Value of Philosophy Essay

In the introductory talk notes to this class I stated that we would get down with a working definition of doctrine as being the “love of wisdom. ” I have found. though. that merely about every other definition attempted has many defects. No one definition seems equal to specify what it means to prosecute in doctrine. Consequently. I think it is best to believe of the philosopher in the slightly imprecise term of a lover of wisdom. Person who is continually in hunt of the truth. Though he/she might be ridiculed for prosecuting the inaccessible. this hunt for truth/ cognition can give tremendous benefits.

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It provides the tools to critically measure the universe around us and the information we are given about that universe. This ability to critically measure thoughts is particularly of import given the function that such cognition affects and shapes our lives—as we saw in the subdivisions on B. F. Skinner. Positive Freedoms. and the Philosophy of Science. Furthermore. the alterations in our society necessitate that we re-examine cardinal inquiries sporadically. For illustration. progresss in medical scientific discipline have posed new ethical inquiries.

Ethical judgements refering familial technology ( technology certain features into or out of our familial makeup ) calls into inquiry cardinal thoughts refering freedom and individualism. Without some apprehension of these topics how can we border replies to such inquiries? Even if we examine these inquiries. is our attack critical. reliable? Or do we take to accept the replies given to us by society? Are we non so moving in a sort of Sartrean “Bad Faith? ” How much of our humanity and freedom are we renouncing by non prosecuting in some sort of philosophical activity?

Though we pride ourselves on being “rational” people. how rational are our ideas and actions even if they are “proven? ” Or. do we populate up to Soren Kierkegaard’s comment in The Journals. “There are many people who reach their decision about life like schoolboys: they cheat their maestro by copying the reply out of a book without holding worked the amount out for themselves. ” Many of the great philosophers have attempted to warrant and laud the virtuousnesss of the survey of doctrine.

I have put together a series of quotation marks of what I think are some of the more of import transitions turn toing philosophy’s function in instruction and our lives. As you read these quotation marks. see whether or non doctrine practiced in this manner and as it was studied throughout this class can really take one to be a lover of wisdom and assist us—if non answer—at least understand some of the cardinal inquiries we have considered.

Philosophy’s Role in Education Even the hapless pupil surveies and is taught merely political economic system. while that economic system of life which is synonymous with doctrine is non even unfeignedly professed in our college. . . . Our innovations are wont to be reasonably playthings. which distract our attending from serious things.

They are but improved agencies to an unimproved terminal. an terminal which it was already but excessively easy to get at. . . . While civilisation has been bettering our houses. it has non every bit improved the work forces who are to populate them. It has created castles. but it was non so easy to make Lords and male monarchs. Henry David Thoureau. Walden It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a hog satisfied ; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a sap satisfied. And if the sap. or the hog. are of a different sentiment. it is because they merely know their ain side of the inquiry.

John Stuart Mill. “The Utilitarian Calculus of Pain and Pleasure” You want to cognize my attitude towards broad surveies. Well. I have no regard for any survey whatsoever if its terminal is the devising of money. Such surveies are to me unworthy 1s. They involve the seting out of accomplishments to engage. and are merely of value in so far as they may develop the head without busying it for long. Time should be spent on them merely so long as one’s mental abilities are non up to covering with higher things.

They are our apprenticeship. non our existent work. Why ‘liberal studies’ are so called is obvious: it is because they are the 1s considered worthy of a free adult male. . . . Why so do we give our boies a broad instruction? Not because it can do them morally good but because it prepares the head for the acquisition of moral values. Merely as that anchoring in grammar. as they called it in the old yearss. in which boys are given their simple schooling. does non learn them the broad humanistic disciplines but prepares the land for cognition of them in due class. so when it comes to character the broad humanistic disciplines open the manner to it instead than transport the personality all the manner at that place. . . .

Wordss need to be sown like seed. No affair how tiny a seed may be. when it lands in the right kind of land it unfolds its strength and from being infinitesimal expands and grows to a monolithic size. Reason does the same ; to the outward oculus its dimensions may be undistinguished. but with activity it starts developing. Although the words spoken are few. if the head has taken them in as it should they garner strength and shoot upwards. Yes. principles have the same characteristics as seeds ; they are of compact dimensions and they produce impressive results–given. as I say. the right kind of head. to hold on at and absorb them.

The head will so react by being in its bend originative and will bring forth a output transcending what was put into it. Seneca. Letterss from a Stoic Philosophy and the Uncertainty of our Answers to Fundamental Questions The value of doctrine is. in fact. to be sought mostly in its really uncertainness. The adult male who has non tincture of doctrine goes through life imprisoned in the biass derived from common sense. from the accustomed beliefs of his age or his state. from strong beliefs which have grown up in his head without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate ground.

To such a adult male the universe tends to go definite. finite. obvious. common objects rouse no inquiries. and unfamiliar possibilities are disdainfully rejected. Equally shortly as we begin to philosophise. on the contrary. we find. . . that even the most mundane things lead to jobs to which merely really uncomplete replies can be given. Philosophy. though unable to state us with certainty what is the true reply to the uncertainties which it raises. is able to propose many possibilities which enlarge our ideas and free them from the dictatorship of usage.

Therefore. while decreasing our feeling of certainty as to what things are. it greatly increases our cognition as to what they may be ; it removes the slightly chesty bigotry of those who have ne’er traveled into the part of emancipating uncertainty. and it keeps alive our sense of admiration by demoing familiar things in an unfamiliar facet. Bertrand Russell. The Problems of Philosophy Philosophy. so. is non an empirical survey: non the critical scrutiny of what exists or has existed or will exist—this is dealt with by common-sense cognition and belief. and the methods the natural scientific disciplines.

Nor is it a sort of formal tax write-off. as mathematics or logic is. Its subject-matter is to a big grade non points of experience. but the ways in which they are viewed. the lasting or semi-permanent classs in footings of which experience is conceived or classified. . . . These theoretical accounts [ classs ] frequently collide ; some are rendered unequal by neglecting to account for excessively many facets of experience. and are in their bend replaced by other theoretical accounts which emphasise what these last have omitted. but in their bend may befog what the others have rendered clear.

The undertaking of doctrine. frequently a hard and painful 1. is to untangle and convey to illume the concealed classs and theoretical accounts in footings of which human existences think ( that is. their usage of words. images an other symbols ) . to uncover what is vague or contradictory in them. to spot the struggles between them that prevent the building of female horse equal ways of forming and depicting and explicating experience ( for all description every bit good as account involves some theoretical account in footings of which the describing and explaining is done ) ; and so. at a still ‘higher’ degree. to analyze the nature of this activity itself ( epistemology. philosophical logic. lingual analysis ) . and to convey to illume the hidden theoretical accounts that operate in this second-order. philosophical. activity itself. . . .

The perennial undertaking of philosophers is to analyze whatever seems unsusceptible to the methods of he scientific discipline or mundane observation. for illustration. classs. construct. theoretical accounts. ways of thought or playing. and peculiarly ways in which they clash with one another. with a position to building other. less internally contradictory and ( though this can ne’er be to the full attained ) less pervertible metaphors. images. symbols and systems of classs. it is surely a sensible hypothesis that one of the rule causes of confusion. wretchedness and fright is. whatever may be its psychological or societal roots. blind attachment to outworn impressions. pathological intuition of any signifier of critical introspection. frenetic attempts to forestall any grade of rational analysis of what we live by and for.

Berlin. “The Purpose of Philosophy” Philosophy’s intent is to light the ways our psyche has been infected by unsound beliefs. untrained disruptive desires. and doubtful life picks and penchants that are unworthy of us. Self-scrutiny applied with kindness is the chief counterpoison.

Besides rooting out the soul’s corruptnesss. the life of wisdom is besides meant to stir us from our lethargy and move usage in the way of an energetic. cheerful life. Epictetus. The Art of Living. 84 Doctrine and the Enlightened Character Who can doubt. . . that life is the gift of the immortal Gods. but that life well is the gift of doctrine? . . .

They [ the Gods ] have given no one the nowadays of a cognition of doctrine. but everyone the agencies of geting it. For if they had made doctrine a approval given to all and sundry. if we were born in a province of moral enlightenment. wisdom would hold been deprived of the best thing about her–that she isn’t one of the things which fortune either gives us or doesn’t.

As things are. there is about wisdom a aristocracy and impressiveness in the fact that she doesn’t merely fall to a person’s batch. that each adult male owes her to his ain attempts. that one doesn’t travel to anyone other than oneself to happen her. What would you hold worth looking up to in doctrine if she were handed out free?

Seneca. Letterss from a Stoic Let no 1 put off analyzing doctrine when he is immature. nor when old grow weary of its survey. For no 1 is excessively immature or excessively far past his prime to accomplish the wellness of his psyche. The adult male who alleges that he is non yet ready for doctrine or that the clip for it has passed him by. is like the adult male who says that he is either excessively immature or excessively old for felicity.

Therefore. we should analyze doctrine both in young person and in old age. so that we. though turning old. may be immature in approvals through the pleasant memory of what has been ; and when immature we may be old as good. because we harbor no fright over what lies in front. We must. therefore. prosecute the things that make for felicity. seeing that when felicity is present. we have everything ; but when it is absent. we do everything to possess it.

Epicurus. Letter to Menoeceus I tell you. . . allow no twenty-four hours go through without discoursing goodness and all the other topics about which you hear me speaking and analyzing both myself and other is truly the really best thing that a adult male can make. and that life without this kind of scrutiny is non deserving life. . . . Plato. Socrates Defense ( Apology ) .

In other businesss. the wages comes with trouble after their completion. but in doctrine delectation coincides with cognition. For enjoyment does non come after larning. but larning and enjoyment semen together. Epicurus. Vatican Sayings Philosophy. likewise. Tells all other businesss:

‘It’s non my purpose to accept whatever clip is left over from you ; you shall hold. alternatively. what I reject. ‘ Give your whole head to her. Sit at her side and pay her changeless tribunal. and an tremendous spread will widen between yourself and other work forces. You’ll stop up far in progress of all world. and non far behind the Gods themselves. Seneca. Letterss From A Stoic ———————– 3