Re: Philosopy Majors and career tracks

If you are pursuing philosophy solely for personal gain then personal
intellectual gain is all you might get. If you are pursuing philosophy
for an academic career then what M.G. wrote is quite true. Unless you are
mindful of what place you intend to occupy as a philosopher and
investigate what that path entails first, you might encounter many things
for which you will be unprepared and have not themselves chosen. But
Foucault might be the first to say that we might indeed find out the
description of any given "position" in life (my general
reference is to Discipline and Punish). To mix a bit of
existentialism with a bit of Foucault... then you might decide whether you
would like to be in that position or not. Is there an "outside" of
politics? Doubtful, but I cast my vote that philosophy, especially
paired with another discipline will strengthen your mind and perhaps your
wisdom. good luck.

note to markisha... what have you proposed which is so radical?

On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, Markisha Greaney wrote:

> words to a young philosophy student:
> if you are a philosophy student looking for a career track in academia,
> be sure you can mime the prevailing departmental rhetoric.
> but if you are an idealistic philosopher, creative, a bit of a maverick,
> don't expect to be welcomed with open arms in academia. find another
> career; your life will be hard.
> i, too, held the old fashioned and impractical view that i should get
> the education i wanted, become an intellectual, the "system" be damned.
> but the damn system damn near broke me for good.
> i practically sold my soul to academia, being the perfect student,
> kicking butt as an undergrad, only to be rejected from grad departments
> that i applied to because what i proposed to study was too "radical,"
> "scarey," and "trendy." like an idiot, i held the unexamined belief
> that if i were smart enough, articulate, passionate, and dedicated, i
> would go far in academia.
> for being such a smartie, i sure was dumb (niave), unaware that in
> academia (just as in the real world) there are major egos, departmental
> politics, vested interests, backstabbings, people who feel threatened by
> your work, hypocracy, discrimination, and just plain really stupid and
> insensitive people in general.
> ah, but i must say, i was probably the the smartest homeless person in
> all of santa cruz. one year i even wrote my grad proposal from my car.
> too bad foucault didn't do diddley squat for me as a queer homeless
> person being rejected everywhere.
> yeah, i thumbed my nose at "the system".... and ended up in a hospital
> for suicidal depression.
> but now life is great. i'm a receptionist. whoohoo! and a pretty
> damned smart one.
> sorry, but i just had to toss this out.
> markisha
> >At our college, most of the philosophy majors are in a pre-law "track"
> >and see their philosophy study as effective training for the kind of
> >critical thinking needed in the law and for taking the LSAT. My own
> >(admittedly very old fashioned and impractical) view is that you
> >should get the education you want, if you really want it, and think
> >about the "career track" as an entirely separate issue. For a
> >career, get a job. For an education, choose philosophy and run with
> >it (or literature or history, equally "impractical"). Thumb your nose
> >at the system, refuse the capitalist imposition (late capitalism is
> >dying anyway, believe me) and learn something worth learning.
> >Tom Dillingham
> >
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