ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Examined Life - 3 Videos That Show the Value of Studying Philosophy

Updated on December 25, 2014
Source

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Academia and popular sentiment have exhibited no shortage of controversy regarding the value of Philosophy. Should universities continue its requirement in undergraduate degree programs? Is it prudent to offer degrees for Philosophy in an increasingly vocational culture? What are the tangible benefits of studying Philosophy? These questions recently came to the forefront of public debate in light of Neil deGrasse Tyson's comments regarding philosophical inquiry:"Philosophy is completely useless to the everyday job of a working physicist." As one may expect, this proclamation has not passed without its own criticism. Caltech Physicist Sean Carrol retorts:

Because: duh. If your criterion for “being interesting or important” comes down to 'is useful to me in my work,' you’re going to be leading a fairly intellectually impoverished existence. Nobody denies that the vast majority of physics gets by perfectly well without any input from philosophy at all. ('We need to calculate this loop integral! Quick, get me a philosopher!') But it also gets by without input from biology, and history, and literature. Philosophy is interesting because of its intrinsic interest, not because it’s a handmaiden to physics. I think that philosophers themselves sometimes get too defensive about this, trying to come up with reasons why philosophy is useful to physics. Who cares?

Here, Carrol differentiates between the practical value of hard science and the "intrinsic" worth of understanding reality via rationale ideas. While apt, this criticism manufactures a false dichotomy between Physics and Philosophy that need not necessarily reflect the merit of these respective disciplines. Below are several sites that attempt to dispel this contrivance by demonstrating the everyday virtues accrued by studying Philosophy.

Thunk - 33. Does Philosophy Matter?

Thunk - 33. Does Philosophy Matter?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znlmOlu9mTk&feature=youtu.be

The above webcast attempts to dissolve the often abused misconception that Philosophy comprises a pointless exercise. In particular, "THUNK" defends Philosophy by describing innovative course curricula from other cultures. Surprisingly, The United States comprises one of the few large, developed countries where Philosophy cannot be found in primary or secondary school classrooms. "THUNK" suggests this may contribute to the discipline's "second class citizenship" among collegiate subjects.

The site attempts to further ameliorate Philosophy to a general audience by lauding its greatest exponent, logic. Without the comprehensive study of reason undertaken either tacitly or overtly by history's greatest thinkers, humans would likely rely on intuition for major decisions. The site also suggests that the formulation of admirable behavior via ideals and reason owes a significant debt to strides undertaken in philosophical inquiry. Based on these propositions, it can be reasonably claimed that Philosophy so ubiquitously pervades our everyday lives that even Hayden Planetarium physicists can take it for granted.

Bertrand Russell On the Value of Philosophy

Bertrand Russell On the Value of Philosophy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znlmOlu9mTk&feature=youtu.be

Speaking of logic, the above selection derives from one of its twentieth century patriarchs, Bertrand Russell. Russell's contributions to the development of analytic philosophy remain largely unchallenged decades after their initial publication. Russell serves as an able ambassador for the practical application of Philosophy since his propositions have been adapted for set theory, cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

At once, Russell disavows the need to defend Philosophy on practical terms. According to the above chapter from Russell's larger work, "Problems in Philosophy," contemplation of human understanding appeals to comprehensive study precisely because it cannot yield "general" gains. Others (sometimes many) can benefit from a single person's pursuit of scientific truth. However, Russell contends that only individuals can truly benefit from philosophical inquiry. This makes the unilateral reading of philosophical works a necessity rather than recreation.

Damon Horowitz: Philosophy in Prison

Damon Horowitz: Philosophy in Prison

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMXFiYhm79g

Google In-House Philosopher Damon Horowitz starts his brief apologia for philosophical study with a visceral episode from one of his incarcerated students. The sum of the previous sequence serves Horowitz's greater argument, that seismic personal change can only be gleaned through rigorous philosophical investigation. While "hard" disciplines may supply knowledge to its students, Philosophy measures its success by the values and standards individuals apply to their intelligence and gifts.

Horowitz states, "Socrates dies in prison, his philosophy still intact." This implied challenge should reverberate with an array of audiences; that the meaning individuals ascribe to their reality is drawn largely by the quality (or lack thereof) of their philosophical understanding. The sum of Horowitz's presentation pertains to the "Why?" of reality rather than "What?" or "How?"

Always Already There

Know any other online resources for substantiating the need for studying Philosophy? I look forward to your comments and thank you in advance for any kind words. Check out my other Hub Pages for additional suggestions for navigating college assignments by working smart instead of merely working hard.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 

      3 years ago from World Citizen

      Great article. Voted up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)