When I am asked what I do for living and I answer that I am a philosophy teacher: usually I get rolled back eyes or some couple of seconds shock. These reactions are also followed by this question: do you read people’s minds? Can you analyze a person?
A philosopher is not a medium, nor a psychotherapist. Even the latter can’t objectively analyze a person from a glimpse. Let’s rewind and define philosophy and why it is needed urgently.
Philosophy is simple yet so difficult. It is a rational discipline that starts with astonishment which leads to questioning. The reason why I mentioned astonishment is because one is never able to question anything as long as everything seems normal. Questioning is critical thinking, bringing us all the way to conceptualization and redefinitions.
After this tiny introduction, here are the benefits of reading (or studying) philosophy:
- Obviously, the first point would be critical thinking. Needless to say that the world today is chaotic due to bad managements and greed. Only rethinking the world, even as a solitary exercise, can broaden the horizon of thinking itself and open the mind to new possibilities.
- Deep thinking and focusing on essentials or what matters the most
- It makes us simultaneously more sensible and sensitive, capable of being affected by the abnormal.
- It sharpens the eye and the mind so they become a radar to abnormalities (which are completely normal to others).
- Philosophy is not only a theoretical discipline but it is practical also: for self-help, for ethics, for a better society and for a better human being.
Philosophy, like music, makes people smarter and braver. I haven’t read a philosopher who wasn’t brave enough to speak their minds and tell the truth, no matter where each one of them stood regarding the truth and other themes.
So are you to get a rolled back eyes reaction?