In the following Q-and-A, senior philosophy second-major Jake Kreutzer shares some of his experiences as a philosophy student.
What have you enjoyed most about being a philosophy major at Illinois State University?
The thing I enjoyed most about being a philosophy major at ISU was being introduced and learning about things that I have never once thought about. It was nice having such a positive environment in the classrooms. The teachers promoted a nonjudgmental way of discussion. Being able to speak freely and not be afraid of someone attacking your opinion really helped me become more active in classes overall.
If you had to take one—and only one—philosophy book or article to a desert island, which one would it be?
If I had to take one book with me I would bring David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature because as a psychology major I find it interesting how Hume was far before his time in thinking about “psychology.” I feel not many people know about Hume’s Treatise and I believe it’s a great piece of writing where every time I read it, I find something new and interesting.
Do your friends and family know that you study philosophy?
My friends and family do know I study philosophy and many of them thought it was a mistake to major in a field where there aren’t jobs. But I always tell them that it’s not the endgame that I desired; instead philosophy has taught me how to think critically and to analyze people’s arguments. Further, it has given me so many of the skills, which are going to help me in law school and in life.
What other majors did you consider?
I am also a psychology major, and one of the things that drew me to philosophy was that was how psychology was started. In fact I truly believe that any other major would benefit in learning philosophy because so many areas evolved from the foundation of philosophy.
What are you plans after graduation?
I was admitted into The John Marshall Law School for the fall of 2014. I can’t wait for my next journey to start but won’t forget all the skills which the philosophy program has taught me in my four years at ISU.