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Singapore Philosophy Group Message Board › What is Philosophy? What does it mean to an individual?

What is Philosophy? What does it mean to an individual?

Hope of Savior '.
user 14263728
Singapore, SG
Post #: 13
I have been wondering since quite some time that what do people mean when they say "I love Philosophy, or I'm a Philosopher". What is exactly meant by Philosophy (besides the literal meaning)? To what extent do we use Philosophy in our lives or it is just a leisure activity to utilize our time?
Is Philosophy just about asking the questions?
Is Philosophy about asking the questions and trying to find the answers?
Is Philosophy about asking questions, finding answers and then making use of those answers?

Gabriel
gssq
Singapore, SG
Post #: 771
A philosophy grad student friend of mine commented that "philosophy" always draws the cranks
Seow-Boon
Seow-Boon
Singapore, SG
Post #: 12
Everybody has philosophies : how they view their world, their sense of right and wrong, what they think is good government, what they feel about relationships ...

Most of us, me included, aren't aware of our philosophies and just use them anyway. I'm trying to change that ; aren't you?
Hope of Savior '.
user 14263728
Singapore, SG
Post #: 14
Hi Seow,
Yes you are right that everyone has their personal views about everything. But most of the times those are probably not ours and are passed to us by different means. Many times we do not even bother to think further than our views.
What made me more curious was your other statement that you are trying to change your philosophies. What kind of change you are trying to accomplish?

Cheers,
hope
Hope of Savior '.
user 14263728
Singapore, SG
Post #: 15
A philosophy grad student friend of mine commented that "philosophy" always draws the cranks
Probably your friend does not understand the real wisdom behind philosophy then... As I see it, the world has been shaped by the Philosophers and the process is still going on.
Hope of Savior '.
user 14263728
Singapore, SG
Post #: 16
What does Philosophy mean to me as an individual? Things as I see them...

Most of the times if you ask people, what is Philosophy? The first image that comes to their mind is a lonely person sitting in a corner or maybe a group of people thinking and discussing hypothetical ideas which are uncommon or unrelated to the general population. The general perception of people is that Philosophy is for the craziest of minds having a lot of time to waste on unnecessary things in life.
Is Philosophy really something hypothetical which is not really related to common population or is it misunderstood by the common population?
Well the way I see philosophy is that it is the starting point of everything (knowledge, science or religion) which is related to any intelligent species anywhere in the universe.
Everything that we humans have ever thought of or have already achieved or are planning to achieve started with Philosophy. Philosophy is at the root of everything that we are or we will be in time.

Now if we want to discuss about Philosophy, first we need to understand its literal meaning and then we can move towards trying to understand its real occult meaning.

In literal terms Philosophy means ‘Love of Wisdom’.
The below line is taken from Wikipedia: The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom".

So what is Wisdom?
According to Wikipedia: A basic definition of wisdom is to make the best use of knowledge.

Now what is Knowledge? And again according to Wikipedia: Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education.

So after looking into the meanings of Wisdom and Knowledge I think we can summarize: Philosophy is the love/passion to make the best use of knowledge. So how can Philosophy be separated from normal life and common people when all it is about is to make use of knowledge in the best possible way. Is that not something we do or want to do in our daily lives? We always try to make the best use of information/knowledge that is at our disposal, and that is Philosophy at work.

Let’s think of it with respect to an example:
We all observe in our daily lives that some of the people are exceptionally good in few things and some are mediocre, now have we wondered why this happens. Yes we all wonder because deep down in our hearts we all want to be exceptionally good in everything we do. We all want to be the masters. So why this does not always happen the way we want it to? The reason being that most of the people have the knowledge of doing things that they want to do and on the other hand people who are exceptionally good in something have the wisdom of doing those things and that wisdom makes them exceptionally good. It’s like Roger Federer has the wisdom of playing tennis and on the other hand I only have little knowlegde of playing tennis. And that is the whole difference and this is where Philosophy becomes part of our lives.

So how can we say that Philosophy is not for us? I think it is the most important area of study which everyone should pursue.

I may be crude in explaining things, so please let me know if I have made any mistakes.

Comments are welcome...
Alex T.
user 49112852
Singapore, SG
Post #: 1
Wisdom is discernment.

Knowledge is information.

I don't understand what you mean by "The reason being that most of the people have the knowledge of doing things that they want to do and on the other hand people who are exceptionally good in something have the wisdom of doing those things and that wisdom makes them exceptionally good."

Doesn't seem to make any sense. I am just pointing out the logical fallacy of that statement here. Hope that helps!
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