Throughout my years as an undergraduate, I heard “What are you going to do with that?!” more times than I can remember. Apparently, it is easy to imagine what an engineering or kinesiology student might do after graduation, but challenging to think of a single use for a philosophy degree.
Despite the well-worn cliché, philosophy is not about trees falling in forests, and no one being around to hear them. Philosophy is inquiry into the nature of our world, our actions, and our selves. Philosophy seeks to answer questions like:
- Which actions are good, and why are they good?
- Who am I?
- Upon which foundational principles should families, (and communities, cities and countries) be built?
- Why bother getting out of bed?
However, the aim of philosophy is not merely to answer these questions, but to refine the way in which we go about answering them. Philosophy is a practice that allows us to rid our minds of prejudice, and to accept ideas that are paradoxical. Because it encompasses so many fields (logic, language, ethics, history, etc.), philosophy is a wonderful foundation for further studies, and lifelong inquisitiveness.
Why not challenge yourself by reading more? Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
Truth: A Guide, by Simon Blackburn
Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy, by Simon Blackburn
Mind: A Brief Introduction, by John R. Searle