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. 

  • Josamine Hall

    Recent grad admitted to top ranked graduate program

    Graduate Student at Sciences PO, Paris

    When Josamine Hall ’18 was accepted to UVM she was committed to studying biology. When she graduated magna cum laude four years later, she was a philosophy major. In between those milestones spanned an undergraduate career that explored along the boundaries of many different disciplines. In the fall of 2019 she continues her studies at the Sciences Po., the Paris School of International Affairs—it is among the top three internationally-ranked graduate programs in politics and international relations. “I really wanted to be a biologist, but I was intrigued by many of the humanities and social science courses I was taking,” she said. She found mentors and made connections across the UVM quad. Hall was hired by political science professor Garrison Nelson as a research assistant, and she contributed important background for his upcoming project on Presidents and Speakers of the House, as well as helping with articles published in The Hill, Polity, and others. She got interested in local politics, working on human rights issues for Vermont Democrats. In philosophy, she presented her independent research “Porphyry’s Argument Against Eating Animals” at the UVM undergraduate Research Conference in 2018. “One of the best things about UVM was a I felt the freedom to explore ideas from many different viewpoints.”

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.