UBC Philosophy BA ’03
Instructor, Liberal Arts Program
Imagined myself as a teacher or university professor. Teaching gives me an opportunity to remain in academic environment, to put my knowledge and experience in use, and finally to inform students and learn from them. It also enables me to continuously upgrade my understanding of human beings, human relations, and the world, and to live an examined life. Philosophy has played and continues to play a huge role in my personal development. It enables me to form questions and formulate possible answers. It allows me to look at the question in hand from a meta-perspective; it structures my ways of thinking and relating to phenomena; it helps me understand the complexity of the world better.
Philosophy also helps me distance myself from my prejudices and biases, develop a more objective and just point of view, and look at the situation I am grappling with from multiple perspectives. As a result of studying philosophy, I am less reactionary and more tolerant towards opposing points of view. Moreover, I am more thoughtful, more methodical, and more pragmatic. Also, my arguments are more sound. I am a creative writer and philosophy also helps me with my ontological explorations, when I write poetry, and with the epistemological and axiological explorations of my characters’ motives, inclination, and moral actions, when I write fiction.
Consider a career path early, at latest in your third year, orient your efforts along your trajectory, and do not deviate from your path (Minor modifications and adjustments along the way are fine). Career choices available to philosophy students are diverse and broad. Some students might choose to become philosophy teachers or professors. To increase your chance of success of getting a faculty position, you may choose to do an honors undergraduate degree. Then, after finishing your studies, you’d need to apply to grad school, obtain a PhD in philosophy, publish papers and attend conferences, and get teaching experience. Some students might choose to become lawyers. They would need to prepare for entering law school as they strengthen their logical, analytical, and argumentative skills through studying philosophy. Other students might choose to pursue careers in technology, science, or finance. They would need to concentrate on courses that buttress their analytical, logical, mathematical, and statistical skills. Those students who wish to continue their studies in social sciences and the humanities can hugely benefit from studying philosophy, as the majority of courses they will take in the future in the graduate school require solid philosophical foundations. Even though, in these fields, mostly continental philosophy is taught and discussed, because many continental philosophers (e.g. Heidegger and Rorty) wrote in relation/response to analytical philosophers (e.g. Plato and Kant), your background in analytical philosophy would be very useful and would put you ahead of students without any philosophy education.