What is philosophy? Do we really need one?

Philosophy is the world of ideas, the ideas which can offer solace to the struggling human being in this world.  Over centuries, from the Greek to the early 20th centuries in maintained a connectivity with the common man, though as a subject matter it was the domain of some upper layers of the society.  But most philosophers since ages in every society were guides of the ordinary people in times of crisis.  As the subjects of human study expanded over years, the philosophy also struggled hard to prove its own existence. Even with the expanding area of knowledge in all spheres of human life and experience, philosophy maintained its distinction as either one explain away the complexity and multiplicity, and or as one relating it to human predicament, and offering the reason for continued enthusiasm of the man in this wilderness.  There was also deeper connect between the growing branches of knowledge, and the need to reconcile the same with general needs of the society.  Even up to the mid of 20th century, the purpose of philosophy was to universalize the individualized knowledge.

But post-1950s, with several uncertainties and relative nature of outcomes, even with in science, and with a higher intensity in social sciences, the project of philosophy has itself lost its path somewhere into relativity, uncertainty, and ultimately into a mere play of words.  Now the philosophy has gone so far away from the people, and become so irrelevant to a common man that a regular question would be raised by any ordinary person if somebody claims he has been pursuing philosophy – “What do you do with the study of philosophy?”

Man started his journey with the unfathomable fury of nature contesting his existence.  Somewhere in the way religion offered some solace.  Later scientific inquiry started unfolding the secrets of nature one by one.  Positive sciences in an alliance with secular philosophies led man to some certainty.  But the humongous scientific inquiry split into minute studies.  Suddenly by the mid of twentieth century, man was returned back to his existential doubts, where philosophy distanced itself from its role.  Now the spiritual unrest of man needs to be addressed by the religion again?  Does philosophy has the strength and intent to offer anything to the man?

Dr. A. Raghu Kumar, Advocate
Flat No. 401, Shashank Residency,
Tarnaka, Hyderabad
Email: avadhanamraghukumar@gmail.com