Saturday, May 07, 2016

Rebranding Philosophy

In order to survive the current and future rounds of purges in the arts and sciences, it would seem that philosophy needs some serious rebranding.

When most people think of 'philosophy', they think of one's general attitude towards life, or other such fuzzy, airy-fairy ideas.

My proposal: When selling philosophy to our administrative, political, and corporate overlords, characterize philosophy as THE discipline of logic and critical thinking.

The evidence is somewhat equivocal, but after reading Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates, one of their general findings is the importance of student gains in critical thinking and complex reasoning ability when it comes to predicting their success post-graduation on numerous measures (including employment, income, financial independence, marriage, and civic engagement, among others).

Because of its intense focus on formal and informal logic, philosophy is uniquely suited to help train students in these important skills.
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