Philosophical Thought Essay, Research Paper
Fulfillment is Gained Through Philosophical Thought
The ability to think philosophical is the ability to truly understand and know ones surroundings and everything that influences those surroundings to the degree that that knowledge becomes the ultimate understanding and appreciation of the surroundings without question. With this ultimate understanding, a philosopher is able to appreciate life and live life to a fuller degree than the average person. Unfortunately, becoming a philosopher or even recognizing a philosopher can become difficult. Therefore, in order to live a philosophical life, one must understand what philosophy is and have a clear perception of why they desire a life as a philosopher and the hardships that ultimately coincide with it.
A philosopher is a person that desires one part of something no greater than the other. He eagerly and freely tries all kinds of learning and avidly wants more knowledge at all times. Unfortunately, a ?true philosopher? can be confused with a person of similar characteristics, a person of sight and sound. The true philosopher is one that searches for the truth behind something that is, unlike the person of sight and sound that only sees or hears what is and then moves on to the next thing, only viewing and listening to it and only appreciating what they can see and hear. The true philosopher searches for the eternal truth behind what is or what is not in determination of reaching the ultimate conclusion on that which is. For example, if we use beauty as a subject, a person of sight or sound would view or hear something beautiful and know it is beautiful and enjoy its beauty and that is it; they would not however search or desire the nature of beauty itself (476 b-c). This is what separates a true philosopher from a person of sight and sound. Thus, a philosopher not only enjoys the object that is beautiful, but he appreciates the meaning of beauty, comparing it to other beautiful things, desiring and embracing the ultimate nature of beauty along with the physical object that is beautiful. The understanding of this beauty as itself allows the philosopher to fully and ultimately understand, like or dislike, or question or conclude anything that he may further want to comprehend on the subject of beauty. Thus, comprehension of this sort gives the true philosopher knowledge of beauty rather than simple opinion. If someone opines something, or has an opinion on a subject, he finds his opinion as the ultimate understanding of that subject and refuses and disregards any further understanding of it. To further explain, if a person views something that is beautiful and that is all he is capable of understanding, the objects physical beauty, then he does not understand the ultimate truth behind that object and its beauty it possesses drawing to a personal opinion of that object. Thus, an opinion is simply an incomplete truth. An opinion is not necessarily wrong in its idea, rather it is simply not a complete idea or understanding. To be a complete idea and understanding, the idea must be universal. This is a key to philosophical thought. The idea being drawn from a subject must be absolute and universal in its being, thus being the ultimate understanding or idea. Therefore, to conclude, a philosopher is one who has knowledge of something rather than an opinion, acquiring that knowledge through true appreciation of the subject in its universal and absolute state.
Being a philosopher is not always easy. Along with understanding how a philosopher thinks and learns knowledge, one must also understand the hardships that coincide with it. But first, one must have a clear perception of why they want to be a philosopher. A full understanding and self-recognition of why one wants to be a philosopher will allow them to completely defend themselves when necessary. Being a philosopher allows a person to grasp a situation, an object, or an idea with an ultimate appreciation and knowledge. Thus, a philosopher is superior towards people of opinion or that do not have an understanding at all. A person of courage, high-mindedness, ease in learning, and a good memory belong to the nature of philosophy and philosophical thought as described above (490 c-d). With this array of qualities, a philosopher is able to view life in a very unique way. His appreciation for an object, subject, or idea becomes concise and complete, allowing him to enjoy the essence of a thing rather than questioning it. Once this essence or ultimate conclusion has been deducted, the philosopher gains knowledge and moves to the next object, subject, or idea to be understood. Therefore, as the philosopher gains more knowledge he becomes not only superior in his intellect, but he begins to understand the true meanings of life and everything that goes along with life. One would be foolish not to desire this way of thinking. Once the philosopher appreciates his abilities, then he can honestly and firmly uphold his beliefs as a philosopher.
Understanding his abilities and appreciating them, a philosopher can begin to teach his knowledge to his inferiors. Unfortunately, a philosopher with radical yet true knowledge is now contested with societal issues concerning ethics and things of that sort which can ultimately get him punished and killed for tyranny. Not everyone will always believe the knowledge a philosopher has to offer. Those people, living in their blindness (476 c-d), will try and eliminate a philosopher?s teachings because of its corruptness towards society as they see it. This corruption is simply the unparallel of philosophical thoughts with the everyday societal lifestyle. In a society, people become formed by that society, living and believing in what the greater majority of society believe in in such a way that they avoid conflict or punishment. This is not uncommon at all. For instance, people that opine, those that are average in their being, do not like to cause problems or interrupt the rhythm of society; so they stay unquestioning, ultimately unphilosophical, and refuse to understand what a philosopher has to offer. Simply, the majority of society does not want to share the philosophical knowledge that the philosopher is willing to give because of their predetermined ideas and beliefs. Unfortunately, this refusal and harshness the majority exhibit towards philosophy is caused by those outsiders, rulers and guardians of the city, who do not belong and who have abused one another by indulging in quarrels and arguments in a way that is wholly inappropriate to philosophy (500 a-c). Until the time when philosophers control the city as guardians, they will have to be careful, yet dedicated, to the task of philosophical teaching and thought.
With an ultimate understanding and appreciation of the surroundings a philosopher holds as knowledge, he is able to see the truest meanings of life. Unfortunately, not being appreciated by all people and having difficult times at reaching the true understandings for some things weighs hard on a philosopher. Yet, with his courage and high-mindedness, the philosopher is able to be patient with his hardships. Eventually, while forming an understanding and knowledge of everything that surrounds him, the philosopher learns to live a life of fullness, appreciating all that is and all that might not be.