Re: Philosopy Majors

On 4/15/98 10:27pm, mthomas@xxxxxxxxxx writes:

> Being a jounior in high school it has come time for me to chose a
>major when I apply for colleges. I am contemplating a major in
>philosophy. On which career path would this place me? How useful is a
>philosophy major?
> -Michael Thomas

"You hear remarks such as 'Philosophy leads to nothing,' 'You can't do
anything with philosophy,' and readily imagine that they confirm an
experience of your own. There is no denying the soundness of these two
phrases, particularly common among scientists and teachers of science.
Any attempt to refute them by proving that after all it does 'lead to
something' merely strengthens the prevailing misinterpretation to the
effect that the everyday standards by which we judge bicycles or sulphur
baths are applicable to philosophy. ...granted that we cannot do
anything with philosophy, might not philosophy, if we concern ourselves
with it do something with us?"

--Martin Heidegger, _Introduction to Metaphysics_

"what is philosophy today--philosophical activity, I mean--if it is not
the critical work thta thought brings to bear on itself. In what does it
consist, if not in the endeavor to know how and to what extent it might
be possible to think differently, instead of legitimating what is already

--Michel Foucault, _The Use of Pleasure_

Both of these quotes have found their way into my dissertation, and I
could think of no better answer to your question--besides a lengthy
discussion of the merits of a liberal arts education in the skills of
critical thinking, reading, and writing--that to reproduce them here.


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