Revelation: Philosophy Students Are the Druggiest

By Adam K. Raymond 05/23/13

A University of Cambridge study finds that philosophers use more than their peers. But why?

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What is a philosophy student? A glasses-wearing hipster with a Descartes paperback in her back pocket? An espresso-drinking gentleman lost in thought, and facial hair? Although there's no telling for certain, based on a recent survey published in University of Cambridge newspaper The Tab, a philosophy student is quite likely under the influence of mind-altering substances. According to a survey of 5,000 students at 21 British universities, philosophy majors were the most likely to have experimented with drugs, with 87% admitting to partaking. That's well over the 70% of all students who used and a full 30% more than medical students, who were the cleanest of the 22 majors surveyed. Marijuana is, predictably, the drug of choice for most British college students, with 68% percent copping to toking up. Third on the list with 45% is nitrous oxide, a popular recreational drug in the UK. As for why philosophers were most likely to use drugs, The Guardian has a few theories including "that relative employment prospects drive philosophers to seek solace in drugs." Perhaps a more convincing case could be made for these aspiring thinkers simply following the advice of one of their own, Bob Marley, who once said, "When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself."

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Adam K. Raymond covers politics and sports for New York Magazine. Visit Adam's website and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.