The Instigator
Jack212
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Sargon
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points

Modern Philosophy is useful outside of academia.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/1/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,064 times Debate No: 36252
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

Jack212

Con

I don't see modern Philosophy as overly useful, as it seems to be a lot of thought about nothing and doesn't stay up to date with Science (which is now a completely separate field). As I'm arguing the Con side, I await my opponent to make their opening case for why Philosophy still has use in the real world.
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Con doesn't present any rules in R1. I think it's reasonable to assume that I can dive right into his arguments in the first round.

Con says that philosophy is useless because it doesn't keep up with science. I argue that science itself needs philosophy to make any sense. Science assumes things, such as absolute truth, logic, respect for evidence and consistency, that cannot be proven on the basis of science alone. These are supported by philosophy, not science.

Furthermore, the ability to keep up with science is a useless standard. No career that has nothing to do with science will ever keep up with science. Does this entail that history is useless? Teaching students? Working as a security guard? It's an arbitrary and nonsensical standard.

Philosophy will be defined as reasoning about the nature of reality in the broadest sense possible. Philosophy entails the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of history, the philosophy of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of ethics, the philosophy of art, the philosophy of language, etc. It's extremely extensive and broad, not just one subject.

(And, as you'll notice, those subjects are far from "thinking about nothing", as Con puts it.)

Many people wonder why one would get a major in philosophy if it pays so poorly. The answer to this is that, while philosophy pays poorly at first, like most jobs will, the mid-career salary is better than most careers that are thought of as practical. The mid-career salary of the average philosophy major is 72, 600 dollars.[1] According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of living a year is 20 thousand.[2] The average wage in the United States is 42 thousand dollars.[3] This entails that, as a mid-career philosophy major, you will make thirty thousand more dollars than the average wage, and have plenty of money to take care of yourself. You will make more money than biologists, nurses, zoologists, business majors, psychologists, criminal justice majors, and plenty of other majors.[4] You will make more mid-career than somebody with a Bachelors in Business Administration, yet philosophy is called a useless and impractical major, while BBA and MBA are frequently cited as one of the best degrees to get.

Some people say that a philosophy major will make it hard to find a job. However, I quote New Mexico State University to the contrary: "For millennia students of philosophy have been lampooned for having their “heads in the clouds”. Empirical research suggests otherwise: philosophy majors do very well in the corporate world. In general, philosophy majors tend to have little trouble finding jobs, with a 98.9% employment rate." [5]

I grant that the starting salary isn't too great, but it's enough to make a living, and it's justified by the mid-career salary.

Philosophy majors also score higher on the Graduate Record Examinations. This is the test you take before you apply to graduate school. University-Michigan Flint notes the following facts about philosophy majors scores on this test:

1: Philosophy students score higher than every other major in the Humanities and Arts, higher than every major in the Social Science, higher than every major in the Life Sciences, higher than every major in Education, higher than every major in Business, and higher than every major listed under "Other Fields." In fact, Philosophy students score higher than four out of the six majors listed in Physical Sciences, and five out of the seven listed in Engineering.
2: Students declaring an intention to go to graduate school in Philosophy have a higher mean score on the Verbal section of the GRE than any other major in any of the fields listed (mean score: 589)
3: Students declaring an intention to go to graduate school in Philosophy get the third highest mean scores of any major on the Analytical section of the GRE (mean: 625
4: Compare the GRE mean scores with other popular pre-Law majors: Philosophy (overall mean: 1807), Political Science (overall mean: 1641), Communications (overall mean: 1505), Public Administration (overall mean: 1450). Now, which looks to you to be the best training for pre-Law? None of these majors did better than Philosophy students on any of the three sections of the GRE. [6]

This proves that a philosophy major will make you better at speaking and verbal skills, as well as analytic abilities. That's a useful skill for any job you have in life, no matter what it may be.

Here's a quote from a man who works for Carnegie Mellon University directing career development: ""When we talk with employers who come and recruit at the university, every year the No. 1 skill they look for is communication, verbal and written," he said. "That continues to be the No. 1 [attribute] in addition to problem-solving, team work, the ability to think creatively, applying technology and interpersonal skills." [7]

No doubt, a philosophy major helps you with those things.

Conclusion: a philosophy major will provide you with a mid-career salary that is higher than "practical" majors, a philosophy major will give you analytical and language skills that are unrivaled by most majors, a philosophy major will not lead you to unemployment, as most people think, but has a low unemployment rate of less than 2%, and it will give you skills that are useful for any job. Philosophy is useful because getting a major in philosophy is useful.

The act of philosophizing itself? Well, I think it's obvious that we use philosophical reasoning every day, even if we don't realize it.
A basic statement such as "If it is raining, you should bring an umbrella. It is raining, therefore you should bring an umbrella" is philosophy! When we reason about ethics, we are using philosophy. How were my actions right or wrong? What is the appropriate punishment in this given situation? Is abortion right or wrong? Ethical questions entail the use of philosophy. Politics also entails philosophy. We debate the role of government in our society every day. Should it be small, large, intrusive, non-intrusive? This is basic political philosophy. We also use reasoning in our every day lives. We debate sports teams, issues, disagreements between people, etc. All of this is basic philosophical reasoning. In fact, Con's opening statement itself is metaphilosophy, a branch of philosohy!

Philosophy and philosophical reasoning permeates our every day lives, from the basic to the complex. I think it's absurd

References
1: http://www.payscale.com...
2: ftp://ftp.bls.gov...
3: http://en.wikipedia.org...
4: See source one.
5: http://www.nmsu.edu...
6: http://www.umflint.edu...
7: http://www.post-gazette.com...

Debate Round No. 1
Jack212

Con

Okay, Philosophy does teach people useful skills. If you can argue random, abstract crap convincingly, you probably have the communication skills needed to succeed in any non-specialized field. While I still think the actual subject is useless, you are technically in the right. I must therefore concede the debate.
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Con concedes the debate. Vote for me.

Vale
Debate Round No. 2
Jack212

Con

"Philosophy will be defined as reasoning about the nature of reality in the broadest sense possible. Philosophy entails the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of history, the philosophy of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of ethics, the philosophy of art, the philosophy of language, etc. It's extremely extensive and broad, not just one subject."

I'd still like you to elaborate on that if you've got the time. How exactly are those "philosophy of X" things useful? Aside from teaching you how to argue, that is.
Sargon

Pro

Ave

My opponent concedes the debate. He asks me to answer a question "if I have the time", but sadly, I don't have time.

Vale
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 3 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Ave = Hail, Vale = Farewell.
Posted by MassiveDump 3 years ago
MassiveDump
Can someone please explain to me the point and/or meaning of Ave and Vale?
Posted by PBJS 3 years ago
PBJS
Con is arguing a comletely unwinnable situation there is no point to this argument might as well call it as a pro win
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"phi"los"o"phy
/fəG2;l"səfē/
Noun
The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.".

How could philosophy not be useful!
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
If Con had any sense, he would look at this debate, and realize that he got absolutely slaughtered. Just quit...
Posted by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
Opening statement was cut off. I meant to say "I think it's absurd to say that philosophy has no use outside of academia".
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Pro's argument was persuasive, informative, and well supported.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. I really enjoyed Pro's argument too.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Plus pro's argument used sources very well.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I was interested in the payscale info. That was a new twist on my old opinion of the value of an arts degree. (Would you like fries with that?)
Vote Placed by GeoLaureate8 3 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided good arguments, Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by Poetaster 3 years ago
Poetaster
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Con
Vote Placed by airmax1227 3 years ago
airmax1227
Jack212SargonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded