What Is Philosophy Essay

Submitted By Tianyu-Yu
Words: 943
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.