Why Major in Philosophy

Why Major in Philosophy

Because the unexamined life is not worth living.

Because you get to read Kierkegaard.

Because quite unlike any other field, philosophy pursues questions in every dimension of human life.

Because philosophy majors at Siena value intellectual discussion and play.

Because you want to crush on the awful tests they make you take for grad schools – the GREs, LSATs, MCATs, GMATs. We even provide an unbiased source.

Because the foundational skills gained in studying philosophy make it valuable no matter what careers you will have throughout your life.

Philosophy focuses on reasoned argument – on being able to identify the strengths and weakness of positions and proposals. Positions and proposals come in many forms, from a business plan to the interpretation of scientific of data, from the thesis of an article on cultural change to questions of which laws should be adopted. Here are some examples of people in a wide variety of fields who have studied Philosophy.

The major professional organization of our discipline is the American Philosophical Association, and they provide extensive resources about career opportunities and the value of a philosophy major or minor. Their “Brief Guide for Undergraduates” concludes with the following: 

Wisdom, leadership, and the capacity to resolve human conflicts cannot be guaranteed by any course of study; but philosophy has traditionally pursued these ideals systematically, and its methods, its literature, and its ideas are of constant use in the quest to realize them. Sound reasoning, critical thinking, well constructed prose, maturity of judgment, a strong sense of relevance, and an enlightened consciousness are never obsolete, nor are they subject to the fluctuating demands of the marketplace. The study of philosophy is the most direct route, and in many cases the only route, to the full development of these qualities.

Department Chair

Josh Alexander

Joshua J. Alexander

Associate Professor of Philosophy

412 Siena Hall

(518) 782‑6715