Tuesday, September 13, 2016
What is a Philosopher? H02
In class an interesting question caught my attention. What defines a true philosopher? How do we weed out the devoted from the phonies? There are definitions for what a philosopher is, but does that mean it is applicable in real life? Definitions don’t always apply to life as we live it, but rather just look pretty on a paper.
I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong way, but there are definitely some people who believe otherwise.
Plato believed that a philosopher had to speak his findings, no matter the challenges. If he was chastised by the public, he was still to vocalize his beliefs. If he was threatened with death to stop his rantings, he was to die for his beliefs. Plato expected any true philosophers to put their lives on the line, just to be considered a philosopher.
In my personal opinion, you have to be very, VERY committed to something to be willing to die for it. The level of commitment required by Plato is tremendous, and yet at that time, was it really so strange? Life had a different meaning then than it does now, as did titles. Being called a philosopher now can just mean you have a college education majoring in philosophy. Having the title as a philosopher when Plato was alive meant your life was dedicated to your work and beliefs.
Now, keeping that in mind, I would say the definition of a philosopher has changed over time, as have many definitions.