Can Philosophy survive in an academy driven by impact and employability?

Those hungry for an understanding of the human world find some tools, in elementary logic and critical thinking, and will practise taking care to say what they mean. Philosophy is useful, yet its chief value for students lies not in making them better professionals, but in helping them live better lives.

A belief, philosophers have told us, is a preparation for action, and ideas are the inflammable elements in beliefs. We also pointed out that a literate, intelligent, informed and imaginative ability to think about these ideas is itself empowering. It might be judged not only to be a valuable component in a good life, but also a valuable asset for any citizen in a democracy where these things are bound to be endlessly discussed and contested. And, truth to tell, it might actually command some respect in that ultimate scale of human value, employability in the modern economy. There is excellent evidence that it does so: surveys of graduate school entries in the US, (including entries to law, medical and management schools) consistently put philosophy at, or near to, the most successful and desirable of majors for young people to have taken.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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