Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Philosophy

It was, once again, a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Following the incredible onion soup and homemade bread, the repast featured a most wonderful Plainville turkey, accompanied by Brussels sprouts with sage, greens with champagne vinaigrette. All the regular players were there: mashed potatoes, gravy, baked squash, cranberry sauce, stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie.

The newest guest at our table is a friend of Maggy's and a pleasure to have around. Observant, witty and comfortably at home in the world, it didn't surprise me to hear that he had been philosophy major in college. But I got confused as he tried to describe to me his job in merchandising for the online presence of a major fashion retailer. I'm not mentioning the name cause it will drive up my hit counter in an unhelpful way. Maybe it was this employment connection that led to his interest in the morning parade sponsored by you-know-who.

Maybe I found the explanation this morning. Some random free time surfing starting with the ever favorite Blog Around the Clock and wandering through Pharyngula (I don't mind if links to them drive up my hit counter) led to The Brooks Blog and this post: Employers want philosophers. Thom Brooks says:
There has been much talk over the years of "what can I do with a philosophy degree?" ... I will never forget speaking with a former FBI Director in Connecticut who said that after lawyers and accountants, the third most in demand group for the FBI were philosophers..."because philosophers think outside the box and we need critical thinkers like this to solve cases." This view of philosophers as best able to think beyond current paradigms (coupled with general high dissatisfaction with the quality of the vast majority of business students) has also led philosophers to be heavily in demand in business management, especially marketing.

You know how I feel about philosophy - the love of wisdom. It's the silver bullet, the sine qua non. Why, oh why, don't we teach philosophy as soon as our children can speak and every single day thereafter? You can start before that, but it helps if the child can ask questions. Say what you will about the importance of religion, it's really all about philosophy.


KAZ said...

I've been working on and off on a treatise that may turn into a book: Raising a Thinking Child. Your final paragraph is exactly the point.

Mary Ann said...

KAZ, I'm eager to hear more about your work. It's something I thought about continually when I was raising children. Sometimes I felt I might be doing them a disservice because, honestly, life is harder for thinking people - especially thinking children. But once you start down that slippery slope, there's no turning back. It wasn't 'til they were six or eight years old that I had to start relying on the occasional "Because I said so!" Still, despite the challenges, I don't think I would have, or could have, raised them any other way.

Leendaluu said...

oh butter. i bet you had butter at thanksgiving...the meal sounds sumptuous....I think I'll go philosophize about it now.