Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Purpose of Philosophy

Yesterday in class we had an interesting discussion.  I finally got off my chest one question which has been nagging me for quite some time now. Not that I got any satisfactory answers but I now have some clarity for myself about what's been troubling me.

Reading Edmund Husserl, I came across the introductory part of his book The Crisis wherein he states that philosophers somewhere got muddled up with the process of philosophy and lost the very purpose of philosophy as envisaged by the ancient Greeks. So I was curious to know what according to him was the purpose of philosophy.  To my relief I found it the same as I always thought it to be: enhance the quality of life and living, through self-knowledge.  Of course, Husserl would put it as 'gain self-knowledge through the theoretical attitude, to find out what the best way to lead a life is'.

So at last it hit me that perhaps philosophers have so immersed themselves in this attainment of 'self-knowledge' that they've forgotten about living the best way.  Or atleast cross checking that knowledge with real living - rather than cross checking with another thought.  So much so, made philosophy totally bereft of life, literally and metaphorically!

I know I'm still to get my head around this issue, but one thing I'm sure of: If my study of philosophy does not make me a better person, then I might as well be grazing cows! During my meditation this morning, it struck me that going by the original purpose of philosophy, a philosopher is supposed to be the ideal or model of authentic living!

1 comment:

  1. I think, I fully agree with the reflection that you brought out here.It is true that the purpose of philosophy should make a person to live a better/meaningful/authentic life than living in as ideal world with big words and theories.Philosophy should be like a light that guides everyone in a right path. Don't we walk in a right path if the light leads us......

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