The Relevance of Philosophy: (IntroPhil 101.9)
I know by now the following questions are flooding your mind:
- “Why study philosophy?”
- “Of what use is philosophy?”
- “Is philosophy of any value to me personally, and will it help my career?”
These are very critical questions we need to answer here. How does philosophy come in handy especially in my life and career.
Philosophy is inescapable
Everybody has some notion of reality. Whether fully examined or not, ideas about the origin, destiny and fabric of existence -including views about God and human nature- have a place in each person’s mind.
Everyone also has some notion of knowledge: Ideas about the authentic sources of knowledge, about subjective beliefs in contrast to objective truths, and about methods that prove a conclusion true or false form a part of everyday life.
We all have some notion of values, including right or wrong. Most of us try to think correctly and to reason in a valid fashion so that others will heed us when we set forth our ideas.
Far from being merely a classroom exercise, issues of metaphysics, epistemology, values, and logic are part of everyday living.
The study of philosophy
Shallowness, incompleteness, poor reasoning, and assertions with flimsy foundations prevent a truly enlightened life and citizenship.
Persuasive orators can sway minds and hearts and thereby wage wars, gain political control, establish cults, and otherwise seduce an unsuspecting public. Unaware of the complexities of an issue, unfamiliar with a comprehensive view of a topic, unable to distinguish between valid and invalid reasoning, ready to yield to authoritarian approaches, individuals and entire communities have been asked to sacrifice their lives for certain values and ideals.
However, people who have studied philosophy: Are more likely to pursue an issue in depth and to examine it comprehensively with sound reasoning.
Having the courage to question the conventional and traditional is usefully for individuals in achieving intellectual autonomy, and in helping communities to make informed choices.
Failure it obtain a specific answer to a philosophical question or an acceptable solution to a problematic issue frequently leads to frustration. Nonetheless, exploration of the possible, reasonable solutions clarifies the options open to thoughtful persons.
The usefulness of choosing from reasoned researched alternatives rather than from bigoted, impulsive, and unclear claims is apparent in all dimensions of our lives. Ideally, the study of philosophy nurtures our capacity for making informed choices.
Written by Kombian SOMTUAKA