When some people think of philosophy they may think of some eccentric Albert Einstein-looking individual standing at the front of a classroom giving boring lectures about stuff that really doesn’t matter. Put simply, not everyone is excited to pursue philosophy. Here are some reasons why:
First, some think philosophy is just meaningless speculation and unnecessary quibbling over words. For many, philosophy may discuss some fancy matters, but it’s much about nothing.
Second, some don’t like philosophy because they don’t think it’s practical. There’s an old saying that goes, “Philosophy bakes no bread.” In other words, philosophy doesn’t practically help anybody’s life. It can’t fix a broken car or stop your sink from leaking. Thus, if philosophy can’t help us with anything useful, why study it?
Third, some refuse to study philosophy because they don’t think philosophy ever settles on firm conclusions. Although he was a philosopher himself, The French thinker, Voltaire (1694–1778), was skeptical about the contribution of philosophy. He stated,
“They [philosophers] like minuet dancers, who, being dressed to the greatest advantage, make a couple of bows, move through the room in the finest attitudes, display all their graces, are in perpetual motion without advancing a step, and finish at the identical point from which they set out.”
Fourth, some are nervous to study philosophy because it may lead them to question their own beliefs, and that can be scary. When one studies philosophy, he or she becomes aware of what great minds throughout history have thought. Many of these ideas may clash with what the student already believes. Some people simply don’t want to go down that path. They are not interested in seeing what others have believed nor are they desirous to place their own beliefs and values up to scrutiny.