Philosopher Job Description
A philosopher is someone who thinks rationally and critically to understand and explain the world around them. A philosopher thinks deeply to find answers to the questions of life and to help themself and others approach life and situations better.
A philosopher should be curious, pensive, analytical, methodical and helpful, and have the ability to tolerate people who think differently from them. They should be able to view arguments from multiple perspectives, and break down large, complex problems into smaller, solvable problems. They should also have the ability to communicate effectively.
Famous philosophers include Plato (“The greatest wealth is to live content with little”), Confucius (“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”), Gandhi (“Live simply that others may simply live”), Socrates (“The unexamined life is not worth living”), René Descartes (“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”), Jean De La Bruyere (Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think), Epicurus (“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it”), Albert Camus (“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide”), Bertrand Russell (“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong”), and St. Augustine (“We are too weak to discover the truth by reason alone”).
What does a Philosopher do?
Philosophers develop, formulate and analyze logical arguments to understand and explain life or situations.
Where does a Philosopher work?
Most philosophers teach at schools. Others work in other fields where the knowledge of philosophy can be applied such as in business, journalism, public service, law, social services and IT.
What is Required to Become a Philosopher?
A philosopher is anyone who ponders the world around them, but to teach philosophy in schools, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in philosophy or a similar discipline.
The specializations in philosophy include:
- Epistemology - the theory of knowledge
- Metaphysics - the theory of being
- Logic - the theory of reason and of inference
- Value theory - the study of the worth or value of ideas, things, people or anything else
- History of philosophy – the study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Philosophers need to have:
- moral courage
- honesty and integrity
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- public speaking skills
- the ability to formulate and manage rational and logical ideas
- the ability to assess pros and cons, and simplify complex data
- the ability to tolerate people who think differently from them
- the ability to rationally examine and explain beliefs, situations, arguments and opinions
- knowledge of sociology and religion
- knowledge of human behavior
- knowledge of philosophical theories
- knowledge of political science
Should I be a Philosopher?
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- tertiary Lecturer
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