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PhilosophyGround >> I just got my B.A In Philosophy..


5/13/06 8:12 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 13-May-06 08:13 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
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I just graduated from college(except one elective I have to take over summer) and finished up my B.A in philosophy. Here are my thoughts on the matter in case anyone is interested in pursuing a B.A. I first decided to be a philosophy major sophomore year of college for a few reasons. The main one being that I did not know what direction I wanted to take in my life and I just chose a major that I thought I would like. I was also very troubled by the idea that I only have one life to live and I want to live it as best as I could. At the time I was still fascinated by ideas such as enlightenment or Socrates motto "The unexamined life isn't worth living".I wondered what amazing possibilities did life have to offer? One of the first classes I took was existentialism and although I found it engaging, I really didn't respect the ideas of anybody except some of Nietzsche's. Existentialism did not answer my questions and I did my own reading outside of class of guys like Krishnamurti and the Dalai Llama. I read boks like "Siddhartha" and "The Razor's edge".. Meanwhile I continued for with my other philosophy courses. My program is a history of philosophy program so my classes consisted of "Medieval philosophy" "early modern philosophy" and so forth where I engaged in questions and problems that no longer have any relevance in today's world. One class I did take that was helpful was "Symbolic Logic". I had given up on the idea that philosophy can answer the question what is the best way to live life and instead tries to figure out how the world works. From philosophy I did get some benefits, I did learn how to write better(you probably can't tell) and I can analyze things with better skill. I can see how pathetic most people's arguing skills are and how unwarranted their beliefs are. There are some downsides too, I tend to OVERANALYZE everything, and it leads to problems. I have also graduated with a philosophy degree and have no direction in terms of what I want to do on the job market. In the end I can't say that learning philosophy has answered any of the big questions in life..it has simply eliminated some of them. Thank you Wittgenstein.
5/14/06 5:00 AM
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FiatLux
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Edited: 14-May-06
Member Since: 03/12/2002
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"One of the first classes I took was existentialism and although I found it engaging, I really didn't respect the ideas of anybody except some of Nietzsche's. Existentialism did not answer my questions and I did my own reading outside of class of guys like Krishnamurti and the Dalai Llama. I read boks like "Siddhartha" and "The Razor's edge".." I found this part interesting mainly because someone once referred to me as an existentialist before I had even read anything on the topic. What was it that existentialism lacked for you? For me, people like Krishnamurti, the Dalai Llama, and Albert Camus all seemed to be saying similar things. Things probably are subjective or solipsistic at some point it seems... If that wasn't what you wanted to hear, where did you go and who did you end up finding that had a message you agreed with?
5/14/06 5:56 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 14-May-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1093
Camus and Hesse-Kafka-Dostoevsky were a part why I became interested in Phil. Also political thought and such. I graduate right now and go on to pursue an MA in Phil, dealing with different brands of ethics and political philosophy. I would say that there are a lot of questions answered - you just have to look in the right place. "where I engaged in questions and problems that no longer have any relevance in today's world" I think that couldn´t be further from the real situation...The same questions are with us and have been with us over 2500 years.
5/14/06 2:50 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 14-May-06
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Indrek, What I meant was I was having to read about Leibniz's monism or Descartes proof of God...etc. " If that wasn't what you wanted to hear, where did you go and who did you end up finding that had a message you agreed with?" Short answer...this is the entire field of psychology.
5/14/06 4:35 PM
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Logic Rules
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Edited: 14-May-06
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What do you think about the opression of homsexuals in America? Heterosexuals oppose gay marriage, gay adoption, and gay involvement in the military. Can we really say America is the land of the free? Is the USA really a Constitutional Republic with democratic traditions?
5/14/06 4:36 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 14-May-06
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Ok.. in this sense yes. But I personally think that the history of philosophy is important. I also feel that it is important for analytic philosophers to actually READ some continental (and not necessarily Postmodern) philosophy not just neglect it - and vice versa.
5/14/06 9:46 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 14-May-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
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Indrek, I don't know, my feeling was that reading this history of philosophy was pretty useless except it was of course easier to understand modern philosophers. I do agree that analytic guys should read some continental and vice versa.
5/15/06 4:10 AM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 15-May-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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congrats sanguine!
5/15/06 4:44 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 15-May-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
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By the way Sanguine, BIG CONGRATS!!! "What do you think about the opression of homsexuals in America? Heterosexuals oppose gay marriage, gay adoption, and gay involvement in the military." Well I think they are completely wrong to do so. They just couldn´t coherently defend their position. We had to do some stuff on liberation (gay, racial liberation etc) movements at school and I found these lectures (you´ll get multiple good laughs listening to those): John Corvino: http://streaming.lib.wayne.edu/RealContents/Default.aspx?link=/Special/Corvino
5/15/06 5:07 PM
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Logic Rules
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Edited: 15-May-06
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Who couldn't coherently defend their position? The Homos?
5/15/06 6:15 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 15-May-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
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Mhhh... read my sentence as a response to your quote. The gay rights opposers couldn´t coherently defend a lot of their points.
5/17/06 9:35 PM
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Dougie«
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Edited: 17-May-06
Member Since: 08/20/2003
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I have an honours B.A. in Philosophy from my university. All it did was make the fact that there are more questions out there than I already had, more clearer.
5/21/06 9:11 PM
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hekster
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Edited: 21-May-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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The philosopher's question of how to live a better life in modernity is best addressed by the buddhism, in my opinion. The larger questions of ethics addressed by philosophy are more political and depend on the society. congrats on the B.A. Try and only take jobs that make you more employalble and don't get too picky is the only advice I can give. Keep up your side projects in case you get the chance to do something using what you've learned.
5/23/06 11:52 AM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 23-May-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
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hekster, The quesion of buddhism is an interesting one. The happiest person on record(scientists test this by measuring brain waves) was very senior ranking lama. However there are a TON of downsides to buddhism as well. I wrote a paper on it once.
5/24/06 3:46 AM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 24-May-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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"The happiest person on record(scientists test this by measuring brain waves) " care to expand on that in some more detail?
5/24/06 7:30 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 24-May-06
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I wish I still had the article, I read it in some science magazine. Basically these scientists were doing a bunch of tests on happiness, and apparently you can test how happy someone is(at the current moment) by monitoring brain waves. They tested 300 people from all walks of life and a Lama monk was happier-by A GREAT margin than anybody else.
5/24/06 10:09 PM
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hekster
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Edited: 24-May-06
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"However there are a TON of downsides to buddhism as well" The buddha said that his message should be tested and to take what was useful and discard the rest. I would be curious to see the downsides that you had in your paper and how sectarian they might be, there are alot of different sorts of buddhism...
5/24/06 10:59 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 24-May-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
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My paper was on Zen Buddhism....I wish I still had it , but right away with meditation there are some problems..and while i just wikipedieed this ..it was the same stuff I found when i wrote my paper "A growing body of clinical literature is now starting to address the phenomenon of meditation-related problems (Lukoff, Lu & Turner, 1998; Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes, 2000). Several side-effects have been reported, including uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations, mild dissociation and psychosis-like symptoms (Craven, 1989). From a clinical study of twenty-seven long term meditators, Shapiro (1992) reported such adverse effects as depression, relaxation-induced anxiety and panic, paradoxical increases in tension, impaired reality testing, confusion, disorientation and feeling 'spaced out'. The possibility that meditation might trigger strong emotional reactions is also reported by Kutz, Borysenko & Benson (1985). Therefore, meditation might cause serious side effects, even among long-term practitioners, and might even, in some instances, be contraindicated. The tendency of meditation to release unconscious material (Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes, 2000) implies that the beginning meditator should approach the practice with moderation"
5/25/06 11:04 PM
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hekster
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Edited: 25-May-06
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buddha also say that all things be done in moderation... the middle path. I think that alot of zen groups overdue the meditation bit, too much sitting and seclusion.
5/25/06 11:07 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 25-May-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
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You are right that there is a lot of different sects of buddhism, so before I critique how about you give me your idea of how buddhism is the best way to live life. Give me the daily life that you would suggest
5/27/06 9:15 AM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 27-May-06
Member Since: 05/08/2006
Posts: 264
sanguine - not wanting to sound pessimistic but hear this: I graduated from Arizona State with a B.A in philosophy and a minor in History/Philosophy of Science. Now ASU is not considered to be a top philosophy school but....recently 2 positions opened up for assistant professor and there were 315 applications (!!!), all by really really qualified people. After talking with my professors about it, I decided to come back to Europe and pursue my Master's and Phd. and also look for work here. I don't know if you are planning to go further with your degree but I would suggest that if you do, then do your Master's on something not necessarily relevant to Philosophy just to be on the safe side (employment wise).
5/27/06 6:00 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 27-May-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1142
I'm not continuing in philosophy.
5/29/06 6:31 PM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 29-May-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
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Did you really expect to get a job in Phil with a BA?
6/1/06 2:38 PM
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HOLLYWOOD-MO
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Edited: 01-Jun-06
Member Since: 05/30/2003
Posts: 20382
Its like Psychology. Its not a functional degree. If you graduate with just a BA in anything (other than business), its pretty much worthless. You have to have, at the least, an MA to go somewhere in Philosophy or Psych. Reality, you should try to get a PhD
6/1/06 7:08 PM
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Giorgos
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Edited: 01-Jun-06
Member Since: 05/08/2006
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Indrek - who me? hell no. I don't think it's even likely to get a job in philosophy even with a Phd. in the states. Unless you are willing to leave your home state to go to some community college at who knows where :(

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