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Physics and Philosophy

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #1
    I am currently taking Philosophy and Physics together. Focusing on the philosophy of physics and metaphysics. Eventually I want to work in either materials, quantum or in particle physics.
    I want to get an honors degree in both subjects, or combine them some how.
    To get my masters, is there anyway to combine the two or do I have to pursue them separately?
    AM I hurting my chances by pursuing both?

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2009 #2
    doctor of philosophy in physics
  4. Feb 17, 2009 #3
    Is it crazy to go for both PhDs? or at least a masters in one PhD in the other?
  5. Feb 17, 2009 #4
    Crazy yes, impossible no. Where are you in your studies exactly? If you simply enjoy learning the subjects there are other ways to learn them besides getting a degree. If you plan to work as a physicist then you will need a phd. Obtaining one requires many years of hard work.
  6. Feb 17, 2009 #5


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    I would suggest pursuing a physics graduate degree first. One can always maintain a healthy interest in philosophy without pursuing it with formal education. The reverse is much more difficult.
  7. Feb 17, 2009 #6
    I am mostly done my BA in philosophy, with a decent focus on the philosophy of science/physics and math and metaphysics. I have enough credits in physics to get a minor but I'm aiming for the PhD in physics b/c I want to do research.

    While you can pursue philosophy in one's spare time, the truly insightful bit always come out of focused debate and discussion which is hard to do outside of the academic world.

    Thanks for the insight guys.
    I think I will take physics to the PhD level and settle for BA in philosophy for now, Since I can combine them in an honors bachelors with out losing any vital credits. ( if I can get my university to agree to it)
  8. Feb 18, 2009 #7
    I knew a guy who double majored in the two subjects, received his Ph.D. in philosophy studying the philosophy of science, and is now a postdoc in Germany... of course he's pretty obviously on the academic track. He seems to be doing well for himself.
  9. Feb 20, 2009 #8
    I know a fellow Physics major who is tripling with philosophy and math. I personally don't see any problem with such a combination.
  10. Feb 21, 2009 #9
  11. Feb 21, 2009 #10
    Do you really need two phds to work in two areas? I know some who have MD and some other science degree... but.

    I suppose doing physics phd and then maybe doing philosophy might make more sense.
  12. Feb 24, 2009 #11
    I don't think Kuhn obtained a second PhD, but just moved into philosophy out of interest. Guess it partly depends on the opportunities available. For instance, if you get a grant to study with Pickering then you might only need the one PhD in philosophy of physics to forge a career in that area.
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