The More You Know
Coming in to philosophy class in September I had no idea what I thought philosophy was. All I knew that there was a whole lot of question and very few answers. After the first week of philosophy I was still really confused on what it was and these new, big words being thrown around didn’t really help. So back in September for our first presentation and blog post I had a very difficult time trying to answer the question “what is philosophy?”
Back when we first had to answer this question my answer was:
“Philosophy to me is the questioning of which we try discover and unfold the mysteries of the grey area, and to try and stop ourselves from cramming the world and all of it wondering into this hole that it refuses to fit into. To discover new ways of thinking and living outside of the ‘black and white’ and to venture into the possibilities of which thinking in the ‘grey’ has to offer.”
I still agree with my past self on what I thought philosophy was, but my thoughts have evolved from there. If you asked me now what I thought philosophy was I would say to you that it is discovery.
What I mean by discovery is that you could this big philosophical break through, or you could have these little moments of understanding. For example, during the ethics unit we discussed capital punishment; I have always known that I am against it, but I could never really explain why. Through having talked with the class and looking at capital punishment through different lenses (categorical imperative, utilitarianism, ect.) I became to understand the ‘Why’ behind my beliefs.
Another part about discovery is that it also the journey (cliché, I know). there was one discussion in class, unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what it was about, and most of us felt like our heads were going to explode from trying to answer a question and all the theories that we were passing around. At one point I remember someone asked Mr. Jackson if he could tell us what the answer was. He essentially told us that if what we are discussing makes your head hurt because the concept you are attempting to wrap your head around is mind boggling and challenging then you are on the right track. Giving you the answer would be the easy way and that would take away from the experience of discovery. Obviously that’s not exactly what Mr. Jackson said but that was what I took away from it.
What I am trying to say is that philosophy class not only has taught me what was in the curriculum but also a lot of how I would like to live my life. It has taught me that listening to others discoveries and being extremely open minded to ideas that you never could have imagined, can lead me to my own small or big Eureka’s. Also that the journey through life, just like the journey to discovery of the grey areas, will be challenging but that is okay because how it was meant to be. Philosophy has been an amazing class and I am so happy to have experienced, no matter how confusing and challenging it may have been.