College students may hate a statistics class, but they rarely question its usefulness or value. They know it has “real-world applications,” even if they loathe every minute of it.
It is not so with a philosophy class. Unlike other disciplines, philosophy is faced with the task of justifying itself, of demonstrating some sort of real-world utility. This is because philosophy–when approached correctly–does not tell people anything new. It works with truths we have already achieved. To many people this seems like an absurd waste of time, and so philosophy comes into question in a way English, History, Math, and Science never do.
Whether coming to grasp at a deeper level what one already knows, a profound under-standing I like to call “wisdom,” could truly be a waste of one’s time is a question I will leave to the side for now. Rather, I would like to offer a humbler defense…
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