A philosophical fallacy

The Philosophy Student Writer’s Manual (2nd Edition) is just one of the many sources asserting, in as many words:

Philosophy majors score significantly higher than all other humanities and social science majors on standardized tests for admission to graduate and professional study. This includes tests for business, medical, and law school. Majoring in philosophy is one of the wisest investments you can make in your education.

But isn’t that a rank fallacy? Perhaps the test scores of those who survive a philosophy degree are higher because philosophy is a much harder major than underwater basket weaving. Lewis & Clark University’s repetition of the same claim seems to inadvertently support this explanation: “the only fields that score higher mean scores on the combined Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical sections of the GRE are (in rank order) Physics and Astronomy, Mathematical Sciences, Materials Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.” Those are some of the few majors more difficult (in my opinion) than philosophy.

I am glad to see that some philosophy sites address this fallacy, but stunned that many departments still trot out this hoary old nugget of crap. Ain’t they s’posed to be smart?

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1 Comment

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One response to “A philosophical fallacy

  1. tealfroglette

    Arg. i wonder where geography falls in there… but not enough to go search right now because i’m tryign to find out where i can get lunch! :) or dinner today.

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