It’s been one of the most hated topics of students entering university for years. It can be fun, entertaining, groundbreaking and gut checking, it’ the world of philosophy. It’s been said to be the world of dead white guys, dead wig heads, and even, perhaps the best of all, ‘you ask me a question, I’ll ask you a question.’ It’s hard; it’s almost impossible to understand on the best days, and there will never be a man to perfect it: when science ends philosophy begins.
It’s hard for many to realize why philosophy is still a needed subject with so many scientific fields of study out there today, but philosophy is a catch all, and in all cases it is the father of learning. Just as philosophy was the beginning of mathematics, logic, and all academic pursuits, so it now takes it’s place at the end; where, it will simply begin again.
Why We Love It
It’s an answer to a question, or at least a try when other things fail. So once mathematics has run it’s course and when we’ve gotten to something that biology doesn’t have enough gas left in the tank to step in, philosophy steps up. Philosophy is about rational thinking about the world around us and our interactions within it. Before there was quantum mechanics, there was metaphysics, and while it may seem irrelevant now, the wig boys got a lot of things right.
Why We Hate It
Philosophy is hard to get right. It takes us in the direction of common sense thinking, but sometimes we take for granted just how hard it is to think about things when, say, we don’t have a calculus, so a philosopher, in this case Leibniz and the scientist Newton gave us one. Then we can move along to the next big question, and, when the calculus leaves us scratching our heads, the men of rationality step back in.
But, philosophy is a process; it uses the works of Aristotle’s Logic, built on and refined for thousands of years, to let the work be done in a non biased scientific manner, and that’s what makes philosophy hated by many: it’s downright hard.
Why We Still Need It
Somethings science doesn’t do well with, because even mathematics can’t add right and wrong, and as much as we all may like to pretend that the world is purely logical, the people in it are not. Knowing what’s right, morality, and knowing how to live by it, ethics, are the biggest and most complicated of philosophical fields. Many important and difficult systems have been developed, from the philosophy of Aristotle to Kant and Hegel to Nietzsche, the ball keeps on rolling with no end in sight, meaning that ideas must always be updated and refreshed.
It Has an Impact
Those wondering if Philosophy is relevant or why it’s important merely need to look upon the bill of rights that adorn many countrys’ constitutions. Rights? Who gives rights, and why should we think we are entitled to rights from birth? Well, if you can ask that question, then you’re well on your way to becoming a student and eventually a practitioner of philosophy.
Why We Teach It
Philosophy is the history, practice and future of thinking. It’s taught to make us think about how the world works beyond simple understandings and to appreciate the overwhelming complexities of relationships within our universe. It tells us some things can’t be quantified, and that every now and then, the best answer comes from stepping away and learning to think about what we know and where we need to go.