Currently, our cultural dialogue is broken. By consequence, our society is slowly breaking down into a divide. Some of this stems from a broken education system, a broken mindset, and a broken way of thinking. We have forgotten the importance of philosophy, the importance of learning how to think.
We have a large portion of people within our society fearful of being left alone with their own thoughts. They see academia, politicians, and corporatist in their own secs of society, excluding themselves from the rest of us. These are legitimate concerns, but addressing a fundamental change that needs to be made for the sake of a better society, a civil society: making philosophy more appealing to the masses.
This can be a criticism of most areas in academia, however, I want to focus on my concern with philosophy. The study that gives us a foundational building block to our ability to reason, understand knowledge, speculate, critically think, and much more. Understanding and doing philosophy is something that everyone should do. Be alone with your thoughts and look to understand our various perspectives on life––the meaning of life.
My fault with academia in philosophy is it has become this closed off sec of society, it doesn’t appeal to the masses. I do not put full blame on academia, as some responsibility is in the people to pursue this more fulfilling understanding of our lives and the lives of others. However, the experts within philosophy have a responsibility to make these topics appealing to the masses––connect with them.
In college, when people learn, it’s in an unrelatable way, they never develop a deeper interest in discovering why philosophical questions are important, or how they shape our understanding of life itself. Students are left with no mechanism to apply the array of philosophical concepts to their own lives. When they walk away from the classroom, they leave philosophers and their theories behind on an ivory tower––untouchable ideas from ancient men.
See, philosophy is something that can be applied to all areas of our lives and the perspectives we hold. This can shape how we value things, the career we choose, the political positions we take, and how we spend our time. This deep understanding of ourselves can only lead to a better discussion that can help improve the lackluster discussions throughout many debates in society.
Academia suffers from confirmation bias, not expanding beyond their groupthink, only discussing with those within their area of expertise. As a philosopher, you should make yourself open to the rest of society, as what is the point of your newfound understanding if you only provide it to the few? Should we not hope for more of a discussion from the many?
Some things society will just wrongfully find unimportant but many issues can be formulated to appeal to many in our society. Even beginning with the political and utilizing ethics to understand politics. Possibly even utilizing pop culture entertainment to introduce philosophical ideas and concepts. Instead of choosing fringe topics for discussion, choose topics pertaining to a broader viewer base should be more widely considered.
Even ideas that have already been established can be brought to the forefront with a new intuitive perspective that can be reshaped to broaden our societal knowledge base. Philosophy should be brought to every age group and a discussion should be had on how to fulfill this task. Philosophy is a foundational tool for understanding our world, if we don’t provide a foundation of thinking to fall back on, what are we really thinking about?