Why Study Philosophy?

Q: What is the difference between a mathematician and a philosopher?

A: The mathematician only needs paper, pencil, and a trash bin for his work - the philosopher can do without the trash bin...

A friend remarked once that philosophy is "good for nothing". Study of philosophy is interesting to a few people. VERY few people. Most of humanity live out their lives not bothering a bit about questions of truth, rules of argument, nature of existence, etc.

Most people live and die within the context of their society, culture and belief system.
They use words like "justice", "right", "wrong", "God", "truth", etc. but they use them the way they use any other words: for simple communication. They don't ask "what is truth?", or "what is justice?". They know it when they see it and that is enough. And if you were to ask them what it means to "know" something, they will look at you as if you were slightly wrong in the head. And you very likely are, if you make it a habit of asking questions like that.

Philosophy is a waste of time, she said. A pleasant distraction for those who can afford to sit around and ponder such things because they don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from.

Is there something to this?

Let's find out together....

(Meeting location to be announced)

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  • Gretchen

    Interesting topic, thoughtful comments. Hearing was sometimes problematic.

    July 28, 2013

  • Laura G.

    Wanted to, but my sister is visiting!

    July 28, 2013

  • Antoinette D.

    I probably won't be able to make it after all! The people I'm dog sitting for will be home later than expected. If they show up early, I will try to get down there, but otherwise, see you all next time.

    July 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am facing a 6th surgery on my spine. Wish I could have made it.

    July 27, 2013

  • Ryan S.

    Not everyone studies medicine but most people tend to make use of it from time to time. Similarly, most any evolved endeavor that humans make use of HAS an underlying philosophy. These might be roughly unified by a truth ethic. The idea that ones efforts are reliable to the degree that they are informed by knowledge.

    1 · July 24, 2013

  • viking1

    Sorry, have a bbq to attend Sunday afternoon.

    July 22, 2013

  • Mohammed

    That sounds such a fun topic to be discussed. Its gonna be my first time and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

    July 14, 2013

  • Beeswax

    Why, Yes, I'll attend this..it will be fun.

    July 7, 2013

  • Bernie D.

    RE: "Philosophy is a waste of time, she said. A pleasant distraction for those who can afford to sit around and ponder such things because they don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from."

    I agree with the 2nd sentence. But for the first sentence, it isn't a 'waste of time' but more of a 'luxury.' It is about life enrichment. It is for those in the upper levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

    June 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    INTERESTING QUESTION! I'll try to make it.

    June 30, 2013

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