Philosophers: An Endangered Species

Reported by Ana Imes

You likely don’t know many philosophy majors at George Fox University (GFU). That’s because we’re rapidly dropping in number. I happen to be the only remaining philosophy major in the class of 2022. This makes me not only lonely, but bewildered.

I know that I’m not the only freshman exploring the big questions (who is God, what does it mean to be human, what do we know, how does language shape our ideas, where did the universe come from, should I be worried about a pending alien invasion, etc.). So where are my fellow philosophers?

One obvious answer is that they are hiding among those who are afraid of not being able to get a job after obtaining a degree in the humanities. Well friends, you can come out to play. It is well-known in the legal community that philosophy majors are the group that score the highest on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), likely because of how philosophy develops our critical-thinking skills. Surely, I’m not the only freshman at GFU who is interested in pursuing law as a career. A few other potential careers for philosophy majors include writing, editing, journalism, marketing, and public policy.

Some prospective philosophy majors may worry that studying philosophy won’t provide the practical skills needed in the “real world.” I use philosophy every day. Asking the big questions causes me to question my own actions and thinking critically about the way the world works has helped me live more intentionally. I am confident that the things I say and do match what I believe about the world more and more every day. If learning to think critically, ask better questions, and express ideas articulately is impractical, then the societal rejection of the study of philosophy would make sense. But as it turns out, these skills are still in high demand.

If you still aren’t convinced of the practical need for philosophy in today’s world, consider majoring in philosophy alongside another “more practical” major. With only 39 credits required for a philosophy degree, you should have plenty of room to double major.

Please join me in my love of wisdom. I’ll see you in class.

Jessica DaughertyComment