Monday, September 17, 2012

The Power of Philosophy

Not that I'm a big fan of standardized testing, but it's nice when those who seem to think that everything can be quantified are shown up by those who would likely point out that everything cannot be quantified in the very quantificational instruments the quantifiers have devised to show how smart people are.

Don't show this chart to atheist biologists Jerry Coyne and Laurence Moran, who are always running down philosophy. It shows the newest GRE scores. Note not only where philosophy students rank on the charts, but also where biology appears in relation to it.

Better luck next time guys.

HT: Brian Leiter

9 comments:

ZPenn said...

Physics didn't do half bad, eh? I'm not so sure why this is really surprising though, verbal and analytical writing is a pretty huge part of what philosophy students do in college, isn't it? I think I'd be more impressed at how well those in Physics tend to do in these areas despite only taking the minimum general education requirements in these areas to graduate. Maybe physics students are smart?

Though, I've gotta hand it to those philosophy students. Pretty great on the quantitative portion.

I never put much weight in the GRE to be honest. The physics subject test is the most important part of the GRE for a physics students anyway, and I didn't take any time to study for the general portions.

Lee said...

As an erstwhile music major, I'm literally off the charts. Probably not in the right direction, though!

Singring said...

So the test scores of students going *into* a higher education degree is supposed to convince us that philosophy graduates coming *out* of a higher education degree are more skilled/intelligent than other students and/or that philosophy is therefore a more important subject than the sciences?

Just remember that a philosophy graduate is making that argument - and draw your own conclusions as to what a philosophy degree does for your critical thinking skills.

Lee said...

> Just remember that a philosophy graduate is making that argument - and draw your own conclusions as to what a philosophy degree does for your critical thinking skills.

"Poisoning the well". Right?

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

You claim to be a scientist but can't interpret a chart? These aren't incoming freshman: they are college students (likely upperclassmen) who are taking a test for graduate school. These are students coming out of a higher education degree. That's when you take the GRE.

Art said...

As an erstwhile music major, I'm literally off the charts. Probably not in the right direction, though!

I guess Martin would be OK with firing all those music and arts teachers in the public schools, and closing the College of Fine Arts at UK. They are obviously a drain on precious resources .....

ZPenn said...

I really want to say that GRE scores mean nothing... But I find it incredibly hysterical how low the CS students did on writing and verbal.

Michael O. said...

"So the test scores of students going *into* a higher education degree is supposed to convince us that philosophy graduates coming *out* of a higher education degree are more skilled/intelligent than other students and/or that philosophy is therefore a more important subject than the sciences?"

You're confusing the GRE with the SAT or ACT. Can you please let me know what you graduated in so that I know which field causes you to make such an obvious dumb mistake and/or have such assurance about something you clearly don't know anything about?