Philosophy is like Art by Ashlee
As vague as the concept of art is, I will be focusing on the smaller fragments that compose the entire idea of art that I think well relates to philosophy.
Philosophy goes way back in time to 470 BC, and has only continued to expand and develop since. Although I only said this as that’s when Socrates was born, and just like art, it’s incredibly complicated and nearly impossible to state when exactly art or philosophy started as there still isn’t the definition to these two topics. Art could be considered what the cavemen drew on stones 66 million years ago, and philosophy can also be how those people questioned their existence or purpose of life; there is no tangible or scientific evidence to oppose to that.
Both philosophy and art tends to rely much on its environment. Philosophy can be greatly influenced by external factors and the surroundings of one’s life and so can art. Western and Eastern art tends to be very different in style, focus, and meaning especially if you go back in time; it’s due to the difference in their cultures and surroundings. And now, let’s compare a man who grew up being brainwashed by his parents to think that the purpose of life was to achieve good grades to become a doctor, to a farmer who farmed for his entire lifetime to think that the purpose of life was to work for what you need. These two will obviously have vastly different philosophies and theories in not only life, but other debatable topics. Both art and philosophy heavily relies on internal inquiries, but it’s inevitable that external factors determine parts of it; it’s impossible to not be 100% influenced by your surroundings.
In art you are constantly influenced and inspired, it’s incredibly hard to connect with a large group of people, if the artist is sheltered and close minded. Inspiration represents the enlightenment we often get in philosophy. Like in Plato’s cave, how the prisoners were enlightened by the outside world and its assets, art has much to do with inspiration. Anything can be an inspiration, but it’s important to clearly distinguish inspiration between plagiarism. Like in philosophy, how you can expand on someone else’s idea, but just stealing it and re-phrasing it does no good to either parties.
In art, I tend to enjoy the process rather than the outcome, as I take pure joy in being fully indulged on my task. Sometimes, I don’t even know what my final result will be; I just start and see where my imagination will take me. Just like that, what we’re talking about aren’t just answers and finalized conclusions. I believe that philosophy heavily relies on the steps taken to construct your “answer” as it’s not about the answers but really more about the approach.
In order to produce top quality work, I will need a good canvas, some fine brushes, and good paint. Just like that, philosophy relies much on the “materials” in order to create “top quality work”. In order to make a deductive argument, it requires valid premises that lead to a conclusion. Also, in art, even when the materials are A+ quality, it doesn’t always mean that the work will also be A+; like how in philosophy, just because the premises are true, it doesn’t make it valid.
I believe that art and philosophy are both ways of externally expressing internal matters. Art is a device that can easily be used to express things like emotions, thoughts, and opinions. I think this well applies for philosophy as it can easily be used to express one’s personal values. Philosophy greatly represents one’s deepest and most esteemed values and theories. To add-on to that, there might be art styles that are “most preferred” or “popular”, just like in philosophy how some philosophical statements are “more appreciated”, although that doesn’t make it more superior than any other.
Finally, as much as the process of creating your art or philosophy is important, what also matters is what you decide to do with it afterwards. Maybe you decide to sell it, frame it, hang it up, or maybe create more paintings from the skills and tips you acquired from the previous piece. Just like that, philosophy can greatly influence your perception and how you decide to think afterwards. It can be the root of many more philosophical inquiries and theories.
I don’t think anyone stops being artistic; art is constantly surrounding us; like how there are always questions to everything and anything. I believe that as long as I continue to embrace art and beauty, I won’t stop questioning, and learning; to expand on to my investigation to what I think matters.