Matthew Yglesias on the advantages and disadvantages of a philosophical education for political punditry. Pro:
I think studying philosophy as an undergraduate is excellent preparation for being a political pundit -- it's a lot of arguing, a lot of playing with words, and a lot of learning about how to make a contribution to a discussion without a lot of factual background on the subject at hand.
At the same time, these shared attributes of the disciplines can lead to some dangerous wrongheaded conclusions about specific things...To some extent I think Iraq, which generated a lot of discussion over a prolonged period of time, suffered less from this in the punditsphere (the trouble was more that a lot of people were operating with made up facts rather than with no facts per se) than have a lot of other issues. But I think discussion of Darfur, and then the brief moment of hype around invading Burma, and then again Zimbabwe from time to time tends to partake of rather a lot of this. Robert Mugabe and his regime have no real ethical claims on anyone, so, hey, why not invade?
And of course since it's all non-specialists out having the argument it's difficult to say with authority in detail what would likely go wrong with an invasion of Burma. What's needed is to recover the time-honored sense of a very strong predisposition against attacking other countries.
I say this a lot, but the three disciplines I have degrees in (mathematics, philosophy, and literature) have one thing in common: an aversion for the empirical. But -- in all of these fields I've specialized in history, politics, everyday objects, and other injections of the empirical. So what I seem to like is mastering beautiful, pure, abstract fields and messing them up with the contingent and particular.
I also like being a contentious omnivorous know-it-all, which is the best possible education for a blogger, no matter what kind.