Three seniors get philosophical about their futures

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Claire Moore '22

Three seniors will study philosophy in college.

Striving to analyze human existence and societal principles, seniors Megan Maloney, Kayla Malcolm-Joseph, and Claire Moore plan to pursue philosophy at their respective colleges.   After developing an interest in the subject at Sacred Heart Greenwich, they now endeavor to diversify this male-dominated field and uplift under-represented perspectives.

In Theological Foundations, Mr. Martone introduces freshmen to philosophical conversations.  Ana López del Punta ’23

Megan will attend the University of Chicago, where she will major in Applied Mathematics and minor in philosophy and Spanish.  She believes that philosophy will give her a new angle from which to consider and solve mathematics. 

“I think that math and philosophy are intertwined,” Megan said. “I can use my analytical way of thinking in order to consider philosophical questions like existence or free will.  In math, there are fundamental postulates that we believe to be true, but if they were not true, then all of math would crumble.  I always like to think about how those foundational ideas come into existence, which for me is a philosophical question.”

Her interest in this field originated from participating in Theological Foundations with Mr. John Martone as a freshman at Sacred Heart.  Megan also appreciates philosophy because it enables her to examine society in a self-reliant manner.

“Taking these philosophical classes has given me not only the skills but also the confidence to rely on my own opinions,” Megan said. “I learned that any institution comes from something, whether it be an opinion, piece of philosophy, or statement of truth.  I now do not see things and accept them; I see things and question them.”

Like Megan, Kayla cemented her curiosity for this subject after taking courses at Sacred Heart.  The Theological Foundations and Seminar in Literature and Thought classes piqued her interest and influenced her appreciation for philosophy.  At Vassar College, Kayla hopes to discover various perspectives through philosophical discussions.   

“Everyone is entitled to their own philosophy, and I appreciate being in a community that tries to make sense of the world,” Kayla said. “I think that there is a sense of camaraderie that comes with philosophy because you are sharing your ideas with a group of people, which is a very vulnerable experience.”

Upper School English courses prompted Claire’s interest in learning how individual experiences can shape philosophy.  During her time at Claremont McKenna College, she plans to major in Philosophy and Public Affairs, as well as complete a sequence in Human Rights, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies.  Claire looks forward to applying theoretical skills gained from philosophy to her studies of government and economics.  

“All of my English classes have inspired me to pursue philosophy because of their discussion-based format,” Claire said. “I really like using books as a vehicle to discuss philosophical ideas and examine what can be learned about human rights.  Tangentially, books have widened my perspective because through reading, you are able to learn about different worlds, whether real or fictional.  This adds a certain dimension to your thought, and you are able to think about philosophical ideas from a range of perspectives because reading gives you a wider breadth of experience to draw from, even if that experience is not your own.”

What excites me the most about studying philosophy is shifting the narrative.  I hope to add a female perspective and uplift the voices of people of color to revolutionize the field to more accurately encompass the world that it is trying to analyze.”

— Claire Moore '22

Through philosophy’s conversational nature, people can discuss a variety of viewpoints.  Claire observed how this field also helps people gain a greater understanding of ancient societies.

Advanced Placement English Literature furthers Claire’s interest in examining human behavior.  Claire Moore ’22

“Philosophy helps us better understand human existence and society’s values because it invites discourse, argument, and questions,” Claire said. “Philosophy is very subjective, and it is a very dynamic field, which provides an insight into human nature and societal values.  It is interesting because when we look at ancient philosophical texts that have been preserved, we can get a window to that society’s values and how those individuals viewed themselves and the world around them.”

Although people regard careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as the most male-dominated fields, there is less female representation in philosophy.  While 39 percent of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in STEM belong to women, less than 35 percent of women receive a Ph.D. in philosophy, according to gritdaily.com and The Washington Post.  Claire highlighted the need to diversify the field as a means to better understand humankind. 

“While philosophy does not have this reputation, it is a very male-dominated field,” Claire said.  “What excites me the most about studying philosophy is shifting the narrative.  I hope to add a female perspective and uplift the voices of people of color to revolutionize the field to more accurately encompass the world that it is trying to analyze.”

Featured Image by Claire Moore ’22