“We need more welders and less philosophers.” – Marc Rubio
Why? Because, at least in Marc Rubio’s world, welders make more money than philosophers. Marc Rubio’s incredibly inaccurate statement sent shockwaves through the philosophical community, and this is significant because a philosopher’s feathers are not easily ruffled. Those who major in philosophy or, god forbid, pursue it as a career, are the accustomed recipients of the glassy-eyed, blank stares of slack-jawed friends and relatives who ask: “What can you do with a degree in philosophy?” This a question that any philosopher or person majoring in philosophy has fielded more times than they care to remember.
To be the object of derision in a presidential debate, however, raises the stakes. Luckily, the good folks at ETS (the Educational Testing Service, for all the welders in the audience) have simplified my explanation. If you turn your attention to the graph below, you can see that a degree in philosophy is THE BEST degree to have if you want to do well on the GRE.
Welder: Is doing well on the GRE important?
Philosopher: Well, it’s essential if you want to get into a good graduate program.
Welder: Is getting into a good graduate program important?
Philosopher: It is, if you want to have a rewarding career and excel in your chosen field.
Welder: Ah, I see. So studying philosophy, which is one of the humanities, is extremely important.
Philosopher: Yes. Yes, it is.