Philosophy 101

July 12, 2008 – 6:18 pm Print This Post
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What is Philosophy?
You can read one of the myriad definitions, including historically great Greek figures from a Google “Define:Philosophy” query. There’s more than a full page of links alone and even more at all the different web site they link to. You can read about ancient greek philosophy on Wikipedia/philosophy at this link. You could read this page at Wikipeida about Philosophers in general. You can ask a teacher, parent or friend.

Or you can think for yourself and explore philosophy through your own personal experiences just like like Aristotle, RenĂ© Descartes, Plato, Albert E.Einstein, William Shakespeare, and many others. Ok, that’s enough references. Let’s get to a basic description that all these philosophers and their philosophies have in common.

Put simply:
Philosophy is a study of the relationship between you and the world you live in.

If you’ve read or studied any of the works of any of these people, even a little bit, it becomes clear that all philosophies strive to understand the unique relationships we have with our environment. Even social philosophies.

But social philosophy is about people” you might insist.

Does that make it different than any other philosophy?

Aren’t other people part of your environment?

Don’t those around us qualify under the above definition, as well as atoms, neutrons, muons, leptons, nitric acid, spit, road dust, ocean beaches, fire on wood, gas in the sky, perfume, moonlight in the forest, smooth pink skin, freshly washed hair, homemade split pea with ham soup, McDonalds quarter pounders, vanilla ice cream with cherries and whipped cream, along with all the other things that make up our known environment?

Doesn’t that mean there are many things we don’t know about our environment, including what it’s like to stand on the soil of another planet, or recall having lived life after life & become able to use those experienced now, in this life? Or to understanding the underlying construct of our Universe without math? And with hard work over many lives, maybe even begin to understand what lies beyond this Universe, or where we all came from?

So:
When it comes to philosophy there is no substitute for experience
When it comes to living, there is no substitute for experience.
Most important of all, when it comes to me, there is no substitute for experience.

And finally, what things can help us humans discover this philosophy?

Because, if philosophy is a relationship, and you exist, and the environment exists, it’s follows that philosophy itself also exists, waiting for us to discover it in all it’s immense wonders, astounding glory and incomprehensible beauty.

Why do we need philosophy?

How do we go about discovering it?

What benefit can we derive from the study of philosophy with all it’s myriad and wonderful examples?

Questions I’ll try to begin to answer in the next article titled simply “Honesty“. A natural extension of that single line definition from above. In the next article you’ll learn about a tool we call honesty, and how to use it to discover your philosophy.
-Tom

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