What is philosophy? At the beginning of the semester, this question hit me like a wrecking ball. It knocked me off my feet because earlier that week, I walked into class not having the first clue of what the class was even about. So, the question ‘what is philosophy’ left me pondering for a long time. But know that I have done the course, this question isn’t so difficult to answer anymore. All I really had to do was look back at what we have done for the past four months to see how much I have grown.
Previously, I used the metaphor that philosophy is like a tree. Where the tree trunk is our lives, the branches are all aspects of our lives, and the roots are philosophy- the base foundation of or lives. I still agree with this metaphor, but only to a certain extent. Because now, I find myself seeing us, humanity, as the roots and philosophy being the tree trunk. The way I see it now, humans create philosophy which then help us with all aspects of our lives.
Throughout the course, philosophy has taught me how to look at things from different perspectives and what to think about each of those perspectives. It is the process of questioning and analyzing those questions; then, attempting to find our way to a conclusion. Philosophy is an extremely subjective topic, but it’s the subjectiveness of it that has help me grow in my thinking. Being able to see an topic from different standpoints has helped me learn to try to relate and understand other people’s ideas. I think that how I have learned in philosophy has shaped been shaped through my environment and the people I am around as this is one of those classes where the learning experience depends largely on the students on the class. If there were to be a few extra people in the class or a few students who were missing, my learning experience and the class discussions would have been completely different.
A tip that I found to be very the one that Mr. Jackson suggested where we just take some time to think while we are walking or sitting on the bus instead of listening to music or doing something else. This is something that I will definitely be using in my everyday life along with many of the other things that philosophy has taught me. I still have much to learn, but I can now better understand how and why I get to certain conclusions about things.
Some things that I would’ve liked to improve on were participating in class and commenting on blog posts. Sometimes it was just too difficult to put my ideas into words so I just didn’t. With commenting on posts, now that I look back was not a very difficult thing to do and I should’ve taken out some time occasionally to comment on other people’s posts. One of the things that I am most proud of is my Epistemology/ Midterm post because even though I was really struggling with it at the beginning, it eventually got easier and I became really interested in my topic and the writing just started to flow.
Overall, I think what philosophy is is essentially the path of self discovery and reflection. It is not just asking questions, but also the process of finding the answers to those questions and being able to find out new things about myself along the way. Philosophy is a life skill that I will be able to apply to my everyday life and use moving forward, and I have all you guys to thank for it.