Philosophy has many benefits to give you as a student because understanding and learning about philosophy go a long way toward helping you better understand any subject you choose to major in.
In some educational systems, like that of Nigeria in West Africa, every student, no matter the course they choose to study, must first learn about philosophy in their first and second years at the university to better prepare them for the course they are to study and graduate with.
Studying philosophy is not the only requirement; you must pass the subject or at least have a mark of 45/100 to get to the next level of your studies. You cannot get his minimum impact, which means you will not pass the course of your studies, and you will have to repeat that subject.
You may be asking why this is so and why people who have chosen to study engineering and medicine will be subjected to reading philosophy that they may not even use in the course of their career or even in life because that path is not where they are heading. It may be funny to some who do not understand the importance of a doctor or engineer understanding even the basics of philosophy and thus tag the process as unimportant.
I did some deep research on why students should study philosophy and the importance it gives you, even if you are not going to apply it in your lifetime or even in your career path, after spending days of research and going through many books and histories of how philosophy came to be, whose philosophy we are studying, and the things we understand today just because philosophy was discovered and introduced to humanity.
How Philosophy Came To Be
Philosophical inquiry is an ageless human endeavor practiced for millennia in many cultures and geographical areas worldwide. It embraces the love of wisdom, the quest for knowledge, and the systematic investigation of truth, morality, and meaning. Its origins are old; the Western tradition generally attributes its origins to the pre-Socratic thinkers of Ionia, who flourished in the sixth and fifth century BC. These intellectuals were motivated by a desire to understand the underlying elements of the universe, including its composition, evolution, and beginnings. Among the pre-Socratics were prominent individuals such as Empedocles, Democritus, Thales, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Zeno.
Philosopher Socrates, who lived in Athens in the fifth century BC, is recognized as a critical figure in the development of philosophy. Socrates addressed political and ethical concerns, delving into justice, morality, and pleasure. He was well-known for his dialectical style of inquiry and his capacity to refute people’s views. Despite his lack of written writing, his students—Plasto, in particular—captured his thoughts for future generations.
One of history’s most influential thinkers was Plato. He established the first university in the West when he created the Academy in Athens. He frequently used Socrates as the main character in his dialogue-based compositions, but he also included his opinions on various subjects. In his theory of forms, Plato proposed the presence of ideal, timeless realities apart from the material world. He studied politics, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, and education. His contributions influenced philosophy for generations to come.
Aristotle, Plato’s most well-known pupil, was another significant player in the Western intellectual tradition. Following twenty years of studies at the Academy, Aristotle departed to work as Alexander the Great’s teacher before establishing the Lyceum, a school in Athens. Aristotle wrote a vast corpus of work that touched on almost every field of study, including psychology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, physics, biology, rhetoric, and poetics. He critiqued parts of Plato’s theories and created his methodical philosophy based on logical analysis and practical observation.
The philosophical theories of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle formed the basis of Western thinking. They influenced succeeding movements, such as the Renaissance and Christian and Roman philosophers like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. However, philosophy did not just evolve in Greece and Rome; it also spread to other parts of the world, including India, China, Persia (now Iran), and Arabia (now divided among various nations). These traditions interacted via commerce, conquests, migrations, and cultural exchanges. They also relied on different sources of inspiration and other investigation techniques.
The non-Western philosophical traditions offer unique insights into the nature of reality, knowledge acquisition, spirituality, ethics, and politics. For instance, Indian philosophy derives its roots from the Vedas and is categorized into orthodox schools associated with Hinduism and heterodox schools such as Buddhism and Jainism. Influential schools of thought include Advaita Vedanta, which advocates for a single ultimate reality, and Navya-Nyāya, which establishes a complex logic system.
Chinese philosophy, on the other hand, emphasizes social conduct, self-cultivation, and governance, with Confucianism and Daoism exploring moral virtues and the relationship between humans and nature. The later emergence of Neo-Confucianism combined metaphysical concepts with Confucianism. Arabic-Persian philosophy was heavily influenced by Ancient Greek philosophers and Islamic theology and featured discussions on the compatibility between reason and revelation. Notably, Avicenna synthesized Islamic faith and Greek philosophy to create a comprehensive philosophical system. Despite its Golden Age in the 8th-13th centuries AD, philosophical inquiry experienced a decline after Al-Ghazali’s critique.
How Philosophy Helps You as a Student
Philosophy helps you as a student in so many ways that one cannot mention them all. First, it enables you to think outside the box, which is what is needed to perform well academically.
Secondly, philosophy helps you understand the little details in so many things we see in life, such as why we do the things we do, why the world is the way it is, and the best way to explore the world and the abundant knowledge contained in it.
Philosophy also helps you to be a better version of yourself by making you think more and analyze things more than the average person. The quotes in philosophy have many meanings, and it is only when you understand philosophy that you can associate them.
Not just studying philosophy as a student but better understanding its concept and how to apply it in the way of life and career choice is critical.
You will better understand the world and how to rule your world, and you will appear better than the average person. You will grow faster than you are programmed to and accomplish many things as a student.