Saturday, July 14, 2012

'Walking with Philosophy'

Most people are able to  separate theory from practice, knowing and doing. A scholar with great knowledge is not necessarily a virtuous person; a philosopher is not always a moral person; and a great theologian is not always a spiritual person or a saint.
However, at the  appearance on the world stage of philosophy, both in the East and in the West, this was not the case. The study of philosophy began around the 6th and 7th centuries before Christ.  It was the intellectual  search for knowledge, not generally concerned with systematization and theory but was more practical: learning how to live. The goal was to discover the right relationship with nature, things and other people.

The Catholic Times, in its "Walking with Philosophy" column, pointed out that the first philosophers, for the most part, were not interested in abstract metaphysical theories or dogmatic systems. They were interested in living the good life.

The systematization, speculation and theorizing came later, and is the reason, according to the column, we have lost interest in philosophical  studies. In the beginning, the philosophers were interested in right actions. How was a right-minded person to act? They wanted to know how a person could be consistently one in action and in thought.
From the beginning of philosophical thought in those early centuries, we have wanted to understand the significance of existence and the world we live in. This desire comes from the very nature of humanity. The word 'philosophy,' as we know, comes from the word for wisdom (sophia) and the word for love (philos). We naturally and enthusiastically search for truth to solve the problems of life. As long as they exist we will always be philosophizing, always seeking meaning and a better understanding of life.

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