a philosophy degree.
  13. Jul 29, 2009 #12
    This is a useful website for advice on the kind of jobs you can get into with a PhD in Philosophy:

    http://homepage.mac.com/mcolyvan/careeradvice.html [Broken]

    If you think about life a lot Philosophy IS exactly what you need to study alongside with a science of your interest (e.g. psychology, physics, biology etc.). I have been studying philosophy for enough years now to understand that:

    1) Philosophy is NOT a history lesson!!

    What is Philosophy?
    There is no formal definition BUT:
    Philosophers try to understand about the mind and the world, about what we ought to do as human beings and our place in the universe through the use of ARGUMENTATION and LOGIC.

    2) Philosophy REQUIRES you to be a better thinker!

    Philosophy is different than most university courses in that it ISN'T about conveying a body of empirical facts. Philosophy is about CRITICALLY ANALYSING an argument for a conclusion, regardless if the conclusion is empirical or not.

    Therefore, Philosophy HAS to involve critical thinking skills!

    I am much like you in that I think about meaning of life a lot. It is not an easy thing to do to understand the universe and it cannot be done by studying one discipline of science or philosophy alone (yes not even physics by itself and you can see Einstein was also an enthusiastic philosopher).

    It is often better to study some discipline of science and philosophy as you will need both to understand the universe.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Jul 29, 2009 #13
    Don't know where you get that misinformation from.

    Philosophy ISN'T about giving opinions, they don't give a DAMN about opinions. Philosophers care about the reasons behind a conclusion and they analyse them critically through use of logic. Simple as that - there is no trick about philosophy!

  15. Jul 29, 2009 #14
    There's a big difference between PHILOSOPHY as a field and a PHILOSOPHER. Philosophers, in my complete and exclusive experience, are just full of hot air and either go to faculty positions, law school, use their degree as one of the standard "any bachelours required" jobs or become writers. I've often felt that the field of PHILOSOPHY has been tarnished, in the post-modern era, by PHILOSOPHER. But that's just one mans opinion.
  16. Jul 29, 2009 #15
    Sounds like you *already are* a philosopher manque. So do you want to be a professional philosopher?

    What do you mean by "teacher"? School teacher? Of what? Physics? University teacher? Of what? I

    I don't think the careers office will be able to help you with your aim to "be another Confucius." Too ill defined. What do you mean by this in terms they would understand? Political Adviser? Philosophical Counsellor?
  17. Jul 29, 2009 #16

    D H

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    Do philosophers specialize in giving untimely answers? This thread is almost four years old!
  18. Jul 29, 2009 #17
    He's probably got his PhD in flipping burgers, er, philosophy, by now.
  19. Jul 30, 2009 #18
    Philosophers are quite happy to pursue threads that are 2500 years old. Plato and Aristotle are looked at as 'philosophical colleagues', and are much cited in modern philosophy books.
  20. Jul 30, 2009 #19
    I assume you are blaming the modern day philosophers here. And I take it you didn't mean ALL modern philosophers are full of hot air since it is obviously not possible to meet all philosophers in the world. So, whether if most philosophers are intellectually empty is an empirical question. Meeting a few philosophers in one person's experience in a specific culture in time and place doesn't mean that they are representative of philosophers in general.

    Besides, if a philosopher's argument is full of hot air then they cannot get away with being philosophers and certainly not a professor. Any philosophical conclusion must be defended by logical premises in an argument or it will not be a philosophical argument. It is like arguing for a mathematical answer with logical proofs - a mathematician can't just use illogical and nonsensical math rules in a paper and so can't philosophers use illogical and nonsensical statements in a paper. As long as a philosopher's argument is cogent and sound, then it doesn't matter if they are a green jelly-blob fish with one eye sticking out of its backside; their argument is still cogent.

    But the field of philosophy has indeed been tarnished, we know from philosophy of physics, for example, that the Newtonian concept of absolute space and time no longer fits our empirical findings well ever since Einstein came into the picture; whereas it used to be a widely accepted theory before relativity. So, philosophy back then was probably just about as tarnished as it is now. We never know if our philosophical theories are certainly correct, just like in science.

  21. Jul 30, 2009 #20
    Yes, in certain arguments of philosophy they are still looked at because their arguments, despite ancient, are still cogent and sound even in today's world. For example, we still use Newton's laws of motion to build rockets even though they are hundreds of years old and probably would still use it in the far future.

    Just because a scientific principle is old doesn't stop us from using it and so we don't discard ancient philosophical arguments if their logic is still sound by modern standards.

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