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. 

  • How philosophy and medicine mix

    Seth Podolsky, MD, MS Class of ‘95
    Director of Operations & Process Improvement in the Emergency Services Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

    In 1991, my path was chosen for me the minute I walked into the classroom of a new professor named Don Loeb. It was our first class at UVM — his and mine. The rest, as they say, is history. Don guided me as a student, advised my professional career (well beyond college). To this day, he is a great mentor and friend. Throughout college, family and friends would ask, “What will you do with a degree in Philosophy?” “Anything I want,” I would reply.

    Read more about Seth Podolsky

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.