According to the famous Greek philosopher Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. But what does he mean by this? He means that we should look and think through life deeper. Examination of life is more than just a use of common sense. Hard thinking is necessary even though it disturbs. With the use of Philosophy, we better understand things and answer the most important questions in existence. Philosophy, according to the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, begins with wonder at the marvels and mysteries of the world. In other words, we started to question things around us because of our curiosity and our need to attain knowledge about things.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom (etymologically from the Greek word philos, meaning “love”, and sophia, meaning “wisdom”). It means that we must have the initiative to pursue knowledge because we love to have it. Seeking the truth doesn’t always mean triumph, success or satisfaction. Sometimes, giving up our received tradition and disturbing our common sense requires our intellectual and emotional strength for us to be able to grasp new ideas that would later on benefit us and free us from wrong notions, beliefs and ideas.
We must not give up in philosophical inquiry and reserve ourselves for the pursuit of truth because truth will set us free from the darkness of ignorance. Philosophy is not always constant. We must learn to develop the sense of perceiving others’ viewpoints. Philosophy points out our every false perception in terms of what we believed in. But people react to philosophical inquiry in different ways — positively or negatively. In this way, Philosophy teaches us to argue.
One of Philosophy’s tasks is to clarify concepts. We should learn to dispute over the different concepts by looking at the frame of reference of the phrase, note its inherent ambiguity, and to unravel it making things clearer. In short, understanding is a major factor in order to clarify concepts. Philosophers’ major task is to construct an argument. After we wonder and clarify a concept, we should provide an argument for us to support and analyse that concept. It is for us to provide assumptions that no one would doubt.
Philosophical reasoning is like scientific reasoning. We create ideas and create hypotheses that are tested to help us aim our desire for truth. Unlike scientific experiments, philosophers create their ideas not inside a laboratory, but in their creative and critical minds. In their minds, imaginative thought experiments take place. Philosophers do not give and give ideas without thinking of it critically. They do not get ideas from somewhere.
They formulate them, analyse them, support them and distribute it to the society because they also deserve to know and think as well. Philosophical questions are infinite. The question continues to progress as one issue solved and another to arouse. Understanding of things is not quite easy. We need to gradually let ourselves think more and we must never stop.
Scientists, mathematicians, physicist and psychologists can be considered as philosophers in their own field. For they think and discover for them to have answers and reasons to their own inquiries. There are four major areas of Philosophy — Metaphysics, Epistemology, Axiology and Logic. Each of them raises their own question that develops our reasoning. Philosophy answers almost anything. Philosophy answers our questions about science, psychology, logic, mathematics, history, legality, language and even our questions about life.
Philosophical study is dialectic and requires intellectual conversation that requires two parties that will oppose or support each other’s argument. Philosophy is rational. It is normal to ask and ask and ask. Sometimes it is fine to become irrational in some ways. There are two kinds of reasoning — practical and theoretical reasons. Practical involves acting in order to realize a goal. Theoretical on the other hand, involves our beliefs, religion, and God. There are certain limits of Philosophy. It cannot answer superstitious beliefs and practices that involve religion and supernatural beings. Practical and theoretical reasoning clashes with each other at a certain scenario.
At some cases, they support each other. If we cannot answer our inquiries with practical reasoning, we seek for theoretical reasoning and vice versa. Obtaining truth is not easy, but with our thirst for it, nothing is impossible. Johann Goethe said, “The masses fear the intellectual, but it is stupidity that they should fear, if they only realized how dangerous it really is. ” He is absolutely right. I prefer to be a person with intellect rather than a person blinded by stupidity. “Philosophy is so wide that it becomes another world wherein intelligence dominates and wonder is a virtue”.