What Is Philosophy Essay

Submitted By Tianyu-Yu
Words: 958
Pages: 4

What is philosophy? Is it necessary to study it?
Thesis: It is of vital importance to study philosophy for every human being in the world, as it is the foundation of all the other disciplines.
Philosophy, like all other field, is unique. But the uniqueness of philosophy seems more impressive. As far as I’m concerned, philosophers never agree about what constitutes their proper field of study, whereas mathematicians, physicists, etc. generally do. It appears to me that philosophy contains a wide range of fields where philosophers can study everything they are curious about. In other words, to study philosophy is to basically leave nothing unquestioned. This might also explain why philosophers do not accept any authority but their own reason.
Philosophy is everywhere and can be acquired by people of any age. We started to think like a philosopher, whenever we couldn’t stop asking questions about things around us. I never took any philosophy class before, but I still felt it familiar when I first encountered the philosophical ideas in class. Why? Because that I’ve somewhat thought about these questions, which are usually at the center of philosophy, both on my own and also guided unintentionally by my parents. Questions that perhaps occurred to every of us as soon as we began to being aware of our own existence. Such as, who am I? Where do the human species come from? What is the explanation of human existence? What is the purpose of pursing better? Are all the creatures on earth equal? These are not only the central questions of philosophy, but also the ones we’ve asked since we were little kids. We are

grasping philosophy in our day­to­day life and in return, philosophy influences us with its profound principles. Human beings are non­separable from philosophy.
We should study philosophy. It enlightens us to acquire knowledge and get rid of our ignorance. “Philosophy tries to replace what is doubtful and uncertain with something more coherent and stable, using the tools of reasoning. The goal is to move beyond mere belief, towards systematic knowledge and understanding.”(Cottingham, Pg2) Just like how Socrates guided the slave boy to realize his own illiteracy, we need philosophy to lead us through confusion. Moreover, only we gain a great amount of knowledge, are we able to “back up our opinion by providing a justification” (Cottingham, Pg12).
Knowledge is risky, but ignorance is riskier. Although I strongly disagree on Socrates’ innatism which holds that “from its own inner resources, the mind, suitably guided, can reach a genuine understanding of the truth. We have within us ‘true thoughts which only need to be awakened into knowledge by putting questions’ (Cottingham, Pg3)”, I think it still makes a strong stand­point when it comes to questioning helps us acquire more knowledge. And it leads to another prove why we ought to study philosophy.
Philosophy makes us critical thinkers. Everything seems doubtful and questionable in a philosopher’s eyes. Philosophy teaches us to be curious about every sort of knowledge and never should stop asking. By asking for the ultimate solutions, we will be able to understand things at a higher level. By confronting the conventions and universal rules, we don’t easily trust in authority. By constant questioning, we might become philosophers ourselves. “Whereas he who has a taste for every sort of knowledge, and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied, may be justly termed a philosopher?”

(Cottingham, Pg13) and “Those who love the truth in each thing are to be called real philosophers.”(Cottingham, Pg18) Philosophy develops our ability of thinking up different views and opinions.