#3: Why Study Philosophy?
W hy not?
Armchair philosophy aside, I studied Philosophy because I was curious and nothing but was going to satiate that curiosity.
Did you know that redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world? Can you imagine that? Trees taller than most buildings? Taller than the Statue of Liberty? A-freakin-mazing.
I read about redwood trees when I was seven years old while waiting for my Mom to finish her shifts at Dunkin Donuts. I come from a lower middle class family so reading was an escape, and also the most affordable way to travel in and out of this world. Reading that redwood fact was the gateway drug to my addiction to learning.
The study of Philosophy then was just a natural step to keep being who I was and keep doing what I loved in the purist way possible. Moreover, getting a degree in Philosophy allowed me the most options after graduating from college.
H ow so, you might ask?
The way I see it, I finished my formal education with a question mark and not a period or exclamation point like graduates of most other majors. (At best, after four years, my thoughts at graduation: “I got my piece of paper, so what now? Anything!”) As a Philosophy graduate, the world was open for the taking and I didn’t have to be an accountant, a geodetic engineer, or a computer scientist.
And I found that exciting. In the end (and this must end because I’ve gone well over my 300 word limit), I will just quote Robert Frost. He said in 22 words what has taken me waaay too many words already to say, and that is:
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
* You don’t have to be an accountant or an engineer after studying accounting or engineering either. But afer 4 or 5 years of the hard sciences being pounded into your brain, are you really going to think any differently? If UP Diliman did allow for a double major, however, I would’ve taken up Philosophy along with Physics or Computer Science.
** It’s true though that job postings for philosophers are rare, if at all, existent. That’s certainly not exciting. If there’s anything that I’ve learned, however, it’s that you are what you make of yourself. That’s regardless of your college major, color, race, or creed. Nonetheless, I’ve done quite well enough for myself after studying Philosophy so far and, if you’ll allow me an appeal to a few authorities, so have:
— Bill Clinton: the 42nd President of the United States
— Matt Groening: creator of The Simpsons
— Phil Jackson: 11-time NBA championship coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers aka “Zen Master”
— Peter Thiel: billionaire founder and former CEO of PayPal
— Reid Hoffman: billionaire founder of LinkedIn
— Stewart Butterfield: billionaire founder of Flickr and Slack