Reading “Being philosophical may be limited to ‘leisured’ classes,’” will give you the numbers, but I will just state the reasoning behind the claim. Due to low application rates for undergraduate programs for philosophy, many have dumped the whole idea. Also, due to some market research, the merits of investing in a philosophy program deemed that there lacked a large enough pool to merit investment. And you cannot forget, no one is simply interested in the subject of philosophy (University College Plymouth St Mark & St John). What does it all mean? Well, it means that philosophy will fall into the hands of the few, homogeneous groups of students from “old” university (Being philosophical…). Philosophy is not where the money is babe. Going to college, even community college, is now becoming a finical burden, and it is only looking to get worst. Majoring in Philosophy, having a huge loan to pay, and/or having to work is not the finical smart thing to do. Thus, it seems that philosophy is left to the well-off to-do middle class and the good grade student— is philosophy a leisure? There are so many ways to answer this question, then it hits you that you are reading this after you have fulfilled your “duty” to your tummy, kids (if you have any), wife (the bed) or house chores. Also we cannot forget that you have a computer, a roof under your head, a constant source of power, and little if any, disturbance that would hinder any real understanding of this post. So far, it sounds like philosophy is a leisure. Once, we meet our basic needs, it seems, we can then start to philosophize— some have gone as far as to say “you do it (philosophy) when you’re bored”.
Now, let us suppose that more than half the world population is busy keeping their basic needs in check, or trying to survive, which is not too far from reality. It becomes rather clear, I would argue, little philosophy is done. But I would have to pose the question— kill me, I am a philosophy major— what is philosophy? There are different branches of philosophy and believe or not, a debate on the methodologies of philosophy, or if there should even be a system of methodologies. Point is, there are certain type of philosophical problems, if we can call them that, which is common for most of us, such as; what is the meaning of life? Is there a meaning to life? Does god exist? good and evil? And frankly, the professional philosopher will tackle and answer the above questions differently than a person who is philosophical. But I suppose I am missing the point; will philosophy really be left to the well-to-do class with good grade and “old” university? I see why not.
A personal experience. People are always, or more often than not, surprise when I tell them my major is philosophy. And I think it has to do with the fact that philosophy takes a lot of work and sadly this work does not pay well. When they say it does not pay well, it’s not hard to assume that they are talking about money. Because I have, and apparently The Philosophy Club, has accepted the fact that Poor Philosophy is philosophy. And every time this issue, or talk about money and philosophy it always seems to come up with me— and I hate to say this, but I can careless about money. So, I am pursuing philosophy because it does something to me and I have the “means” to do so, while the rest of the world does not have this leisure. Meh. I still think it has largely to do with the lack of interest and our societies emphasis on material goods, but I am shooting myself on the leg with the former statement.
I cannot forget my experience with philosophy and how it might have contributed some insight into this post. With my first introduction to philosophy, which was in high school, it was think. There are questions out there that might or might not have an answer and I am asking you to think about them. College, and when I started to read more on the subject and take a more academic route towards philosophy, it became a bit more complicated than THINK. In other words, I believe we all can, and will do philosophy, how much is debatable. I mean poor countries or oppressive regimes have produced some of the greatest thinkers, but professional philosophy is, simply, almost a different species, with a different pool.
Note: My comment on oppressive regimes is to be taken lightly. There HAS to be some freedom in order to have free thinkers.