Saturday, April 5, 2008

Utility Value of Philosophy

As I am in the process of writing I shall attempt to refrain from drawing comparisons of any sorts. Discussing philosophy particularly its utility value is a sufficiently serious task and involves thinking in depth. There will not be any reference made to specific philosophers either of the past or the present. My pursuit of this topic is one of examination.

Interest in philosophy develops out of an intense quest to know the truth. Despite not being a standardized subject, the application of reason proves to be its foundation. It is primarily concerned with criticizing, reviewing, analyzing and sensing the validity of arguments. The unknown is what philosophy aims to de-mystify. If by knowing the unknown adds significance to our lives then philosophy probably has some utility value in the long-run. Is the unknown of any importance is the question. Is it of any relevance to man?

Philosophy definitely has aesthetic appeal. Its artistic quality can be appreciated when we re-discover our wish to encounter the ultimate mystery of the universe. Philosophy determines to establish its belief that wisdom is the real cure to human suffering as wisdom gives relief to the restless man. In this manner it is not only aesthetically appealing but it also helps in mellowing down chaotic impulses as responses to stimuli. Philosophy helps in creating choices mostly of which we are unaware. It opens up a clouded mind giving way to the sunshine of objectivity. It brings about hope in despair. It tentatively guarantees the development of our mind which has the potential to from independent views and respect differing view-points.

All this is fine but there is another question confronting us. Does philosophy have any utility-value in the form of monetary benefits? Unfortunately it does not. There is no way here I can vote for the ayes. Philosophy factually is devoid of direct applications that practical and commercial life demand for a living. At the attitude level a philosophical bent of mind helps. Our quality of life becomes enriched by the training philosophy gives. With that granted though, financially it is unrewarding. It has predominantly only academic value.

Philosophy has an impact on everything we do with its share of consequences as well. Any philosophy that we adopt has metaphysical consequences. Philosophers never can escape this. Possibly silence is the best way out but thought is to be expressed and that itself means taking a stand. A thoughtless mind makes the individual either a stoic or a mystic but not a philosopher.

Impossible it is to evaluate beauty, creativity and fair aesthetic sensibilities by money. Only the dull, monotonous and practical can guarantee comfortable and wealthy lives with almost complete certainty.

Philosophy as love of wisdom represents the beauty and equanimity of thought even if it is materially useless.

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