To many of my friends out there: I’m concerned you don’t appreciate the utility or function or nature of philosophy, apart from pop-culture’s pallid understanding.
When you say things like “Philosophers often have the luxury of thinking continually without conclusion or an end state” it is very concerning, because you are assuming all too much, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
There is good philosophy, and there is bad philosophy. But philosophy is chiefly concerned with getting to the bottom of things so that life and living can be improved upon. The word philosophy literally means “the love of wisdom”. And wisdom is defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment”. It is concerned with good “judgement” or the ability to decide the quality or soundness of things.
Philosophy is responsible for EVERY single school of thought or academic discipline today.
Biological sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, astronomy, psychology, economics, archeology, paleontology, neuroscience, anthropology, aesthetics, sociology, ethics, engineering, politics, etc etc etc etc.
And they all very much have an end in mind.
It’s called refining the quality of our thoughts, so that they reflect “reality” and improve our “utility” as humans striving to live optimally.
Discarding faulty or poor assumptions, uncovering false assumptions, shedding light on self-deception, probing deeper into arguments, into the nature of things, the relationships of things, etc.
Talking and asking questions is not necessarily “philosophy”. If its meandering or pointless or noise, its called “bullshit”.
Everyone should study philosophy, and practice it regularly, and employ it in their daily lives.
It would improve society from being so mindless, from not challenging bullshit dogma by self proclaimed and often deluded “experts” or “authority figures” that spew hot air which may sound good, and may be emotionally appealing or temporarily self serving, but is just…. total… utter… garbage. Because it’s false or deception or lies or fantasy or inaccurate or outdated, etc.
Philosophy is the process or vehicle of getting us quality information about our world and our relation to it, and refining and improving our understanding of this process.
Before mankind thought about these things, he asked questions: how? what? why? when? where? who?
The first philosophers conversed with his fellow man, who shared their reasoning and their experiences. They continually challenged each other’s experiences, their perceptions, their “reasoning” and came up with rules for good arguments, formulating formal and informal logic, and examined the very nature of perception and experience.
Overtime, from the Greeks until now (and before the Greeks the Egyptians and Babylonians and other civilization’s contributions we lost in the fire of the Library of Alexandria), these conversations coalesced and became more specific, with specific ends in mind, and they developed into separate conversations, or schools of thought.
These schools of thought now comprise the disciplines or studies or “majors” we encounter in academia today.
When you have exhausted the fundamental understanding of each of these disciplines, you are considered a “doctor of philosophy” or Phd. You can now expand the bounds of this school of thought, and add additional knowledge to the cannon of that specific discipline.
Unfortunately “modern” academia doesn’t teach people “how to think” or educate people on the process of philosophy like they once did, which was always considered the “queen of the sciences”.
Now they just force you to memorize what everyone else already thought, and you don’t challenge it. Just sit there. Read and memorize. Don’t question.
This is a problem.
This is a problem because we need thinkers, we need people who can think originally, who can generate new information and perspectives to problems all on their own, and not rely on others or outside knowledge to guide their way. This not only prevents the spread of false knowledge, it stimulates inquiry into new ways of thinking, and generates new questions about things and problems and dilemmas previously overlooked.
This is exactly why I believe our society needs more philosophy.