Philosophy, from the
Greek ‘philia’ and ‘sophia’—‘love of wisdom’, is a practice that lies at the
foundation and heart of nearly every other field. Historically, the philosopher has had an
important role in the evaluation of beliefs and values of every variety,
challenging us to justify and re-evaluate the commitments of ourselves and our
societies. They have sought knowledge of
the true nature of things (from the world, to humanity, to morality, and
everything in between) and tried to develop the methods to help attain that
In philosophy, one learns a variety of skills:
the ability to evaluate ideas, to develop theories and explanations, to think with
both depth and complexity, to view the world through alternate perspectives,
and to formulate a sense of value and meaning.
While applicable in the workplace and in other fields of study, these
skills are even more important for their ability to foster personal
development, value integrity, and practical wisdom. As Plato noted, it is no small matter that
philosophy addresses, but the matter of how one is to live.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF
- Be willing to look for your assumptions and biases, no matter
how uncomfortable such a search may be.
- Be relentless in examining your
beliefs, assumptions and biases.
- Recognize that the experiences and
perceptions of others are different from yours, and that a fuller picture of
the world can only be had by stepping outside of your own experience and
looking at the world through the eyes of others as well.
- Follow where the evidence leads, even
when it leads somewhere new. Do not be
afraid of changing your mind.
- Be willing to defend your beliefs
with reasons and evidence; do not take refuge in tradition, authority, or
- Critically evaluate ideas, not
- Strive to think critically and fairly
in your assessment of the beliefs and ideas of yourself and others.
- Do not be afraid to admit ignorance
- Do not treat philosophy as a
- Use the resources and methods of philosophical inquiry
to transform your own life and the lives of those around you.