What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a catch all word that gets conflated to mean many things. At the end of the day, a general philosophy is defined by the assumptions that support the beliefs that govern a person’s thoughts and behaviors.

Rigorous philosophy, at it’s core, is a practice…. which seeks to elucidate and challenge tacit assumptions, by asking questions and performing science and thought experiments through observation and methods, in order to reveal understanding about “truth” or “reality”, however impossible that task may be.

The essence of Philosophy is accepting the paradox that truth is impossible to know, while simultaneously seeking it.

If a “philosophy” leads to more answers than questions, then it is unauthentic and lost it’s utility as an instrument of understanding.

I think exposure to and an understanding of all “philosophies”, and evaluating the merits and shortcomings of all ideas, is the wisest approach. I don’t think we should reject anything we’re not familiar with. It’s important to understand bad ideas in order to understand good ideas, and understand them with equal effort.
I also think ideas cannot be deemed good or bad until they are intimately understood.

Just like people cannot be deemed good or bad until they’re intimately understood.

Just because the consensus or popular or unpopular opinion says one thing does not make it so.

And things are never as simple as “this is good, this is bad”.

Context is important.

Is capitalism good? Depends.

Is socialism good? Depends?

When are these at their best, and when are they at their worst? What can we learn from each?

There is a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet that I always recall: “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

It’s a very stoic attitude.

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