Student Spotlight: Jared Gibbs

Portrait photo of Jared Gibbs.

In this episode of Confluence, we hear from Jared Gibbs about his background in Economics and Philosophy—interests he hopes will successfully prepare him for Law school.


I sort of think about the world in systematic terms. 

The sort of systematic way in which I try to think about the world is a way that seems to lend itself well to Economics and Philosophy, both because they, they study systems essentially.

My name is Jared Gibbs. I am currently engaged in a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Philosophy and I'm going to be applying for a Master's in the Econ department here as well.

Environmental philosophy is incredibly interesting. For example, one of the classes I'm taking is called Critical Animal Theory—it's Philosophy 502—where we talk about contemporary issues in like animal rights and how value systems think about non-human animals and sort of these sorts of considerations and constraints.

Just recently, I personally read two books by Carl Safina. And both of the books focused on the, the minds of, and culture of other animals. Take for example, elephants, which live in these family structures that are stable and continuous throughout an elephant's life. And the author, Carl Safina, argues essentially that you can't just assume that because you don't have access to an animal's mind, you presume that an animal doesn't have a mind. Because when you take observation and when you take the evidence that we have and you take sort of what's the simplest explanation—all of those things point to minds in other animals and not just that, but complex, socially dependent and for lack of a better term, very similarly human minds, in other animals.

So, environmental philosophy is incredibly interesting, and I'm glad to be a part of the program.

Initially, I came to the University of Montana with just plans to do an Econ BA. After I got in touch with the pre-law advisor, Professor Soazig Le Bihan, about going to and applying to law school, she strongly recommended that I also engage in a philosophy bachelor's and after that, it just sort of grew from there to the point where I'm planning to double up for graduate school, having both Econ and Philosophy at both levels.

I think the, the desire to go to law school goes back to that systematic understanding of the world that I talked about. Nowhere does that sort of flourish more than in the system that governs sort of civic life, for lack of a better descriptor, because you've literally got rules of the game that are written out in statutes and in the constitution and in these various sort of legal texts.

My, my sort of hope is for entrance into the judiciary. That seems the kind of place where that kind of study can really get off the ground.