Dave Turner '04

Philosophy Major | Securities Lawyer
photo of Dave Turner

Why did you major in philosophy?

Philosophy's appeal lay in both the topics it addressed, and the way it addressed them. It promised to help me understand big questions and ideas in a clear, consistent and methodical way. The idea of becoming a clear thinker was enormously attractive.

What are you doing now?

I am a securities lawyer working in New York City with domestic and foreign companies seeking to list their shares on the New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges.

How has philosophy been valuable in your personal and professional life?

The usefulness of a philosophy degree to lawyers is widely acknowledged. Philosophers are trained to construct, analyze and deconstruct complex philosophical arguments. Lawyers are trained to do the same with legal arguments. In my specific practice, my philosophy degree didn't explicitly teach me the specific business and accounting knowledge required to guide a company through the public listing process. Philosophy taught me to be comfortable with uncertainty and to be confident in my ability to learn new, complex ideas that made me succeed as a lawyer.

Any advice for students considering a philosophy major or graduating with a philosophy major?

"Why does philosophy matter?"
"I don't know, why does science matter?"
"Well because scie-"
"Annnnnnnd you are doing philosophy."

— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) August 5, 2015

Many of the subjects you might choose to study at UNH will teach you how to do something: how to design a robot or how to synthesize chemical compounds. Philosophy promises to teach you how to have a happy, fulfilling life. It will open your mind to new ideas and concepts that you can use to evaluate who you are and who you want to be. Studying philosophy provides you with the intellectual curiosity to search for meaning in your life and the tools to find it. Most of us want to look back in our old age and be content with the life we led. We want to know that we led a good life. Philosophers are the people most interested in finding this satisfaction. Who wouldn't want to spend four years (and all the years that follow) with people like that?