Since it IS World Philosophy Day…

A thought:  If one is truly living in the present, does one ever die – is “death” even possible?

Now a question:  what is philosophy?

Sure everyone has an idea, the Webster dictionary definition can be easily looked up, but what really is philosophy?  And I do not need a lofty academic definition, I think one ought to be able to describe this thing in laymen’s terms – for I also think philosophy is available to everyone, for the lack of a better term.

I was writing personally earlier today attempting to answer this very question, as this will also be the topic of discussion at the the next Philosophy Club meeting at my college.  While writing, I may have concluded that philosophy is at once undefinable yet understood or known.  Philosophy is more than just an idea, an abstraction, but at the same time you cannot hold “philosophy” in your hand as you can, say, an apple for instance.  So then, what is philosophy?

I suppose I am not very good at answering my own question, but that is secondary to intellectually exploring what philosophy is and possibly what it is not.  For example, philosophy is not a science exclusively available or to be practiced by “professionals” or academics. I do not even like categorizing philosophy as a science.  I do like, to a degree anyway, that philosophy is simply the love of wisdom, however I find this definition to be lacking.

Furthermore, I feel as though philosophy can never be fully yet accurately described or defined – for I think to do so would be to put into words all that is – all that is life, all that is death and everything in between.  I am unsure if this will ever be possible.

However, philosophy definitely holds great value, here and now.  Philosophy is everywhere!  I cannot go through a day without finding philosophy in some of the strangest of places.  Just think of how many ethical judgments you make per day!  How many times must you decide should you or should not do a certain thing?  In other words, philosophy cannot be separated from life.  If you are familiar with the Platonic forms, then philosophy is removed from the experience itself, that is to say, whatever wisdom of meaning might be derived from experience.  You see, philosophy is essentially like derivatives – the description is NOT the described (Krishnamurti).  Philosophy must always be at least once or twice removed from the situation.  Language, in essence, is symbolic for what is, do you follow?

This means that philosophy, does have a limit – because truth or even Truth, if this exists, cannot be truly conveyed from one person to another, no matter how eloquent or accurate their description may seem to be.

But philosophy is also immensely rich!  Please, philosophy is the subject of all subjects to be studied, and so forth and so on.  Yes, I will be a philosophy major, but in my mind, there is nothing else comparable to studying philosophy.  However, I do not want to stray off the path of discussing philosophy for EVERYONE, which means, not just talking about it from a college student perspective.

To think is the most fundamental act of philosophy, or perhaps integral is a better suited word.  Thought is philosophy.  Or, without thought, there is no philosophy.  I hope I am making sense here.

This is by no means a complete version of an answer, but I needed to put out something philosophical today so please, I hope someone enjoys this!  And furthermore, adds their “two (philosophical) cents!”




5 thoughts on “Since it IS World Philosophy Day…”

  1. Since philsophy is a construct of our minds, I think you’re correct in attempting to define it. If I read your post correctly, I would offer my definition of philsophy as:
    Philosophy is the coloring that we do in between the living lines, Wisdom, that life draws.
    That fit at all?


    1. Thank you. I like sort of metaphor of a definition you offer, although I am not so sure how to interpret it exactly. It may be too abstract for my liking, but then again, so may be philosophy!

      I do like it, but I am not 110% satisfied with the definition – just my opinion.



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