Why We All Need Philosophy | Mark Manson
"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."
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When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.
In reality, philosophy is likely more useful and important to the average person today than any other time in history.
"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."
Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:
When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.
Philosophy then teaches us the fundamental techniques to find meaning and purpose. At some point in our lives, we have to ask and answer the following questions for ourselves.
Not answering these questions will result in a mental or emotional crisis, such as depression, anxiety, and an inability to find a sense of purpose.
The 21st-century life interfered with our ability to answer these questions:
All this is a way to show that whatever you believe you know to be true - you don't. Human understanding is too limited. We should then be careful what we choose to accept as true.
Once you begin to question the significance of everything that happens in your life, you may realize that much of what you believe and value was not determined by you but by the people and culture around you.
In many cases, we grew up with good values, but everyone has its dysfunctions and obsessions. As adults, we need to reevaluate our values and beliefs and define what matters among a flood of useless information. Doing so will carry consequences for our own mental and emotional well-being. It will also determine the kind of footprint we leave in the world.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
Philosophy deals with concepts that are abstract and universal. Much effort goes into redefining definitions of ideas such as justice, equality, and freedom. These abstract ideas spread to ground-level activists and politicians who, over the years, materialize these ideas that reshape our lives.
Unless you are aware of them and notice the intellectual forces shaping and dictating how you view the world, you are helpless and will be influenced by them.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Nihilism is a thought process that argues that all aspects of life lack a specific meaningful essence.
Apart from life, Nihilism rejects meaning in beliefs, value structures, state power, or...
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Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.
Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:
Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.
Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.
Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.
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Recent books in non-fiction points to a growing trend: 19th-century philosophy, once a specialized and highly challenging field, is now the inspiration and guiding torch behind many recent publicat...
The main reason for the rising interest in philosophical concepts of the 19th Century could be today's crisis-ridden world. People see that the world is in flux. There are financial, geopolitical, and climate issues throughout the planet.
Up till the year 2000, there was a sense of optimism and progress, but it vanished at the turn of the millennium.
The thought system that is thriving currently is Stoicism.
Stoicism puts forth acceptance and acknowledgment that one cannot control much of what is going on in life. It states that we are part of nature, and in order to lead a good life, we have to make internal changes, like developing the right character and the right state of mind. The stuff you own and what happens to you in the external world doesn't matter.
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Although productivity might seem something that became important only recently, after the industrial revolution, it has been a topic of discussion ever since ancient eastern and western phi...
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
Don’t take on more tasks and responsibilities. You end up doing many things in a mediocre way. Instead, focus your time and energy on a few important things.
“Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato
Set 3-4 important tasks that will directly contribute to what you want to achieve in life.
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Recreational and exploratory travel has two main motivations; travel for 'change' for new experiences, leading to inner transformation, and travel to 'show', which revolves aroun...
Travelers and philosophers are pushing the limits of their knowledge, seeing how the world works. There is an undeniable link in exploring the oceans and even other planets, and in crafting radically new questions delving into the mind's uncharted territory.
The tools may be different, but the essential journey is the same, with travelers affecting philosophy and philosophers affecting travel.
The philosophy of the Scottish philosopher David Hume wasn't just about being disagreeable. He was skeptical and doubtful on authority, and on himself too.
He could highlight flaws on both si...
David Hume understood that the various beliefs and ideologies that sound reasonable and logical on the surface, are in fact irrational and emotionally driven deep down.
This way he could argue about or doubt practically any belief or thought process.
David Hume was completely at ease with contradictions. This way he could avoid getting into extremities.
He used to contradict himself by providing a counter-argument against his own statements. This way, no matter how contradictory it sounded, it provided an insight into life, which itself does not follow a linear, logical path.
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Death and disease are unavoidable aspects of life. However, in the West, we've developed a delusional denial of this. We pour billions into prolonging life, most employed in our final years, bu...
German philosopher Martin Heidegger concerned himself with the relationship between death-awareness and leading a fulfilling life. He argued that being aware of our own passing makes us desire to make our life worthwhile and give it meaning and value.
This awareness that we are going to die is important because it reminds us to live our life to the full every day and avoid experiencing unnecessary regret.
Most Eastern philosophical traditions appreciate the importance of death-awareness for a well-lived life. The Buddha saw desire as the cause of all suffering and counseled not to get too attached to worldly pleasures but to focus on loving others, developing a calm mind, and staying in the present.
An awareness of our mortality can move us to seek and create the meaning we crave.
It was founded in the early 3rd century BC and revolves around 3 basic ideas:
There is nothing wrong with achieving monetary success; however, you should never compromise your principles in its pursuit.
You are only as strong as the people around you.
You can control whom you interact with, so build a strong personal and professional coalition: hire people with positive energy and create a circle of friends from different backgrounds for engaging conversations.
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To travel around the world’s philosophies is an opportunity to challenge beliefs we take for granted. By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the...
Philosophy Professor Catherine Wilson talks about pleasure being fundamental in our ability to live a good life, and how a fine balance has to be maintained between current pleasure(indulgence) and future pleasure, which is life planning.
If we work ourselves endlessly, trying to hoard wealth, life will be over in a blink of an eye.
Apart from a more justified and gender-neutral definition of hedonism, the definition of luxury and pleasure itself is changing. What was once enjoyable seems like a waste of time now, while economic instability and low wages do not allow for a hedonistic lifestyle to be a reality for many of us.
Pleasure seeking needs to be viewed as a positive, life-giving pursuit in these times where everyone is striving hard to make ends meet.