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Author Topic: "What is the benefit of your philosophy degree and your knowledge?"  (Read 59 times)

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MSL

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"What is the benefit of your philosophy degree and your knowledge?"


  I was born in a European socialist country. When I was a student, my parents, the books, the teachers, the media, everyone and everything, taught me/convinced me that knowledge is a value. I believed them. I still think so. I graduated at Philosophy. This major is a cultural major (i. e. a part of the culture. There is one view that states that culture is a sum of science + philosophy + the rest of knowledge). Personally, I like the scientific philosophy the most. My Master's degree is related to the philosophical anthropology. I read books every day, I learn some new information every day. I feel smarter every day. Really. Yes, but often, some people (I don't say "everyone", I just say "some") ask me, "Your philosophy degree and your knowledge..., what's the benefit?". Those who have studied philosophy and many of the people, who are clever enough, know that this question is a pragmatic (or utilitarian) question. For the pragmatists (or the utilitarianist) "It's no use.", "It's no meaning."  (For those kind of people "No use = no meaning.")  I'm a socialism oriented man. However, I feel how difficult it is to explain that my knowledge and diploma have a benefit, because I am a relatively poor person. There isn't a person who would want to buy my philosophical knowledge. That is why some people (those mentioned above) also think that "This person is poor, hence his knowledge and diploma are useless." This is the logical error called in Latin "Argumentum ad crumenam" (which can be applied/interpreted one way or another, but let me choose this way to explain it: "If you're rich, you're right, and if you're poor, you're not", or "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" Frankly, I do not agree with such arguments, but I do understand those men and women who think in this way. In many modern societies, a person without money (or without any other capital) is a person without opportunities. Here, for example, one can understand things like Confucius, Dialectics, elementary particles, Gambler's fallacy (in Chinese it's "赌徒谬误"), Vazov, Andromeda constellation, Verdi, a few foreign languages and so on, but this deep and varied (broad) knowledge has no bearing on his/her income. Everything (goods and services) wants money, not knowledge. For example, getting on the bus is supposed to buy a ticket, not to recite the new poem you just wrote; When you go to buy bread (rice, macaroni or something like these), the sellers also want you to pay with money, not to tell them about the Etymological fallacy (in Chinese it's "词源谬误") you've learned, for example; When you go to buy a book, the bookshops want you to pay with money, not, for example, to tell them about the history of the western opera you're studying. So, clearly, "you have money = you have goods, you have services", but if you're just one of those who have knowledge, it doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to get both goods and services. So, nowadays, the lives of the rich but not very clever persons are better compared to the lives of the smart but poor persons. But, hey, having knowledge makes sense. It IS a good thing. For example, those who have knowledge at least know how to avoid simple mistakes made by those who have no knowledge. For instance, some rich fool doesn't wash his hands, so he gets sick, he dies early. A smart man, though poor, washes his hands, so he doesn't get too sick, he doesn't die so early. Another example -- the rich fool doesn't know which foreign country is dangerous and randomly emigrates to a dangerous country after which he regrets. The smart guy slowly learns where it's dangerous, where it's safe, and then he doesn't regret it. So, definitely having knowledge is meaningful and useful. But this meaningfulness and this usefulness are not easy to understand. This kind of meaningfulness and usefulness are almost invisible (because most people, in general, are not very educated).
In conclusion: I know that a poor person's life is difficult and painful; I want to be rich too, but please don't tell me that my knowledge and diploma are useless. In many societies today, these things are less important than money, but they are still valuable!
A fan of science, philosophy and so on. :)

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