Can anyone be a philosopher?

Yeboah asked:

1: who is a philosopher?

2: can anyone be a philosopher?

Answer by Shaun Williamson

This is like asking can anyone be an artist or a musician. Anyone can buy a box of paints or a guitar but that doesn’t make you an artist or a musician.

You become a philosopher by studying philosophy and logic to a high level. Read lots of philosophy books and then read more philosophy books. Philosophy is not about sitting around having deep thoughts. It is about hard study.

One you know about philosophy then you are in some sense a philosopher but that doesn’t mean you will be a great philosopher. Going to art college will teach you to draw and paint but that doesn’t mean you will be a great artist.

To be a great artist you need talent and dedication. The same is true for philosophy. People become musicians because the are compelled to play music. People become philosophers because they feel compelled to study philosophy.

6 thoughts on “Can anyone be a philosopher?

  1. “You become a philosopher by studying philosophy(…)” — I stopped reading your text when I read this. Everybody who has an interest for wisdom and/or has an inquisitive mind can be a philosopher without necessarily “studying philosophy”. Plus, every person from time to time poses relevant philosophical questions worth investigating without being themselves “philosophers” (in the academic, yet sterile, definition of the term).

  2. I disagree as well. Everybody can be a philosopher in a sense that they know the value of life and contributes huge changes in the world. Some earn Degree of Philosophy without understanding the essence of it but some did not even reached college but understand how life goes through great reasoning.

  3. I disagree. You asked first “who is a philosopher?” Well philosopher means lover of wisdom anyone can love and seek wisdom. The first philosophers were among the first humans to find themselves with leisure time thanks to the development of a more enlightened civilization. They were creating their own philosophies simply by “sitting around and having deep thoughts.” Philosophy was never meant to be the domain of a select few intellectuals. It was meant for anyone to practice and indeed is most useful when everyone does. To philosophize is to apply reason to everyday life which anyone is capable of. Philosophy takes place in your mind not in some ivory tower.

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