And how philosophy is a foundational tool for improving everything
People in our society who think outside the box, look at the pursuit of knowledge with wonder, and carefully reason through the world are seen as unique and gifted thinkers. But how do we make this a norm? How do we insert thinking for ourselves back into the foundation of our world? Enter philosophy.
At its core, philosophy is the study of everything, from the nature of knowledge, truth, existence, meaning, and purpose. It’s the pursuit of wonder, the embrace of thinking, and respect for inner reflection. And our world needs this embrace of thinking and wonder to help fix our broken cultural dialogue, our broken education system, and our broken mindset.
But today, let’s examine what philosophy could do if we insert this pursuit of wonder and thinking back into our education system. The system that ultimately builds the foundation of a society. A system that shapes the mindset our world.
Changing Our World with Philosophy
A recent study was done by Durham University that found that learning philosophy at an early age can improve the children’s social and communication skills, teamwork, resilience, and ability to empathize with others.
As someone who avidly enjoys studying philosophy, this had me persuaded. This indicates that philosophy holds the tools for building our society. But what else could philosophy provide?
Throughout life — including our education from childhood through University — we will need to use reason-based thinking to help consider the best decision for the best outcome. Along with reason, we need accumulated knowledge, the pursuit of wonder, and creative thinking to find those outcomes.
And all of this is wired into your mindset through pursuing philosophical thinking. Providing our youth with an earlier introduction to the process of critical thinking and logical reasoning will help improve this decision-making process. They will then understand the why behind their need for continuing to expand their knowledge of the world.
When I say we need to change our education system to build on the tools philosophy provides, it isn’t just going to affect how we see our education from childhood into University — it will wire us to continue that pursuit into adulthood. Imagine the power that could have on our dialogue, discourse, and contemplation for building a better world. Citizens that never stop contemplating, wondering, and imagining.
Think about it; we teach math, science, reading, and writing as part of our education curriculum. Why not teach a subject that helps you reason through all of those subject areas? The very subject that helps you understand the importance of those various other subjects.
Philosophy should be a fundamental starting point for the learning process in our education system. By doing so, we will make thoughtful thinking a building block for our world.
The problem is, I think many see the value of philosophy, but few see the point in making it part of our foundation. We fail to see the connection that philosophy plays in all areas of our life, from the sciences, to business, to our spirituality, and to our understanding of meaning. Philosophy builds all of those things from a foundation of contemplation.
The Forgotten Subject
The Greeks and Eastern traditions made philosophy and deep contemplative thinking an essential part of society. One that they wanted you to strive for: the pursuit of understanding. They didn’t stop contemplating after University was done and society told them to live the rest of their lives. No, many understood the pursuit must continue, admitting our limitations of our knowledge, and admitting we need to remain open to new perspectives.
Although, philosophers are not always known for being the most open to new thoughts and perspectives. The point is: we give ourselves the best opportunity to be open to new ideas by using the mindset philosophy builds.
Being understanding and doing philosophy is something that everyone should do. Be alone with your thoughts and look to understand our various perspectives on life — your meaning of life. We all have a unique lens to see the world, and it’s our duty to put that unique perspective to use.
See, once we create a philosophical foundation for our society, we begin to see that philosophy has something that can be applied to all areas of our lives and perspectives we hold. This can shape how we value things, make us understand why we value those things, help us choose our career path, understanding our political positions, and consider how we spend our time. It forces us into an inner reflection of a deep understanding of ourselves.
And when we have a deeper understanding of ourselves, it can only help improve the many lackluster discussions throughout many debates being had in our society.
Once we accept philosophy, embrace the pursuit of wonder, and pursue our inner reflection with the tools of philosophy, our new societal mindset will compound into more powerful conversations.
We can even bring ideas that have already been established to the forefront with various new thoughtful perspectives that can help shape our societal knowledge base.
We should bring philosophy to every age group and we should have a discussion 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?