Monday, March 10, 2008
Roads to philosophy
When I say that I am a philosopher, many people think that I have always been a philosopher. However, actually that is not so. It’s true, I have always had some ideas and asked questions that might be considered “philosophical”. One thing that has intrigued me when I was a child is, for example: Do all people see colours in the same way as I do? One can read this question as a physical question and in a certain sense it is. But it is also a philosophical question, for if the answer is “no” (and I found that answer likely), one consequence is that the world is different for different people and that there is not one unique interpretation for the world that is the same for all people. In other words, an objective word, an objective reality does not exist in that case. There is only a world, a reality, that is subjective, i.e. one that depends on the person who is looking at it. I do not want to say that I reasoned as far when I was a child. But the foundation had been laid.However, when time had come to go to the university, I wasn’t interested in studying philosophy at all. Even more, I did not follow the philosophy courses of my study program because I did not find them interesting and they were not compulsory. But soon I met questions that did not have a sociological, psychological, physical etc. answer. They could be answered only by discussing them from a philosophical view point (insofar as they could be answered at all, of course). And so I became gradually interested in philosophy; and so I found the road to philosophy. Or rather, I must say that I found a road to philosophy, my road to philosophy. For it is possible, for instance, that one is already so interested in philosophy, that one studies it on the university from the start. Or one does not follow an “official road” to philosophy, one doesn’t follow courses, but life itself makes one ask philosophical questions and develop philosophical attitudes. And so on. In fact, there are many roads to philosophy. It is impossible to show them all, but here are a few of them: http://home.kpn.nl/wegweeda/Road_to_Philosophy.htm .