Marco Rubio's comment during the Republican Debate yesterday that "America needs more welders and less philosophers" got me thinking.
Of course not everyone can or is able or is interested in going to college. There is nothing shameful about a job that requires vocational training but where Rubio is wrong is in implying that philosophy is useless.
I took a number of philosophy courses as an undergraduate including Contemporary Moral Issues, Introduction to Ethics, Introduction to Logic, and Introduction to Existentialism and reducing this to a utilitarian mindset (what are their uses?) I would say they specifically benefited me by making me a better writer. This was done in two ways
1.) By forcing me to back-up every argument I made in writing with examples and by addressing what was a false comparison so as to make sure the examples cited were germane.
2.) By teaching me analytical skills - What something means rather than what someone says or what they may be trying to say (helps with writing fiction and even poetry as well as grading student papers as a teacher).
Also basic composition skills such as paragraph structure, constructing a topic sentence etc. were often re-enforced sometimes even better explained by philosophy instructors. I would say some philosophy courses were as useful as any pure writing course I took.