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Philosophy

Male student drawing on an easel

Where Critical-Thinking Skills Take Shape

Discover the deeper questions behind reality, existence, knowledge, and truth. Debate what it means to live in our contemporary world both as an individual and as a member of our society. In discussing possibly answers to these more existential questions, you begin to develop the meaning of critical thinking itself – learning and understanding a point of view, and then asking questions about it from your point of view. It’s then you are able to use knowledge, deconstruct it, and create something new with it. It is the basis of turning learning into action.

Philosophy will also challenge your own point of view. It is a rich, diverse subject that can lead to hours of stimulating discussions. LASC does not currently offer a degree in Philosophy, yet the courses offered will give you a strong introduction into the subject, as well as provide you with transferrable credits towards a bachelor’s degree at a CSU or UC campus where you can pursue further courses in this inspiring field of study.

Careers Involving Philosophy

Those with degrees in Philosophy often go on to become lawyers, counselors, teachers, politicians, and writers, and is a good background for any career.

Here are just a few careers and their salaries you could have with a background in philosophy:

Career information below taken from bls.gov February 2020. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Doctoral Degree $176,020/year $84.63/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 9% increase
(faster than average)

37,320

Develop written content for various types of media.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Some college $109,690/year $52.73/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 13% increase
(faster than average)

4,680

 

Create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $146,250/year $70.31/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 4% increase
(as fast as average)

2,700

Courses offered in Philosophy at LASC

Any major would benefit from taking courses in Philosophy courses at LASC to build your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills! Plus, these courses will help you meet UC and CSU transfer requirements. Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information.

1 Introduction to Philosophy (3) UC:CSU

IGETC Area 3B
CSUGE Area C2
Lecture: 3 hours

A survey of the fundamental questions concerning metaphysics, ethics and epistemology. Expected topics will include the nature of what is, the theory of the good, and the sources and limits of human knowledge. Other topics that may be examined from a philosophical perspective include the nature of the self, truth, religion, science, language, beauty and art, justice, social and political theory, and mind.

8 Deductive Logic (3) UC:CSU

CSUGE Area A3
Lecture: 3 hours

This is an introductory course in logic. The student is introduced to the standards and techniques of correct thought with regular practice with short specimens of correct and incorrect reasoning taken from daily life. Consistency, thoroughness, and other aspects of rational thought are fostered.

 

More on Philosophy

The idea of colleges and universities is only about 900 years old. The idea of Philosophy is about 2,600 years old.  

After 2,600 years, Philosophy has become only one of the very many academic disciplines (such as you see here in our A&H Department: Music, Art, Communication; as well as disciplines in other fields such as the sciences). But Philosophy is the original discipline from which all the newer ones then grew. And Philosophy imparts to them something general that they all have in common still: the idea of a liberal education.

Where Liberal Education and Critical-thinking Skills Take Shape

Gaining a liberal education remains to this day the chief justification for studying Philosophy. A liberal education tries to balance breadth and depth in quest of becoming a well-rounded person. Philosophy is a discipline full, broadly, of Big Ideas. Philosophy challenges one to look deeply: “Know Thyself.” At the core of Philosophy is logic: the study of argument, the cultivation of sound argument, the elimination of notably bad argument. Who among us can hope to write well, to persuade well, even to think well without this? This is why Philosophy courses typically fulfill the critical thinking requirements of college and university graduation plans. This is why one cannot call oneself well-educated without at least some solid grounding in Philosophy.

If you’d like to read a well-written justification for the value of Philosophy as a key component of liberal education and personal development, look here at what Bertrand Russell had to say: https://web.ics.purdue.edu/% 7Edrkelly/ RussellValuePhilosophy1912.pdf

Careers Involving Philosophy

What??? Philosophy and careers? Doesn’t everyone just know that Philosophy is impractical? Yet as Mark Twain reminds us: “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

To suppose that studying Philosophy confers no career advantage is one of those very things to which Twain refers.

Consider this:  

Surprised? But why? Managers not only crunch numbers, they need the analytic skill to weigh decisions. If you can’t detect and dispose of logical fallacies, how dare you stand up before the Notorious RBG and the rest of the Supreme Court? Surgeons use scalpels, but they also need to think on their feet and to balance complex thoughts. 

Do you want to make a serious attempt at professional school (business/management, law, medicine)? Then take some Philosophy courses. They help (demonstrably). At LASC our Philosophy offerings are small (we have an Area of Focus rather than a full major) - but at least you can make a start here.

The truth is, there’s no telling what career you might follow after studying Philosophy. It won’t necessarily be teaching, and it won’t necessarily be flipping burgers either. Experience tells us that Philosophy backgrounds have led to very diverse and often surprising actual career outcomes. Nonetheless the general abilities you may pick up in Philosophy ought to have potentially many applications.

So, we welcome you to give Philosophy a try. Here. With us. At LASCThePlaceToBe: for Philosophy.