Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Generation Studies Philosophy for an Examined Life

The number of students graduating with philosophy degrees has gone up tremendously over the last few years. Many think it is because students want to arm themselves with the ability to live an examined life.

Facing such issues at the conflict in the Middle East and the political scandal of the week, it's no wonder younger generations want to possess the tools to be able to form their own opinions and beliefs.

At the City University of New York, where enrollment is up 18 percent over the past six years, there are 322 philosophy majors, a 51 percent increase since 2002.

Students at Rutgers said that studying philosophy, with its emphasis on the big questions and alternative points of view, provided good training for looking at larger societal questions, like globalization and technology

David E. Schrader, executive director of the American Philosophical Association, a professional organization with 11,000 members, said that in an era in which people change careers frequently, philosophy makes sense. “It’s a major that helps them become quick learners and gives them strong skills in writing, analysis and critical thinking,” he said.

Leaning analytical skills and knowing how "think through" a problem to a solution could certainly be used in numerous fields.

Philosophy: Only Education can Make Nation Prosperous

Students Choose Philosophy

How to Use You Philosophy Degree

Health Database "Ignores" Abortion

Federal officials raised questions about two articles in Popline's database, the World's largest database for reproductive health, run by Johns Hopkins University.

The University had the system ignore the word "abortion" in searches of large, publicly financed databases.

After learning of the restrictions on Friday, the dean, Dr. Michael J. Klag, said: “I could not disagree more strongly with this decision, and I have directed that the Popline administrators restore ‘abortion’ as a search term immediately. I will also launch an inquiry to determine why this change occurred.”

Pro Choice advocates weren't happy either.

Ted Miller, a spokesman for Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, said: “The public has a right to know why someone would censor relevant medical information. The Bush administration has politicized science as part of an ideological agenda. So it’s important to know if that occurred here.”

Officials said users could search for the topic using synonyms like "unwanted pregnancy." Nay-Sayers were quick to point out that an unwanted pregnancy was not a symptom for abortion.

The dean of the Public Health School lifted the restrictions after learning of them.

Health Database Censors Abortion

Popline Ignores Abortion

Can Search for Abortion Again on Health Site