Philosophy as a Second Major
Philosophy can yield immediate benefits for students planning postgraduate work. Philosophy students regularly outperform students from other disciplines on graduate school entrance exams, such as the LSAT and GRE. As law, medical, business, and other professional school faculty and admissions personnel have often said, philosophy is excellent preparation for the training and later careers of the professionals in question. In preparing to enter fields which have special requirements for postgraduate study, such as computer science, management, medicine, or public administration, choosing philosophy as a second major (or minor) alongside the specialized degree can be very useful.
A third of the students currently majoring in Philosophy at ETSU are double-majors. Some popular majors recently paired with Philosophy include Psychology, History, Theater, Political Science, Microbiology, and Economics. Talk to an advisor about potential pathways to a double-major!
Understanding other disciplines
Philosophy is indispensable for this. Many important questions about a discipline, such as the nature of its concepts and its relation to other disciplines, do not belong to that discipline, are not usually pursued in it, and are philosophical in nature. Philosophy is, moreover, essential in assessing the various standards of evidence used by other disciplines. Since all fields of knowledge employ reasoning and must set standards of evidence, logic and epistemology have a general bearing on all these fields.
Development of sound methods of research and analysis
Still another value of philosophy in education is its contribution to one's capacity to frame hypotheses, do research, and put problems into manageable form. Philosophical thinking strongly emphasizes clear formulation of ideas and problems, selection of relevant data, and objective methods for assessing ideas and proposals. It also emphasizes development of a sense of the new directions suggested by the hypotheses and questions one encounters in doing research. Philosophers regularly build on both the successes and failures of their predecessors. A person with philosophical training can readily learn to do the same in any field.