Feb. 17, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 11
'A Great Opportunity to Tackle Big Questions'
Why philosophy? The Chronicle asked several undergraduates majoring in the subject.
"We live in a confusing age with so many people asking so many questions: Why? Why? Why?" said Matt Collier '06, of Princeton, NJ, a wide receiver on the BC football team who is double-majoring in philosophy and history.
"Studying philosophy offers a great opportunity to tackle the big questions, the ones that are at the heart of who we are as human beings.
"It helps that BC's philosophy department is one of the best, if not the best, at the university, and well-respected around the country.
"Whenever I tell people I'm a philosophy major, the response is always the same: 'Oh. How are you going to make money with that? There aren't too many spots in the job market for a philosopher.' But a liberal arts education is not supposed to teach you specialized money-making skills, it's supposed to teach you how to think.
"I'm sure those who leave BC having studied philosophy will be good at anything since they've been taught how to think, and how to think things through completely. Everyone should be a philosophy major!"
Erica Marcus '07, of Medway, Mass., a philosophy major who competes in multiple events for the women's track team, said: "I think too many people are worried about what jobs their major will lead them to. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to develop a well rounded individual. With many jobs, aside from those in the medical and law fields, you will be trained upon hiring. I don't think you are missing out on 'practical education' by not taking classes that teach you a specific skill.
"The character, work ethic and intellectual abilities of a person will make a person successful in whatever he or she chooses to do after college. Philosophy caters toward developing those aspects of a person."
Jonathan M. Ciuffreda CSOM '06, of Mendham, N. J., began playing the stock market at the age of 12, and now is triple-majoring in finance, corporate reporting and analysis -and philosophy.
"I had no prior interest in philosophy before I came to BC, but then after taking some of the liberal arts classes and being exposed to it in Perspectives, I felt like it was something I had to do.
"It is strange being a major in philosophy and finance and corporate reporting at the same time because I grew up being only interested in business and making money, which just doesn't interest me anymore.
"Right now, I think that after BC I want to become a professor, so I am going to go for a PhD, either in accounting or philosophy."
-Mark Sullivan •