Senator Marco Rubio sent fact-checkers aflutter when he said at the Republican presidential debate on Tuesday that philosophy majors would be better off going into welding. The value of a vocational degree, he argued, was greater than the payoff that comes with contemplating the cosmos. — NYTimes
To this philosophy major (“Seven years of college education wasted”), the statement has the ring of sound career advice.
I can’t say we weren’t warned. As undergraduates at Temple University — only about a dozen of us in the entire department — we were warned that there wasn’t much of a market for our skills. General Motors wasn’t hiring philosophy majors, they noted, and neither was anybody else. Most of the class ended up doing altogether different, Some got teaching degrees (poor bastards). Others went to law school. One guy I knew became a cop. We used to imagine conversations he might have with his superiors like, “If a guy goes through a red light and there’s nobody there to see it, is it still a violation?”
Years after grad school, I bumped into one of my colleagues who’d gone to law school and asked him if his BA in Philosophy helped him in school or in his practice. He laughed in my face. “In your wildest fantasies, do you suppose logic has a damn thing to do with law?” he asked me, incredulously. “Let alone fucking ethics?”
I ended up in philosophy because after exactly one introductory course in psychology — my first choice for a career — I was convinced it was seriously flawed unscientific buncombe, the an opinion from which view I haven’t deviated since. I didn’t realize that “philosophy” is Latin for “bullshit,” or that its study would permanently warp my brane. What the lawyer said, but more so: life isn’t logical. People don’t like logic, they resist its application, and they resent hearing about trying it. Whatever or whoever you approach logically you’ll screw up.
Ever notice how important persuasion is on a daily basis? Well, logic is the last thing you ever want to try when persuading somebody about anything. It is particularly onerous and unappreciated in the workplace. And thanks to my orientation and training in Philosophy, that’s my first instinct. Doomed. It has taken me years to stifle this flaw, and relapses occur often. I have a stack of pink slips to prove it.
Q: What are the 3 most dangerous words one spouse can say to the other?
A: “Honey, be reasonable.”
Am I right?
So Marcolito, I think you’re onto something here, and in light of what I witnessed during the debate and subsequent analyses, your peers unanimously concur. Philosophy and logic have no role in this election process, or in politics generally. Like tits on a bull. A screen door in a submarine. Condoms in a nursing home. You get the idea.