Philosophy before them- and the best tool

Philosophy is a concept that can be defined as sustained, rational, logical, inquiry. It is the understanding of knowledge and the world, using logic and reason. Philosophy reaps many benefits for those who study it, and it has a various useful applications for everyday life in the 21st century. Many of the most striking discoveries and contributions to modern society, from math formulas, to scientific concepts, to the Western political system, were introduced by philosophers. These philosophers are believed to be some of the most intelligent minds throughout history, and their use of logic and reason to make these discoveries aided them in whatever field they studied. Historically, philosophy has produced some of the smartest minds to ever exist, and philosophers are known to have exceptional skills that are highly sought-after in the modern world. Learning philosophy in high school would be beneficial for students, because the skills learned through philosophy are transferable to all aspects of life. Philosophy trains students into becoming independent adults for the workforce by teaching them skills that: enhance their intellectual abilities in all academic disciplines, make them desirable candidates for employers, and give them the perspectives and thinking abilities they need to make breakthroughs in modern society.The skills and knowledge acquired in philosophy are applicable to any academic field.  The principle foundation of philosophy is having a deep understanding of logic and how it works. Logic (the study of the principles of correct reasoning) is often misunderstood and underestimated in the modern day world. The students of today have massive arrays of problems before them- and the best tool that can be given to them are the fundamentals of logic. Philosophy explores the fundamentals of logic, (INCORPORATE UNIT ONE TINGS HERE) In addition, logic also has direct applications in other subject areas, it is involved in solving any problem. As well, in philosophy, students are introduced to complicated philosophical texts and in learning to understand those texts, they improve their reading comprehension skills. By reading these texts, students are required to think in new ways and critically to understand the content. An example would be The Fixation of Belief, written by Charles Pierce. In reading and understanding Pierce’s opinions on belief, students consider and contemplate their own methods of asking questions, and holding on to their beliefs. By reading and discovering Pierce’s descriptions of authority and tenacity, it offers a new perspective on how doubt and belief are obtained, and how they are maintained. Students consider the influence of belief in their own lives, given Pierce’s opinion on the superior method, and the benefits and cons of each method:  “The willful adherence to a belief, and the arbitrary forcing of it upon others, must, therefore, both be given up. A different new method of settling opinions must be adopted, that shall not only produce an impulse to believe, but shall also decide what proposition it is which is to be believed. ” (CITE) This also encourages students to think about another form of settling opinions, and prompting questions that are rarely considered. Furthermore, they are asked to discuss the philosophical concepts within these texts, and demonstrate their knowledge on them. This improves their ability to form opinions on philosophical questions, and articulating those opinions. Reading and demonstrating knowledge of The Fixation of Belief in philosophy, is no different from reading and demonstrating knowledge on any piece of writing in english or literacy. This is clear evidence that knowing philosophy has useful applications in other academic disciplines. Knowing how to use logic reaps its benefits; philosophy students are known distinctly to score the highest marks on standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and the Law Schools Admissions Tests (LSAT). Take the GRE, a test taken by almost every Ph.D. student in America, and the breakdown certainly displays this. Intended philosophy Majors ranked first in two out of the three categories, Verbal Reasoning and the Analytic Writing. As well, the margin between philosophy and the next best scoring majors is noticeably larger than the distance between most points. Overall, not only did philosophy majors outrank all other majors, but they did so with a  significantly wide gap. (Based on the performance of seniors and nonenrolled college graduates who tested between August 1, 2011, and April 30, 2014)  Philosophy majors dominance in verbal and analytical writing sections, can likely be attributed to the focus that philosophy departments have on logical reasoning and fallacies. Besides logic, philosophy teaches a wide array of other skills that are useful in school, such as the ability to articulate opinions,  the ability to think critically and explain, and the ability to reason.  Similar results hold for the LSAT, where philosophy and economics students tied for first place (2008). https://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/cas/philosophy/phi15-16/phi-LSAT.pdf The skills and methods learned and practiced in philosophy classes helps students excel in all academic areas. In summary, the benefits on academic performance due to philosophy are significant, and the skills learned are applicable to all educational disciplines. In addition to helping students excel in the academic world, the skills learned also give students that learn philosophy an edge over other students in the workforce. Philosophy students have a well-earned reputation for their excellent writing abilities, critical thinking, decision-making, and problem solving skills. When put together, these skills provide students with the tools that give them a better and deeper understanding and approach to the problems and requirements that exist in just about every competitive, modern work environment. Employers are aware of the skills that philosophy graduates have, and they seek out these skills, which means that people equipped with philosophy have a higher chance of becoming employed after they finish their education. There are many studies that show the proof of philosophers success in the workforce. The National Association of Colleges and Employers discovered in 2015, that just above 78 percent of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy had either found employment or were continuing their education within six months. (CITE) As well, the jobs that philosophy graduates fill are more rewarding, and offer higher salaries. Those graduating with a master’s degree in philosophy in 2015 fared even better, with over 85 percent finding employment or continuing their education (47.8 percent) within six months of graduation. Their mean starting salary was over $75,500. (https://www.naceweb.org/uploadedfiles/files/2016/publications/product/survey/first-destination/nace-first-destination-class-of-2015-definitions-and-detailed-report.pdf) Most philosophy majors do not pursue careers in philosophy, instead they use their acquired skills to find success in nearly every professional field. The demand for philosophers in fields such as business, law, and medicine is growing. “In “business”, property development, renting and research, 76% more philosophy graduates were employed in 2005-06 than in 2002-03. In health and social work, 9% more.” https://www.theguardian.com/education/2007/nov/20/choosingadegree.highereducationPhilosophy gives students new perspectives and methods they need to make breakthroughs in society. Knowing philosophy gives students the opportunity to explore various perspectives, thus challenging their own assumptions and beliefs. In doing so, students are able to articulate their own critical and informed perspectives. This is vital in the 21st century, as the students are the future of the world, and need to become engaged in the world as skilled thinkers, as citizens in a democracy, and as global citizens.  As said by David Silbersweig, a top medical professor at Harvard University: If we are to remain at the forefront of knowledge creation in this changing, globalizing world, then our students must be the next generation of explorers. We have a sacred obligation as educators, role models and mentors to ensure a system that promotes the attributes conducive to their success. A broad yet rigorous education will best equip them to go forth into uncharted territory to address issues of import to humanity in a creative fashion.(CITE)He credits his innovative scientific breakthroughs in the neuroscience world to his ability to use the skills he learned from philosophy. He discovered that core scientific issues could be identified and tackled by using a philosophical stance and approach.    For example, many math formulas that are fundamental concepts for the math curriculum were invented by philosophers/logicians. Both disciplines strive to answer questions through logic and reason, and experts in philosophy used their skill to create these fundamental concepts. Rene Descartes is considered the father of modern philosophy, as his rationalist approach to knowledge completely destroyed and rebuilt it from the ground, on the foundation: “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think therefore I am). (DESCARTES, ___) He concluded that nothing is certain other than himself, since he knew that there had to be something questioning his existence. He argued that all empirical knowledge is uncertain, since it stems from deceptive sources: the senses, dreams, and God. Descartes’ application of logic lead him to also becoming the father of analytical geometry, as he connected the field of algebra and geometry. He invented the Cartesian Plane, and he devised many other math rules based on his ability to solve problems using deductive logic. He also made significant advances in science, as he discovered the laws of reflection and refraction. (CITE)