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The Power Of Philosophy: Why We Should All Care

The power of philosophy: why we should all care

4 hours ago

The power of philosophy: why we should all care

How can we define ‘a love of wisdom’ in a way that not only enables philosophy as a discipline to hold academic weight but tells us why it ought to be more widespread in all levels of education?

philo, which can be translated into English as ‘love.’ Therefore, the etymology of ‘philosophy’ suggests a philosopher is a lover of wisdom. So, is any lover of wisdom a philosopher? Not exactly. Even if the word itself is not explicit, philosophy is an academic discipline just like biology and epidemiology. Philosophy departments are a constant in universities across the globe. The question then becomes what is academic about a ‘love of wisdom’? 

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To answer this, we must first come to a definition of ‘love’ that can legitimize philosophy as an academic discipline. LoveDefining love in its entirety is no easy task, and not one I intend to do here. There are questions about its general ontological status (whether it is real), about distinctions of love—such as the difference between loving and being in love—love as it relates to morality, love as it relates to mortality, and this is just to name only a handful of necessary inquiries needed to understand the concept of love in totality. 

The concern here is how can we define ‘a love of wisdom’ in a way that not only enables philosophy as a discipline to hold academic weight but tells us why it ought to be more widespread in all levels of education. We will see that the reason highlights its application for all settings, whether it be the classroom or the workplace.

Love As CareThe way we express love towards people can vary. For example, how you show you love your mother and your expression of love with your wife will undoubtedly be different. Generally though, you will express love towards a physicality, whether it be a subject or an object, physically. 

16 February 2021, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Demmin: Quarky, a six-year-old cat, gets a treat... [+]from his master in the courtyard of an apartment building. The cat is to become mayor of the city of 11,000 inhabitants according to the will of his master. The city council refuses to put Quarky on the ballot for April 25, 2021. The owner does not want to accept the refusal of the city so simply. Photo: Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty ImagesIf you love your cat, maybe you will express this by always making sure it has enough food and water. If you love a specific coffee table, maybe you will show this by keeping it very clean. Even with a physicality that is no longer so, like a deceased family member, you will express this love physically. This may include visiting a grave site or commemorating their birth or death with an annual tribute. 

But when you love something that is not and never was in the physical world, how do you express this? You obviously cannot do so physically. For example, how would you love wisdom? You cannot kiss it, clean it or feed it. But you can care for it. And here lies our answer. The way in which you can care for nonphysical things is how you express your love for them.

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How do you care for something that you cannot physically express affection towards? My contention is by examining this question itself.Plainly, it is a philosopher's job to answer the question of how we can care for wisdom. To some it may be keeping past theories alive. Others may try and bring new wisdom. Whatever the reason though, it is philosophers who have the tools to provide one. 

Importantly, this is how philosophy can be dubbed an academic discipline. It gives those who pursue it the skill of being able to answer the question of how to care for wisdom.  Caring Leadership The philosopher’s job is to understand how to care for wisdom. There is no reason why this examination into care should stop at wisdom though. 

How much more likely would it be for students to succeed if they not only learn about X, but why they should care about X as well? This is what would come should philosophy become more involved in all levels of education. But even if you are no longer in the educational system, philosophy can still help. For example, in the workplace a leader expresses gratitude with methods like team lunches, praise and raises. While these are definitely appreciated, they are generic. 

Since you are your field’s expert, you have the tools to really answer the question of how to care for your team. Not with a “good job” but a meaningful, thought-based answer. Read more: Forbes »

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