Why a philosophy major does Web development
Here's what my answer is:
No, I did the standard Philosophy major with a minor in Humanistic Studies.
In high school I liked doing Web stuff, even though my stuff was *horrible*, but I didn't want to do that for a career (hard to make a career out of something you love, and still keep that love alive - or so they say).
Originally I was going for Psychology, but I was told that wouldn't be a good field for me, and my Biology grades were horrid. So, sophmore year I had to pick, and Fiala was the one professor that seemed to really like what he taught, and I felt comfortable talking to him.
I figured I would switch once I knew what I really wanted to do, but ... that never really happened.
Shortly after the old school philosophy students left, and it was just Chris Barlowe and Dustin (if I'm remembering that correctly), that's where I really started liking philosophy.
Then I got out of college, took three months off to do nothing, and got a temp job in late April.
My second job was at the State Bar for cleaning up content that they had moved into a content management system, for their new site.
It was supposed to just be a couple of months, but it kept growing and growing. Since I had people to learn from, I did more and more with Web, and in a much more compliant way, and started moving into more dynamic languages. Of course, being a Microsoft shop, and a few years ago, the technology cost too much for me to use the exact tools we used at the Bar, so I worked with PHP, much more than before.
Really, if you think about it, philosophy and Web development really aren't that different. One of the classes I took under Null was a logic class, which I both liked and did well in (contrary to most of the Humanistic Studies classes I took, outside of those that were also Philosophy).
Unless you're willing to go against Philosophy, the love of knowledge (wisdom), you have to be practical; you have to build upon knowledge and constantly strive for it.
With the Web, and technology in general, things constantly change. There's *so much* out there that you can never stop learning, and at the same time, never know all there is to know.
Much like philosophy, it can be, to a certain extent, horrifying. There are hundreds of different ways to solve any problem.
There's also the creative aspect of Web 'stuff' that excites me (if you will). With words you can create an interface that has actual functionality. Honestly, it probably stems from my inability to draw; I can't draw but I can create a semi-pretty Web site ... out of nothing. You truly start with a blank screen, and with a few 'strokes' have definition.
That's powerful stuff.
You also bugs in code which points out that every behaviour is caused. While a bug is unwanted, there's always a reason, or justification, for the bug. Just like life. Ah, a philosophical truth! (For Schopenhauer, all has a ground, or basis.)
Coding is also grounded deep in reality, while sometimes philosophy seems like an abyss. Even if you do the most sophmoric philosophical problem - Descartes' - that's terrifying. How do I really know anything outside of myself? If I can't trust my senses, ..., ... Yikes.
So, I have to switch between philosophy and technology. So similar, but yet so different.
And really, how do you make money with philosophy? I don't want to teach undergrads, but I wouldn't mind being one again. I definitely think when I get to that age, or perhaps when I hit a great crisis in my life (it'll probably be before 40), I'll go back to school and take lots of philosophy courses. Lee definitely had the right idea ...
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