Careers for Philosophy PhDs Outside of Academia

David E. Storey, PhD

The job market in academic philosophy collapsed hard and suddenly with the rest of the economy in 2008, unsettling many of us who were then graduating or who would graduate with a Philosophy PhD within the past four years. A lot of us, whether from necessity or disillusion with the academy, are thinking about life beyond the academy. My friend from graduate school Dave Storey has developed a website chock full of resources for Philosophy PhD’s contemplating careers outside the professoriate that we may never join, despite preparing and sacrificing a decade or more of our lives for it. Check out his fascinating interview with Dan Mullin who also runs a very good blog called The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog (and who will be defending his dissertation next week–congratulations, Dan!). Listening to the interview I had déjà vu of stimulating conversations I’ve had with Dave myself. If you have some Vietnamese food or stand in a stairwell as you listen, you can very closely approximate reliving my conversations with Dave.

As the interview goes on they get into an in-depth discussion of the exciting subject of philosophical counseling (which Dave helped me get involved with). Dave enthusiastically recommends the book Philosophical Counseling: Theory and Practice by Peter Raabe. Dan also has interviewed Raabe on the topic of philosophical counseling. In the interview Dave recommends Lou Marinoff’s and Vaughana Feary’s American Philosophical Practitioners Association certification program, which he also recommended to me and which I took (and loved) last summer.

If you are interested in talking to me about philosophical counseling for yourself, write me at camelswithhammers at gmail. I have one longstanding counseling relationship with a client and it’s been an extremely rewarding experience for both of us. I will talk more about what I see this as about in the coming months as I try to build a practice.

APPA Certification Program, New York, August 2012.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.