|Philosophy as Quest Part I||
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word philosophy comes from ancient Greek; philos
= love and sophos = wisdom.
Philosophy has roots in an ancient idea of “the love of wisdom.”
Of course, people have ever disagreed over what counts as wisdom. Due to
such disagreements, philosophy is often considered a large-scale debate
that has lasted for most of human history. It is not all differences, though;
for every human culture has some activity that is recognizable as philosophy
and shares some ideas with the philosophies of other cultures. Philosophy
has given rise to political systems, legal processes, literary genres, scientific
reasoning, and technical innovations.
Most important, philosophy is a personally relevant activity to every
conscious being. I want to outline some of the history and character of
Western philosophy, but my primary aim is to make clear the direct significance
of philosophy to you, dear reader. I maintain that every living and aware
human being has a stake in the philosophical enterprise. This is because
every human being has a belief-system that mediates the perceptions, values,
assumptions, and understandings that make up a unique individual. Many
people never think about their own belief-system, but take it for granted
as just given. People have the remarkable ability to reflect on themselves.
Because of this, we can explore, evaluate, and even change our own belief-systems
in a purposeful way. Through self-investigation we can increase our knowledge
of ourselves. Self-knowledge is a form of wisdom, so the roots of philosophy
as the love of wisdom comes to be the care for oneself.
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|2004 © Jon Dorbolo|