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When I started teaching and having service duties, I started going to those major-information-day-events. I’ve compiled materials over the past few years that I use at those fairs, and I thought it would be good to start sharing those with the philosophical community.

I also occasionally have students who come to me with a dilemma. They love philosophy, but they’re afraid of what their parents will say. There is a large misconception out there (as many of my readers are surely aware of) that philosophy is an impractical, BS major. Posting these materials will be useful for those students. They’ll have something to direct their parents to.

Most of this information you can find out there on the internet, but I thought it would be useful to have some of it consolidated in an easy to distribute format. Here’s what I have so far.

  1. THINK FLYER (big version)
    [PDF]

    This is a single sheet that bullets why someone should seriously consider studying philosophy. Feel free to print this out and give it to a worried student, or give out a bunch of them at your next major’s information day. Here’s an example of a customized one with our department address at the bottom. (NOTE: It doesn’t have the citation information for those claims about the scores)
  2. THINK FLYER (4-to-a-page-Small Version)
    [PDF]

    This is the same flyer, only there are four to a page on this. You know how people on campus pass out those flyers like “Are You Saved?” or “Two-for-1 Drinks” or “Come Check Out Our Band” – these are in that genre of flyers.

    I sometimes go to majors information day with a bunch of enthusiastic majors and they run around passing these out. Feel free to print these out and do the same at your majors information with some of your enthusiastic majors.

    Here’s the department specific version of the little flyers. If you want to make your own department specific version, here’s the open office version of the handout. Just replace the Fredonia Philosophy Department Web Address with your department’s web address.

  3. GRE Scores
    [PDF]

    This one’s been circulating around the internet. I thought it would be good to post it here.
  4. LSAT Scores
    [PDF] – [added February 28]
  5. GMAT Scores
    [PDF] – [added February 28]
  6. Philosophy and Medicine
    [PDF] – [added March 23]

I’ve got some more that I’ll post soon, but this is a good set to start out with.

7 Responses to “Why Major in Philosophy”

  1. John Basl

    Good stuff. Of course, you could just tell the student that they should start majoring in philosophy and in a couple of semesters they’ll be able to respond to any objections their parent might have.

  2. Joshua Thurow

    Thanks for posting this stuff, Andy. Here are a couple more items that I think are helpful and might be worth posting, too:
    “In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined,” New York Times, April 6, 2008
    “What is the Use of Philosophy” on the University of Florida Philosophy Website at: http://web.phil.ufl.edu/ugrad/whatis/useof.html. This page also contains links to the GMAT and LSAT data.

  3. Andrew Cullison

    Thanks Joshua,

    When I post more career specific stuff that I use, I may revise some of it to work in this data. I’ll also include links to this stuff, when I create the Why Philosophy page

  4. Brad Rives

    Thanks Andy! This is all very useful.

  5. Andrew Cullison

    Hey Brad,

    No problem. I hope things are going well with you.

  6. november

    thank you for the article.

  7. links for 2010-03-12 « Rumblegumption

    [...] Wide Scope » Why Major in Philosophy Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)links for 2009-06-04links for 2009-10-31links for 2010-02-23 [...]

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