The formal definition of Philosophy can be stated as such: The Love of Knowledge (from the two Greek words philos and sophia). The material definition of Philosophy can be described as Lewis Pojman does:
[Philosophy] begins with wonder at the world, aims at truth and wisdom, and hopefully results in a life filled with meaning and moral goodness. It is centered in clarifying concepts and analyzing and constructing arguments regarding life’s perennial and perplexing questions. (Pojman, 2006).
Marcus Buckingham wrote a book called “Now Discover your strengths”, in this book, it was made evidently clear to me what I have almost always known, since becoming conscience of my own cognitive aberrations – I am truly a philosopher at heart.
Of my top 3 greatest strengths are Strategy, Learning and Context – I am driven by examining all portions of a problem and seeking the best and most intelligent strategy, constantly driven to learn and grow, taking a strong emphasis on the past to understand the context of every situation before looking towards the present in relation to the future.
Young children have this tendency to walk around in their lives and constantly ask “Why”, “Why”, “Why”; most adults (as I do) find this a rather annoying quality of children. However, I have never grown out of it myself.
From an early age, long before I was introduced to ideas like Descartes Method of Doubt, it has been my life’s goal to constantly question my own beliefs, question the teachings I have been given as a child, and to search for truth.
This quest has brought a lot of trouble and heart ache into my life, walking away from convictions that your friends and family hold to be true, because they are unsupportable and irrational can be a dark and lonely road, and yet, as was stated by Martin Luther when standing before the Church fathers at the Diet of Worms: “Unless I am convinced by holy scripture, or by evident reason… I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound”
Regardless of the problems in my life that the love of knowledge has caused, with this relentless drive in the pursuit of knowledge comes a greater appreciation and an awakened beauty, for each and every new concept that comes through and knocks down my world as I know it. As I grow and grasp, I am left with the sense of waking up on a summer’s morning inside of a hot and stuffy tent, unzipping the door and stepping out into fresh sunlight and to indescribable sights and sounds.
I will never cease to be awestruck through, in and around the world as it exists – I shall cling to the reformation motto of “Semper Reformanda” – and hope there never comes a time in my life that I am not ready, able and willing to learn and grow.
Philosophy to me is the foundation of my existence.
Oberman, H. A. (2006). Luther: Man Between God and the Devil. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Pojman, L. P. (2006). Philosophy : The Pursuit of Wisdom 5th Ed. Belmont: Holly J. Allen.