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Room for thought

education Updated: Jul 03, 2012 15:52 IST
New Delhi

Philosophy, as a discipline, is concerned with abstraction. It focuses on argumentation and reasoning skills which are required in any field of intellectual exercise. This explains why students with a sound ability for critical thinking can succeed in a variety of areas such as management and law.

Philosophy students with a good academic record can go for research. In many Indian universities and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), there is a lot of scope for doing a PhD in philosophy. Qualifying the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test can enable a research student to earn a good amount of fellowship money. In most cases, these research students, after getting their PhD degrees are offered jobs in universities and IITs. Those having a good research degree and publications can go abroad for postdoctoral work.

Postgraduate students, after completing their MA in India, can apply to different universities abroad to get admission into PhD programmes. For entry into US universities, Test of English as a Foreign Language (Toefl) and sometimes, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required. Students can apply for the Commonwealth scholarship to get into PhD programmes in universities in the United Kingdom and in Australia.

Philosophy students with an expertise in ethics have good opportunities of getting absorbed as faculty in the proliferating private management and engineering institutes, many of which teach professional ethics. Many hospitals, too, employ philosophy students, who have researched on ethics, as experts in their medical ethics committees.

Schools in some states in India have logic in the Class 11 and Class 12 curricula. Students with honours or postgraduate degrees in philosophy can avail these teaching jobs.

Some of the best institutions for philosophy

In India
* Jadavpur University, Kolkata
* University of Hyderabad
* University of Delhi
* University of Pune
* Banaras Hindu University

Globally
* University of Oxford, UK
* University of Cambridge, UK
* University of California, Berkeley
* Harvard University, USA
* Ecole Normale Superieure, (Paris) France
* University of Frieburg, Germany
* University of Göttingen, Germany
* University of Vienna, Austria

Indicative list

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The author is member secretary, Indian Council of Philosophical Research (under the Ministry of HRD, Government of India), New Delhi