...why philosophy?

...why philosophy?
Photo by Gülfer ERGİN / Unsplash

After five years of elementary school, three of middle school and another five of high school, an Italian student finds himself having to come to terms with his own future. A part of the boys immediately embarks on a working career and the other part instead decides to continue their studies at the university.

Already choosing to continue studying is a remarkable test of courage, but those who even choose an unusual faculty have decided to further complicate their existence. Personally, given that in life you don't have to conform to the masses, he decided to enroll me in the faculty of philosophy.

When you decide to study philosophy at university you need to know two things:

  1. You have to be really passionate or you won't come out unscathed
  2. Be prepared to only ever get one question, from any human beingpresent on the face of the earth and able to articulate a meaningful sentence:"But then what do you want to do?"

In this case, general silence falls.

If we want to be honest, this is a question asked quite frequently to any university student; but when it comes to philosophy, trust me, things change: the facial expression of whoever is about to ask the question varies very quickly, leaving room for compassion and skepticism.

Yes, because in the eyes of many people still today, studying philosophy means doing nothing, signing the sentence to a life of being supported, unable to find work.

Let's assume that asking any boy what he wants to do with his life at the age of twenty is quite complex, because not even he is sure of the answer. At the age of twenty, we kids have passions that we can cultivate, but that won't lead us exclusively in one direction.

You must always keep in mind that it is important to have a basic idea to follow, but you don't need to make too many plans, because you can never be sure of what will happen. As John Legend said, life is also what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

For this reason, I didn't choose to study philosophy with a view to a specific future professional outlet; I chose to follow my greatest passion, to cultivate my cultural baggage, to study for the sake of knowledge. Obviously I have in mind the possible professional outlets of this faculty (spoiler: not just teaching) but I don't preclude myself from any path.

This is also what attracted me, the possibility of understanding and designing my future along the way. For all the skeptics, however, I will now also provide a list of possible career opportunities related to the degree in philosophy, indicated by my university:

  • Traditional and multimedia publishing
  • Assistance in the management of work tasks in which deriving skills are usefulto know about communication, cognitive science, linguistics, information systems and artificial intelligence, education, psychology.
  • Duties of medium responsibility in the public administration and in public and private bodies (publishing houses, newspapers, cultural centres, study centres, foundations and in public and private companies in areas such as public relations, communication, tourism, advertising, personnel training, marketing and "creative" advertising, cultural promotion and various professional fields of training).

All this demonstrates the fact that you don't learn specialist notions like in medicine; on the other hand, Schopenhauer also reminds us: "The philosopher must never forget that his is an art and not a science." However you form your person, developing your potential and your logical and deductive skills.

Features which, in my opinion, can be useful in many fields (as indicated above).

As a final proof in support of the importance of the study of philosophy, I avail myself of a quotation taken from a work by Edgar Morin (French philosopher and sociologist). Morin, in the work "Teaching to live, a manifesto to change education", writes that the teaching of philosophy stimulates the reflective capacity in every receptive mind.

Yes, philosophy stimulates the human mind to never stop at appearances, to go further, to question the meaning of one's existence and try to find satisfactory answers. It helps man to solve his own problems, through the constant drive to discover and learn more and more about himself and the world around us.

In the face of everything that has emerged so far, I feel like concluding by saying that: if in 2022 there are still people who think that the faculty of philosophy is useless and bankrupt, it means that perhaps paradoxically there is a need for more philosophy to free these dumb minds.