Philosophy isn't just about cosmic issues. Every day is full of events that raise philosophical questions: why do we eat the things we eat, work the way we work, go to the places we go?
In these days of economic insecurity, it's not surprising that students thinking of majoring in philosophy have difficulty convincing their family and friends. A new website, created by professor of philosophy Jack Russell Weinstein, titled "Philosophy is a Great Major" tries to work around this by pitching the philosophy major as actually a great way to make money. The website touts Peter Thiel, a former philosophy major at Stanford, as a "philosopher king of Silicon Valley." According to the website, "Philosophy is economic stability. Philosophy is freedom."
But isn't there something lost in pursuing a philosophical education for monetary gain? No one of course should be against philosophy majors making a decent living, but in trying to cater to those people who ask whether you're practicing the line "do you want fries with that?" do we lose sight of the value of a doing philosophy for its own sake? If this tactic of selling philosophy as something to be instrumentalized toward getting rich works, I suppose it will help to convince some people to more seriously consider philosophy when they wouldn't have otherwise. But at the same time, we would do well to reserve this pitch to the unconvinced around us, while firmly remaining authentically philosophically interested for those of us who need no convincing—monetary or otherwise. Instead of pitching it as a good sell, why not pitch it as something essential to democratic citizenry? Or a deeper appreciation for the arts? The list goes on...
Check out the website here: https://philosophyisagreatmajor.com/