Forgotten subject and a modern taunt?

Science without philosophy leads to chaos. Philosophy without science leads to nowhere!

Today I am going to bore you with Philosophy. "Philosophy nahi chahiye..." is a very common taunt today. It seems like an irony that "Philosophy" in Greek is "Philosophia" meaning love of wisdom but it is being used as taunt for long boring speeches. So "aaj thodi philosophy ho jaaye".


Obviously it wasn't like this. It used to be and even today is the most fundamental way of learning and exploration in all streams of learning. Some of you may know that PhD stands for Philosophiae Doctor. So Ph.D. in Physics means studying Physics in the most fundamental ways and expanding the universe of knowledge. This is done by intense questioning of the existing knowledge and by seeking answers with or without actually finding those answers. It is simply the journey of seeking. And it's beautiful.


Few Examples


The thing about all knowledge is that it is dynamic. Like an electron or photon is a particle and a wave at the same time, similarly knowledge at all times is partly accurate and partly changing. Like for example -

  1. Newton's Three Laws of Motion are now known to be true only for inertial frame of reference and that too as an approximation. It works for most of the common scenarios but not all. Like rocket's trajectory cannot be predicted with these laws.

  2. Atomic Model has changed from Dalton's to Rutherford's to Bohr's to Quantum Model and continues to change. It is just an approximation based on what current testing procedures can measure with a certain level of accuracy.

Understanding the accuracy of a discovery or information is the only way of understanding it. Nothing in the world as we know it is 100% accurate. Therefore philosophy of education is based on continuous questioning.


Let's take a statement as an example - "Everyone on the planet has a different face. Everyone in more than 7,000,000,000 people has a unique face." Even if you discover 1000 people who have same faces as 1000 others, my statement would still remain 99.99997% accurate. A 0.00003% doubt is generated. Now would you call my statement true or false?


A 99.99997% level of accuracy is enough to confirm a scientific discovery of a particle. Your Covid RT-PCR tests have approximately 99.7% accuracy. But you would call my statement false and the Covid RT-PCR report true. Why?


The point is that there is always some margin of error or doubt in all knowledge. And questioning that doubt or error builds curiosity that has kept science and discovery going for centuries and will continue to do so forever. Without knowledge of this doubt or question, there is no progress possible in science and our knowledge.


This is why all students are encouraged to ask questions without fear but they still don't because they think it will be considered their weakness. The fear of asking questions is plain and simple ignorance of science and philosophy that science itself is built on. It is a sign of weak ignorant individuals the world is full off today. Get rid of this fear.

There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers.

Some who's who of Philosophy


I cannot cover the history of Philosophy here but this article would be incomplete if we did not name a few of the greatest philosophers that have lived on the planet.


Buddha with his questioning of pain and suffering as a negative emotion established it as an invaluable human experience. Charaka with his questioning of medicines for treatment of disease created an Ayurveda for living a healthy lifestyle to prevent all disease rather than treat them. Chanakya's questioning of complex human interactions established early principles of management. Aristotle's questioning of logic expressed all logic in the form of math. Immanuel Kant with his critique of human reasoning power established the existence of Pure Reason free of worldly experiences that we have after birth. Nietzsche with his questioning of what is truth demarcated truth from perspective which we debate today. Marx's questioning of societal well being created the strongest principles of economics and politics for large scale governance. Confucius questioned human morality to shape Asian culture as we see today. Sun Tzu questioned the nature of war to create the Art of War which influences army tactics till today.... an unending list of people who asked questions and changed the world. Interestingly none of them were completely accurate but they pointed to the directions which humanity has walked.


Those who sat back disinterested or think they knew everything only contributed to prolonging pain, suffering and ignorance in the world. So, be bold and ask questions.


In the bonus video, we see how Socrates questioned the concept of Democracy and helped in refining the way democracies work today. But it seems even the educated and the young are completely misdirected in their understanding of what it means. Watch and get smarter than the rest. Focus on the questions they asked.


Also watch the video about the story of how Gautama questioned his way to becoming Buddha. Focus on the questions they asked.


Watch and let us know what you think in comments. Like, share and subscribe for byte sized knowledge, advice for your future.







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