Philosophy And Why You Need It

In The Allegory of The Cave, Plato and Socrates talk about of group of people in a cave, chained up, and facing a blank wall. The people see shadows of things behind them on the wall, but don’t actually see what they are. Plato and Socrates then said that learning about Philosophy is like unchaining yourself, turning around, and seeing things for what they truly are, instead of just shadows. 

I couldn’t agree more with that comparison. I do believe that everyone needs to introduce Philosophy into their lives. The world can look completely different once you allow Philosophy to open your eyes to everything that’s been happening around you. 

If you want to know more about philosophy and why you need it in your life, then keep reading. 

Philosophy Guides You To A Better, More Virtuous Life

“Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.” – Plato

In the world we live in, we are constantly bombarded with knowledge. Only in present times have people had the privilege of limitless information available in their pockets. However, this knowledge does not always translate into wisdom. If one cannot use these new learnings for the right purpose or in alignment with good virtues, then this knowledge may lead to the opposite effect of what it was intended to do. 

Philosophy tells us how to use knowledge properly. Only then does knowledge become wisdom. Without philosophy, it will be next to impossible to identify what really matters. In addition to this, when one’s values are out of order or are malicious, then all this knowledge could very well lead to the suffering of not only others, but also to oneself.

Socrates turned philosophy inward

Philosophy Answers The Big Questions

“To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates

Millions of people go through leaps and bounds to try to find their purpose in life. However, what many fail to realize is that no matter how hard you look, you will never find the answer if you are looking in the wrong place. 

One’s meaning or purpose in life cannot be found in the outside world, but rather through introspection. Philosophy serves as a guide to help understand oneself and only through this, can a person truly find what many other people spend their whole lives searching for, but never discover.

Philosophy Unlocks The Keys To Happiness

“The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.” – Alain de Botton

Isn’t it ironic that there are some people who have wealth, cars, comfort, and everything that an average person could want in life who are depressed, while there are also the poorest of the poor who seem to be perfectly happy?

Philosophy helps you understand that one cannot rely on exterior forces for one’s own happiness. A person’s happiness is about how he/she deals with and reacts to the things that happen, not about the things that happen themselves.

In that sense, philosophy is one of the essential components of living a happier life. If you want to learn what it means to truly be happy and find out how to achieve it, then learning Philosophy is a path you should definitely take.

For more on Alain de Botton, read The Consolation Of Philosophy Applies To Our Reality

Bertrand Russel in the post Philosophy and why you need it
Bertrand Russel

Philosophy Creates Limitless Possibilities

“Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” – Bertrand Russel

A lot of us may think that we are limited to what Science can prove, but this is the farthest from the truth. Philosophy is not limited to what we already know. Instead, it strives to unravel what we do not know yet. 

The wonderful world of philosophy is only limited by what one’s mind can comprehend. With this, a lot of philosophy students go on a unending quests to obtain more wisdom in order to widen their horizons. 

Philosophy is essential for a fruitful life because only through gaining more wisdom, can one truly grow. Philosophy can massively help you if you want to see the world in a different light, one where no limits are set, and one where no doors are closed.

Philosophy has always been part of the human condition

Philosophy Helps You Think More Rationally 

“How much more suffering is caused by the thought of death than by death itself.” – Will Durant 

There are many things that people fear, but philosophy can help you to understand the difference between justified fear and irrational fear. 

This quote by Will Durant is a perfect example for why philosophy is such an important thing to understand. More people suffer from their thoughts on a subject rather than the subject itself. This fear usually ends up affecting people’s lives in negative ways. Diving more into philosophy is a great way to review your own thoughts and beliefs. Before long, you will realize how much of your life has been held back by useless irrational thoughts.

For more on Will Durant, read our post The Story Of Philosophy Will Blow Your Mind.

Philosophy Simplifies Complication 

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucious

From what I’ve learned about Philosophy, almost everything is more simple than it may seem. Throughout my life, I’ve encountered several problems and obstacles that I thought were very complicated at the time. However, in hindsight, I can now see that a lot of things that came my way were only complicated because I made them so. 

Ever since I let Philosophy into my life, I was able to understand that a lot of the problems people encounter are not actually problems, but end up feeling like problems because of how people perceive it. 

If you feel like too much is going on in your life, or that your problems are becoming too complicated, then I beg you to try looking more into Philosophy.

Image of open book signifying how philosophy can help your life
Philosophy opens your mind to the wonder of the world

Final Thoughts 

At the end of the day, there are so many reasons to pursue Philosophy, but the one reason that I think stands out the most is this: it will make you happy.

What I’ve learned so far is that people aren’t really after fancy cars, riches, mansions, or anything like that. People buy these things because they think that these things will make them happier. 

I believe you that you can skip all of the material things and still be happy through understanding philosophy. If you’re already invested in the world of philosophy, then keep going, but if you have yet to enter, then I urge you to do so. The mind can see so much more than the eyes and on once you open your mind to the true nature of this world, you’ll start to see its true beauty and meaning.

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6 thoughts on “Philosophy And Why You Need It”

  1. Thank you Murray. Your article ‘Philosophy and Why You Need It’ really spoke to me and I was glad that I came across it. Philosophy has always been an interest of mine as it doesn’t just emphasize deep thinking and empirical thoughts but it supports knowledge in all forms as the name itself implies ‘love of wisdom’. 

  2. Thank you Walker for sharing this with the online world. In my opinion, Philosophy is great for our everyday life as It helps us solve our problems -mundane or abstract, and make better decisions by developing our critical thinking (very important in the age of disinformation). But to many, it’s boring, It’s hard to understand, As it turns out, philosophy does not have to be a big snooze-fest.

  3. A well written and inspiring article. Yes we all do need philosophy, and we must ensure that it is solid enough to work for us as well as for our families and the larger  society . Especially now in this global crisis we cannot ignore the need for sound guiding principles  in every area of our lives.  We  continue to learn that no man is an island and many persons now have been forced to slow down and view several issues from different perspectives, due to the many realities that present themselves. At the same time  we continue to embrace certain core values such as caring, sharing, honoring others showing respected kindness, hard work and integrity in all our dealings. We also strive for a  balanced lifestyle  socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually as we seek to cultivate and maintain those habits which engender success. Indeed we are never too old to learn and one of my philosophy in life is ‘learning to learn’.  Murray, hank you again for sharing some very valuable nuggets and truths  to enrich our lives.

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