A career in philosophy?

My mom’s best friend’s son is here. He’s not that talkative. In fact, the only thing I clearly remember him saying is that he thinks philosophy is really intriguing and that it is high on his list of potential career choices.

Side Note: I don’t know what it is about the word ‘intriguing’ that makes it so awkward to use in context. Do other people feel that way too? Maybe its just me…

You know how the new generation is marked by stubbornness? If I was to be a tad bit nicer I would say perseverance rather than stubbornness. Either way, our heads are thick like rocks. In my mom’s best friend’s son’s case, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that his stance on philosophy was set in stone (though he was clearly being difficult).

Here’s what I think about philosophy( or should I say, what philosophy is). For me, philosophy is just putting into words what everyone already knows about life on some level. The only difference is that ‘philosophers’ are more aware about some ideas and other people aren’t.

Maybe I’m ignorant. Sometimes I wonder what a career in philosophy would be like. What would I do? Think? Write books on my thoughts? What does philosophy contribute to society?

That’s when I think about the French Revolution. Ideas have a big impact. It was the ideas of the Enlightenment that spurred on the prospect of thought that all people are equal; therefore, people do have the power to change a political system that they feel is unjust and/or corrupt. However, where did that get France? Sure, now its a democracy but look at that road it went down. Do the ends really justify the means? Some people described the revolution as ‘devouring’ its own children. Above all, I view the ‘children’ as the original ideals. These radical ideals have been developing for a long time and a great majority of the people supported them. A lot of good that did; only 2 years into the revolution and signs of the Terror were already emerging. Soon enough, the ideals were warped into hyper superstition and well, terror. That’s why yes, ideas have strength but without action or careful process of thought, acting on these ideas will only lead to chaos. France got its democracy but how can we be certain that chaos will always lead to a positive outcome?

Another way I look at philosophy is that it is not a reflection of human nature, but rather an idealized or warped expression of human nature. Or maybe it’s the state of human expression that we desire to have. While philosophers think that they are getting to know more about the human condition, they’re really losing touch with a sense of reality. Before you all argue with me, look at evidence. Just how many philosophers have ended up in the mental asylum or otherwise committed suicide? This just proves that philosophy is creating nothing from nothing, believing that there’s an answer when there really isn’t.

My final point? I agree that philosophy can be a tool (I cringe at using ‘important’ prior to the ‘tool’) in many careers like journalism or law. However, it is not a necessity as understanding philosophy or not, life goes on. Why? Because philosophy is either writing what’s already here or pulling nothing from nothing. I think that if I were to choose a career, I want to do something to help people. I want to do something that contributes to the development of society. I don’t know what that’s going to be yet but right now, I’m open to all suggestions (excluding philosophy).