Quora answer: What is the point of philosophy?

One point of philosophy is to understand the worldview you are living in.


We are living in a worldview dominated by Indo-European languages. About 60 percent of humans speak an Indo-European language and English has become the new Latin (universal language, which is unfortunate because it is so irregular). Thus the Indo-European worldview through colonialization and how through globalization has become dominant around the world. So the uniqueness of the Indo-european languages which is that alone of all language groups it has Being and that has become he new normal all over the world. So one question is whether Being had anything to do with the unexpected dominance of the Indo-Europeans world wide, and a second question is how does the fact that this worldview has Being effect us within it (Whorfian Hypothesis: languages matter). People who have non-indo-european languages have to adjust to there being a different and unusual standing from Existence as the norm. And then there is the question about whether Being had any effect on Technological evolution within the West and also the question of the relation between Technology and Nihilism.
Now only we do we need to understand our worldview better, but we also need to understand the myriad worlds and languages that are vanishing and their difference from our worldview. Those who are in different worldviews based on non-indo-european languages need to understand our Western worldview as well.
So for me the point of philosophy is that it is a resource for understanding the worldview, because many great thinkers have thought about it, and been shaped by that worldview in their thinking about other things.
Also there have been revolts against Being and attempts to return to Existence as the measure of life such as Buddhism which have deeply affected certain parts of the Indo-european world.
All of these factors add to the strangeness of the situation, where a unique linguistic structure has become dominant within the world actively shaping how we see things within our world. The worldvew brings certain things with it like Nihilism that is epidemic, Emergent Events that create radical uncertainty, proliferation of technology, Caste structures, the Fragmentation of Being, etc. We ned to understand these unintended consequences of our Western worldview’s dominance.
The point is that many Western philosophers have tried to work out various characteristics of the worldview, just in the process of thinking things through within it and trying to figure out their situation within their world. Some of these like Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger have become indispensable to our thinking about who we are. Now what we need to understand is how our worldview relates to existence as it has been understood in other languages, or by those who have rebelled against their own worldview and developed a concept of existence within it.

Posted February 2, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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