7 Notes about Philosophy
Updated: May 22
Philosophy is a field that to this day remains within the more-esoteric sphere of study, due to both the difficulties of studying philosophy, and due to other fields, mostly scientific, that are becoming more dominant in the quest for knowledge, wisdom and truth. Because of being kicked within the relatively-far corner of intellectual roles and/or occupations, there are some things that might remain misunderstood about it. Hence why I made a list of a few things that should be considered when it comes to philosophy:
1. You don’t have to have a degree in philosophy to be a philosopher. Having a degree in philosophy is nice and impressive, but insufficient for one to be considered a philosopher. It’s not like in other areas of academic study that applies you the title of what you’re studying. Studying philosophy isn’t the same as philosophizing.
To be more specific, teaching about other philosophers and their history is not the same as coming up with new ideas, insights and concepts for you and others to consider. And indeed, one of the reasons why I quit university is because I realized I don't have much to do with a potential philosophy degree beyond lecturing about the work of others, making such a degree not only not exactly necessary, but also fairly impractical.
2. You don't have to be well-versed in the philosophy of famous philosophers in order to be a philosopher. Having knowledge about them and their philosophies can surely contribute to your knowledge and improve your reputation, but that contribution isn't necessary for the title of "philosopher" to be applied. Just look at very early philosophers, who technically had little-to-no other examples of previous philosophers to follow, and they were still philosophers nonetheless. For comparison, having a lot of knowledge about famous Nazis does not make yourself a Nazi (assuming people want to become ones).
3. By and large, being a philosopher isn't a job. A philosophy professor isn't necessarily a philosopher, and in order to be a philosopher you don't have to be professionalized in philosophy. The closest one can be a philosopher as a profession nowadays is to either lecture or publish writings that are about philosophy. In other words, a contemporary philosopher can be any kind of philosophy content creator, whether that content is monetized or not, through whatever media available to sufficiently transfer philosophical ideas (blogs, videos, and so forth). Thus, anyone who creates philosophical content on a regular basis can theoretically be regarded as a philosopher, especially when the content that is created is of their own rather than of other philosophers.
4. Philosophy doesn't have to be purely academic. It is just that the mainstream aspect of contemporary philosophy is confined within the walls of academies. Whenever a non-academic philosopher exists, they should be regarded as independent philosophers, AKA, philosophers that do not depend themselves on academic studies. Nietzsche for a large portion of his life was an independent philosopher, for example, and Socrates was originally a stonemason.
Speaking from experience, not everyone, including philosophers, are fit for the intensity of the academic life, whether or not they have the financial ability to afford it, which many do not. Back to the example of Socrates—what made him "corrupting Athens's Youth" was ultimately the fact that he brought philosophizing to the streets, to the common people of the State.
5. Philosophy isn't necessarily the "love of wisdom." Being a lover of wisdom doesn't make you a philosopher. It is just that the analytic meaning of philosophy is the "love of wisdom," but not the synthetic part of it. The synthetic and contemporary aspect of philosophy is that it is the attempt of finding possible truths through logical inquisition.
Since philosophers usually love inquiring through logic, then they are technically regarded as lovers of wisdom, since if we wouldn't love inquiring, we wouldn't be philosophers, at least in most occasions. Since the search for truth is often associated with passion, philosophy itself is associated with a certain love to its own craft, as those who dislike philosophizing, are not very likely to philosophize; it's like a philosopher would say that they hate their jobs.
6. It isn't that philosophy is reaching its demise in our modern times. It is just that it is getting less and less popular because it is largely believed that scientific experimentation is sufficient to replace the elementary purpose of philosophy. However, science cannot answer questions that are largely if not purely based on logical inquisition, because science is a form of finding truths through empirical means, not through logical or literal means. The latter is done by philosophy, and if science would have been able to find all truths and possible truths, including those with little necessary connection to pure empiricism, then indeed philosophy wouldn't be as necessary, nor read, by countless of people across the world.
7. While debating is often regarded a core work in philosophy, not all philosophers are fit to debate with, nor are willing to debate at all times, if at all. That is because not everyone has the mental energies to occupy oneself in a long-term debate. Debates can be frustrating, exhausting, and even hostile if your debater does not want to respect your assessments. Nonetheless, the fact that a philosopher will refuse to debate does not necessarily mean they are afraid of being debunked; it is just that not everyone has the energy, time, or will to do so, and, of course, should they refuse to debate with you, their decision should at least be tolerated, even if it eventually disappoints.
Furthermore, philosophers are still human beings; they are still prone to sensitivity, anxiety, and so forth; traits that will make debating them a bad idea, at least on their own behalf.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope I have contributed to your knowledge with this article. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it with others, so we will all bring forth the notion that philosophy, in the end, is not dead.thumb_upthumb_downupload