Who Knew? Political Theory Makes for a Good Career Choice
Wittgensteinian air about philosophy, which meant practitioners
were proud of the fact that they appeared slightly esoteric and
were not doing anything practical. There was very little political
philosophy, and moral philosophy was disengaged from people's
actual moral problems, and that did lead to the subject being
marginalised. That has changed. Political philosophy is a central
part of the Cambridge course." ~ Simon Blackburn
I missed this story in The Guardian when it appeared last week. It turns out that studying philosophy is a relatively wise career choice for British undergraduates. Why? It turns out too that British employers like to hire people who can think. That seems like a novel idea! Moreover, in the passage quoted above, Simon Blackburn attributes the enhanced fortunes of young philosophers to the relatively central role now given to moral and political philosophy in the undergraduate curriculum! Of course, my home department has, without any real discussion, more or less eliminated political philosophy in favor of even greater emphasis on intellectually muddled endeavors like game theoretic and quantitative studies of international relations.* I suppose the best our students might hope for is that employers in the U.S. are less interested in hiring employees who can think than are their British competitors.
* I will happily defend this characterization of our new emphasis if it offends anyone.
[Thanks to Evelyn Brister for bringing this article to my attention.]
Labels: Academic Follies