You can often find me making metaphorical references to almost everything, as well as scolding my friends when they don’t make sustainable choices, such as putting plastic bottles in the garbage (shame on all of you who commit such sin). So when I was posed with the question, “What is philosophy”, my default mode went into comparing it to how a plastic bottle gets recycled. Philosophy is rather subjective and endless topic, and the question, “What is philosophy” is as challenging, so I decided to compare it to one of my most adored topics.
One of the first stages of recycling is when one starts with a fresh bottle of fluid, and of course, it will eventually disappear. This is much like how in philosophy, you start with a bright new topic and absorb all the knowledge you might need. One of the most fundamental stages of developing a personal theory is to ensure that you can create a strong, deductive argument with valid premises that leads to a true conclusion. In order to do this, it is a priority to absorb in all the relevant information and to practice prior research, yet, like mentioned in Talk with me by Nigel Warburton, the purpose of philosophy is not to become a human ambulant data bank, philosophy is beyond just pure information.
If you are a compassionate human being with a place in heart for sustainability, you are aware that plastic bottles belong to the recycling when empty. Subsequent to, it getting sorted according to its type and being chopped up into little fragments. This can be compared directly to how in philosophy; thoughts may be sorted into different people having different “answers”. Often times, those “answers” tend to branch out into smaller fragments to support its root. A key aspect of developing your personal theories is through conversation. It is a gateway to challenges, questions, and a chance to further polish any flaws in your premises. Like stated in Talk with me,
“Without conversation and challenge, philosophy very quickly lapses into the dead dogma”;
without conversation, there is no bone to philosophy, or any topics of that matter.
A personal favourite stage is when the once-plastic-bottle is cleaned and compressed into tiny pellets… to become an even newer plastic thing! Much like this stage, philosophy tends to greatly affect future outcomes. If knowledge is information you can learn and intake, wisdom is what you do with your past experiences, and personal theories can greatly influence that (Miles Kingston once said, “knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad”). Having the ability to develop your internal conflicts into perfecting your beliefs is an attribute I highly respect. I’m a huge believer that change is by choice, and that means that one’s mindset tends to influence their life the most; more than any external causes.
The question, “What is philosophy “makes me think, and it always will. I can only wish that my response to this question by the end of the semester is more strongly developed than it is now. Although, the past week I definitely did conclude on the fact that philosophy is constantly being recycled; it’s endless. It’s beyond just knowledge, it’s about wisdom and human interactions. However, for now, all I can do is to think and to question myself; to perceive any opposition as challenge, and to be the creator of my life. As for now, I am still in the stage of drinking my delicious juice, aspiring to come across my plastic bottle again after it becomes a new one.