Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, September 9, 2016


Weekly Essay by Gus Simpson (H2)

I don't quite understand the contention surrounding philosophy. Scientists disassociating themselves with it, society labeling it as "useless", even philosophers will belittle other philosophers based on their concentration or opinions.

I think, fundamentally, philosophy is the art of thought. Our ability to think is a wonder of the universe. Elements, atoms, compounds- matter in general is not sentient. The particles that make up us have no capacity to think, and yet we do. In my opinion, philosophy is a way to fill the holes between what we are and how we are. As Professor Oliver said yesterday, and I paraphrase, "to philosophize should not be restricted to philosophers".

We engage in philosophical thinking regularly. Granted, some people engage in wonder about the natural (and unnatural) world more than others, but everyone does it. Religion is a result of philosophy, science is a result of philosophy, all of our technology, all of our governments, every aspect of all of our lives is drawn from philosophy. We are curious. To scoff at philosophy is ignorant.

The common criticism from scientists is that philosophy isn't practical. The examples are unrealistic, the outcomes are pointless. But that's not exactly the point. Saying philosophy is useless because it doesn't solve anything is like saying going to the gym is useless because you don't intend on fighting anyone, or lifting heavy things. That's not exactly the reason you go to the gym. Going to the gym is key to keeping your body healthy. Likewise, engaging in philosophical thought is key to a healthy mind. Nothing in science ever became without someone saying, "What if?"

1 comment:

  1. (H01) I really like the way you combat the traditional way that people of logic view philosophy. I took this class in particular because I believe that philosophy is used by everyone in every day life and I would like to refine my own beliefs. The way you wrote this was very intriguing and displayed a true philosophical state of mind.