Philosophy: The One Essential Ingredient



What is Philosophy?

 Philosophy is the study of knowledge, truth, and reality. It is the pursuit of wisdom. Some people confuse philosophy with religion or spirituality; but there are some key differences. Philosophy does not focus on any one deity (although many philosophers do use the ideas of God in their work). Rather, philosophy seeks to understand what humans can know about the world around them. It attempts to answer fundamental questions like "Is there a God?", "How strong is evidence for God?", or "What makes something true?" A religious person may feel that this isn't very important; but if you're reading this post you're probably interested in both! While I think it's important to have a firm grasp on your faith as well as some philosophy, I would never say that all professors are bad because they aren't good at religion or vice versa. They are different subjects with different purposes and goals! So don't worry about mixing up the two concepts :)


Why Should You Care About Philosophy?


I've found that several college students have trouble knowing why they should care about philosophy. I completely understand why someone would think this way--many people just see it as an elective course that's not very useful for everyday life. However, I'd encourage you to reconsider! There are many reasons why every college student should be required to take at least one class in Philosophy:


First of all, how choice applies to marketing is a really important topic. I'm going to be a marketing major, so I can't help but think about it all the time! But even if you're not a marketing major, every college student will have to make many choices in their lives--from what they want to do for a career, to how they spend their free time. How we come up with our choices is incredibly important! In my own life, I've had several years of experience making bad decisions because of my own poor decision-making skills. My philosophy class has been able to teach me some good ways that I can make better choices in the future.


Second of all, Who hasn't wondered about this? There are so many questions out there! It's almost impossible not to wonder about these things at some point in your life: What is truth? Is love real or merely an illusion? Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Or does God exist? Being able to form opinions on these questions helps us as people---it helps us grow as individuals and it gives us insight into our own lives as well as those around us. Thirdly,. This may be one of those more selfish reasons; but if someone had told me sooner why they liked philosophy classes so much, then maybe I would have taken interest sooner too :) The study of philosophy doesn't just help you learn new things or answer questions; it also changes who you are and how you think about yourself and others around you. It can be used to change the world for the better. And lastly,. There are so many great philosophical thinkers out there! Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes...just to name a few. They have so much insight into their own fields of study; it's incredible how much they've been able to discover and learn about different topics! It's always interesting to read their theories and try to understand exactly what they were thinking.


What Should You Read?


So now that you're convinced (hopefully) that philosophy is important; I thought I'd share some of my favorite books with you! These are all books that I've really enjoyed reading in my classes this semester. The first one is "Culture Matters" by James Sire--it may not sound like an exciting book on surface-level (although it does hold some fascinating facts), but it actually holds many important insights on culture and society. It discusses how culture affects us as individuals and also why we should respect other cultures even if we don't agree with everything that goes on in them or understand them completely.


Philosophy is an essential ingredient in the pursuit of wisdom and in finding truth and knowledge. It's a subject that everyone should study, whether they like it or not. So if you're looking for something interesting to read, then check out one of these books! If you've taken a philosophy course before; great! I think that all colleges should require students to take at least one class in philosophy (much like writing courses). If you haven't taken a course yet; I definitely encourage it! As Plato once said: "The unexamined life is not worth living."