Philosophy: A dead field of study?

philosophyAs time passes I find myself more and more captivated by the core values seemingly promoted by philosophy — the way of thinking about complex issues in relation to one’s self, one’s knowledge and how one conducts his/her life.  Being someone who considers themselves in relation to others a relatively deep thinker, I enjoy the act of metacognating (thinking about one’s thoughts).  Philosophy has many different branches — metaphysics, epistemology, etc.  Broaching topics from existence, the process of thought, knowledge etc., philosophy is generally thought to be a large field of science with many sub-topics.

Why is philosophy so broad in comparison to other sciences? Well, the simple answer is, it’s not. However, the longer answer is due to the fact that figuring out how to best logically reason out one’s own rationality requires a lot of different elements in order to do so.  Now, why is it that nowadays people speak of philosophy as a “dead” field?  How can a field that involves critical thinking, self-awareness and determining the important questions surrounding one’s existence be pronounced dead?  Unbeknownst to me until recently this seems to be the common notion surrounding this study of thought as well as other humanity-related subjects and liberal arts.

Could this relatively new “death” be a reflection of what our culture has morphed into? As a culture (speaking specially to North American culture), I feel as if we’ve become solely focused on intelligence in the “text-book” sense. I being one who likewise puts importance on “text-book” intelligence (defined by the extensive knowledge of facts or events) have come to the realization that in order to be a well-rounded individual one cannot have this singular view-point otherwise they lose appreciation. By “lose appreciation” I’m referring to the loss of appreciation for those who are different, different in terms of mindsets and showing of their intelligence because after all, there are many different types of intelligences. I mean, imagine if one’s intelligence was truly only based off of test scores and nothing else, where would that leave those who didn’t test well? Would it leave them to fail when they otherwise could have succeeded in ways no one gave them the chance to?

This is the lingering question for me—as a culture I believe we need to be more receptive to those who are different from the cookie-cutter definition of intelligence we have molded because then, perhaps people can and will fully embrace their individuality versus conforming to what society has deemed fit for them. People as a whole need to become aware of how important social sciences, philosophies, art and humanities are in shaping an individual — due to that I’m left with the overwhelming desire to state we need to focus on developing ourselves as a whole versus by the terms a singularly minded definition and society has set.

–Kendall, Northgate, Teen Blogger

NGA

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