Philosophy Is Born of Experience

We are all philosophers at heart.

“In philosophy an individual is becoming himself.” — Bernard Lonergan

Philosophy is not a dusty, old book.

“Rightly defined philosophy is simply the love of wisdom.” [Marcus Tullius Cicero]. And since wisdom is the product of one’s knowledge applied to life, philosophy is a love of knowledge put into action.

“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.” [Michel de Montaigne]

To be a philosopher is not merely to study, think and pontificate on the mysteries of life. The true philosopher turns knowledge into wisdom by living an inspired life. Theory is eschewed in favor of experience. “Philosophy is the art of living.” [Plutarch]

Consider these questions:

  • Is there a God?

  • Do people have free will?

  • What is the meaning of life?

  • What makes something good vs. bad?

You can certainly theorize your way to answers, but how will you ever know without putting these questions to the test? Philosophy approaches a science in this respect. You test ideas and measure their worth. Wisdom is a byproduct.

We are all philosophers at heart. The biggest mistake we make is accepting too many ideas at face value and putting too few of them into motion, for the value of any idea lies in its collision with reality.

So get out there and be the best philosopher you can be. Answer those big questions by living life and engaging with others.

And the next time someone turns their nose up at the word philosophy, enlighten them.