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10/02/2015

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Derek Bowman

Marcus,

You say,
"There are not many jobs in this world that have an immediate or lasting impact on people's lives. Philosophy is one that does. First, it can deeply enrich your own life..."

First, I would note that this is a benefit of some form of sustained engagement with philosophy - it's not clear that a job in philosophy necessarily helps with this. Indeed, given the nature of many jobs in philosophy, the job may be as likely to interfere with this sort of enrichment.

Second, if this is true in general, why do so many philosophy PhDs end up distressed, miserable, and in various was self-deceived and easily exploited?

You also say, "Teaching philosophy can get students to challenge their own preconceptions about the world, and--all too often--it can inspire them."

How effective can we be at this, when many of us stand in front of the classroom as immediate living examples of both (a) how little that form of critical thinking is actually valued by our society; and (b) how ineffective it is at allowing us (the putative experts) to make more effective career choices in our own lives?

While you acknowledge the awful academic job market, I think you mistakenly treat it as a separate issue from AnotherGradStudent's point (which they make clear in a follow up comment http://dailynous.com/2015/10/02/undergrad-at-philosophical-crossroads/#comment-73292 ).

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