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Why Philosophy? Amod Sandhya Lele

This article was originally posted on Why Philosophy by Amod Lele

What is philosophy to you? 

Philosophy is the love of wisdom – or more specifically, the disciplined search for wisdom that comes out of that love. It’s a quest, a search for deep answers that isn’t satisfied with the easy answers offered by others around you. Like all of our knowledge, philosophy is grounded in the traditions of those who came before us – including traditions of scientific inquiry, of political commitment, and of what is often called “religion”. But philosophy seeks to take the next step, to ask the next question that others who share your tradition aren’t asking – and that can deepen your commitment to the tradition, or take you in a completely different direction. Being philosophical means crossing boundaries – refusing to let your inquiry be contained by the bounds set by a discipline. You’re looking for truth wherever it is to be found.

How were you first introduced to philosophy? 

I was lucky to get taught some philosophy in high school, through a course offered there and an enrichment mini-course taught through Queen’s University. It happened that at the same time, I was exposed to my first real political debates, in online forums that predated the internet. Those debates led me to look deeper and think about the presuppositions underlying my own positions – which those philosophy classes helped me do. And I’ve never stopped that deeper looking. A friend in a great books programkept pushing the hard questions further during undergrad, and then Buddhism changed my life in Thailand. The big question in my mind was how the Buddhist ideas I’d learned could make sense alongside the very different Western ideas I’d learned before, and that question has driven my philosophical work ever since.

Continue reading at Why Philosophy.

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