By Shannon Rupp, 27 Jun 2013, TheTyee.ca
I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy.
Yes, the course of study that has long been denigrated as frivolous and useless in the job market has been the part of my education that I lean on again and again. For work and everything else.
April 1, 2013, 10:58 am
In an interview with radio talk-show host Bill Bennett, Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s governor, criticized the “educated elite” for offering courses that supposedly don’t help graduates get jobs. He specifically attacked areas of study like philosophy and gender studies, both of which are strong programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As a matter of fact, the Chapel Hill doctoral program in philosophy is ranked ninth in the country according to the annual Leiter report on programs in the field, joining Harvard, Yale, New York, and Stanford Universities in the top 10. That particular piece of information didn’t come up in the interview, however. Speaking about these areas of study, McCrory stated, “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”
Now, I am not going to argue that there isn’t such a thing as an “academic elite.” However, if you have a problem with that, eliminating liberal-arts education in public universities is not the way to change things. McCrory says people should go to private colleges if they want a liberal-arts education. That assumes that only those who can afford private education should be allowed to study the liberal arts, an assumption that is nothing if not elite.
Philosophy . . .
the big questions
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