It is almost 30 years ago when I had my first brush with philosophy. This was a chance meeting that has had a significant impact on my life. After not quite getting the A level results I needed it was a hasty look through where I could go and what subject I could do. The plan had been to do English because I wanted to be a journalist so there was an obvious link.
After a rush around and a very stressful couple of days I ended up doing a Philosophy and Literature degree. It may have seen like the second choice but it ended up being the best thing that happened. I absolutely loved the chance to do something different and it opened my eyes to many things. At the heart of philosophy is an ability to look analytically at circumstances and to question.
It may seem as though it is a world away from day-to-day life but in fact it is the very essence of life.
As today is World Philosophy Day it has reconnected me with the three years of studying the subject. I wonder why it is not a subject that is taught in both primary and secondary schools. After all it helps to build analytical skills, it encourages detailed assessment of situations, and it requires the ability to develop a logical argument. All of these things are an important aspect of the modern world.
It isn’t all about Kant, Descartes and Stuart Mill. But reviewing the thoughts and words of the famous philosophers can help to assess modern day problems. It just needs you to have an open mind so that you will consider different theories on life and it may even help your decision making.
As I look back on the time I spent studying philosophy, it may not have been my first choice, and I may have taken some ridicule from people about it, but I will never regret taking that path which has given me so much over the years.