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PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR, IN-DEPTH: Studying Philosophy Is The Best Way To Develop Real Critical Thinking Skills

About this video 

Alva, a Professor of Philosophy, shares what he likes most about his job, its challenges, his key decision and work-life balance. Students who study Philosophy develop skills to write, argue and read critically and analytically; skills that will help them in just about any field of work they choose.

Degree: Philosophy
Job Title: Professor of Philosophy
Employer: University of California Berkeley

Job Summary: Education Administrators, Postsecondary

Job Description

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, student life, or the office of the registrar.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$50,000 - $165,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
15 to 25 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Organizational skills, People skills, Problem solving skills, Technical skills, Analytical skills, Creativity, Detail oriented, Leadership ability, Networking, Patience, Public speaking ability, Teamwork, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='370'>What</span> <span m='720'>do</span> <span m='860'>I</span> <span m='1090'>like</span> <span m='1430'>most</span> <span m='2460'>about</span> <span m='2900'>my</span> <span m='3100'>job.</span> <span m='4860'>It's</span> <span m='4990'>a</span> <span m='5060'>really</span> <span m='5300'>hard</span> <span m='5745'>job.</span> <span m='6510'>I</span> <span m='6640'>work</span> <span m='8290'>way</span> <span m='8530'>more</span> <span m='8770'>than</span> <span m='8890'>60</span> <span m='9210'>hours</span> <span m='9470'>a</span> <span m='9530'>week,</span> <span m='10320'>probably</span> <span m='10700'>more</span> <span m='10960'>than</span> <span m='11080'>that</span> <span m='11270'>sometimes.</span> <span m='12980'>But</span> <span m='13210'>there's</span> <span m='13350'>a</span> <span m='13410'>lot</span> <span m='13600'>of</span> <span m='13680'>freedom</span> <span m='14020'>in</span> <span m='14190'>the job,</span> <span m='14950'>a</span> <span m='15050'>lot</span> <span m='15250'>of</span> <span m='15340'>freedom</span> <span m='15740'>to</span> <span m='15850'>structure</span> <span m='16270'>the</span> <span m='16379'>way</span> <span m='16580'>I</span> <span m='16650'>do</span> <span m='17120'>the work.</span> <span m='17580'>And</span> <span m='17720'>I</span> <span m='17790'>value</span> <span m='18120'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='18980'>And</span> <span m='19100'>then,</span> <span m='19670'>there's</span> <span m='19880'>just</span> <span m='20030'>the</span> <span m='20140'>joy</span> <span m='20400'>of</span> <span m='20480'>working</span> <span m='20820'>with</span> <span m='20960'>young</span> <span m='21220'>people</span> <span m='21680'>who</span> <span m='21930'>are</span> <span m='22080'>excited</span> <span m='22540'>about</span> <span m='23010'>what they're</span> <span m='23420'>doing.</span> <span m='23680'>You</span> <span m='23766'>know,</span> <span m='23940'>university</span> <span m='24340'>is</span> <span m='24740'>a</span> <span m='24800'>very</span> <span m='25100'>special</span> <span m='25440'>place.</span> <span m='27980'>I don't</span> <span m='28180'>want</span> <span m='28200'>to</span> <span m='28220'>sound</span> <span m='28480'>corny</span> <span m='28810'>or</span> <span m='28880'>anything,</span> <span m='29480'>but</span> <span m='29670'>it's</span> <span m='29810'>really</span> <span m='31240'>kind</span> <span m='31490'>of</span> <span m='31640'>a</span> <span m='32020'>place</span> <span m='32310'>where</span> <span m='32400'>people</span> <span m='32659'>are</span> <span m='32750'>allowed</span> <span m='33000'>to</span> <span m='33170'>be safe</span> <span m='33480'>about</span> <span m='33710'>ideas,</span> <span m='34700'>say</span> <span m='34960'>things</span> <span m='35260'>they're</span> <span m='35350'>not</span> <span m='35540'>sure</span> <span m='35710'>they</span> <span m='35850'>believe,</span> <span m='36750'>try</span> <span m='37030'>things</span> <span m='37410'>on,</span> <span m='38370'>and</span> <span m='39300'>think</span> <span m='39500'>about</span> <span m='40370'>how</span> <span m='40570'>to</span> <span m='40730'>teach</span> <span m='41020'>them,</span> <span m='41200'>how</span> <span m='41310'>to</span> <span m='41430'>defend</span> <span m='41830'>them,</span> <span m='41940'>how</span> <span m='42060'>to</span> <span m='42220'>learn</span> <span m='42490'>them.</span> <span m='43260'>It's</span> <span m='43500'>a</span> <span m='43670'>special</span> <span m='43980'>place.</span> <span m='44520'>So</span> <span m='44680'>I</span> <span m='44760'>love</span> <span m='44990'>it.</span> <span m='45100'>And</span> <span m='45200'>I</span> <span m='45250'>feel</span> <span m='45440'>very</span> <span m='45570'>privileged</span> <span m='45970'>to</span> <span m='46130'>be</span> <span m='46200'>a</span> <span m='46270'>part</span> <span m='46340'>of</span> <span m='46410'>it.</span> </p><p><span m='46710'>The</span> <span m='47040'>most</span> <span m='47330'>challenging</span> <span m='47450'>part</span> <span m='47525'>of</span> <span m='47600'>my</span> <span m='47710'>job</span> <span m='47980'>is</span> <span m='48080'>actually</span> <span m='48330'>precisely</span> <span m='48860'>what's</span> <span m='49130'>so</span> <span m='50770'>rewarding</span> <span m='51210'>about it.</span> <span m='52730'>You</span> <span m='53110'>can't</span> <span m='55550'>pull</span> <span m='55710'>a</span> <span m='55770'>fast</span> <span m='56180'>one</span> <span m='56730'>on</span> <span m='56900'>students.</span> <span m='57330'>You</span> <span m='57600'>have</span> <span m='57740'>to</span> <span m='57830'>be</span> <span m='58080'>totally</span> <span m='58930'>there,</span> <span m='59590'>totally</span> <span m='59970'>present,</span> <span m='60740'>totally</span> <span m='61140'>honest,</span> <span m='62020'>totally</span> <span m='62220'>authentic,</span> <span m='63000'>honest</span> <span m='63260'>about</span> <span m='63450'>what</span> <span m='63580'>you</span> <span m='63700'>know</span> <span m='64050'>and</span> <span m='64160'>honest</span> <span m='64480'>about</span> <span m='64700'>what</span> <span m='64860'>you</span> <span m='64980'>don't</span> <span m='65390'>know.</span> </p><p><span m='66160'>You</span> <span m='66250'>have</span> <span m='66370'>to</span> <span m='66550'>work</span> <span m='66790'>hard</span> <span m='67020'>and</span> <span m='67100'>be</span> <span m='67200'>respectful.</span> <span m='68380'>That's</span> <span m='68560'>not</span> <span m='68710'>a</span> <span m='68750'>challenge.</span> <span m='69130'>That's</span> <span m='69350'>life.</span> <span m='70000'>But</span> <span m='71690'>I</span> <span m='71780'>guess</span> <span m='72010'>I</span> <span m='72080'>would</span> <span m='72220'>say,</span> <span m='72470'>the</span> <span m='72810'>students</span> <span m='73220'>are</span> <span m='73280'>demanding.</span> <span m='73950'>And</span> <span m='74260'>as</span> <span m='74510'>a</span> <span m='74540'>teacher,</span> <span m='74910'>I</span> <span m='74950'>need</span> <span m='75090'>to</span> <span m='75150'>go</span> <span m='75320'>in front</span> <span m='75720'>of them</span> <span m='76120'>every</span> <span m='76380'>day.</span> </p><p><span m='77070'>I</span> <span m='77500'>think</span> <span m='77530'>it</span> <span m='77560'>might</span> <span m='77750'>have</span> <span m='77820'>been</span> <span m='77990'>a</span> <span m='78030'>girl</span> <span m='78280'>I</span> <span m='78350'>fell</span> <span m='78750'>in</span> <span m='78820'>love</span> <span m='79000'>with</span> <span m='79180'>in</span> <span m='79690'>high</span> <span m='79850'>school.</span> <span m='80530'>Because</span> <span m='81230'>it</span> <span m='81330'>was</span> <span m='81480'>her</span> <span m='81740'>parents</span> <span m='82480'>that</span> <span m='84080'>sort</span> <span m='84300'>of</span> <span m='84530'>got</span> <span m='84760'>me</span> <span m='84840'>reading</span> <span m='85120'>books</span> <span m='85750'>and</span> <span m='86440'>thinking</span> <span m='86990'>about</span> <span m='87410'>ideas.</span> <span m='87940'>It</span> <span m='88250'>was</span> <span m='89140'>a</span> <span m='89230'>world</span> <span m='89460'>I</span> <span m='89540'>didn't</span> <span m='89830'>know</span> <span m='90070'>before.</span> <span m='91250'>And</span> <span m='92660'>it</span> <span m='92720'>wasn't</span> <span m='92940'>really</span> <span m='93120'>on</span> <span m='93220'>my</span> <span m='93350'>radar.</span> <span m='93780'>And</span> <span m='93940'>then,</span> <span m='93995'>all</span> <span m='94050'>of</span> <span m='94120'>a</span> <span m='94170'>sudden,</span> <span m='94390'>it</span> <span m='94530'>was.</span> <span m='96160'>Obviously,</span> <span m='96590'>that</span> <span m='96740'>wasn't</span> <span m='96910'>a</span> <span m='96990'>key</span> <span m='97210'>decision</span> <span m='97580'>in</span> <span m='97690'>the</span> <span m='97750'>sense</span> <span m='98110'>of</span> <span m='99890'>like</span> <span m='100080'>decided</span> <span m='100410'>to</span> <span m='100450'>join</span> <span m='100670'>the</span> <span m='100770'>army</span> <span m='101010'>or</span> <span m='101070'>not</span> <span m='101240'>deciding</span> <span m='101290'>to join</span> <span m='101720'>the army.</span> <span m='102065'>But</span> <span m='102340'>it</span> <span m='102520'>certainly</span> <span m='102770'>was</span> <span m='102920'>a</span> <span m='102980'>turn</span> <span m='103290'>I</span> <span m='103370'>took</span> <span m='103610'>that</span> <span m='103810'>led</span> <span m='103930'>me</span> <span m='104090'>someplace</span> <span m='104380'>new.</span> </p><p><span m='105320'>Is</span> <span m='105480'>it</span> <span m='105650'>easy</span> <span m='106000'>to</span> <span m='106090'>find</span> <span m='106410'>work</span> <span m='106740'>in</span> <span m='106840'>my</span> <span m='106960'>field?</span> <span m='107790'>You</span> <span m='107920'>know,</span> <span m='108240'>the</span> <span m='108310'>question</span> <span m='108620'>is</span> <span m='108700'>how</span> <span m='108810'>you</span> <span m='108930'>define</span> <span m='109180'>what</span> <span m='109330'>my</span> <span m='109470'>field</span> <span m='109820'>is.</span> <span m='110990'>It's hard</span> <span m='111070'>to get</span> <span m='111490'>jobs</span> <span m='111660'>as</span> <span m='111830'>professors.</span> <span m='113450'>There</span> <span m='113540'>just</span> <span m='113730'>aren't</span> <span m='113890'>that</span> <span m='114050'>many.</span> <span m='114390'>And</span> <span m='114600'>I</span> <span m='114930'>have</span> <span m='115060'>to</span> <span m='115170'>work</span> <span m='115390'>really</span> <span m='115640'>closely</span> <span m='116290'>with</span> <span m='116720'>my</span> <span m='117030'>students</span> <span m='117400'>to</span> <span m='117480'>help</span> <span m='117650'>them</span> <span m='117820'>cultivate</span> <span m='118210'>themselves</span> <span m='118590'>so</span> <span m='118730'>that</span> <span m='118800'>they</span> <span m='118870'>can</span> <span m='118990'>do</span> <span m='119120'>that.</span> <span m='121010'>But</span> <span m='122370'>a</span> <span m='122500'>lot</span> <span m='122625'>of</span> <span m='122750'>people</span> <span m='122940'>that</span> <span m='123090'>study</span> <span m='123230'>philosophy</span> <span m='123640'>aren't</span> <span m='123810'>interested</span> <span m='124190'>in</span> <span m='124250'>becoming</span> <span m='124620'>professors</span> <span m='124980'>of</span> <span m='125030'>philosophy.</span> </p><p><span m='125880'>It</span> <span m='125950'>turns</span> <span m='126210'>out</span> <span m='126380'>that--</span> <span m='127280'>what</span> <span m='127290'>are</span> <span m='127300'>the</span> <span m='127410'>skills</span> <span m='127730'>that</span> <span m='127900'>philosophers</span> <span m='128460'>use?</span> <span m='129150'>They</span> <span m='129259'>use</span> <span m='129440'>the</span> <span m='129520'>ability</span> <span m='129850'>to</span> <span m='130030'>write</span> <span m='130539'>critically</span> <span m='131140'>and</span> <span m='131390'>analytically,</span> <span m='132110'>to</span> <span m='132420'>argue</span> <span m='133050'>critically</span> <span m='133510'>and</span> <span m='133610'>analytically,</span> <span m='134160'>both</span> <span m='134380'>verbally</span> <span m='134930'>and</span> <span m='135170'>in</span> <span m='135270'>writing,</span> <span m='135890'>and</span> <span m='136030'>to</span> <span m='136170'>read</span> <span m='136670'>critically and</span> <span m='137140'>analytically.</span> <span m='137820'>By</span> <span m='137985'>\"critically,\"</span> <span m='138610'>I</span> <span m='138690'>don't</span> <span m='138880'>mean</span> <span m='139360'>\"negatively.\"</span> <span m='140370'>I</span> <span m='140480'>mean,</span> <span m='141060'>with an</span> <span m='141200'>eye</span> <span m='141640'>to</span> <span m='142060'>understanding</span> <span m='142670'>what's</span> <span m='142830'>really</span> <span m='143050'>going</span> <span m='143360'>on</span> <span m='143700'>and</span> <span m='144310'>evaluating</span> <span m='144750'>it,</span> <span m='145520'>thinking</span> <span m='145740'>about</span> <span m='145980'>whether</span> <span m='146220'>it's</span> <span m='146350'>good</span> <span m='146930'>or</span> <span m='147030'>bad,</span> <span m='147470'>right</span> <span m='147730'>or</span> <span m='147810'>wrong,</span> <span m='148500'>convincing</span> <span m='148835'>or</span> <span m='149170'>unconvincing.</span> <span m='149900'>That's</span> <span m='150090'>what</span> <span m='150150'>\"critical\"</span> <span m='150590'>means</span> <span m='150920'>as</span> <span m='151060'>I'm</span> <span m='151345'>using it.</span> </p><p><span m='151990'>And</span> <span m='152500'>philosophy</span> <span m='153010'>really</span> <span m='153780'>is</span> <span m='154020'>probably</span> <span m='154490'>the</span> <span m='154620'>very,</span> <span m='154950'>very</span> <span m='155130'>best</span> <span m='155440'>major</span> <span m='155566'>at</span> <span m='155693'>the</span> <span m='155820'>university,</span> <span m='157070'>maybe</span> <span m='157650'>with</span> <span m='157820'>the</span> <span m='157890'>exception</span> <span m='158330'>of</span> <span m='158390'>mathematics,</span> <span m='159400'>for</span> <span m='159540'>developing</span> <span m='160540'>real</span> <span m='160850'>critical</span> <span m='161170'>thinking</span> <span m='161440'>skills.</span> <span m='162140'>So</span> <span m='163182'>in</span> <span m='163644'>some</span> <span m='164106'>sense,</span> <span m='164570'>all</span> <span m='164810'>of</span> <span m='164920'>my</span> <span m='165070'>students</span> <span m='166300'>get</span> <span m='166620'>credentials,</span> <span m='168320'>or</span> <span m='168490'>skills</span> <span m='168920'>rather,</span> <span m='169150'>basic</span> <span m='169520'>skills,</span> <span m='170320'>that</span> <span m='170420'>will</span> <span m='170530'>help</span> <span m='170740'>them</span> <span m='170890'>in</span> <span m='170990'>any</span> <span m='171360'>line</span> <span m='171600'>of</span> <span m='171670'>work</span> <span m='171890'>that they</span> <span m='172000'>choose.</span> </p><p><span m='172870'>I</span> <span m='173030'>think</span> <span m='173330'>that</span> <span m='174050'>the</span> <span m='174220'>issues</span> <span m='174550'>about</span> <span m='174740'>balancing</span> <span m='175150'>work</span> <span m='175350'>and</span> <span m='175450'>life</span> <span m='176330'>are</span> <span m='176530'>really--</span> <span m='178340'>they</span> <span m='178620'>don't</span> <span m='178870'>really</span> <span m='179090'>depend</span> <span m='179400'>upon</span> <span m='179660'>your</span> <span m='179800'>career.</span> <span m='180180'>Everybody</span> <span m='180630'>has to face</span> <span m='180780'>them.</span> <span m='181920'>If</span> <span m='182050'>you</span> <span m='182170'>have</span> <span m='182440'>two</span> <span m='182760'>spouses</span> <span m='183260'>working</span> <span m='183530'>and</span> <span m='183800'>you</span> <span m='183980'>have</span> <span m='184110'>children,</span> <span m='184770'>or</span> <span m='185670'>if</span> <span m='185850'>you</span> <span m='186510'>want</span> <span m='186800'>to</span> <span m='187010'>stay</span> <span m='187260'>healthy</span> <span m='187680'>and not</span> <span m='187900'>become</span> <span m='188100'>a couch</span> <span m='188506'>potato,</span> <span m='189930'>be</span> <span m='190140'>active--</span> <span m='193110'>I</span> <span m='193300'>value</span> <span m='193850'>so</span> <span m='194010'>many</span> <span m='194270'>of--</span> <span m='194645'>well,</span> <span m='195020'>maybe</span> <span m='195450'>kids</span> <span m='195830'>aren't</span> <span m='195980'>really</span> <span m='196190'>thinking</span> <span m='196340'>about</span> <span m='196550'>this</span> <span m='196710'>yet.</span> </p><p><span m='197040'>But</span> <span m='197120'>once</span> <span m='197200'>you</span> <span m='197330'>get</span> <span m='197365'>to</span> <span m='197400'>be</span> <span m='197480'>a</span> <span m='197520'>little</span> <span m='198050'>older,</span> <span m='198460'>you start</span> <span m='198510'>thinking</span> <span m='198670'>about</span> <span m='198880'>your</span> <span m='199010'>health,</span> <span m='199840'>your</span> <span m='200000'>money,</span> <span m='201400'>the</span> <span m='201520'>pleasures</span> <span m='201950'>of</span> <span m='202040'>your</span> <span m='202460'>work as well</span> <span m='202750'>as</span> <span m='203000'>your income,</span> <span m='203530'>your</span> <span m='203690'>relationship</span> <span m='204115'>if</span> <span m='204540'>you can</span> <span m='205120'>sustain</span> <span m='205590'>one,</span> <span m='206450'>marriages</span> <span m='207330'>or</span> <span m='207410'>love</span> <span m='207600'>affairs.</span> <span m='208120'>All</span> <span m='208300'>of</span> <span m='208390'>that</span> <span m='208580'>is</span> <span m='208680'>very</span> <span m='208860'>difficult</span> <span m='209140'>and</span> <span m='209420'>challenging.</span> <span m='210690'>I</span> <span m='210960'>have</span> <span m='211090'>absolutely</span> <span m='211610'>no</span> <span m='212450'>keys</span> <span m='212760'>to</span> <span m='212880'>success</span> <span m='213290'>in</span> <span m='213340'>that</span> <span m='213410'>department.</span> <span m='214920'>I</span> <span m='215040'>just</span> <span m='215200'>deal with</span> <span m='215380'>it.</span> </p>","file":{"id":335841,"video_id":"3046495213001","name":"1742-Alva-p-Philosopher2 In-depth","duration":216619,"thumbnail_url":null}});

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