The Five Top Reason to Study Philosophy
by Jean Rioux
Philosophy is inevitable.
If you do not philosophize carefully and intentionally, you’re likely to pick up whatever conclusions suggest themselves to you. Most commonly, these will come from whomever you happen to associate with or what is in vogue in the culture or community in which you live.
Philosophy has a real impact upon life.
Not all philosophizing works itself out in patterns of living, but much of it does. In fact, the world is still grappling with the consequences of some very bad philosophizing from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Philosophy is able to bring reason to bear upon matters of Faith.
Most intellectual endeavors do not concern themselves with the Faith. In particular, the human and natural sciences use methods which require us to remain silent on the most important matters of our lives. Not so philosophy. Philosophers have been asking and answering questions about human freedom, the immortality of the soul, and God since they first began thinking about them over 2500 years ago.
Philosophizing ennobles us.
One of the most insidious philosophical ideas from the last century is the notion that human reason is only there to serve our human needs. This has the effect of reducing us to our lower functions, whether animal or even merely living. In fact, the exercise of reason in its highest form, contemplating God and the world He made, is among the best things we can do with our time. This is philosophy at its very best.
Philosophizing in high school prepares one for college-level classes.
Many students will end up taking philosophy classes as part of their undergraduate education. If they are fortunate enough to be taking sound classes, an early exposure to philosophical thought will serve them in good stead. If they are unfortunate enough to be taking poorly-done classes, philosophizing well in high school will help them to see those flaws and to correct them.
Note: Dr. Rioux is teaching ST. THOMAS ON THE HUMAN PERSON for Homeschool Connections in the Fall 2016 semester. Dr. Rioux also offers several outstanding philosophy and logic courses through our Unlimited Access program.
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