The Oberlin Review

Philosophy Degree Gives Students Major Edge in Work-Force

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

March 30, 2018

As a Philosophy major, I have heard all the jokes. One of my personal favorites: “What’s the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and a philosophy major? A large pepperoni pizza can feed a family of four.” Countless people have looked at me, puzzled, asking me about my post-graduation plans. It has been included in many — often misinformed — lists of “the most useless majors.” While I admittedly do have a personal bias in this matter, the idea that philosophy is a useless degree is simply false. I could talk all day about why I love philosophy — all the different perspectives on the world it offers, new ways to think about our surroundings, the admirable rhetoric often used by philosophers, the...

Accessibility to Philosophy Will Positively Affect Field

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

November 10, 2017

The role of college students in the Oberlin community has long been hotly debated. So, too, has been the lack of the diversity in the field of philosophy. Though these two issues may seem unrelated, the new Philosophy in the Schools Practicum has made a great start in addressing both. Spearheaded by Chair of the Philosophy Department Katherine Thomson-Jones, the PHITS class is a course in both philosophy and education. Every week, the 16 Oberlin students enrolled in PHITS go to Eastwood Elementary School in Oberlin and teach three classrooms of second graders and one of first graders. There, the college students read a children’s book, like Morris the Moose or The Giving Tree, to the class and then facilitate a phi...

Conferencegoers attend the second day of panel presentations on race, art, and aesthetics last Saturday.

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

October 6, 2017

“Exploring Beauty and Truth in World of Color,” a conference which took place over last Friday and Saturday, highlighted new and groundbreaking work on the subject of race and aesthetics from Oberlin academics and scholars from many other institutions. The two-day conference, which had wide community appeal, explored essential conversations about the role of Blackness and Black aesthetics in diverse art forms. For Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, the driving organizin...

Associate Professor of Philosophy Tim Hall, 48, who died July 23.

Oberlin Philosophy Professor Tim Hall Dies Unexpectedly

September 1, 2017

Editor's Note: This article contains mention of suicide. Oberlin community members, family, and friends suffered the unexpected loss of Associate Professor of Philosophy Timothy Hall, 48. Hall passed away at 6 a.m. July 23. Coroners suspect suicide. Students were informed of his death in an email sent by Dean of Arts and Sciences Tim Elgren July 24. After earning an undergraduate philosophy degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and receiving his doctorate in philosophy from UCL...

Philosophy Department Responds to Gender Disparities

Jackie Brant, Contributing Writer

March 10, 2017

As I argued in the Review several weeks ago, women are underrepresented in philosophy, both in Oberlin’s department and the field as a whole (“Philosophy Departments Lack Diversity,” Feb. 10, 2017). Since then, I had the opportunity to meet with Professor Katherine Thomson-Jones, chair of Oberlin’s Philosophy department, to discuss Oberlin’s efforts to diversify the department. I see three main causes for the lack of women in the field: underrepresentation of women philosophers in syllabuses, women being less likely to participate in class and a misunderstanding of what philosophy truly is as a discipline. Oberlin is addressing each of these components with specific strategies. A study conducted by NPR f...

Philosophy Departments Lack Diversity

Jackie Brant, Contributing Writer

February 10, 2017

Despite having been warned about unequal gender distribution in the field, I was disappointed when I walked into my first day of Problems of Philosophy last semester and found few women in the room. While I’m admittedly only in my first year, my experience as a Philosophy major has shown me that, even at a school so focused on gender equality, philosophy as a field is still heavily dominated by men. This is largely true at all levels of education and across the world, from ancient times until now. Women as a group have yet to successfully break into the philosophy field. According to Humanities Indicator’s article “Gender Distribution of Degrees in Philosophy,” in 2014 only 28 percent of master’s degrees ...

Students Promote Inclusivitity in Math, Sciences

Emma Paul, Staff Writer

February 27, 2015

This semester students created several new groups aimed at providing safe spaces for women, non-binary individuals and minorities navigating certain departments that have been traditionally white and male-dominated, such as math, computer science, philosophy and the natural sciences. Three new groups, Women in Economics, Women in Math and Computer Science and Oberlin Feminist Philosophers, held their first meetings in the early weeks of this semester. Rudy Boyd, College junior, computer science major and co-chair of WOMACS, said she found many of her courses to be isolating and unnecessarily competitive environments. She hopes that WOMACS will be a source of encouragement for women in a less-than-welcoming atmosphere. “Our...

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