What is Philosophy?

What is Philosophy?

After our class on the Philosophy of the human person, I believe philosophy is a kind of thinking that doesn’t concern with worldly affairs. Instead, it tries to reflect on the essential things in life. Moreover, it is a critical and aware thinking that goes beyond the surface and dwells deeper. It is like learning how to swim wherein you raise your head up in order to dive again. At the same time, a philosopher just takes time to reflect in order to act again and reflect again.  Thus, to philosophize, or doing philosophy, then is to take time even when there is no time.

A philosopher does not have time to dwell on social rankings, privileges, norms and customs. Simon Critchley mentions the digression of the lawyer and the philosopher that unlike the pettifogger or the lawyer, who is always in a hurry and believes time is of the essence, the philosopher has something god-like or monstrous. Thus, I do agree with Critchley because to those unacquainted with the philosopher, one can judge him or her as weird and stupid or simply a work of wonder.

Philosophy can be associated with insight, a kind of seeing with the mind as Fr. Ferrioles says. This seeing with the mind helps us in seeing the meaning of life itself. Like art, one can see the different aspects and hidden messages revealed in the strokes and images the painting brings to the viewer. Insight provides us with a deeper understanding that brings us to the heart of reality which is superabundantly rich. And so, with the richness of these insights, we can grasp the richness of reality itself.

Philosophy calls as to be aware, pay attention, and reflect. And so, I believe philosophy is more than thinking. It is thinking that calls us to act and reflect again. Moreover, philosophy taught me to pay attention to matters outside my own life. To go beyond the bubble that I call my comfort zone that revolves around my experiences, my worries, my troubles, and my triumphs. But to go out and truly live experiences. There is this connection of reflection and lived experiences because lived experiences can nourish reflection. Philosophy helps to create order in the disorder of our situations especially since we live in a prospective society. Moreover, in our lived experiences, there is the importance of our relation to the other. I believe that philosophy is not a selfish and egoistic study. But, philosophy is a relational and caring study that also focuses on our interactions with the other. After learning about several ideas and concepts from various philosophers, I believe that philosophy calls us to push our personal worries aside and be with and for the other. In being human, we have a responsibility for the other because we are not isolated I’s but social and ethical I’s. Therefore, we are call to be of service for the other and be compassionate to their calls and needs. And so, after the course on the philosophy of the human person, I am more than thankful to have learned and understood the real essence of philosophy. Philosophy brought me life that popped the bubble that revolved around me, myself, and I.


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