Morehouse College Philosophy: Helpful Information and Guidance for Students

A page in progress . .

Here is some advice and guidance from Professor Nathan Nobis to students interested in philosophy at Morehouse (and Spelman and Clark-Atlanta). It's useful for anyone interested in philosophy, but is of special interest to students at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and other minority students. Here are some categories of discussion:

A listing of Atlanta-area philosophy events is here:

Two newspaper articles on why major in philosophy

Non-Academic Careers in Philosophy

  • Why take philosophy courses; what you can "do" with a major in philosophy:

      • If you are interested in developing very strong skills at identifying and critically evaluating reasons and arguments, then philosophy is for you. Philosophy focuses on teaching a set of intellectual skills (as well as how people have used these skills to answer particular kinds of questions, below). These skills enable you to listen very carefully to what people say and notice when they say things that aren't clear or are ambiguous: these skills thus enable better understanding and more effective communication. Philosophy teaches you to ask for, indeed demand, reasons for and against various beliefs, actions, policies, strategies, and so forth and teaches you how to evaluate these reasons. It provides skills in giving such reasons and defending your reasons, i.e., explaining why someone should believe or do what you claim they should. If you are looking to be a very critical and careful communicator and reasoner, then philosophy is what you are looking for. For evidence that philosophy uniquely cultivates these intellectual skills, see the GRE section below.

      • Philosophers also ask important questions -- What's a just society? What's the right thing to do? What is it to know something to be true? What is it to reason logically? How does science work? Is there a God? -- and demand reasonable, well-thought out, well-defended answers. Our answers to many of these questions are extremely important and make a huge difference to our lives and what we do with them.

      • Career options include anything that requires strong critical thinking, reasoning, writing, listening, and speaking skills: law, medicine (according the American Association of Medical Colleges, philosophy majors have the highest acceptance rate into medical school among all non-interdisciplinary majors), journalism, college teaching, social activism, non-profit work and on and on. Philosophy majors can do just about anything, and they most excel at tasks that allow them use their critical thinking abilities.

      • Philosophy is also an ideal 2nd major, or as a double major: if you have a first major (e.g., in a science, or economics, or political science, etc.) and then supplement it with the skills you can learn through philosophy, you will likely be far ahead of your peers who only have that first major but lack the intellectual skills that you've gained through philosophy.

      • Here are some documents from the American Philosophical Association:

  • Philosophy and law and medical school and other graduate programs:

        • Verbal: 590. This is the highest of all majors!

        • Analytical Writing: 5.1. This is the highest of all majors!

        • Quantitative: 638. This is higher than all other majors in the arts & humanities, higher than all education majors, higher than all social sciences (except for economics); higher than all life science majors; and ever higher than some natural sciences! Engineering students do the best, however.

  • Philosophy-oriented courses and programs at Morehouse:

      • Philosophy courses at Morehouse, Spelman, Clark-Atlanta, and other Atlanta-area schools: GSU, Emory, Agnes Scott.

  • Some good first books to read by and about African-American philosophers.

  • Some organizations:

  • Some living, working, typically e-mail accessible African-American philosophers or philosophers who work in African-American philosophy:

  • Summer seminars and events for minority students in philosophy:

  • Graduate Study in Philosophy: IT'S USUALLY FREE!

      • This Table is derived from the Summary Reports on Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities, for 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. National Academy Press. The figures for Hispanics include separate figures given in the Summary Reports for Mexican, Puerto Rican and Other. Ph.D. recipients without permanent US visas were excluded from the compilation on race and ethnicity.

  • Some resources from the American Philosophical Association:

    • Table of Contents for Recent Issues: