Doing Things With Philosophy

Philosopher Helen De Cruz profiles people with philosophy degrees who work outside of academia. It’s fascinating to see how they translate their philosophical skills to a variety of non-academic fields. One of them says that philosophy helps you slow the mind down in order to notice “glitches,” which is valuable in abstract reasoning and in entrepreneurship. Richard Price writes that:

One of the most important skills in philosophy, in my opinion, is the ability to slow one’s mind down when going through trains of thought, and notice little glitches: transitions between points that feel odd. When you notice one of those, you want to zoom in on it, and you may find that something unusual is going on. When coming up with ideas for new products, it is a similar process. As we go about our daily lives, we navigate obstacles, and unconsciously adapt our behaviour around them. What you want to do is to slow your mind down, and notice little glitches in daily life. These glitches may be indications that there is an obstacle which could be removed. In philosophy, one is looking for glitches in a train of abstract reasoning; in entrepreneurship one is looking for glitches in a chain of practical activity.