Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom. – Cicero
What does that mean?
This quote is about the motivation and underlying reason why people pursue philosophy. And, quite simply, it is, as the quote says, the simple love of wisdom.
Wisdom is defined at theFreeDictionary.com as “The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.” and “Common sense; good judgment.”
Philosophy is defined as “Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.” and “The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.”
By working on philosophy, one cannot help but come in contact with bits of wisdom. To desire to continue such a pursuit, one pretty much has to love it. It’s like archaeology; you have to love doing it to continue long enough to be considered an archaeologist.
Why is wisdom important?
As scientists pursue knowledge, philosophers pursue wisdom. While there are always new ways to look at things, much of philosophy involves sorting out the old wisdom, and determining what is valid, and what is to be discarded.
While the conclusions of the ancients are not always useful, their observations often are. We may see the data through a different world view, and come to a different conclusion. It doesn’t mean they were wrong, just limited by what was available to them at the time.
Whether we see though new eyes, or old ones, the ability to determine what is correct, what is truthful, and what will stand the test of time is important. With this information at your fingertips, you can see more clearly what should be done, and what is to be avoided.
Where can I apply this in my life?
That depends on which aspects of your life you need to find a better answer to the question of what is true, right, or lasting. Where in your life do you frequently make choices you later regret? Do you do this often, or a majority of the time you are faced with a choice?
That might be a place where you might seek wisdom, and perhaps change your philosophy in life. About 20 years ago, I went through a rough patch, and realized that many of my difficulties came down to the difficulties I had in communication.
I didn’t always get my feelings out in the communication. And that ended up costing me dearly, on several fronts. I had to change my viewpoint on what was and was not appropriate to discuss with others. I grew up where your personal feelings stayed personal. That belief cost me.
Now I am an advocate of complete and clear communication. I try to leave no ambiguity in any discussion I have. I repeat back what I think I understand to make sure I got what the other person meant. I try to make sure if I have a strong feeling about something, that I communicate it to the other person.
In short, I changed my feelings, my beliefs, and my practices regarding communication with others. You may already have come to a position similar to mine, or yours may still serve you well. But we all have places where we could do better. Where are yours?
Because this is so broad, the questions and answers will be left for you to make specific to your situation. Think about a couple of parts of your life where things aren’t going as well as you might like. They could be from your personal life, your family life, your social life, your work life, or any other part of your life you wish to change.
Select one the one aspect on which you most wish to work. How often does it happen? Is there a pattern of things which lead up to the occurrence? Does it only happen under certain circumstances? Why look for a pattern? If you can find one, making one change could have a much greater impact, right?
What seems to be the key point in this situation? Why does it happen? What belief, desire, or value causes you to act in the way you do? Take a moment and consider the reasons why you think that this is the best way to behave. Can you think of a time when that might have been beneficial to you?
The real question is do you benefit from that way of behavior or thinking right now? If not, you should consider changing it, right? The first step will be determining why you think it’s good, and convincing yourself that it is no longer good. Think about all the trouble you’ve caused yourself with that thinking or behavior.
With that firmly placed in your mind, with what could you replace the old thought or behavior? Nature abhors a vacuum, so if you don’t replace the old with something, it will slowly come back. What would be the best, or at least a better way? What would you have to believe in order to support that new way?
Change is always possible. Wisdom is always available. You just have to look, and then take action. If you make it a habit, you may find yourself developing your own philosophy, and looking into who else has had a similar view in the past. I know I have.
From: Twitter, @PhilosophyQuotz
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcustull156328.html
Photo by mollybob
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