Often, I get asked:
What is Philosophy for?
Or I get asked a question that's along these lines. And after much thought, this is what I've come up with.
When looking at all other fields, such as religion, science, psychology, all of these fields help us to deal with ailments of some kind, whether that be sickness, anxiety, melancholy, or even death.
But philosophy doesn't do this.
Philosophy helps us to realize how to best live our lives.
And how philosophy does this isn't by telling us how to live, but by asking questions of us so that we may come to our own realizations as to how to best live our lives.
However, this is also where philosophy can become problematic for many. It is because philosophy asks questions of us that some may become deterred by philosophy, as they would prefer to be supplied with an answer to their problems.
Although, the issue with just being supplied with an answer to their problems is that this doesn't help them to realize what is the best way in which they can live. Doing this simply alleviates their ailments for a while, until they arrive at another problem that they become overwhelmed by.
Now, this doesn't mean that all other fields don't have their benefits. Throughout history, it is clear that all of these other fields have provided value for many people.
But what I believe this critique points out is how philosophy is unique. And that's it. This doesn't mean that philosophy is better than any other field. It is just different to every other field.
And if you find value in coming to your own realizations, then great. And if you don't, then there are plenty of other fields that you can find value in. And really, what this means for you is that you have a choice. It's up to you as to which way you decide to live.
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