Straight answers from a know-it-all
Do you know what it is?
In truth, during childhood I had no idea what philosophy was. My mother knew, but never thought of it as being anything she needed to tell me about. As a 16 year old I read a book by an Englishman named Alan Watts. Mainly I remember only that it was a nice little book and a I liked it. I liked a lot of what I read. Little did I know back then, that it was written by one of the first major 20th century thinkers who attempted to understand the Buddhists from a English, Christian background that so many of us have.
If you already know what it is, you may not find this blog post particularly interesting, but if not: here we go.
This is a wide ranging subject area. Like most academic ‘knowledge areas’ it is more attractive to some and less so to others. Examples of questions a person has that may indicate an interest in philosophy:
What is Time? What does it all mean? Is that True?
Is there any such thing as objective truth? Is morality absolute or relative?
How do I know if God is real?
Is our perception of truth and reality dependent upon how the human mind works?
Is it all just neurons firing in the brain?!
Is it all just hormones?
Can I really come to know by thinking the right way?
Is the scientific method really that important?
Is it related to how the human brain works?
If you do ask questions of those kinds and are interested in getting actual answers, one of the things you can do is learn more about philosophy. One way to do that, is to buy the booklet Five Big Questions in Life and how to answer them.
There are lots of books and lots of philosophers. By the way, there are and have been women in philosophy for over 1000 years. It is true that as usual, the gender difference made a difference. Because of how it does 500 years ago the most successful women philosophers were married noble women who exchanged letters with one of the most prominent male philosophers of that generation. In fact, Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period is one example of that type. It is true that throughout history because of gender and social-political challenges, there have been times when women were able to contribute to the field more effectively than at other times. This is not intended to denigrate in any way the reality that most of the great tomes of wisdom out there were put together by men who depended upon women to do the bulk of the raising of their children, which helped make them able to do what they did. Even so, I just wanted to make sure that both men and women know that women have been involved in the field. In the 20th century, the philosopher/ess Ayn Rand was able to articulate an entire organized philosophy but ultimately one of her most trusted male adult student-admirers is the one who wrote it up in the book Objectivism
Here are some of my personally favorite philosophers: Gottfried Wilhelm Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Aquinas, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates & Plato, Aristotle. I have not ever agreed with any of them about everything.
As a woman, I am always glad when any of us achieves anything profound, and I also greatly admire Luce Irigaray, Ayn Rand as well as Simone de Beauvoir and in fact, some of those ladies from that book Women Philosophers of the early modern period.
Louise Andreas-Salome gets a special vote for “women who tried” because she was able to get through an idea or two: I believe she was a Christian believer and had an idea about “a victimless society”. Mainly, she was able to help women get access to being taught well and have prominent male philosophers as guest speakers.
Weird Stuff about Philosophy
- Philosophy brand cosmetics. They are a real company and I don’t understand what happened.
- The philosophy of a business or organization is often summed up into a concise paragraph; the vast majority of time is spent in implementing and/or attempting to implement some pithy philosophical wisdom or insight.
- Many people jump to conclusion that people good at philosophy are not going to earn money or are impractical people.
- While numerous people seem to believe that everyone interested in philosophy is an atheist, there is a whole other school of thought that describes philosophy as simply being theology’s maid servant.
- Biblical factoid: because I was fascinated by Athenian philosophy and am one of the horde of people who love Jesus, I wondered how to view them together…Then, eventually, I discovered that everyone can read in the book of Acts, what happened to the apostle Paul when he actually went to Athens, during that very time often covered in Ancient Philosophy: the Greeks in philosophy courses at colleges and universities.
I hope that those of you who didn’t already know what this subject area is about, have some clue thanks to this blog post. As with most things in life, some people are drawn to it and love it whereas others find it either empty or unpalatable. This blog post was written by someone who has studied a wide variety of subjects but for some reason loved philosophy.