Philosophy Makes a Comeback

As I write, the most emailed arti­cle from today’s New York Times is this piece, which talks about the revival of phi­los­o­phy on Amer­i­can col­lege cam­pus­es. The rea­sons for this revival are var­ied — Some see phi­los­o­phy offer­ing “good train­ing for look­ing at larg­er soci­etal ques­tions, like glob­al­iza­tion and tech­nol­o­gy.” Oth­ers see it build­ing skills val­ued by law schools (argu­men­ta­tion and rea­son­ing). Still oth­ers believe that phi­los­o­phy and exis­ten­tial angst can be good for “good for get­ting girl­friends.” Mean­while, all seem to agree that philo­soph­i­cal think­ing is not sim­ply for “frou-frou” intel­lec­tu­als. The net result: the num­ber of phi­los­o­phy majors is up, with some schools see­ing increas­es of 50–100% over the past 5–6 years.

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