What is philosophy for?

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“From a distance, philosophy seems weird, irrelevant, boring — and yet, also, a just a little intriguing. But what are philosophers really for?

The answer is, handily, already contained in the wordphilosophy itself.

In Ancient Greek, philo means “love” and sophia means “wisdom” — philosophers are people devoted to wisdom. Being wise means attempting to live and die well.

In their pursuit of wisdom, philosophers have developed a very specific skill set — they have, over the centuries, become experts at many of the things that made people not very wise.”

Beautifully animated this video from Alain de Botton of The School of Life  cleverly explains why philosophy is a “powerful and necessary tool of government, leadership, and personal growth in everyday life”.

Follow philosopher and writer Alain de Botton on Twitter.

Find The School of Life online.

I saw first saw “What Is Philosophy For?” at Brain Pickings – Maria Popova‘s personal [digital] inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.

Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

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“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956