What is the next best thing to studying philosophy at an undergraduate level?
I had wanted to study philosophy for a long time — but I've decided to go another path. I'm disappointed, because I think the transferrable skills from philosophy are absolutely amazing. (This is on top of the fact that I really just enjoy philosophy.) For instance, if you look at GRE scores based on the subject majored in, those who studied philosophy were the number one in verbal reasoning and analytical writing, and pretty high up in the quantitative reasoning.
People have told me that the only way to experience the depth and breadth of philosophy is to actually study it full time for a number of years. But is there a way to at least develop some of the skills that philosophers have in bucket loads without actually doing it for a degree? I am doing a law degree.
I think that many disciplines, and law is one of them, encourage precisely the same sort of reasoning processes as does philosophy. In fact, one could go further and say that virtually everything that people do relies on the ability to reason and argue, to solve problems and resolve difficulties. I was watching a carpenter yesterday working on my deck and he was constantly working out ways to get out of problems that the structure was asking him. I have often noticed that tradespeople are very good at that sort of reasoning whereas someone else who does not have their practical skills cannot do it at all. So some of the reasoning skills are readily available whatever one trains to be or studies. On the other hand, as the most abstract form of representing those skills philosophy stands alone. Whether it operates with a tougher set of concepts as compared with other disciplines, I tend to doubt. In some ways it could be argued that it is harder to work out conceptual issues when they are combined with...