Musings

Questioning

Why everyone should major in philosophy:

It makes you ask questions. It makes your criticize the philosophers you are reading. It makes you think.

So, in English, I get to sit and praise a certain work of literature. Or at least learn to appreciate it. That’s the basic attitude. Worship the canon. Emulate the canon.

In philosophy, we read something, and then tear it to pieces. We try to find things wrong with it. The philosophers are wrong. No one is right.

Now, we go through education and try to find the right answer. We are used to trusting in our teachers, trusting that the science, history, English, math, etc., has these certain facts, rules, and functions, and they are established and shouldn’t be questioned.

But we should question. We should try to find out what’s wrong. That’s why philosophy is so cool. It asks questions, asks what the assumptions are, asks what isn’t right.

A quick example: we are taught in high school biology that evolution is an established theory, that there isn’t really a question whether it happens or not. It does happen. Natural selection, mutation, drift, etc.–these are all sufficient to explain the origin of species.

Then I went into philosophy of biology. Evolution became a lot more complicated. And a lot more unsure. There are questions in that theory about how things happen. The same with all other forms of study.

So ask questions! Try to find out what’s wrong. It’s a lot of fun.

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