Careers In Philosophy -Please read/ help

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Careers In Philosophy -Please read/ help

Postby Devils Avocado » Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:51 am

Firstly, I am a bit conscious of this question sounding ignorant.
But that's only because I am. There's no sense in trying to appear otherwise.
I am also aware of how naive this may sound.
Please take it at face value.

I love philosophy and find myself at a vocational cross-roads in life.
I have no university education & have been doing the same job now for 19 yrs.
Like a lot of people, I am a mortgage slave, & although I am by no stretch unhappy with my life, I certainly do not regard it as "tailor-made" for me.

I was wondering what careers are available to those with degrees in philosophy apart from careers as professors of phiosophy?

Also, how long would one have to study (Full time &/or P.T) to obtain whatever qualification for whatever vocation.

What subjects are most complimentary to philosophy (physics) for maximum employability in a philosophy-related field?

Any kind of advice at all would be appreciated.
Thankyou.
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Postby INoNothing » Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:59 am

I have often wondered what you can do with a philosophy degree.
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Postby LostGuy » Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:48 pm

Well, few jobs ask specifically for a Philosophy degree.

I've been looking into consulting.

Basically, many jobs require any bachelors, and philosopy is a fine one to have.

On the other hand, many hospitals now have staff ethicist, but they ususaly want you to be a doctor too.

The sorta tradtional path is to get a philosophy undergraduate and then go on to law school.

In fact you can get a phiosophy undergraduate and go on to do a lot of things in grad school. Even many medical schools don't care how much you know about plants (biology), and you can come in with a philosophy degree. You might have to take some undergraduate courses- you should ask your prospective Med School early.

Physics and Philosophy is a fine combination. Especially if you are into philosophy of Science. If you get a job in a lab, you can annoy everyone with how they are jumping to conclusions and such.
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Postby Crafedog » Sat Apr 24, 2004 4:45 pm

in terms of just getting a career, any degree is useful in getting into a line of work that you can "climb the ladder" in (obviously the promotional ladder not as in the literal sense of becoming a window cleaner). for example my dad is a computer programmer and his partner in their company main qualification was that he had a degree in geography. a degree just shows you can work hard and try hard to achieve in the employer's eyes (whether or not this is true in reality is a bit more difficult to prove) and this is what the employer sees you as when you first come to work for him.

specific jobs with philosophy degree requirements are a bit more difficult to find in my opinion. apart from lecturer or writing your own book (or both) i can't think of any and considering i'm a second year philosophy student at university i probably should know by now (oops).
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Postby Wisdumb » Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:46 pm

This question was given much contemplation before I decided to pursue philosophy. By asking philosophy professors and career counselors I've become a little more informed.

It seems that with just a philosophy bachelor's, you can pretty much do a lot of things (as already stated). It is good just to have a degree, regardless of what discipline. Even more businesses are looking for more liberal degrees. However, as I told the professors and counselors, I did not want to study philosophy and then graduate and start working for a business or be in a career not involve in what I specifically studied for. I think if you want a career more involved with philosophy, a degree (M.A. Ph.D) higher than a bachelor's is needed. You can pursue Law or Professor of Philosophy.

It was also mentioned that philosophy can be good for like detective work, maybe for law enforcement or as a private investigator. A bachelor's may only be needed for this. I found a career such as this to be quite a good "Plan B" is if I ended up not following through with a post graduate degree.
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Philosophy always needs a double

Postby hermes the thrice great » Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:32 pm

Please please be careful. I have a philosophy BA and I've given up and am going to Law School. The job of a philosopher is to teach philosophy. this requires at least an MA and usually a PhD to boot.

In terms of working with the degree Philosophy always pairs up with something. Philosophy of Language, P of Biology, P of whatever. Philosophy always needs some subject matter to work its magic.

For the medical degree, schools do indeed care about your specific knowledge. No american medical School will allow you to enroll there Withour about 40 undergraduate schience credits in Biology, chemistry, calculus etc.

If I were you, I would take classes at a local university and go for the degree and in some way incorporate your own 19 years of career experience in with your academic work. I think you might make a fine professor, actually. I always learned the Most from the non traditional profs. The ones that went direct from undergrad to grad school to tenure are pretty dry. People have to sweat out in the desert to understand their calling in life.
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Postby Adam » Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:20 pm

Careers in philosophy

It's an old joke.

What did the philosophy graduate say to the engineering graduate? "Do you want fries with that?"
Don't poke me.
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Postby INoNothing » Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:29 pm

Funny adam, very funny.

Anyone here get a philosophy degree and get a nice paying job?
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Postby Wisdumb » Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:35 pm

I have a pretty nice paying job now, but not one that I can see a life-long career in. Yes, I do agree that philosophy is something that is somewhat supplemental, as my studies help me excel in my job.

whitelotus, what do you mean by "you are philosophically dead if you only do philosophy"?
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Postby smithigans wake » Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:31 am

You might want to look up some work by Gregory McCullogh. He wrote "Using Sartre" and I heard from a professor of mine that he worked as a truck driver or something until his forties before going for a philosophy doctorate.
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PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELING!!!!!

Postby illocutionary » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:26 am

PHILOSOPHICAL COUNSELING!!!!!

http://www.towson.edu/~kealey/philcounsel.html

http://www.geocities.com/centersophon/

Plato counseled Dionysius II of Syracuse, Descartes counseled Queen Christina of Sweden, and Locke was a counselor in the household of the first Earl of Shaftesbury. These are just a few examples of the philosophers who counseled royalty, politicians, clergy and all others who asked for their services. Though philosophy has become a purely academic profession in the last few centuries, at the end of the 20th century private philosophy tutors and counselors are increasingly gaining popularity.


i would be doing it myself if i would of known about the BRAND NEW emerging field when i was a philosophy/religious studies undergrad... NOW is THE time to get into it... the first offical text book for this new professional field i believe was published in 2000 to give you an idea of how new it is...

i could go on and on about it but the links above have more than enough useful information you could need... basically it seems to be opening up becuase psychology is becoming more of a physical/medical/empirical field... if you would decide to go this route i would sugest getting a bachelors in philosphy and a masters in counseling and do some independent studies specifically in the field of philosophical counseling....

other things you can do with philosophy... Logic is underrated but quite usable, especially with studies/research in things like artificial intelligence and computer programming, a degree in philosophy can also give you a huge you leg up in the field of Non-profit, Non-governmental and Activists organizations... or if you like to write and want to become an author it's a really good way to learn how to perfect your skills...
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Postby Adam » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:51 am

Illocutionary, make that a large fries please. :P
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Postby Crafedog » Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:54 pm

Adam wrote:Illocutionary, make that a large fries please. :P


hehe
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Postby LostGuy » Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:58 pm

Really when you think about it, jobs are for losers anyway.

I mean people go to school for how many years, to get high salery jobs that require them to be available 24/7. They get all sorts of money, so they can do what? Get a house so big they never have to see their kids? Eat steak every night and die early of a heart attack? Most likely get themeslves scammed by bigger badder corporations so that they are in debt like everyone else, just a bigger debt. They wait all year so they can have a mounth of peace and maybe just a little contemplation- something a philosophical bum gets on a daily basis.
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Postby illocutionary » Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:47 pm

Adam wrote:Illocutionary, make that a large fries please. :P


well, as a living demonstartion against the case... i have a degree in philosophy and i'm doing just fine... no burger flipping here. when i comes to career ppaths it's a about how hard you hustle and market yourself no matter what you want to do in life.
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Postby Frighter » Mon Apr 26, 2004 10:11 pm

philisophical counselling? ha! you put me in front of a patient and guarantee they will commit suiside in 5 years if i tell them about the way the world really is!
Whatever i just said is irrelevent.
And i know i have bad spelling. Live with it.
Start with assumption, That a million people are smart...Smarter than one?
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Postby INoNothing » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:26 pm

Really when you think about it, jobs are for losers anyway.



Thats right, we can just steal out way threw life. Simple enough, ive thought about it.

philisophical counselling sounds like it could be depressing. ie: there is no god and your always wrong etc etc. Life sucks then you die.
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Postby LostGuy » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:47 pm

Sorry about that last post. I've been reading too much Chinese stuff.


Philosophical counciling could work. I've used philosophy to help my friends. Basically, most people get into a funk, when they find themselves faced with "hard truth" of life. And as we all know there is no truth that philosophy can't question.

Client- "I always fall into the same relationship pattern. I find some guy who can't really fuffill my needs and then I try to change him- which I know is impossible."

Councilor- "Well why don't you fall in love with someone else?"

Client- "I can't choose who I love."

Councilor- "Hmm, David Hume would agree with you. He thought that our rational capacity was a slave to our desires. In fact, he's probably the reason why many westerners don't belive that you can choose love."

...and on and on...

Once you explain to them that whatever idea is bugging them was thought up by someone who got laid very little and there are other ideas out there, someone spirts will often lift. It's like giveing a prisoner a saw.
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Postby INoNothing » Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:35 am

Eh, very true. I know philosophy has helped me. I used to be some goody good boy who was worried about everything. Now I do what ever because i know there is no wrong and it really just doesn’t matter.
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Postby Wisdumb » Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:57 am

LostGuy wrote:Really when you think about it, jobs are for losers anyway.

I mean people go to school for how many years, to get high salery jobs that require them to be available 24/7. They get all sorts of money, so they can do what? Get a house so big they never have to see their kids? Eat steak every night and die early of a heart attack? Most likely get themeslves scammed by bigger badder corporations so that they are in debt like everyone else, just a bigger debt. They wait all year so they can have a mounth of peace and maybe just a little contemplation- something a philosophical bum gets on a daily basis.


So true. They just get on the treadmill of life and never even reflect about it. But hey, if thats what they made their purpose in life to be, then let them be.
"The prettiest people do the ugliest things." - Kanye West

"Everbody thinks that everybody knows about everbody else but nobody knows anything about themselves because they're all worried about everybody else." - Jack Johnson

"You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace." - Michael Franti

"I was raised by thugz and schooled by killaz, learned my mathematic skills by real drug dealers." - Tupac Shakur
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Postby Crafedog » Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:46 am

Wisdumb wrote:So true. They just get on the treadmill of life and never even reflect about it. But hey, if thats what they made their purpose in life to be, then let them be.


i'd agree with that but it's still interesting to see if you can get them off the "treadmill", but i suppose it depends on how fast/caught up they are on it. this seems to relate to Plato's Allegory of the Cave which, despite my personal dislike of Plato, i really do think is an extremely insightful piece of philosophy that anyone who is interested in Philosophy should read.
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There are no facts, only interpretations - Nietzsche
The weak are always anxious for justice and equality, the strong pay no heed to either - Aristotle
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Postby INoNothing » Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:13 am

unfortunately for Inonothing he isn't serious, eventhough he desperately wants to be


I am, for now, serious.

Life is going crazy but im not out of control, but that’s only because I was never truly in control.
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Postby Crafedog » Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:25 pm

whitelotus wrote:and from what I read here either I'm very dumb or crafedog didn't understand much of Plato.


care to elaborate why you think that? my logic in the Allegory of the Cave of the Republic was that the "prisoner" who gets freed is in Plato's mind the Philosopher (the highest/greatest man in Plato's mind/the Republic), but a more modern day interpretation of it, is that the 'freed prisoner' is in fact a free spirit. the prisoner is freed from the daily routine of desiring wealth and position (the shadows) in their society (or cave), realises the lack of substance to the world (realises they are only shadows) as well as its norms/rules/material gains and decides to act against it/teach others about it. that's what i see as a "free spirit" (even though it's quite a difficult term to use/describe properly) and that's a way i chose to understand Plato's Allegory of the Cave even though there are other ways of understanding/interpreting it (comparing it to the simile of the sun for example) then just being a social commentary.

sorry if that didn't seem clear in my previous post.
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The weak are always anxious for justice and equality, the strong pay no heed to either - Aristotle
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill
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Postby Crafedog » Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:41 am

whitelotus wrote:first of all he doesn't get freed


he becomes free of the chains so therefore he must be 'freed'. 515 c "Imagine that one of them has been set free". it takes time but he does get free

whitelotus wrote:this would be a rather odd interpretation that doesn't fit the story the least bit. Especially since the people in the cave are as you may have noticed rather inactive.


like the masses in how they saw Philosophy in Ancient Greek times. they preferred to quench their desires (material things) so therefore they would have no reason to be 'active' in the search for philosophy especially when they are still chained/have not yet been freed. their minds have not been freed of their daily lifes/desires, so therefore they are "inactive" in their pursuit of higher things (like philosophy and the Forms).

whitelotus wrote:Second wealth and position is not something plato was against nor do you see much of it coming back in the myth of the cave.


In the Philebus, Plato holds Knowledge (i.e. of the forms/philosophy) higher then pleasure. although he doesn't claim that Pleasure should be neglected, he does hold Knowledge higher then it. "The shadows and artefacts would constitue the only reality people in this situation would regonize". the material objects are only "shadows" of the knowledge of the Forms of which there is nothing Plato held higher then.

whitelotus wrote:Also the fact that he isn't very willing to go up there and that if he would see the light he'd run back means that this whole "free spirit" bit is far fetched.


the one who drags this "freed" man out of the cave is Socrates. Socrates was very much a "free spirit" (see Symposium for example) and Socrates was the one who opened Plato's eyes/mind to the pursuit of Philosophy (before that he was basically a failing politician). therefore the "free spirit" is Socrates who is trying to show him the light (philosophy) so to speak.

it's difficult to adjust to a new "free" life at first so obviously he would be reluctant to when he was first became aware of this new life. it takes a while to adjust to this life/understanding of life (the pursuit of philosophy), like he says when the prisoner gazes on the sun and it hurts his eyes (blinded by its magnificence).

whitelotus wrote:Of course you completely skip the phases the prisoner goes through in your 'interpretation'...is that jus for fun that plato wrote that? page filling? Plus that Plato actually says himself what this is about namely "education" though the type of education he gives is one that would get a lot of angry parents in what is the aitia (badly translated with cause ) of all things


my mention of it being a "social commentary" correlates with what he says in the dialogue (515a) "'This is a strange picture you are painting', he said, 'with strange prisoners'. 'They're no different from us,' I said."

The Allegory of the Cave is very personal for Plato as it can be seen as a relection of his feelings of society at the time (athens literally being the cave). The mention of the freed man going back to help the prisoners and getting killed for it (517a) is an obvious reference to Socrates fate (see events surrounding the Apology and Phaedo). Socrates was very new to athens society as a whole and made people aware of new understandings (see meno) and also sometimes pissed them off in the process (he was trying to "free" them so to speak and the "prisoners" got angry and killed him). the people who put him to death were the politicians and people of athens (again see apology) so Plato does not think of them in a favourable way and he compares them and what they hold to have wealth in life to "shadows" and "prisoners" of these delusions i.e. effigies of real life/the Forms.

in my interpretation of Plato's words, i have tried to look beyond what he says and instead what he implies and what he must have been thinking at the time (hurt at the loss of his friend/mentor and aghast at the lack of respect philosophy had within the masses at the time as well as the impact Socrates had). that is how i have chosen to interpret The Allegory of the Cave and why i thought of the free spirit/Socrates/reflection of society angle.
I lost my mind and found it in a better place
There are no facts, only interpretations - Nietzsche
The weak are always anxious for justice and equality, the strong pay no heed to either - Aristotle
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill
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Postby Crafedog » Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:48 am

my quotes are from the Oxford World's Classic edition (Robin Waterfield) in case you're wondering
I lost my mind and found it in a better place
There are no facts, only interpretations - Nietzsche
The weak are always anxious for justice and equality, the strong pay no heed to either - Aristotle
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill
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