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Why Study the History of Philosophy - Essay Example

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Why Study the History of Philosophy

Philosophy is the art of rational thought that is unique from the other disciplines in that it relies on the application of logic and reason to generate knowledge. Most people’s failure to understand philosophy is related to their attitude of viewing it as a mere thought about knowledge or language. The intellectuals that discover philosophy develops the curiosity to dig deeper into the historical books to understand its beginnings. A philosopher must have the ability to reason and possess a rational faith. The knowledge of the historical perspective of philosophy proves that the modern philosophical circumstances have been crafted by changing times. It is only through understanding this interlink between the history of philosophy and the modern human life that learners can truly appreciate the discipline, otherwise, they would view the discipline as a mere art. This paper is seeks to explain the significance of the study of the history of philosophy. The discussion will be based on the relation between the study of history of philosophy and modern philosophy, and the value of studying the history of philosophy. History of Philosophy Philosophy emanates from thoughts related to information gaps that do not satisfactorily explain situations. Philosophy contributes in filling these gaps through suggestion of theories meant to resolve these problems. The study of history of philosophy enables learners to understand the meaning associated with the philosophical concepts suggested by rationalists such as Spinoza, and empiricists such as Locke.1 For instance, Spinoza believed that existence is determined by a shared substance and that a free man is always honest in his deeds. Berkeley downplayed the possibility of the existence of an external world. Leibniz argued that an empty space is imaginary and all substances are mirrors of God. This helps the modern philosophers to combine the traditional concepts of philosophy with the scientific allusion of nature. Philosophy is an art of expression of human faith. The discipline extends into every aspect of human life. Socrates asserts that life is not worth living without self reflection or personal examination. This implies that most people understand their life better if they know how to philosophize. However, according to John Stuart Mill, philosophy is not an ultimate path for contentment.2 Although philosophical studies have clarified problems such as the definition of truth, freedom of will and the nature of time, most of its concepts appear to ignore solutions to some problems. According to Tan, those who do not understand the historical concepts of philosophy postulates that the discipline is a mere opinion held by every individual in relation to past experiences.3 This notion makes these people assume that traditional perspective is not applicable in modern life. However, historical studies proves that historicism in philosophical studies is the benchmark for the validity of the modern perspective. The knowledge of the historical perspective of philosophy proves that circumstances have been crafted by changing times. Just like in the modern times, various people applied different mechanisms in improving and advancing knowledge. The history of philosophy outlines these mechanisms and enable the modern people apply them in advancing their understanding of philosophy. Benefits Knowledge and Reality The study of the history of philosophy seems like an art in the early stages of learning but progresses into a discipline requiring the application of knowledge when grappling philosophical problems.4 The knowledge and reality associated with ancient philosophy encourages people to not only analyze the views of the philosophers, but also ...Show more

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Significance of Studying the History of Philosophy
The word philosophy was coined by Pythagoras who alluded that people who study philosophy are lovers of wisdom. The history of philosophy is concerned with the study of ideas and concepts as they occur overtime. …
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