Why Should We Read Philosophy? What is Philosophy?

Why Should We Read Philosophy? What is Philosophy?

December 21, 2019 0 By Felso

From time to time, it is said that the study of philosophy is utterly meaningless, since what philosophers do is sit down and discuss the meanings of words.

Philosophers do not seem to reach any conclusions and have almost no contribution to society. The problems they have discussed are still the same as those of the ancient Greeks. Philosophy seems to change nothing and leave everything as it is. So what is the value of studying philosophy?

In today’s society, it may even be dangerous to question the basic assumptions of our lives: in the end, we may feel unable to do anything as if paralyzed as a result of excessive questioning. Of course a caricature of a philosopher succeeds in dealing with very abstract thoughts in a comfortable armchair in the hall of Oxford or Cambridge; but it is a depiction of one who has failed so much to overcome practical problems: one that can explain the most difficult passage of Hegel’s philosophy; but he cannot even cook an egg. But what would philosophy do for us, except to explain the concepts and anything of the lineage? Why is philosophy necessary?

For Investigated Life

One of the main reasons for engaging in philosophy is that he is interested in fundamental questions about the meaning of our existence. Most of us ask ourselves the basic questions of philosophy at a certain moment in our lives. Why are we here? Is there any evidence that God exists? Is there a specific purpose in our lives? What makes something right or wrong? Is it possible we’re right when we break the law? Can our lives be just dreams? Is the mind different from the body, or are we just physical beings? How does science progress? Do animals have rights? What is art ?  And similar questions…

Many people who study philosophy believe that it is important for each of us to investigate such questions. Some even claim that an unquestioned life is not worth living (see Socrates). Maintaining a uniform existence in which the underlying principles are not investigated may be like driving a car that has never been maintained before. You may be right to rely on your brakes, steering and engine since your car has never been hitched so far; but you may be completely unjustified in relying on it; the brake pedals may be faulty and may fail at the time you need them most. Similarly, the principles that underlie our lives may be entirely reliable, but you cannot be sure until you investigate them. However, Even if you do not truly doubt the credibility of the assumptions that form the basis of your life, you may impoverish your life by not operating your thinking power. Many people find that asking these basic questions is either too much work or too disturbing to ask them: they can be happy and comfortable with prejudices. But other than that, people have a strong desire to seek answers to challenging philosophical questions.

To Learn To Think

Another reason for engaging in philosophy is that it provides a better way of thinking more clearly on many different topics. Philosophical thinking can be useful in a variety of situations.

Examining the arguments for and against a viewpoint and then concluding it reveals skills that can be applied to other areas of life.

Many people who deal with philosophical skills; apply to different professions such as law, computer programming, management consulting, public office and journalism; This applies to all areas where the openness of thought is a significant gain. In addition, philosophers use the concepts they acquire about the nature of human existence for art: some philosophers; They also achieved success as a novelist, critic, poet, film producer and playwright.

To Get Pleasure

Another justification for studying philosophy is that it can be a very enjoyable activity for many.

There are some things that must be said for such a defense of philosophy. The danger of this is that it can be understood as a justification in which the effectiveness of philosophy is reduced to the equivalent of crossword puzzles.

From time to time, some philosophers’ approach to the subject is similar to this: for some philosophers, it becomes obsessed to solve vague logical puzzles as if they were an end point and to publish them only in magazines that appeal to a particular segment.

In other extreme cases, some philosophers working in universities see themselves as part of “work ve and publish their usual work in order to“ rise ”and get promoted. They experience pleasure by seeing their names on paper, the increase in their income and the prestige that comes with promotion. Fortunately, philosophy rises higher than this.

Source:  Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Year “ Introduction to Philosophy ” and Giriş Introduction to Sociology ”Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM), Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”Nigel Warburton