Sunday, August 03, 2008

Curious about Philosophy: Have You Ever Considered What Yours Is?

Definition of Philosophy: (1) Literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws. (2) Practical wisdom; calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity; fortitude; stoicism; as, to meet misfortune with philosophy. (3) Reasoning; argumentation.
  • My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you I the best place for the next moment.” - Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer
  • The object of studying philosophy is to know one's own mind, not other people's.” - Dean Inge, English author

I have always been fascinated by philosophy. As a matter of fact, when I graduated the first time from college as a mathematics major, I had decided that if I returned for graduate school, my new major would be philosophy. One of my favorite professors was Dr. Rose who taught – you guessed it – philosophy.

By the time I did return to college, my new major was studio art, but that’s another story.

However, I am still fascinated by philosophy and being a heavy listener of National Public Radio (NPR), I especially enjoy hearing the philosophical essays sent in by listeners to “This I Believe.”Based on a 1950s radio show of the same name, Americans from all walks of life share the philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives." NPR asks everyone to contribute and the exciting part is that it spurs us to clarify our beliefs. Click HERE to find out more and send in an essay.

The quotations I studied this week were huge in number and thought. Let me share a few:

  • What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it.” - Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher
  • Philosophy begins in wonder.” – Plato, Greek philosopher
  • My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.” - Ronald Reagan, American President
  • Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?” - Paul Gauguin, French artist
  • Astonishment is the root of philosophy.” - Paul Tillich, German theologian
  • Our intonations contain our philosophy of life, what each of us is constantly telling himself about things.” - Marcel Proust, French author

And a few more:

  • The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it.” - Linus Torvalds, American businessman
  • Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?” - Paul Gauguin, French artist
  • Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.” - Sydney J. Harris, American journalist
  • History should be written as philosophy.” – Voltaire, French writer
  • In philosophy, it is not the attainment of the goal that matters, it is the things that are met along the way.” - Havelock Ellis, British psychologist
  • My philosophy from day one is that I can sleep better at night if I can improve an individual's knowledge about food and wine, and do it on a daily basis.” - Emeril Lagasse, American celebrity
  • My personal philosophy is, you can be sure of nothing.” - Robert M. Parker, Jr., American critic
  • The person that turns over the most rocks wins the game. And that's always been my philosophy.” - Peter Lynch, American businessman

I challenge you to write an essay about what you believe. I plan to work on one, too. We don’t have to send them in, but I bet we will be pleased enough that we will. Just do it!