When asked to create a metaphor for philosophy, I immediately thought of philosophy as a garden. I know it’s super cheesy but bare with me. It works.
*Please note that each of these points relates to a slide on a Keynote that I don’t really need to post because it’s really just pretty pictures and lettering but I don’t have the ability to anyway, but I digress*
Soil: The soil is the starting point to a garden. In this instance I was the soil at the beginning of this course. I knew absolutely nothing about Philosophy or what this course would entail. If we relate this to Plato’s Cave, then the people stuck in the cave would be the soil. They are unenlightened. Everyone starts out as soil because everyone has some level of ignorance. But soil holds crucial nutrients that enable the garden to thrive so others may say that soil is a base of knowledge just waiting to be given the chance to be used and shown off.
Planting the Seeds: Planting the seeds is that initial spark or piece of knowledge that really starts your journey into discovering your philosophical identity and learning to have a love for wisdom. If that seed isn’t planted, you don’t get a plant, so some may say that if you never get that spark, you’ll never truly know where you stand philosophically and you’ll never be enlightened.
Roots: Once the seed begins to grow, roots spread out to soak up the nutrients in the soil. Roots relate to philosophy because if you have wisdom, you need to be able to obtain knowledge from numerous different places in numerous different areas. Roots also offer stability, so the more knowledge you gain, the more confidence you have in your beliefs.
Rain: Rain acts as dissent. Rain can be both beneficial and damaging depending on the species of plant as can dissent depending, depending on the people giving and receiving it. With some species, rain helps a plant thrive but with others, it damages it and tears it down. Sometimes, a differing opinion will help you understand things clearer and make you more confident. Other times, it can be toxic and make you doubt your own opinions and lose confidence in your beliefs.
Bees: Bees are extremely important. They pollinate which makes flowers blossom and stay alive. When you share your ideas and beliefs, whether it be on social media, a piece of writing, or just having a conversation, you are being a bee and pollinating. You are keeping your opinions alive by sharing them with the world.
Flowers vs. Fruit and Vegetables: Flowers, and fruits and vegetables represent two different kinds of ideas. Fruits and vegetables are ideas that have a clear application and can easily be used, just like how fruits and vegetables are meant to be eaten. Flowers on the other hand are very pretty, but they don’t really have a clear application or purpose other than smelling nice and sitting in a vase. Some may say that flower ideas are useless. But sometimes, flowers turn into fruit with time and effort, so ideas that may initially seem useless may eventually have an application.
Community Gardens: There is a large variety of plants in a community garden. Some species are put together, some purposefully split apart. It relates to philosophical discussion in the way that there are a lot of differing opinions and ideas that are all intermingled in a safe and free environment. It is this richness in variety that creates something beautiful.
And that’s my metaphor! Hopefully the cheese wasn’t too much