Brief overview of the current state of logic and the philosophy of science

A lot of people don't know what philosophy is, what philosophers actually do, or what the discipline amounts to - I know I didn't when I first got into philosophy

It can be confusing, so I'll give a brief, narrow, thorough but not comprehensive overview of one specific area of philosophical research that I'm particularly interested in below

What is Philosophy?

It means, the The Love of Wisdom

My opinion, the meta-discipline - discipline of all disciplines, the (most) inter-disciplinary discipline

"What is philosophy?" is an active area of philosophy research called Meta-Philosophy

While, traditional areas of research (epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, existential questions, etc.) are still studied extensively, philosophy as an academic discipline has expanded with several niche sub-disciplines: philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, etc.


Ironically, this expansion is really a re-expansion since most of those disciplines were started or founded by philosophers decades, centuries, or millennia ago!

Today, most of these specialized philosophy sub-disciplines (philosophy of math, philosophy of science, etc.) require direct, rigorous, training in the area of study to which they are connected (and in the few cases where they do not already, will).

You might think of the philosophers who participate within those specialized sub-disciplines as kinds of philosopher liaisons which, to some extent would be correct, but it's more fruitful to think of them as dual-degree (often, two or more Ph.D.'s) polymaths or cross-discipline academic specialists who have earned a position at the table in two disciplines through papers, conferences, or other work.

How Do Philosophers Perform?

Philosophy undergraduates have acquired a pretty strong reputation as some of the top performing candidate graduate students (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.).



ETS Scores (see page 3)
American Philosophy Association
Daily Nous!

Philosophers in Software are fairly common at least as entrepreneurs - my opinion, philosophers can also make strong engineers or developers given strong technical ability, interest, and a background in logic, hard science, math and the philosophy of language

Where are these philosophers?

(non-exhaustive list)

The Social Sciences

LPS Department - London School of Economics
LPS Department - UC Irvine
Logic and Philosophy of Science at UC Berkeley

Math, Computer Science, and Logic

University of Connecticut Logic Group
Center for the Study of Language and Information - Stanford
Joint Degree at Carnegie Mellon
Munich Mathematical Philosophy

Foundations of Physics

FQXI's member list which contains almost every Nobel physicist, a bunch of philosophers, and most highly productive research physicists

Evaluating Threats to Human Existence and National Security

Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute

The NSA and Department of Homeland Security are two of the largest employers of mathematicians in the world - so, a lot of mathematically-inclined philosophers may or may not work with them

Graduate Level Rankings

In general, graduate and professional level rankings are very different than undergraduate rankings

There are no officially recognized philosophy rankings as of 2015 - there is an ongoing effort to standardize and improve the process

Also, many former "Philosophy" departments have now split into several different departments with different names (per Rorty): History and the Philosophy of Science, Logic and the Philosophy of Science, etc.

Nevertheless, there are several quality ranking systems that may be helpful: QS Undergraduate Rankings and the now defunct Philosophical Gourmet

Other Cool Resources

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy