Destinations: Parallel Paths and Underway

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A friend at ualr told me she would not major in philosophy because it is too ‘broad.’ I responded that philosophy only appears to be that way for the reason that there is a lot of thought that must be considered and gathered in- but that’s what makes philosophy so rich. She wasn’t persuaded- however, it made me think more about why people prefer to pursue highly specialized technical fields, technology and science, etc. versus liberal arts and its humanistic “friends,” of which philosophy serves and thrives in, or at least used to.

Please bear with me, I did not take Continental Phil so I am way out on a limb here; I did take Existentialism and it was apparent way before that philosophy is looking for another humanistic ‘home.’  But I believe philosophy has good “streams” ahead.  Why? I think along with Pieper, that philosophy is “a structure of hope” for the reason that I am comfortable with science and philosophy existing alongside; one does not nullify or threaten the other.

His view of philosophers “[…] do not dispute the inherent lawfulness of science.  They do, however, strongly insist on there being other equally indispensable forms of the human epistemological endeavor […].”  As such, Pieper contemplates what he describes as an “inner state of the philosophizing person against the physicist.” Of course, one could think of other minute differences/comparisons of each:

  • The physicist is “certainly not entering on an endless path…the question gets answered, the hope fulfilled, goal achieved. Other questions come up, but that’s a different story…..”
  • The philosophizer has “set his [her] foot on a path whose end he [she] in this world, will never reach.” Remains “underway.”

Happy searching fellow travelers!    thinker and scientist

Source: Josef Pieper. For the Love of Wisdom: Essays on the Nature of Philosophy. “A Plea for Philosophy”. Ignatius Press. San Francisco. 2006. PP. 130-132.

For-Love-of-Wisdom

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