...arguing about philosophy on a stranger's
blog. I don't know which is sillier--falling into this trap or thinking that what I wrote is actually something worth reposting. ;)
1) The "goal" of philosophy is not singular, is not agreed upon, nor is it "discovering the absolutely fundamental reason everything is a mirage."
2) Philosophy is as necessary as art.
"Purely optional" you say. An important part of culture, nonetheless. Whether you are a critic, an artist, a museum patron, or a person walking by a publicly-funded sculpture, art and philosophy have been ingrained in our lives long before Aristotle wrote his Poetics. It is a luxury, perhaps, and one that should be valued.
3) Philosophy is as necessary as mathematics.
"A method of rational thinking ... people are born with," you say. And yet, not all of us would come up with the Pythagorean theorem on our own. Maybe you've stumbled across your own cogito ergo sum, but I've yet to find any who has discovered Godel's incompleteness theorems unaided. Who cares? Anyone who uses a computer should care.
4) Philosophy is as necessary as history.
"Countless many have lived full and satisfying lives without being exposed [to it]," you say. One could lead a relatively peaceful and satisfying life without ever knowing about the Holocaust, Gandhi, or the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. I'd like to think the world would be a better place if more people also knew about John Rawls, Immanuel Kant, and Confucius.
5) Is it necessary? Yes.
Should it be a mandatory part of a liberal arts curriculum for all students that includes Latin and Shakespeare? Not for everyone, perhaps. But don't you dare take Shakespeare out of school libraries or take philosophy classes out of colleges. Not everyone grows up to be a physicist, but that doesn't render quantum mechanics any less useful. Philosophy contributes to fields as wide as international relations, business ethics, medicine (bioethics), design, computer science, law, et al. Philosophy isn't just getting a kick by debating theology late at night with some friends over beers, it's a crucial part of our lives, whether we know it or not.*This post has been post-dated to Tuesday because I'm anal and like to have one post per day. I'm also pretty sure that all this procrastinating is going to catch up with me.