Philosophy of Life #4 – Is Philosophy Esoteric?

At first glance philosophy appears for the most part to be esoteric. It is mysterious, cryptic, and obscure. Some of the things that are debated make no sense at all. But, then along comes something that is essential to our existence.

I just went through a book by Bertrand Russell entitled The Problems of Philosophy. In that book, he shows some of what I think causes philosophy to get a bad rap. One of those major things is that perhaps nothing exists except what is in our mind. He uses an example that he is writing at a table, but a philosopher might ask “Does the table really exist, or is it just a figment of your imagination?

Is anything real? That might be a valid question for the future given the virtual reality devices that are being developed today. The movie “The Majority Report” about a world of virtual reality comes to mind.

I will admit that much of philosophy is almost worthless in the real world, but then comes some wisdom, such as these words from Plato:

Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.” “If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.” “All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one workman.” “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.

To me, it is worth picking through the immense pile of esoteric to get to these type words. True wisdom makes us all smarter, even if we don’t realize it.

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