Why Study Philosophy?
The study of philosophy is well-known for developing the reasoning and communication skills that are central to success in all professions and all areas of study, such as the ability to express and defend coherent views on complex issues.
Students of philosophy also acquire knowledge of ethics, logic, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and other areas, which provide excellent background for careers in law, government service, ministry, education, and many other fields.
Strange as it may seem for someone who has made his reputation and his fortune in the very practical world of business, my financial success and my political outlook have rested largely on a number of abstract philosophical ideas.
– George Soros, financier and philosophy major
But perhaps the most fundamental value of engaging philosophical questions is the fact that "these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation" (Bertrand Russell, Problems of Philosophy).
Philosophers Excel on Standardized Tests
Philosophy students have higher average scores on entrance exams for graduate and professional schools than most other students. This suggests that the study of philosophy develops a set of skills important for success in a very broad range of fields.
GRE scores from 1988-91 show that philosophy majors had:
- the highest mean verbal score of students in all majors
- the 2nd highest mean analytic score of students in all majors
- a higher mean quantitative score than ALL other humanities and social science majors
- GRE Performance by Major
Mean LSAT score for philosophy majors is:
- higher than for both political science and non-philosophy pre-law majors
- the 5th highest for all humanities and social science majors according to a 1994 study
GMAT scores from 1991-96 show that:
- the mean score is higher for philosophy majors than for any type of business major
- outside of hard sciences, philosophy had either 1st or 2nd highest mean GMAT score each year
- including hard sciences, mean GMAT score for philosophy majors is tied for 4th among all majors.