I am moved to comment on your story "Certain Majors Face the Ax at State Universities" (Feb. 21).
Philosophy is historically the center of a liberal education, a curriculum referring, of course, not to liberalism but to the education appropriate to a free (liber) person. To suggest that the offering of philosophy is unnecessary (an advocacy I do not attribute to your newspaper) is to further the trend that sees education (better in this case called training) as mere job preparation, rather than the development of the thinking skills that are absolutely necessary to the citizens of a democracy, whether broadly or narrowly defined. If people cannot rationally evaluate ideas, above all ethical ideas, they will be reduced to the melancholy options of blind acquiescence or spasmodic and unreasoning rebellion.
The reference to whether Indiana University of Pennsylvania "can still afford" to offer a bachelor's degree in philosophy is ludicrous: in terms of investment of resources, philosophy (along perhaps with English) must be among the cheapest subjects to teach: little audio-visual equipment is used and none required; no lab equipment is employed, only books that the students purchase from the school.
Finally, at the risk of appearing to descend to the petty, I must note that a philosophical education might have prevented your writer from referring to "the works of Socrates." There are no works of Socrates: He wrote nothing; we know him from the works of others.
The writer teaches philosophy at a local college.