Graduates from the department have excelled in many different walks of life. Among them are prominent civil servants, successful entrepreneurs and bankers, such as:
Professor Kishore Mahbubani (profile), Dean of LKY School of Public Policy, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, amd former Singapore Permanent Representative to the United Nations/Ambassador to the United States): This is what Professor Kishore has to say about studying philosophy:
I made the wisest decision of my life when I was 20. I decided to study philosophy. This gave me a huge competitive advantage for the rest of my life, in both diplomacy and academia. Philosophy taught me to keep an open mind, to challenge all established truths and to learn by engaging in constant arguments. These skills have enabled me to understand and explain the rapidly changing world we live in. If I had not studied philosophy, it is unlikely that I could have contributed as much as I have in the world of ideas. For all this, I will be eternally grateful to the Department of Philosophy of NUS. (From Imagination, Openness and Courage: The National University of Singapore at 100, Second Edition)
Mr Chan Heng Wing, Chief China representative, Temasek Holdings (formerly Singapore’s Consul-General to Shanghai, and Commissioner to Hong Kong)
Ambassador Michael Tay, Deputy Executive Director of APEC Secretariat, and will become the Executive Director in 2009 when Singapore hosts the APEC (more on Michael Tay)
Mr Ivan Lee, CEO of Thai Express and Onyx, winner of the Singapore Youth Award (Entrepreneur) 2007. He recently gave a talk to Philosophy majors and also spoke at Commencement 2008 (.pdf).
Mr Chew Mun Yew, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy, Ta Chong Bank (with 50 branches in Taiwan and over 2,700 employees).
Alumnus Sanjay Perera writes that "philosophy helps the individual to bring an acute sense of analysis and critical thinking to whatever field one applies one’s mind to." Again, he notes: "Most importantly, as I've grown older, philosophical ideas have helped bring a more balanced approach in coming to terms with what I believe is my life's purpose."
Ms Chia Hui Ping, Teacher, Nanyang Girls’ High School. Ms Chia Hui Ping (Honors 2003/2004) received the Inspiring Teacher of English Award 2012. Hui Ping’s approach to teaching is simple: love what you are learning, learn along with your studentsThe ability to think and write well, analyse and express an idea lucidly and rigorously is a gift , and she has taken steps in her career to help students realise that. This has led Hui Ping to pilot, plan and write the school’s Philosophy curriculum. Philosophy has benefited her students in developing logical thinking habits which have greatly contributed to their skills in oral presentation, exposition writing and tackling Stimulus Response Question tasks. Hui Ping also incorporates ICT tools, audio visual aids, kinaesthetic and oral activities in her lessons to cater to the needs of all kinds of learners in her classroom.
Philosophy alumni have published works in a variety of domains, such as philosophy, politics, literature and religion. Publications by philosophy alumni include:
Michael Chiang, Army Daze (Armour Books) (Chiang also wrote plays such as Beauty World, Private Parts and Army Daze, based on the book. Army Daze was also made into a movie.)
Jonathan Hill, The big questions (Lion Hudson 2007)
Jonathan Hill, Faith in the Age of Reason (Lion Hudson 2005)
Jonathan Hill, The history of Christian thought (Lion Hudson 2003)
Kishore Mahbubani, Can Asians Think? (Times Editions 1998; has been published in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India, China and Malaysia)
Kishore Mahbubani, Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World (Perseus Books Group 2005)
Kishore Mahbubani, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresisitible Shift of Global Power to the East (Public Affairs 2008)
Sanjay Perera, A Leap in the Dark (Minerva Press 1995) (A collection of poems and a novella) (He is also editor of Philosophers for Change, http://philoforchange.wordpress.com ).
Tony See, Community without Identity: The Ontology and Politics of Heidegger (Atropos Press 2009)