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The Philosophy Major Sees Increase in Numbers and Diversity (guest post)

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“In the midst of this general sharp decline of the humanities, philosophy’s admittedly small and partial recovery stands out.” So writes Eric Schwitzgebel, professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside, in the following guest post about the number and types of students majoring in philosophy. The post originally appeared at his site, The Splintered Mind. [Sarah Morris, “Your Words Become Mine”] The Philosophy Major Is Back on the Rise in the U.S., with Increasing Gender and Ethnic Diversity by Eric Schwitzgebel In 2017, I reported three demographic trends in the philosophy major in the U.S. First, philosophy Bachelor’s degrees awarded had declined sharply since 2010, from 9297 in 2009-2010 (0.58% of all graduates) to 7507 in 2015-2016 (0.39% of all graduates). History, English, and foreign languages saw similar precipitous declines. (However, in broader context, the early 2010s were relatively good years for the philosophy and history majors, so the declines represented a return to rates of the early 2000s.) Second, women had been earning about 30-34% of Philosophy Bachelor’s degrees for at least the past 30 years — a strikingly steady flat line. Third, the ethnic diversity of philosophy graduates was slowly increasing, especially among Latinx students. Time for an update, and it is moderately good news! 1. The number of philosophy Bachelor’s degrees awarded is rising again … though the numbers are still substantially below 2010 levels, and as a percentage of graduating students the numbers are flat. 2010: 9290 philosophy BAs (0.59% of all graduates) 2011: 9301 (0.57%) 2012: 9371 (0.55%) 2013: 9433 (0.53%) 2014: 8827 (0.48%) 2015: 8191 (0.44%) 2016: 7499 (0.39%) 2017: 7577 (0.39%) 2018: 7670 (0.39%) [See below for methodological note]   This is in a context in which the other large humanities majors continue to decline. In the same two-year period since 2016 during which philosophy. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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