Regarding a post from earlier this year: Misemployment in Arts Undergrads
One reason why philosophy as a discipline has become so poorly received by the public is because we haven’t been out in communities and public life applying our skills, such as our ability to ask critical questions, think critically and compassionately, to be collaborative, and to keep pushing until there is a solution. People don’t understand what we do. Not because they can’t understand it, but because we don’t communicate or engage them. As a discipline we are self-inclusive and sell ourselves short, raising worries for the future of philosophy. Lots of us might feel ashamed or sad to not land a job or the right job in philosophy. If we view our skills as ones that are widely applicable to a wide variety of disciplines and areas, and the contributions we can make towards those areas as valuable, then we can recognize the value of a philosophy degree to something other than academia or a wasted degree. There are so many ways to stay engaged in philosophy whether or not one has a job as a philosopher. Leading philosophy groups or clubs in public libraries or community centers shares philosophy with the broader public and keeps one engaged in one’s field. Even those in different professions, such as doctors, would love to have discussions about philosophy of medicine or bioethics. We are not a faculty to be scoffed at or shoved under the rug. It is our responsibility to show society what philosophy can really do for us in the long run.
Photo from Columbia University Department of Philosophy 2016