According to the website of University of British Columbia (see: http://philosophy.ubc.ca/undergraduate/why-study-philosophy/), the two main reasons people study philosophy are curiosity and transferable skills.  I have to say that I majored in philosophy for the first reason and ended up thanking philosophy for the second reason.

Transferable skills include effective communication, analytic and critical thinking, general reasoning, information management, design and planning, and problem-solving.  These skills have helped me greatly in my adventure of becoming a writer.  The creation of my first book is a good example.  To start off, my inspiration for stories arises from philosophical questions and struggles.  The Curse was the product of curiosity about people’s gullibility when it comes to superstitions and about the basis on which human beings develop their beliefs.  Once I gathered the necessary information about superstitions, I planned out the events my main character would partake in based on the overall design of the story.  I built the story step-by-step to allow it to become psychologically and logically more and more complex in order to prompt my characters to engage in creative problem-solving.  To make my audience aware of the philosophical issues, I retold the story in Part II.  Retelling the story provided more information in order to allow the readers to appreciate the importance of limited knowledge people often have to form their beliefs.  Yet, I left the question open whether people actually make good use of all their resources in this limited situation.  For example, Spyder does not seem to be able to clue in on the meaning of his dreams.

Overall, I have to say that the skills I learned as a philosophy graduate student were crucial in building well-executed story-lines.  Therefore, I can thank philosophy for providing me with the transferable skills I now use in my creative writing process, in addition to the natural curiosity about life I have already possessed.  Philosophy is an important subject to invest time in.

M. J. Mandoki

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