Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Value of Philosophy Essay Example for Free

Value of Philosophy EssayIn the prefatory lecture n whizzs to this class I stated that we would start with a working definition of philosophy as being the love of wisdom. I brook found, though, that just rough every rough other definition move has adult maley shortcomings. No one definition seems adequate to define what it means to engage in philosophy. Consequently, I think it is silk hat to think of the philosopher in the slightlywhat imprecise term of a lover of wisdom. mortal who is continu everyy in search of the legality. Though he/she might be ridiculed for pursuing the unobtainable, this search for truth/ receiptledge can yield enormous benefits.It provides the as wellls to critically evaluate the world around us and the learning we ar apt(p) about that world. This ability to critically evaluate ideas is especially important given the consumption that such knowledge affects and shapes our bl displacesas we saw in the sections on B. F. Skinner, Positiv e Freedoms, and the Philosophy of Science. Furthermore, the changes in our parliamentary law necessitate that we re-examine fundamental questions periodically. For example, advances in medical science have posed new honest questions.Ethical judgments concerning genetic engineering (engineering certain characteristics into or out of our genetic make-up) calls into question fundamental ideas concerning emancipation and individuality. Without some understanding of these subjects how can we frame answers to such questions? Even if we examine these questions, is our approach critical, au becausetic? Or do we choose to accept the answers given to us by society? Are we non then acting in a kind of Sartrean Bad Faith? How much of our humanity and submitdom ar we abdicating by not engaging in some kind of philosophical natural process?Though we assumption ourselves on being rational people, how rational ar our thoughts and actions even up if they are proven? Or, do we live up to S oren Kierkegaards remark in The Journals, There are many people who r separately their remnant about career like schoolboys they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked the sum out for themselves. Many of the great philosophers have attempted to justify and extol the virtues of the look at of philosophy.I have put together a series of quotes of what I think are some of the more important passages addressingphilosophys role in reading and our lives. As you read these quotes, cast whether or not philosophy practiced in this fashion and as it was studied throughout this course can actually lead one to be a lover of wisdom and help usif not answerat least understand some of the fundamental questions we have considered.Philosophys Role in Education Even the poor student studies and is taught wholly political scrimping, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our college. . . . Our inv entions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious social functions.They are but improved means to an unimproved devastation, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at . . .. While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has readyd palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings. Henry David Thoureau, Walden It is better to be a human being dis pleasant than a pig satisfied better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.John Stuart Mill, The Utilitarian Calculus of Pain and Pleasure You want to know my attitude towards liberal studies. Well, I have no respect for any chew over whatsoever if its end is the making of money. Such studies are to me unworthy ones. They involve the putting out of skills to hire, and are only of respect in so far as they whitethorn develop the consciousness without occupying it for long. Time should be worn-out(a) on them only so long as ones mental abilities are not up to traffic with higher things.They are our apprenticeship, not our real work. Why liberal studies are so called isobvious it is because they are the ones considered worthy of a free man. . . . Why then do we give our sons a liberal education? Not because it can make them morally good but because it prepares the mind for the acquisition of moral values. honourable as that grounding in grammar, as they called it in the old days, in which boys are given their simple-minded schooling, does not teach them the liberal arts but prepares the ground for knowledge of them in due course, so when it comes to character the liberal arts open the sorting to it rather than carry the personality all the way there . . ..Words need to be sown like seed. No matter how tiny a seed may be, when it lands in the right sort of ground it unfolds its strength and from being minute expands and grows to a massive size. Reason does the same to the outward eye its dimensions may be insignificant, but with activity it starts developing. Although the manner of speaking spoken are few, if the mind has taken them in as it should they gather strength and shoot upwards. Yes, precepts have the same features as seeds they are of compact dimensions and they produce impressive resultsgiven, as I say, the right sort of mind, to grasp at and assimilate them.The mind will then respond by being in its turn creative and will produce a yield exceeding what was put into it. Seneca, Letters from a Stoic Philosophy and the Uncertainty of our Answers to Fundamental Questions The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought for the most part in its very uncertainty. The man who has not tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common aesthesis, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason.To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious, common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find . . . that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though futile to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom.Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never traveled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect. Bertran d Russell, The Problems of Philosophy Philosophy, then, is not an empirical study not the critical examination of what exists or has existed or will existthis is dealt with by common-sense knowledge and belief, and the methods the inbred sciences.Nor is it a kind of formal deduction, as mathematics or logic is. Its subject-matter is to a large horizontal surface not items of make love, but the ways in which they are viewed, the permanent or semi-permanent categories in terms of which experience is conceived or classified. . . . These models categories often collide some are rendered inadequate by failing to account for too many aspects of experience, and are in their turn replaced by other models which emphasise what these last have omitted, but in their turn may obscure what the others have rendered clear.The designate of philosophy, often a difficult and ineffable one, is to extricate and bring to light the hidden categories and models in terms of which human beings think (th at is, their use of words, images an other symbols), to reveal what is obscure or contradictory in them, to discern the conflicts betwixt them that prevent the construction of mare adequate ways of organizing and describing and explaining experience (for all description as well as explanation involves some model in terms of which the describing and explaining is done) and then, at a still higher level, to examine the nature of this activity itself (epistemology, philosophical logic, linguistic analysis), and to bring to light the concealed models that operate in this second-order, philosophical, activity itself. . . .The perennial task of philosophers is to examine whatever seems insusceptible to the methods of he science or everyday observation, forexample, categories, concept, models, ways of thinking or acting, and particularly ways in which they clash with one another, with a view to constructing other, less internally contradictory and (though this can never be fully attaine d) less pervertible metaphors, images, symbols and systems of categories. it is certainly a reasonable hypothesis that one of the principle causes of confusion, misery and fear is, whatever may be its psychological or social roots, projection screen adherence to outworn notions, pathological suspicion of any form of critical self-examination, frantic efforts to prevent any pointedness of rational analysis of what we live by and for.Berlin, The Purpose of Philosophy Philosophys purpose is to crystalise the ways our soul has been infected by unsound beliefs, untrained tumultuous desires, and dubious life choices and preferences that are unworthy of us. Self-scrutiny applied with kindness is the main antidote.Besides rooting out the souls corruptions, the life of wisdom is also meant to stir us from our lassitude and move use in the direction of an energetic, at rest life. Epictetus, The Art of Living, 84 Philosophy and the Enlightened Character Who can doubt . . . that life is the gift of the eonian gods, but that living well is the gift of philosophy? . . .They the Gods have given no one the bear of a knowledge of philosophy, but everyone the means of acquiring it. For if they had made philosophy a blessing given to all and sundry, if we were born in a state of moral enlightenment, wisdom would have been deprived of the best thing about herthat she isnt one of the things which fortune either gives us or doesnt.As things are, there is about wisdom a nobility and magnificence in the fact that she doesnt just fall to a persons lot, that each man owes her to his own efforts, that one doesnt go to anyone other than oneself to find her. What would you have worth looking up to in philosophy if she were handed out free?Seneca, Letters from a Stoic Let no one put off studying philosophy when he is two-year-old, nor when old grow weary of its study. For no one is too young or too far past his prime to achieve the wellness of his soul. The man who alleges that he i s not yet ready for philosophy or that the time for it has passed him by, is like the man who says that he is either too young or too old for happiness.Therefore, we should study philosophy both in youth and in old age, so that we, though growing old, may be young in blessings through the pleasant memory of what has been and when young we may be old as well, because we restrain no fear over what lies ahead. We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus I tell you . . . let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and other is really the very best thing that a man can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living . . .. Plato, Socrates self-denial (Apology).In other occupations, the reward comes with difficulty after t heir completion, but in philosophy delight coincides with knowledge. For sport does not come after learning, but learning and enjoyment come together. Epicurus, Vatican Sayings Philosophy, likewise, tells all other occupationsIts not my intention to accept whatever time is left over from you you shall have, instead, what I reject. Give your whole mind to her. Sit at her side and pay her constant court, and an enormous gap will widen between yourself and other men. Youll end up far in advance of all mankind, and not far groundwork the gods themselves. Seneca, Letters From A Stoic 3

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