Right after I graduated from my Arts degree, after spending several years studying Philosophy and History and Literature and all those other things people will always tell you are useless, I wrote a post on my old blog. I still have that post and I read it sometimes, because the sentiments I expressed back then have not changed today.
Philosophy is the most important thing a person can study.
Philosophy should be taught to children in schools. In fact, sometimes I think kids grasp the concepts I struggled with for months in Descartes, Sartre or Nietzsche as easily as they grasp how to play mine craft. Kids are way more clued on than adults think they are, a big part of that is bad impulse control. But I know so many adults (myself included) with piss poor impulse control that I tend to give kids and what they say a lot of credit. (If I can talk about existence with my friend who is smash drunk on a Saturday night, then I can talk about it with my eight-year-old nephew.)
What has philosophy done for me? It’s taught me a hell of a lot about the world I live in. It’s taught me how to stop and consider things I don’t agree with. It’s taught me to better understand why I agree with the things I do.
It’s taught me how to spot all kinds of fallacies, from your classic straw man argument in a youtube documentary, to the pure bravado of political double speak.
But the most important thing it taught me was to always question. Because if you’re always willing to keep asking questions, then you’ll never stop learning.
In my post back in 2008, I wrote at its root, philosophy means love of wisdom. And it does.
The greatest thing that my undergraduate degree taught me was how to live by those words. You only stop growing as a person, when you think the world has nothing left to teach you. But it’s got more wisdom for you than you can even fit into your lifetime. Going out there and finding it is half the fun.
But you know, you don’t have to go to university to learn that.
Did you want some help getting into philosophy? Intimidated by all those old guys with massive beards? Don’t be! I’m here to help you get into philosophy right now!
Check out this amazing webcomic, which will have you laughing at highbrow philosophical humor in no time thanks to the handy explainer with every comic strip!
Want to ease yourself into learning just how much philosophy there is? Try reading Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. This book introduces you to every school of Western philosophy and some of its major figures, while simultaneously being a clever philosophical hypothesis! (Also, it’s a delightful book!)
Think you’re ready to try something serious? Check out the tutorials in the basic principles of logic available for free from Oxford.
Want to know what philosophy changed my way of thinking about the world and made me who I am today? Feel free to check out these bad boys then! But I highly recommend getting your feet wet with some less cumbersome material first c;