What is philosophy? There are many definitions that come to mind, but there’s really no set definition beyond the study of wisdom and truth. However, that’s only one part of the story because there are plenty of misconceptions that prevent some people from studying philosophy or even discussing it with others in public. If you are one of those people who thinks philosophy isn’t relevant to your life or that it doesn’t make sense to even discuss it, here are four reasons why people are so obsessed with philosophy.
1.Because philosophy makes you happy
Socrates said, The unexamined life is not worth living. It’s true. A person who takes a minute to think about how they feel, how they live their life, and what they can do to change those things will find themselves suddenly having more energy, more time, and more happiness. That kind of clarity comes from philosophy and it is what keeps people coming back for more.
2.Because it makes sense of our lives
One of philosophy’s biggest assets is its ability to explain our world, from why we’re here to how we ought to behave. Unfortunately, life can be complicated, which is where a good dose of philosophy comes in handy. It helps us make sense of things, without asking us to bow down and blindly follow some doctrine or authority. It empowers us as individuals—whether we realize it or not—by giving us tools for self-evaluation that can serve as personal mantras over time. Because it helps you analyze everything: Can you think rationally? Are you good at reasoning out solutions? Philosophy teaches these skills and provides a forum for honing them via logic puzzles, hypotheticals and famous quotes.
3.Because everyone can learn something from it
Everyone can learn something from philosophy, even if you don’t always agree. Whether it’s in regard to your personal life or your professional career, philosophical wisdom has a place everywhere. As John Locke said: Whoever is pleased to see how much he can make of himself by means of his own reason, will find philosophy useful.
4.Because we all have an inner philosopher
Seriously, though, we all have a philosopher inside of us—even those of us who say that they aren’t interested in philosophy. If you’ve ever played devil’s advocate or questioned why something is true or what purpose it serves, then you’ve engaged in some philosophical thought. And if you’ve ever examined any kind of belief system and thought about what it means for your life, then you’re a philosopher. Some argue that philosophy is an innate human function and since everyone does it to one degree or another, philosophers often do better when there are more people around to talk to about philosophical ideas!