Should Everyone Study Philosophy? A guest post from Malcolm Arnold Academy

Another guest post. Nadia is a year 10 (age 14-15) pupil from Northampton, and has chosen to tackle the issue of whether everyone should study philosophy…

Should everyone study philosophy? – from Nadia A., Year 10, Malcolm Arnold Academy.

The word ‘philosophy’, from the Latin word philosphia means “Love of knowledge, pursuit of wisdom; systematic investigation”.

Many, however, think that philosophy is all about religion, and people’s beliefs regarding the existence of God and the existence of humans. Indeed, philosophy does pursuit the knowledge of how we came to be– however, philosophy is much more than just looking into ideas about our existence.

Philosophy is the key to revealing humanity. A love of knowledge, is not just something you are taught like you are in subjects such as maths, science or English. When we talk about philosophy, this love of knowledge is acquired as you learn how to look at the world critically and discover yourself what you think about it. In a philosophy class, a student is given freedom and the power to choose what to think about certain things, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why everyone should study philosophy.

To give oneself, the capability of evaluating, accessing, analysing, discovering and
acknowledging ideas about the universe, is to give oneself the freedom to think to the fullest, without any influence from others. As Descartes said, “I think therefore I am”, we shouldn’t underestimate the thinking that takes place in our minds. The world has made enormous progress; but could this really had happened if there weren’t great thinkers and philosophers that shaped our knowledge of the universe? If the Greek and Roman philosophers, have influenced us greatly, how do we know that by teaching everyone philosophy we will not find the next Plato who will shape our thinking? Our future, lays in our capability of thinking, of analysing situations, of searching for knowledge and wisdom. And if this desire to pursuit wisdom is not seeded in everyone, then how will we be able to progress in many different fields such as science, mathematics and politics?

Philosophy to me, is the power of thinking. A power that perhaps, doesn’t necessarily allow us to have a qualification in other fields such as engineering but a power that remembers us that we are all humans. That’s what I think is the core of philosophy: humanity.

At the external layers are: religion, ethics, morality, politics, aesthetics, logic and metaphysics; but all of these fields or branches relate to one to another, they all gravitate around the same central aspect which is humanity.

What truly, would a human have achieved in their lifetime, despite various successes, if they had never really stopped to think what is their purpose in life, or why are things being done in a certain way instead of another? A thinker, by definition, is a person with highly developed intellectual powers, especially one whose profession involves intellectual activity.

Therefore, philosophy is the study of what we see around us, of our emotions, of our history and our reality. A study that leads to a critical and analytical thinking, making oneself therefore a thinker who is given inevitably intellectual powers. So why not give everyone these powers? Especially, when all they can do is enhance humanity…

The number of people, that do not even know who Socrates is, or do not know anything about the cosmological argument is ridiculous – how can they possibly make an opinion of their own about the universe if they are not taught to pursuit wisdom and the knowledge of love?

Philosophy is like liberating a bird within someone, allowing his wings to spread, to take him to higher places.

Without any doubt, this bird has to be liberated in each one of us.


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