The Welder and the Philosopher

“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.



About Darren Jackson

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in ASPECT (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, VA.
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7 Responses to The Welder and the Philosopher

  1. I appreciate your Platonic dialogue at the end of your post. Reminiscent of the Theatetus and the slave boy a dialogue. I disagree, however, with your sentiment concerning how difficult it is to ruffle the feathers of a philosopher. I’ve found it surprisingly easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dalya88 says:

    Thanks for those statistics, they’re definitely interesting to go through! What happened to Engineering though? I expected it at least to be in the quantitative group! Oh, it’s not even on any of those groups:D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. socl123 says:

    Hahahaha! This was great! And I want to thank you for the chart – these graphics are WAY important!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vartan says:

    I am not quite sure whether that chart is correct. I see a lot of majors missing. Besides, in the more quantitative graduate programs the “Verbal” section is not taken into account by the admission committees, let alone the analytical section. Subsequently, students of such majors have no incentive to perform well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ktsoukalas says:

    Robots are excellent welders!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Norris says:

    Just want to point out that physics majors excel in all three parts of the GRE. What do physics and philosophy have in common, I wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lindsay says:

    *hops on classics box* Classicists do well on the verbal too (but not on the math).
    Though, I kinda do wonder whether or not us doing well on the GRE is actually something to be proud of…

    Liked by 1 person

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