Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Why Do People Want Knowledge? – Phils Day Off

Everyone wants to gain knowledge. But for what reason?

For my Phils Day Off, I asked my friends who work at a car shop, why do you want to learn things? Here are the responses:

“I want to learn things because when you have more knowledge and skills, it gets you a better paying job” – Patrick Choi

“I just hate when someone asks me something and I don’t know the answer.” – Ern Pau

“I like to gain knowledge of things other people don’t know so that I look like the smartest person in the room.” – Reggie Mah

All of these answers made sense, but what caught me was with the owner of the shop, Ben Leung.

“Why do you want to know why people want to gain knowledge?”

I didn’t even think about that. 

“You want to know things that make you curious, and that curiosity becomes a bother. Just like what Ern said. No one really like to not know things. Learning more about anything benefits you in every way possible. It helps you become a better person, if you know why or how things happen. It helps you become more skillful in your work. You become more wise and understand better about everything around you whether it is physically or mentally. People have their own reason of why they want to gain knowledge but everyone has the same reasons.”

It wasn’t after that I realized he was right. My question was a bother to me, therefore I wanted to gain more knowledge about it. After this I still want to learn more about at what point should someone stop trying to gain knowledge about one thing?

I don’t think that this was much different compared to my other Phils Day Off for Metaphysics. I followed the same procedure but I felt as if the responses I got this time, was something more valuable. I feel that the question itself carries a larger load of thought compared to “Whether or not it’s okay to kill another person, and reasoning behind it” As it was more personal.


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