Why Study Philosophy?

What does philosophy actually do?

Physicists study matter, motion, and energy. Chemists study substances and their forms of combination, interaction and decomposition. Biologists study living things. And so forth. But what is it that philosophers study? One answer common throughout the ages is that as physicists study physics, philosophers study meta-physics. Philosophers, or at any rate the deepest of philosophers, we are told, are meta-physicists. Physicists study the contingencies of the world – things that happen to be so. Meta-physicists study the essential, necessary features of all possible worlds.

This reply is unconvincing for a number of reasons. For one thing, if it were the case, it would need a great deal of explaining to vindicate philosophy. For while physics has produced libraries of well established results (and chemistry and biology yet more libraries), we can look in vain for trustworthy books entitled Established Truths of Metaphysics or A Handbook of Philosophical Facts

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Day Light 27 April 2024


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David Matta 31 December 2019

Science obsesses about outcomes, philosophy about entry points.

Kyle Urm 19 February 2018

How come when I try study philosophy you 'regret to inform me' that im too dumb???????

Abraham Joseph 20 July 2017

"At a more specialised level, philosophy is a technique for examining the results of specific sciences for their conceptual coherence, and for examining the explanatory methods of the different sciences – natural, social and human. The sciences are no more immune to conceptual confusion than is any other branch of human thought. Scientists themselves are for the most part ill-equipped to deal with conceptual confusions"

Above is a very reasonable answer as to why Philosophy is important.

But it is better we ( philosophers) offer more specific answers, as to why our field is more central and fundamental than that of Science. Kindly also see my reply Tweet on this subject; Science left TRUTH search when she had settled for 'objective reality'.But we are still continuing it, as we think, TRUTH is beyond 'objectivity': I invite your attention to a peer reviewed paper I submitted to the International Society for Universal Dialogue, a prestigious Philosophers body based at Greece: http://argumentsagainstscientificpositivism.blogspot.in/2014/05/thescientific-explanation-of-reality.html

Yes; 'Science is now only a jihadist dogma, that the whole is physical'. She has committed herself to this UNIVERSAL PREMISE. We must realize the power of a Universal premise in Logic and reasoning.; Logic is simply a series of statements trying to be 'consistent' with the UNIVERSAL premise one keeps.I would like to share with you a brief blog-post on this particular limitation of Logic. It is not any magic-wand:http://thesparkleofhumanreason.blogspot.in/2016/07/why-our-understanding-of-logic-needs.html

Now, coming back to why Philosophy should enjoy her mother of all knowledge status. We have seen, that science has degenerated into a jihadist Dogma about the 'physical' nature of reality, though she has no conclusive explanation as to what is physical!

Will you share the following very detailed paper, as to why Science was depended on an yet unverified FACULTY of mind to ascertain the "CERTAINTY' of her conclusions? Please study the following link with all seriousness, and you will understand it:http://philosopherskorner.blogspot.in/

The above-provided link might help top philosophers, why the role of philosophy is NOT subsidiary to Science or any other field of science! The link is not a fantasy idea of an unknown person; it is a long thought, meditated and 'revealed', sensed ( with the newly introduced sense organ) fact about human inferences! Yes, man indeed has yet unrecognized internal sense-faculties that helps him to 'sense' order from disorder!!

If you are convinced, being a reputed man of philosophy, please let it brought to the attention of Academy fraternity in your country, so that, once for all, the tussle between Science and Philosophy will end!. Science, like its various divisions and fields, only one of the branch of seeking KNOWLEDGE. But philosophy will continue to be the QUEEN of knowledge ever.

Ian Wardell 24 April 2017

Why the heck are you comparing philosophy to Physics?? Why not compare it to any other subject instead?? The value of phislophy is illustrated when we consider the preposterous statements that the likes of hawking et al make.

Petar Pajević 31 May 2014

I must respectfully disagree.

It is not always that we find mere conceptual analysis to be the whole of 'good philosophy'. Certainly, conceptual analysis is important (ex: what in the world is a concept?), but often methodological approaches define what concept is at play.

Our concepts aren't always best suited to inquiry and understanding. When we have analysed and explained what the concepts at play are, we are left at an impasse: we find that our concepts of reality (for an arbitrary example) are not in accord. This here is the end of analysis. We are now able to 'agree to disagree', but we aren't able to establish which concept is the better one to use. Certainly we wish to say that reality is not a bundle of sensations, yet analysis will only reveal that we think it isn't and our interlocutor thinks it is. As we move into the realm of claiming that they are mistaken, we have already left the realm of analysis and move into argumentation.

Are we suggesting a slight change in what our interlocutor means by 'reality'?-No. We are claiming that their view of the world is mistaken,and should they take our suggestion their approach to roughly everything will have to shift. We might say that 'this way of acting accords more with that', and use that as a claim that our way is better. What is this if not a claim of inconsistency between some claims in their approach? We might accept a methodological approach they put forward for the sake of argument, and derive a contradiction. What is this other than a reductio of their methodology? And should they agree that their methodology is flawed, their concepts will shift, and hopefully shift closer to our own.

In this way, the discussion on the difference of concepts comes down to a choice of methodologies.

Weaknesses: Vagueness of concept.
Strength: Claims that methodological approaches determine concepts, that analysis of concepts does not choose between competing methodological definitions.

T MM 9 February 2014

As they become much older, perhaps a philosophy course, utilizing the platonic process, might be suitable. That is, by rhetorical questioning, working one's way into a subject, even when little is known of the subject.

Niaz Butt 30 January 2014

I agree with the writer about philosophe's contributions towards expanion of man's understanding about concepts and help in clearance of confusions in this regard.i think there is a difference between studying philosophy and developing a phlosophical and contemplative attitude towards issues which force themselves to our attention.I think besides having a grounding in philosophy and literature we also need exposure to other disciplines.

Michael Ahles 25 January 2014

The science of physics is the measure of nature, a nature found truly of philosophically to be immeasurable. Truth is. =