Monday, 12 January 2009

What is Philosophy

I was a philosopher before I even knew what the word means, or what philosophy is all about. I remember having so many questions about life but no answers. In that respect, I suppose we are all philosophers at some point in our life as I am sure you asked a few questions of your own – questions pertaining to life, death, our role in this existence etc.

As we grew older, we accept that there are some questions which have no answers, and there are questions that can be answered only partially. So we stop questioning, and we accept it as part and parcel of life. However, for some, the questions remained and the desire to seek the answers are stronger. I am one of them. 

Recently, in passing conversation with a friend, the topic of philosophy was brought up, and it was then that I found out that the spiritual, and mystical aspects of life which I thought are separate entities are actually part of philosophy. 

So, what is philosophy anyway?

According to Tom Morris, philosopher and author of ‘Philosophy for Dummies’, - “Philosophy is, at its best, a passionate commitment to pursuing and embracing the most fundamental truths and insightful perspectives about life.”
              Philosophers seek to understand life. They want to attain the deepest perspective they can about this world and about another world that may exist. They question and probe - in search of illumination, insight, and what some call ‘enlightenment.’ 
              We all want to understand the context within which we live and move and exist. In our look at the great philosophical questions, we will allow ourselves to ask basic and probing questions about what it is to be a human being in this world, what life is all about, and how we can live in the most satisfying ways. 
              We tackle head on some of those most fundamental issues that we too often dance around and never really address.”

So, let the contemplation of life begin! Let there be enlightenment! And here are a couple of questions/issues to start you on –

What is the meaning of life? What is happiness?

I have actually covered these 2 topics in my earlier posts when I thought those questions were more spiritual than philosophical. As I understand it now, spiritual is but a part of philosophy. Anyway, if you want to refer to the articles, or to read them again, look under Life, Happiness on the labels on the right hand side of the page.

Philosophy is the love of wisdom and the endeavour to attain it. - Seneca 

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