Posts tagged ‘why study philosophy’

September 3rd, 2011

Why Study Philosophy?

by Max Andrews

I’m a graduate assistant and I assist a professor in teaching, lecturing, and course management.  I gave two lectures last week on logic.  Granted, it’s not the most exciting lecture either (that’s because they haven’t heard me teach on the multiverse yet!).  A student came up to me after classed and asked for help.  I got excited because out of a class of 250 only a few have asked for one on one help.  This student wanted to know why all of this stuff was needed?  Essentially, what good is philosophy and why should anyone study it?  I meet with this student on Monday to help with this question.  Here’s a few reasons off the top of my head.

  1. The question itself if a philosophical inquiry, so…
  2. To know what truth is.
  3. To know what knowledge is.
  4. To know what science and math is and how other disciplines relate.
  5. To know the nature of reality.
  6. To know the flow and structure of thought.
  7. To know who you are and what it means to be a person.
  8. To know ethics, what it means to do right or wrong.
  9. To know the aesthetics.
  10. To know whether or not God exists.
These are just ten broad and general reasons why one ought to study philosophy.  I’m more inclined to give more specific answers, which are finely tuned to the situation.  I believe that in order for one to answer the question, “Why study philosophy?” one has to deal with it on a case by case basis.  “How does this relate to me?” There are certain existential and teleological questions that must be answered.  This question cannot be blanketed with a bullet point response.  I believe the best answer you can get will be from a period of time when you reflect on introspection and ask questions… Primarily the ultimate WHY? question… For the Christian, I’d encourage you to ask God the deepest and most important question you can think of.  You may not realize it, but then you’ll be philosophizing.