Updated: Jan 28
One doesn’t simply learn how to think philosophy and philosophize, as philosophy can be divided into two main aspects: there is the aspect that regards general knowledge (the history of philosophy, the biography of philosophers and teaching of philosophical concepts), but the second aspect of philosophy is creation.
Just like the painter paints and the dancer dances, the philosopher creates and experiments with concepts, ideas, logical arguments and giving the things in existence is own unique point of view. Because there is no a specific way of painting and dancing, there is no specific way to philosophize regarding the artistic aspect of philosophy, which in return contributes to the studies of philosophy.
There are plenty of ways to philosophize and to think philosophically. However, in order for a philosophical action to be considered as one, there is a need for a few principles regarding thinking in such a deep level, just like the fact that a mass of colors cannot considered to be a painting, and just like random movements would not be considered as a dance:
Depth: Philosophy is all about depth and going deeper and more extensively into every possible subject one can consider. Some claim that today’s world is a very shallow world, and I can agree to that: we take so many things for granted, we do not bother asking the big and the important questions which define ourselves and our way of life. Depth is all about breaking the limits of the granted, in the name of revealing to yourself or to others the non-granted, and make yourself and other people have a think.
Logic: Philosophical thoughts and practice are composed out of logic claims, which are contained by arguments. In order to practice philosophy one needs to form an opinion or a conclusion, and that always needs come from a rational and consistent process of claims or convince-able assumptions, so the conclusion out of an argument you’re create shall be more stable in a way that it would be difficult to preform an opposite argument that may threaten your own argument's stability. Remember that if a philosopher is to be compared to a construction worker, then his logical claims are bricks and the argument is the house which is formed by the said bricks. The more convincing and rational a series of claims will be, the stronger the house shall become against possible disasters which is the criticism. However, as I learned myself in university, not all philosophers can agree to a single claim or argument. Thus there is no such thing of a perfect argument, and this is because everything is prone to skepticism and criticism.
Skepticism: I claim that philosophy is always formed out of a contradiction, i.e from some idea or status-quo which are the opposite to the philosopher’s argument. This is because both philosophy and skepticism have one thing in common, and that is to shake an accepted idea or belief by the norms. I believe that the role of the philosopher is to go against the common opinion by forming an opposite opinion in which the consciousness’s horizons can grow and evolve beyond the limits of the norm. This is why skepticism is necessary while philosophizing, even in the things which are the most granted of all. One can say philosophy is an evolutionary process where ideas and beliefs are formed on the ruins of the previous ideas and beliefs, and this what makes the human mind evolve internally - by placing doubt and by searching for a new solution. This happens with Socrates, who wanted to shake the confidence of the people and their knowledge by implying that one knows nothing no matter how we are assure of our expertise in a certain subject, and this happened with Nietzsche who claimed that god is dead and claimed the dysfunctionality of the Christian religion and authority.
Contemplation: The workshop of the philosopher is in his solitude, where he can construct and play with ideas and concepts. The tool which the philosopher uses in his craft is his own mind. Kant, for example, believed that every moral principle is able to be recognized and discovered by the human intelligence, and other philosopher (Butler, I think?) claimed that our intelligence is a gift from the religious entity. If you wish to philosophize, you’ll have to think a lot, and I say, a lot of your time, which also demands massive cognitive effort, especially if you were to attempt to solve a philosophical problem. Solitude is thus necessary for philosophy because in solitude, one can concentrate beyond the distractions of the daily and of the external life, in the quest to create and to devise something bigger that may, potentially, be of contribution to oneself and to the people who study the philosopher’s teachings. This is also why writing is important and necessary as a form of contemplation: you both think and record your thinking, that may survive dozens if not hundreds and thousands of years after you. Because philosophy is the deepest and yet the basic of all humanities, recording your thinking and developing it is a must to perhaps make some change in the world.
I remember I read this quote somewhere: If you want to change the world, grab a pen and write. That is the sacred duty of the philosopher: to make bridges for a better world and consciousness shaped by his intellectual craft. Have a good fortune for your important journey!