Philosophy is often considered a subject that is far removed from our daily lives. It can be seen as something abstract, esoteric, and inaccessible to the average person.
However, philosophy has a lot to offer in terms of personal growth and development. In this article, we will explore the value of doing philosophy in life.
What is Philosophy?
Before we dive into the benefits of doing philosophy, let’s first define what it is. Philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
It aims to understand the nature of reality and our place in it. Philosophy can be divided into different branches such as metaphysics (the study of reality), epistemology (the study of knowledge), ethics (the study of morality), logic (the study of reasoning), and aesthetics (the study of beauty).
The Value of Doing Philosophy
1. Critical Thinking
One of the primary benefits of doing philosophy is that it helps develop critical thinking skills. Philosophy encourages us to question assumptions and evaluate arguments rigorously. It teaches us how to identify fallacies in reasoning and avoid making hasty judgments based on incomplete information.
Example: Let’s say you’re watching a political debate on TV. By applying your knowledge of logical fallacies learned through studying philosophy, you can assess whether each candidate’s argument is sound or flawed.
Philosophy also provides an opportunity for self-reflection. By examining our beliefs and values critically, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. This process can lead to personal growth and development.
Example: Let’s say you’re an atheist who has never really thought about why you don’t believe in God. Through studying philosophy, you may come across arguments for and against the existence of God that challenge your beliefs. This can lead to a deeper understanding of your own worldview and help you articulate your beliefs more clearly.
3. Improved Communication
By learning how to evaluate arguments and express ourselves clearly, philosophy can also improve our communication skills. It teaches us how to construct well-reasoned arguments and present them in a persuasive manner.
Example: Let’s say you’re in a debate with a friend about whether free will exists. By applying what you’ve learned through studying philosophy, you can construct a clear, logically sound argument that supports your position.
4. Appreciation for Diversity
Philosophy also helps us appreciate diversity by exposing us to different perspectives and worldviews. It encourages us to be open-minded and tolerant of other people’s beliefs and values.
Example: Let’s say you’re studying ethics and come across different theories such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. By learning about these different approaches, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of ethical thought.
In conclusion, philosophy has a lot to offer in terms of personal growth and development. It helps develop critical thinking skills, promotes self-reflection, improves communication skills, and fosters an appreciation for diversity. So if you’re looking for ways to enrich your life, consider taking up philosophy as a hobby or enrolling in a class at your local college or university!