The Five Points Of Wisdom Philosophy Can Provide You

Philosophy is an important part of how the world is shaped. You might not think it's worth your time learning about, but here are five things philosophy is good for, and why they should matter to you.

When many people think of philosophy, they think of long-dead men pondering the meaning of life and the universe. It's true that philosophy is filled with larger than life contemplation, but YouTube channel The School of Life points out five ways the wisdom of philosophy matters in your life:

  1. We don't ask big questions: We may think about the big questions of life from time to time, but philosophers dedicate their lives to pursuing answers so that our lives in general can become safer, easier and more fulfilling.
  2. We often lack common sense: Philosophers try to find whether something is actually logical, as opposed to assuming something is right just because it's popular and long-established.
  3. We tend to be mentally confused: We get emotional at things and we don't always know why. Philosophers pursue self-knowledge and believe one of the first steps to a good life is knowing yourself well.
  4. We don't know what makes us happy: We overrate things that we think will make us happy and we underestimate how simple things can contribute to our mental well-being. Philosophers try to be precise about the activities and attitudes that actually can make our lives better.
  5. We sometimes lose perspective: So many things in our world are much bigger than we are. We spend our days concerned with what we have and what we want, but philosophy helps us gain perspective and see the big picture.

If you're looking for something to read, consider grabbing a book on philosophy. You'll expand your mind, and you'll be surprised at how well you can adapt big ideas to benefit your own life.

What is Philosophy for? [YouTube]


    I recall a short story probably written by Robert Heinlein about a "generation ship" a starship conveyinging passengers to a distant location which would take a few hundred years and so people were born and died en route. The theory is that such an expedition would descend into barbarism and carried one man who could live all that time (by wonder drugs) who is called a "predict".
    This man would be some sort of philosopher and would maintain focus and purpose.

    The article mixes philosphy and religion, so maybe it's philosophy as the layman sees it. If you read contemporary philosophy periodicals you'd possibly be struck at the obscurity and technical nature of articles. This is particularly so in contemporary metaphysics where you might read arguments about 'the nature of necessity', for example.
    What philosophy can help with is gaining perspective and thinking things through; and not just 'logically'. Logic is a helpful tool, but it is value-free. One has to bring one's own values...and that jumps us into another area of philosophy: ethics. This is not about 'right and wrong' but how we think about 'right and wrong', so, plenty of interest, but little practicality, because the basis of our thinking about right and wrong: our moral thinking, is fundamentally religious: that is, it is axiom based, and we choose our axiom-set on what we take to be independently real. Some people are religiously atheist, or pragmatist, or spritual/theist...but we are all religious in this general sense.
    In the business world, philosphical thinking about probability is possibly of some direct relevance, and then you can join arguments about frequentists verses Bayesians.

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