What is Philosophy?
Some students are scared away by the idea of Philosophy A-level. Philosophy is not often studied at GCSE, although some Schools now do P4C – philosophy for children. But it is becoming increasingly popular at A-level. Philosophy graduates are some of the most rounded and employable students. So what is philosophy?
Seeking rather than Finding
Philosophy is seeking, rather than finding. It is asking questions rather than attempting to answer them. If you have this skill inbuilt, you are a natural philosopher. I knew from the age of about 9 years old, when I couldn’t sleep at night due to staying awake and wondering where I would go when I died, that I was a little different. Maybe a little strange. But no, I was a philosopher!
Some classic philosophical questions include…
- Does God exist?
- Is there a separation of the body and soul?
- Why am I here?
- What is the purpose of life?
- Who created the universe?
It’s no surprise, therefore, that the origins of philosophy, way back in ancient Greece, combine both religious and scientific questions. I will be blogging more on the relationship between religion and science at a later date!
An enjoyable read that will introduce you to philosophy is ‘Sophie’s World‘ by Jostein Gaarder. It is a fiction about the history of philosophy and an easy and exciting read. In Sophie’s world, there is a fantastic analogy that likens the universe to a giant rabbit. The fleas on the rabbit are the people of the universe. There are the ones sitting comfortably, deep inside the rabbit’s fur, bumbling along with every-day life. Then there are those trying to climb to the tips of the fur to see what lies beyond. These fleas, of course, are the philosophers amongst us!
Are you a Philosopher?
So, I ask you this….are you a philosopher? Why? How would you answer the question “What is Philosophy?”