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Institutions that fail to Understand this will Crumble

Recently, the identification of philosophy and other social sciences subjects as worthless has become quite common. In this short piece (750 words), I use utilitarian arguments (intended for naive business-oriented readers), to point that philosophy
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  This is a translation of a draft version of an opinion piece, published in the Israeli daily business newspaper TheMarker  , 25 June 2019. Philosophy is not Dead - but Institutions that fail to Understand this will Crumble Whoever calls humanities "a waste of taxpayer's money" cannot understand their vital role. Whoever sees us as a workforce and consumers - cannot see us as humans and citizens. If it was up to them, damn with issues such as inequality, identity, and other nonsense of unproductive tax-wasters - as long as we keep consuming and working. By Ori Freiman Recently, bus stops throughout the cities of the center of Israel were shown death notices of various social sciences and humanities degrees. For example, over one station the words "We deeply regret to inform you of the passing of the Philosophy Degree, 1900-2019". These obituaries are part of the open day campaign of a college from the center of the country. In each ad there is an invitation to the open day with the words "Profession. Future". Bad taste and ignorance are mingled here with deliberate deception: the identification of philosophy and other social sciences subjects as worthless has recently become too common. Brazilian President Javier Bolsonaro called for a halt over public funding for social sciences and humanities. With this atmosphere in the background, it was recently claimed over this newspaper that the wasting of tax money must be stopped. The argument is simple: lecturers in wanted professions will earn more, while lecturers from less demand professions will earn less. The discussion of the use of tax funds is important and is the right thing to do, but it must be done in a wise and serious manner. Like the advertisement that solemnly announces the death of the philosophy degree, the discussion over the article included the erroneous assumption that philosophy degree bears no value. It asks: "If there is a profession that does not generate value and does not enable its holder to make a living from it (e.g. philosophy), why do we need to subsidize it?". The question is legitimate. The answer, under utilitarian and economic assumptions, which include a concept of value as some kind of economic worth, is that the available data actually indicates the study of philosophy does have value, especially in the digital age in which we live in. Data on the extent of employment and wages of BA graduates in philosophy in Israel is not yet available, but of American undergraduates  –  it is. Data from the PayScale website were presented in several places, including the Wall Street Journal and the World Economic Forum. In the United State s, a degree in philosophy is worth more than some “practical” degrees. The change between the median wage from the beginning of the career of a philosophy graduate to the middle of it,  is the highest of all professions: more than 100%. There is no profession called "philosopher". However, graduates of philosophy (in the United States), in the end, earn quite well. The death notice is a warning light. There is a claim that those who see us as a workforce and as consumers do not see us as human beings and as citizens. We are stripped of our rights in clever and cunning ways, one by one. In today's economy, the user is the product, employment under platforms does not hold social benefits, we work all the time and anywhere, and all the same without realizing what life will look like tomorrow. Damn with a deep understanding of social issues related to inequality, the future of employment, relationships with technologies, identity, ideologies, corporations versus states, and other non-productive non-sense of tax-wasters. The most important thing is that we find our consolation in mass culture - of the shallow kind, in the shopping of unnecessary things, and of course - that we will be busy with working more. In a realistic-optimistic tone, leading universities and colleges around the world have realized that engineering, natural sciences, and life sciences faculties, are more successful when the toolbox offers philosophical and social education as well. In Israel, the Faculty of Engineering at Tel-Aviv University opened a prestigious track for combining engineering and humanities three years ago. Similar trends probably also occur in other higher education institutions in Israel. Insights from the humanities and social sciences, in the economic and technological context, have many values. Business owners and policymakers, who will fail to understand this and therefore remain relevant, are expected to collapse. So too are non-academic practical colleges that publish poison over bus stops. And for the most important thing: at the end of the day, the more significant value of humanities and social sciences cannot be translated into Shekels, Dollars, or Libras. When it comes to value, as an ideological idea, it is possible to raise considerations that are non-utilitarian and non-economic for subsidizing humanities and social sciences, but this is already a discussion on another level.
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