Filosofikonjunkturen: Om filosofins nytta

Den 6/4 fanns en artikel i New York Times som pekar ut en ny våg av intresse för universitetsstudier i filosofi.

I artikeln intervjuas David Schrader som är ordförande för det amerikanska filosofisällskapet. Han gick ganska långt i att hävda direkt nytta med filosofistudier. I förhoppning om nya fakta i det målet bad jag honom om några hänvisningar. Han svarade vänligen och gav tillstånd för spridning av svaret:

"While there is not a single location that collects the kind of data that I wish we had to support my claims in the NYT interview, there are a number of sources upon which I base those claims.  First, the APA website ( has a link entitled, "Data."  Much of the data is really quite old, but there is recent data on performance by undergraduate major on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that shows philosophy ranking very well.  There is also data available on the web showing very high performance by philosophers on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).  You can find that data by doing a google search on "LSAT scores by Major."  The relevant site will be the first one listed.  The site aggregates philosophy majors and religion majors, but philosophy majors would clearly make up the largest part of that group.  Another nice bit of data is available at  I do not have access to hard data supporting my more general comments.  It comes from a large body of anecdotal data of student claims about the value of their philosophy major, as well as some solid data that looks not simply at  philosophy, but at the humanities more generally.  At this past annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities former Harvard President, Derek Bok, reported data that show significant undergraduate improvement in writing skills among humanities majors, modest improvement among social science majors, and decline in writing skills among natural science majors. I believe that data may be found in his recent book, Our Underachieving Colleges.

 I would love to be able to provide more solid data.  This, however, is the
best that I can do at the moment."

Jan Willner, universitetslektor i filosofi, studierektor, Linköpings universitet