The Value Of Philosophy: Subject Of-All Ideas

1970 Words 8 Pages
. If one had to ask me before taking this “Introduction to Philosophy” course what Philosophy was, I would have formulated my answer to be somewhere along the lines of “It is..ya’ know… the questioning of everything?” and would have tried to promptly change the subject as I actually did not have any idea as to what the subject of Philosophy actually encompassed. However, now after the course’s completion, I have not only acquired greater understanding, but I have also gained much interest on this “Subject-of-All-Subjects”. I give Philosophy this name because it encompasses the exploration of many different ideas ranging from metaphysics- which is the study of reality, of what exists in the world and our relationship to it, to epistemology- …show more content…
In his The Value of Philosophy essay, Bertrand Russell also discusses the use of Philosophy in our everyday lives. He explains that "through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great" (Russell, 4). In other words, philosophy helps develop imaginative and critical thinking as man develops an awareness that extends beyond the physical reality he experiences every day. However, Russell admits that philosophy does not often give definite knowledge like other fields of study do. He explains that the reason philosophy does not yield strong evidence is because once knowledge that can be considered conclusive becomes attainable, it breaks away from the branch of philosophy into that of the sciences, mathematics, or other disciplines and so we do not realize how much our everyday lives are impacted by …show more content…
Apart from encouraging critical thinking and its contribution to other fields of study, the subject of Philosophy has also proven to be greatly influential in the area of religion as well. A philosopher worth noting on this subject is Plato who I believe helped set the groundwork of religious thought. In his dialogue, Phaedo, Plato believed that true reality and knowledge is 'elsewhere, ' not existing in the material world and so he created his “Theory of Forms.” In this theory, reality is made up of two realms. The first realm is the material world, which is the world observable by the senses. The second is one made of eternal, perfect “forms” or “ideas.” Plato claims that self-existing, unchanging forms are perfect concepts for objects that can be seen in our physical reality, the material world. In his Allegory of the Cave, Plato explains how a slave could be set free from chains to the shadows of this world by becoming aware of the higher reality of forms (the objects’ true forms once they leave the cave). His allegory claims that all humans are held prisoner in darkness as we believe actual reality to be the things that we can experience with our senses. However, there is an absolute reality that exists beyond the physical world. We experience this absolute reality when our soul detaches from the body. He believed that the body and soul are two separate entities and claimed that the soul is immortal and once it disconnects from the body it gets to live in the realm

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