Did you hear about the guy who went to the solipsist conference?

Nobody showed up.  Ba-doom Pshh. Actually, as an old English major, I think the liberal arts prepare us for careers in the long run much better than immediate training.  (But I also support programs that can deliver immediate jobs. I just worry about how long those jobs last.)

I hope somebody sends this link to the governor of Florida.  From Monte Whaley, writing in The Denver Post.

More seek philosophy degrees as a basis for kicking off other careers
Philosophy majors are not just contemplating the meaning of life — they are also launching careers in law, medicine, business and high technology.

"It's funny, but you don't look for philosophy; it finds you," said Autumn Mitchell, a Colorado State University student who is merging her philosophy studies with programming software.

She is part of a growing trend of college students gravitating toward philosophy departments. In the past 10 years, the number of four-year philosophy graduates grew 46 percent, besting such fields as history and psychology. That trend is mirrored at CSU, where philosophy-course enrollment jumped 17 percent in 2008 and the number of declared majors is at 80, up from 75 last year.

Certainly the total number of philosophy majors is dwarfed by fields such as science and business, both locally and nationally. But the numbers are healthy and steady, said professor Jane Kneller, who says philosophy is drawing people partly because they are seeking answers in an increasingly uncertain world.

"I do think we get more majors during times when the larger historical and political scene is in flux," said Kneller, chair of CSU's philosophy department. For instance, she said, enrollment boomed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"People get interested in philosophy when they feel the need to get to the bottom of things, and to think about both the root causes of problems as well as big-picture visions for the future," she said.

A philosophy degree is also a traditional major of pre-law, pre-med and pre-seminary students. And because of its emphasis on informal and symbolic logic, it's an ideal basis for work in computer science, Kneller said.


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