A very rational question is often raised especially at the initial stage of joining Courses in Philosophy- Why should we study Philosophy? Each one comes to the class with a definite reason- known or unknown. One may be aware or may not be of the reason for pursuing the Course in Philosophy. Even if one is aware of the reason and pursues with purpose, with the passage of time, the reason may change or may assume deeper significance.

Various reasons can be set forth some of which are as follows:

  1. The pursuit is for its own sake and has its own reward. Philosophy, conceived in any way, has its own reward. It is intrinsically valuable
  2. It yields pleasures, consolations, solace, peace, tranquility, and possibly Bliss.
  3. It sharpens the rational faculties as it involves debates, discussions, dialogues.
  4. It fosters diverse perspectives and makes us to see an element of truth in every perspective. It widens our vision and tolerance.
  5. The Biopics of Philosophers are considered to be important as these details contribute profusely in shaping the viewpoint of the particular philosopher. To know any philosopher’s life is to go for an expedition. The journey is adventurous, hilarious, marvelous, and, at the same time, inspiring, motivating. It has a tremendous guiding force.
  6. So, Philosophy is for Awakening as well as Understanding. It is for Realization- Realizing our own nature, surrounding, and its relationship with God/ the Infinite, Eternal Principle, the Epitome of Perfection.
  7. Philosophy need not necessarily be undertaken to know the relationship of humans with the world and God. It may focus on human existence exclusively. So, its purpose can be to illuminate human existence.
  8. Philosophy may be to illuminate the social, ethical, political, aesthetic, religious, or scientific sphere of human existence.
  9. Philosophy can be for asserting a particular voice- of women, Marxists, Gandhians, subalterns, environmentalists.
  10. Philosophy is for investigating the fundamentals of any discourse whatever.

Dept of Philosophy @ University of Mumbai