The Importance of Philosophy in our Lives

“I think therefore I am” – René Descartes

PHILOSOPHY is a study that seeks to understand the mysteries of existence and reality. It tries to discover the nature of truth and knowledge and to find what is of basic value and importance in life. It also examines the relationships between humanity and nature and between the individual and society. Philosophy arises out of wonder, curiosity, and the desire to know and understand. Philosophy is thus a form of inquiry--a process of analysis, criticism, interpretation, and speculation. The term philosophy cannot be defined precisely because the subject is so complex and so controversial. Different philosophers have different views of the nature, methods, and range of philosophy. The term philosophy itself comes from the Greek “philosophia”, which means love of wisdom. In that sense, wisdom is the active use of intelligence, not something passive that a person simply possesses.

Why should anyone, including atheists, care about philosophy? Many think of philosophy as an idle, academic pursuit, never amounting to anything of practical value. If you look at the works of ancient Greek philosophers, they were asking the same questions which philosophers ask today. Doesn't this mean that philosophy never gets anywhere and never accomplishes anything? Aren't we wasting our time by studying philosophy and philosophical reasoning? Why should a human being be interested in philosophy? Isn't philosophy fit for fools only, or isn't it a merely academic trifling and hair-splitting in search of unobtainable knowledge? Or isn't philosophy mostly a set of false illusions from the past - sophistries designed to comfort one's desires by wishful thinking and presumption - that these days have been replaced by science and mathematics?My answer is certainly not — philosophy is not simply something for egghead academics in ivory towers. On the contrary, all humans

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For example. Philosophic differences have led to the overthrow of governments. and the transformation of entire economic systems. and significant and about how life should be ordered. religion. whether that institution is the law. marriage. Philosophy is about gaining a better understanding of ourselves and our world — and since that is what humans naturally desire. real. Philosophic thought is an inescapable part of human existence. humans quite readily engage in philosophical speculation and questioning. we are starting a philosophic inquiry. industry. If we ask what the difference is. the family.The Importance of Philosophy in our Lives engage in philosophy in one form or another because we are philosophizing creatures. people can clarify what they believe. true. the classifications of noun and verb involve the philosophic idea that there is a difference between things and actions. Even a person who claims that considering philosophic questions is a waste of time is expressing what is important. A person can study philosophers of the past to discover why they thought as they did and what value their thoughts may have in one's own life. or education. The very language we speak uses classifications derived from philosophy. worthwhile. A rejection of all philosophy is in itself philosophy. Every institution of society is based on philosophic ideas. Philosophy has had enormous influence on our everyday lives. or valuable. government. and they can be stimulated to think about ultimate questions. business. Page 2 . drastic changes in laws. By studying philosophy. Such changes have occurred because the people involved held certain beliefs about what is important. Almost everyone has been puzzled from time to time by such essentially philosophic questions as "What does life mean?" "Did I have any existence before I was born?" and "Is there life after death?" Most people also have some kind of philosophy in the sense of a personal outlook on life.

and how Value theory is further subdivided into ethics. the theory of knowledge. and good or bad. what can I know.The Importance of Philosophy in our Lives Systems of education follow a society's philosophic ideas about what children should be taught and for what purposes. astronomy. asks. free from prejudice. and their nature. or moral philosophy. the formulation and application of the principles of right reasoning. the philosophical study of art. and open to both sides of an issue. the study of philosophy frees one from prejudices. and irrational beliefs. Philosophical thinkers then tried to know all they could about the structure of nature. because as an idea is further developed. philosophy is of immense value to us. probing. Metaphysics. to be able to study all of these philosophically. Each of us is touched by philosophy. After all. From this were born the modern sciences of physics. Nondemocratic societies discourage such activities and want their citizens to surrender their own interests to those of the state. beauty. The values and skills taught by the educational system of a society thus reflect the society's philosophic ideas of what is important. careless conclusions. In a personal sense. and the universe. and aesthetics. But of course. Obscure and complex as it may look at first sight. one must know logic. Different questions are answered by different areas of philosophy. and the issues of right or wrong. and astrophysics. and the problem remains unsolved. We need philosophy to give us clear options and help us make informed choices. Sometimes philosophy may seem futile. which tackles moral values. human love of wisdom is a love that never dies. asks. the study of the nature of reality. what is there Epistemology. Page 3 . In thinking philosophically one should be critical. the world. Democratic societies stress that people learn to think and make choices for themselves. more questions arise. social and political philosophy. the nature and justification of state.