Should I do a major in philosophy?

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Re: Should I do a major in philosophy?

Post by Red » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:34 pm

carnap wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:25 pm
At least in the US, history of philosophy isn't the emphasis. I'm not sure what you mean by "actual philosophy", but to properly understand the context and scope of modern philosophy you do need to know something about the history of philosophy and philosophy moves slowly so the works from authors from many decades ago is still very relevant today.
By 'actual philosophy,' I am referring to philosophy itself. I'm not saying I'm King Shit when it comes to philosophy, I'm just saying.
Anyways, I remember brimstone linked a video from a guy named Richard Carier a while back which discusses the problem with philosophy education (it's kinda long, recommend having it at 2x speed):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLvWz9GQ3PQ

Oh yeah, and here's the CC philosophy playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNgK6MZucdYldNkMybYIHKR
Crash Course is honestly one of the best channels on Youtube. I binge watched their US History and Physics. I'm gonna go back to them at some point and take notes on them. However, it's unfortunate that they don't have many series' that directly relates to math.

Cirion, have you seen this guy's channel? Since you like math, you'll love this channel. My dad showed me this guy and he is stupidly good:
https://www.youtube.com/user/blackpenredpen
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:39 pm

^ Richard Carrier is a pretty terrible person, but that was a good talk.
I've argued with Margaret on this issue too; people give too much credit to beliefs that should be laughed out of the building (and would be in any field of science). Philosophy moves slowly because philosophers as a whole aren't reasonable enough to bin pseudo-philosophy. In physics professors spend less than an hour on Aether theory, and it's just a case-study in Occam's razor and how pseudoscience works -- it's a footnote, as should be the majority of classical philosophy.

However, formal education in logic is probably worth it. You could learn formal notation, truth tables, etc.
But you'll also forget them all in a month if you don't use them...

Carnap is right that you need to keep in mind employability. Teaching is its own thing, and takes a special kind of person who really loves it.
If you're interested in that you may want to major in education.

You should probably go for computer science if you have an interest in it. Otherwise, maybe go into physics and work on nuclear power, fission or fusion... we need to find a gimmick that will get people to accept something viable.

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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:06 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:39 pm
Carnap is right that you need to keep in mind employability. Teaching is its own thing, and takes a special kind of person who really loves it.
I really like math and teaching math, but not teaching itself.
You should probably go for computer science if you have an interest in it. Otherwise, maybe go into physics and work on nuclear power, fission or fusion... we need to find a gimmick that will get people to accept something viable.
I feel pretty neutral about both computer science and physics. I've only sort of learned Java and am currently taking a mechanics class and I think I enjoyed general chemistry more than both of the two. Nuclear physics sounds interesting though.
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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:07 am

Red wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:34 pm
Cirion, have you seen this guy's channel? Since you like math, you'll love this channel. My dad showed me this guy and he is stupidly good:
https://www.youtube.com/user/blackpenredpen
Thanks, I'll check them out!
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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:11 am

carnap wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:20 pm
For high school you'd have to spend 1~2 years to get your credential and the pay would be rather low for the amount of education. You'll also have to ask yourself if you'll be a good teacher or would even find it enjoyable, teaching high school is part babysitting and part following a very narrow curriculum created by the government.
Some of the schools I have been accepted to have this credential built into the 4 year experience. Also, I do like teaching. Imparting knowledge is really fun for me!
Community colleges rely heavily on part-time instructors these days so going that direction would likely mean working part-time for many years and then if you're lucky getting a full-time tenure position. And success here is going to hinge more on your ability to teach and be liked by staff/students than your knowledge in mathematics. The level of mathematics taught at community college is pretty basic.
Interesting. My high school is on a community college (and I take community college classes) so it might be worth asking some of my professors.
Personally I think a good plan involves thinking about how you'd get employed outside of education. The alternative can be working at Starbucks or being really unhappy with your job.
Thanks, I'm considering it now.
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Post by carnap » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:55 am

Cirion Spellbinder wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:11 am
Some of the schools I have been accepted to have this credential built into the 4 year experience. Also, I do like teaching. Imparting knowledge is really fun for me!
Teaching in the real world isn't some lofty ideal of "imparting knowledge". The majority (and in the case of high school...the vast majority) of your students won't really care about what you're teaching. They are there because they want to graduate.

Its hard to know if you'll like something before you really do it. So if all your plans are based on education you may end up really unhappy if things don't go as expected.

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Post by carnap » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:26 am

Red wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:34 pm
By 'actual philosophy,' I am referring to philosophy itself. I'm not saying I'm King Shit when it comes to philosophy, I'm just saying.
Anyways, I remember brimstone linked a video from a guy named Richard Carier a while back which discusses the problem with philosophy education (it's kinda long, recommend having it at 2x speed):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLvWz9GQ3PQ
I listened to a bit of that video and found it intolerable, the speaker doesn't seem all that familiar with academic philosophy (he seems to be a historian? never heard of him before.)

In any case, I'm also not sure what you mean by "philosophy itself". If we are talking about the academic discipline then the history of philosophy is an integral part of philosophy. In most philosophy programs you will spend a good deal studying the works of people that are dead but that is only because their work is still relevant.

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Post by mkm » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:29 am

If you want to pursue math, "pure" math (mathematical logic, model theory, set theory?), you will propably engage in philosophical background of some concepts inevitably. Main difference will be that with some training in mathematics you will filter out a lot of, let's say, imprecise matter in philosophy (or straight nonsense, putting it bluntly). I had one or two "general" (not mathematically focused) philosophy classes, and they were annoying most of the time, but there were some gems too, just hidden.
Job wise mathematicians are usually very flexible when it comes to learn some CS or other things that depend heavily on analytical thinking, just don't seperate yourself totally from programming and a little bit of statistics, and you should be golden.

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Post by Red » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:02 am

carnap wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:26 am
I listened to a bit of that video and found it intolerable, the speaker doesn't seem all that familiar with academic philosophy (he seems to be a historian? never heard of him before.)
You sould watch the whole video first before being dismissive.
carnap wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:26 am
In any case, I'm also not sure what you mean by "philosophy itself". If we are talking about the academic discipline then the history of philosophy is an integral part of philosophy. In most philosophy programs you will spend a good deal studying the works of people that are dead but that is only because their work is still relevant.
Yeah, and that's the issue we are trying to discuss. A little but if history is important, but it seems to be taking priority over philosophy. What you're saying is like saying you have to study the life of Isaac Newton if you want to understand physics.
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Post by Cirion Spellbinder » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:26 pm

carnap wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:55 am
Teaching in the real world isn't some lofty ideal of "imparting knowledge".
Right, there is also classroom management, grading, planning, and the aforementioned maintenance of curriculum standards.
The majority (and in the case of high school...the vast majority) of your students won't really care about what you're teaching. They are there because they want to graduate.
I experienced this recently because I briefly held a job as a teacher’s aid / tutor at a community college for an elementary algebra course. It was obvious that most of the students didn’t care and just wanted to sate their math requirement, but it was still enjoyable to work with them in and out of class.
Its hard to know if you'll like something before you really do it. So if all your plans are based on education you may end up really unhappy if things don't go as expected.
I also really briefly have volunteered at a middle school as a teacher’s aide for a 7th grade (American) math class. I didn’t enjoy that quite as much, but obviously I just had my foot in the water, and in all honesty I would do it again if it didn’t conflict with my schedule!
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