The Purpose of Philosophy

The most important question in philosophy

Philosophy is an extensive subject and what separates philosophy from other subjects is that it is the perspective that other subjects are examined through. Being of such nature, there are a number of questions that are of prime importance, but what is widely considered to be the most important question of philosophy is why some people choose to commit suicide (Nyquist, 2008).

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The question of why people choose to let go of life after it has given man conscious. This question of the most integral importance since it questions the very existence of life and why one should strive to achieve something in life. It is a question that delves into the very essence of man and his affiliation with his universe (Everett, 2009).

The purpose of philosophy

Philosophy seeks to answer questions of perception regarding matters associated with the knowledge of existence of the elements that the universe is established upon and functions upon. It is necessary to elaborate upon the fact that philosophy does not derive from myths and legends but seeks to answer questions through reason and argument (The Thinking, 2008).

The purpose of philosophy can be derived from the fact that the Philosophy of a subject or a philosophy of a matter, if often defined as the real meaning or the core of that subject matter. For instance, we can infer that the philosophy of painting or dancing can be the expression of emotions or the communication of thoughts through the medium of sight and its depths. When viewed from the perspective of one of the earliest philosophers, such as Socrates, philosophy is the thirst for the acquiring of knowledge and believing that there is no limit to knowledge regarding a subject matter. Hence, from this perspective, philosophy appears to be the searching for knowledge and more knowledge. Thus, by constantly challenging the appearance against what reality presents, the exercise allows for the constant acquiring and increase of knowledge and stands out as the very root of the evolution of man (Mavarelli, 2006).

General state of philosophy over time

Over time, the subject of Philosophy has developed as man has evolved and from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century, the number of subjects under the umbrella of philosophy has continued to increase with purely scientific subjects such as biology and physics also developing associations with philosophy. Over the centuries, philosophy has been used to answer questions for which the scientific community of the time could not present answers. An example can be seen in cosmology being regarded as a heavily philosophical subject before technology advancing to a point where answers regarding the complexities of cosmology could be explained (Brown, 2006).

How have philosophers tried to relate what they’ve done to the world

In order to delve into the matter of how the contributions of philosophers have helped shape our world over time, it is necessary to give due importance to the various philosophers that have brought the subject the respect it is given in the modern day world.

Through the lens of Socrates, philosophy has allowed man to acquire knowledge regarding his world and himself and hence achieve intelligibility in his state of mind. For Plato, it is the quest for the supreme truth that gave man his advantage as a superior being. Aristotle believed that whether tangible or intangible, any occurrence or existence, that aroused inquisition in the human mind deserved to be delved into and revealed for what it truly is. Hegasias believed that the investigation of the elements of man and his world allowed him to learn to life his life better and to avoid elements that caused discomfort to man. Neo-platonists believed that philosophy allows man to come closer to his creator. In similar fashions, philosophers over the centuries have considered philosophy to be the gateway to realization and the acquiring of excellence and further excellence through the repeated questioning of what appears to present before the eye. Many have seen philosophy to be an integral tool in the achievement of harmony of man with his world. Several controversial ideas about how philosophy contributes to the evolution of man have come forth through the centuries. These include beliefs that philosophy was simply the discharging of knowledge that was already present in the confines of the human mind (Ramanujachary, 2005).

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Does philosophy make a difference?

The constituent of the application and exercising of philosophy that differentiates it from other subjects is that philosophy differs from subjects that are studied from the lens of mysticism, religion or empirical sciences (Brown, 2006).

Philosophy allows for the search of knowledge under the principle that an ideal element of knowledge is one that propels the seeker into the next quest for knowledge, hence allowing the process of learning and evolving to continue unhindered (Mavarelli, 2006).


From the above analysis of philosophy, its core content, and the impact it has upon the perspective that man chooses to see his world through, it can be concluded that the philosophy that prevails in a society regarding its constituents and its existence is of the utmost importance and the philosophy of any element in mans world should never be considered lightly for it may very well dictate the path that man takes towards seeking further into that matter.


Brown, C. “What is Philosophy?” Trinity University. 2006. Web.

“Definition of Philosophy.” Ed. The Thinking Man. 2009. Web.

Everett, D. “Sisyphus, the Pirahãs, and the Secret of Happiness.” 2009. Web.

Mavarelli, S. “A Definition of Philosophy Based on Socrates’ Behavior in the Plato Dialogues.” Associated Content – Society. 2006. Web.

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Nyquist, G. “Realism and Spiritual Life.” Machiavel Review. 2008. Web.

Ramanujachary, N. “A Journey into the Pathways of Philosophy.” 2005. Web.

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