Developing the analytical and reasoning skills that are always in demand.

The analytic and critical skills you develop as a philosophy student are applicable to decisions that must be made in industry, debates on public policy, medical ethics, law, and education. On a more personal level, the study of philosophy can help you to understand yourself as a thinking, acting being. Socrates said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He meant especially to include self-examination. What beliefs are important to you and how rationally defensible are those beliefs? What principles do you cite for the actions you perform, and do those principles stand up to scrutiny?

Meet some UVM alums who cite their academic training in philosophy as critical to formulating thier world view, and informing their work in a variety of professions. 

  • Rachel M. Wertheimer photo

    Making the Case

    Rachel Wertheimer, JD, Class of ‘93
    Trial and appellate attorney, Verrill Dana LLP

    As a high school senior, my academic interests – to the extent I had any – were in politics and current events. I followed elections; I attended protests. I assumed I would be a political science major. However, after deciding to attend UVM, where my father was a political science professor, I decided not to major in political science, and fell into philosophy instead. It was the best non-decision I ever made.

    Read more about Rachel Wertheimer



Jill Rosemblum Tidman with Robert Redford

Making Movies, Making Change 

UVM philosophy major Jill Rosemblum Tidman's life changed in Professor Stephanie Kaza's introductory environmental studies class. The barrage of bad news about environmental degradation pushed her to the realization that she needed to commit her life to making things right.

“It was very clear to me that there was nothing else for me to do in this life but to try to get the information out there, so that we have a chance of changing course. I felt a responsibility and there was no turning back.”

Post-graduation, that put Tidman’s career on a green course that included business, fundraising, writing, government, event planning and eventually promoting environmental causes through the arts. Her latest effort in that regard is Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West, an hour-long documentary she co-produced with Jamie Redford under the auspices of the Redford Center.

Read the full Making Movies, Making Change story.