How Philosophy Can Help You Become a Better Person

Philosophy is a subject that has been around for centuries. It's the study of wisdom and truth, as well as moral goodness. For some, philosophy is an obscure and difficult subject to grasp. But for those who take the time to learn about it, they'll find that philosophy can make them a better person in many ways.

What Is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a branch of knowledge which studies the deep questions about the meaning of life and existence. It is a quest for wisdom. Philosophical thinking is critical, generally has a systematic approach, and relies on rational argument.

There are various branches of philosophy including aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic and metaphysics.

Philosophy  /fɪˈlɒsəfi/   (Noun)  

Middle English: from Old French philosophie, via Latin from Greek philosophia ‘love of wisdom’.

The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

from Oxford Languages

8 Ways Philosophy Can Help You Be a Better Person

    1. Philosophy can help you develop critical thinking skills that are crucial for finding solutions in everyday life. Rational and logical thinking will help you make better decisions.
    2. Reading books about Eastern philosophy may teach you how to live in the moment, while reading Western philosophy may help you understand your place in society.
    3. Philosophy gives you an opportunity to learn different perspectives on life and further develop your ability to have empathy for others. Understanding how someone else feels and what they are going through is a very important skill that will help you connect with others on a deeper level.
    4. Rather than changing our lives completely with a new job or goal, philosophy teaches us how to make small changes every day for positive results. From little things big things grow.
    5. The lessons learned from studying philosophy will help you understand yourself better and improve your relationships with others. Self-awareness (the ability to be aware of your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviours) is important as it allows you to control your emotions and understand the reasons behind your actions. For example, if you were to notice that you are constantly yelling at your children, you would be able to recognise that you have a problem, try to understand why it’s happening, and take the action to change your behaviour and therefore, improve your relationship with your children. Self-awareness leads to more happiness and contentment.
    6. Philosophy can teach you to take personal responsibility for the choices you make in life and the subsequent events created by those choices. It also helps you let go of what you cannot control. Taking personal responsibility for your life is vital for happiness and success. What does a happy and successful life look like to you? Be responsible for creating it!
    7. Reading philosophy will help you find answers to the existential questions you might have. Who am I? Why are we here? What does it mean to be human?
    8. If you are feeling lost or confused philosophy can help you find your sense of direction.

      Tips for Reading Philosophy Books

        • Be open minded and ask questions.
        • Take notes while reading the book. And, dare I say it, if the book is yours, and you know it’s not a rare or valuable copy, write in the margin and underline or highlight important text. This will help you to understand the main idea of the book easily and will also be helpful for reviewing the topics later on. Fellow readers of philosophy will more than likely appreciate your insights in the future if you choose to pass the book on.
        • Consider the context. Always keep in mind who wrote the book, when and where it was published, for what audience it was originally intended, and what purposes it was supposed to achieve.
        • To help memorise important concepts, use mnemonic tools such as acronym, song, rhyme, image, phrase or sentence.
        • Take your time and read carefully. Encourage yourself to slow down and engage the text at a personal level.
        • Read widely and choose topics that interest you so that you’re able to enjoy yourself while learning something new.

          The benefits of reading philosophy are endless!

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