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Why Philosophy? January 9, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.

I was sitting in Delfosse’ Proseminar for Gottlob Frege’s Funktion, Begriff, Bedeutung today.

And Delfosse reminded us that he knows nuts about him. Well, he said it during the 1st Sitzung already.

So why am i still in his Proseminar?

Basically, i decided long ago that Uni would not be just about learning content and content. If i did decide so, i would’ve obeyed my parents and gone to study some science subject. I decided that there’s got to be more to life than just knowledge and facts. I wanted to learn about myself. And learn about living.

That’s something which kept me in Delfosse’ Proseminar. Instead of going into content, which is what one would expect (i mean, come on, this happens almost everywhere – the other philo profs like Müller and Fröhlich are prime examples of people who DO know tons and tons and teach it – and they CAN teach well) he goes into methodical approaches to the text, with a very heavy emphasis on Selbstbezug.

He asks, for example, ‘with what expectations did YOU begin reading this text?’ ‘what would YOU do?’ and so on, and so forth.

And today, when some of us remarked that we were missing the content point of the Proseminar, Delfosse remarked: ‘as i already warned you, i’m not the person for Frege. If you wish, go to Mr. Müller or someone else who does.’ Basically, his point of view when it comes to philosophy is that he’s not about content. Rather, he’s about trying to open a door for us to understand and learn about ourselves. As far as he’s concerned, if we want to learn about Frege, we can do it ourselves.

Rather extreme and unbefitting of a university professor, don’t you think?

I beg to differ. Well, it’s true that Philosophie an der Uni Trier will go down if all the profs were Delfosses. But this offers me a very different viewpoint, one which i would not have thought possible in Singapore, or for such a treasure trove like philosophy. He touches on practical philosophy, which deals with our lives. Some come to the conclusion after years of study that they know nothing (as epitomised by Goethe’s Faust) while others understand and change their lives. And that is perhaps the most important thing about university life, from my perspective.

Why did i study philosophy? Everyone says that philosophy is a useless subject which won’t earn you big bucks on the job market. But there IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THAT. Sure, no money will die. But do you just spend your life, or do you live it? Do you spend your life chasing money, never getting satisfied? Do you spend your life chasing power? Or do you choose to live your life?

I choose to live.

I am starting to see that i can learn a lot…a lot from philosophy. And in learning more, in reading how others lived and thought, i believe i can make my life better. I don’t want to swim in money. I just want to live the best life i know i can live.

So are we, ultimately, free to live the lives we decide we wish to live? Or do we listen to someone who says that he knows the ultimate truth and that we should all live according to his codex of life (as in many religions?) Do we believe in what we wish to believe or do we believe in The One and Only Almighty, condemning everyone else to burn in Hell?

My life is mine to create, to nourish, and to live. And i want to know, when Death comes to me and whispers that it’s time to say goodbye, that from all i’ve learned, from all that i’ve understood, i’ve made the best out of it.

This is the beginning of my love affair with knowledge. To know and to understand, in order to live.



1. nedstark - January 10, 2007

The thing in singapore is that people chase money…but VERY VERY few actually get the money…the rest just slog their lives away…and when they find out that they have been living a rather meaningless life…most will choose to continue anyway for to do otherwise is to prove that they have never actually started LIVING…

2. Dr.Huang - January 11, 2007

Thanks for listing my blog on your site!
Philosophy is important for all of us.
I enjoy reading it but am really only scratching the surface.
Mostly political philosophy and on logic/ knowledge ( or is it truth?)
Favourite is still JS Mills.
Will visit more often!
Good luck on your teaching career!
I appreciate my teachers and always remember them ( ok only the good ones)


3. The Truth - January 12, 2007

Hi Dr.Huang,

it’s my pleasure. Of course, it’s because i read your site too loh…heh. regards!

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