THE DIALOGUE - A discussion on what philosophy is for

Essay by JoeLeeCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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The Dialogue

Bill - "Why are studying philosophy? It is an abstract, totally impractical, useless subject! You're wasting your time!"

Joe - "Well aren't we quick to mock what we don't understand? "

Bill - "What I understand is that the only thing to understand in philosophy is that there are no understandings."

Joe - "What?"

Bill - "Philosophy is just a way for a select few to feel smart because they know a bunch of questions that no one has the answers to. From what I have heard, under philosophical rules, it is supposedly wiser for a person to know that they know nothing rather than for them to know something."

Joe - "Well see, that's what Socrates said, and it can actually be considered a basis for the importance of philosophy. See, philosophy is really important because it allows us to ask ourselves questions that we wouldn't normally think about so we can understand who we are.

Most people just go through their entire lives not asking any questions about themselves or the lives they are living but instead just live it. A life like that is as significant as a dog's life. They take what comes to them, maybe go through some struggles, but don't stop to ask questions about what they believe."

Bill - "But what's the point in asking these questions if nobody ever finds an answer?"

Joe - "Well that's the general mistake made by many people when they get into philosophy. They ask questions and then will often come up with answers that don't match up with the way that they live their lives and will move on trying to find more answers which they obviously will never find. People do find answers to their questions in philosophy, it's just that they...