How did you get interested in philosophy?

Just wondering how people got interested in this ‘obscure’ subject.

it’s not obscure, it’s relevant to how we all live our lives etc, etc.

i dunno i think it is rather obscure to take it as a major part of your life… i mean most people will think about this kinda thang but will never go out of their way to lern more about it… such as taking philosophy as your degree in university (which i later digress was a waste of time and money and just flushed 10000 bucks down the drain) twas interesting tho… just not worth the money.

i got interested in philosophy tho the first time i did mushrooms. sounds corny but… tit opened my eyes to a whoel other world.

Good question: I think in my case that there were two major incidents that sparked my interest.

The first was a documentary (as part of an Australian religious affairs program called Compass I think) I saw where, even though it was only really incidental to the subject matter, they discussed Cartesian dualism and the absence of the absolute in general. I think I was about 15 at this stage (I’ve just turned 19 for those who may be interested), and while I can’t quite describe the impact it had on me (which is not necessarily to say that it was a particularly big impact), the notion of existential doubt - specifically, the fallibility of the senses - struck something with me. I don’t think it was so much this realisation, though, as the pattern of thought that lead to this conclusion. By this stage, as someone who was already flexing his epistemological muscles by having discovered atheism for himself and already having theological discussions with Christians I knew, this pattern of thought - even though I was unaware, really, of what the term “philosophy” meant at this stage - sparked some flame within me. I think I was in a state of existential angst for weeks after this.

The second incident occurred at school, and marks probably the only meaningful thing I learnt during my entire time there. For English we had to study L’Etranger (is that the right spelling?) by Albert Camus, and as part of the process, we had to learn about the philosophy of nihilsm (as per the philosophy that forms the basis of the novel). No-one else seemed interested, yet - even though we never reached any great depths with the topic of Nihilism - once again, the material struck a cord with me. All this talk of truth - as though there should be any doubt as to what it is comprised of - seemed foreign, yet undeniably appealing. Once again, it wasn’t nihilism itself that grabbed my attention, it was the method of thought behind it.

Once school finished, I began to reading philosophical texts, and maintained this pattern of sitting outside in the sun with a packet of cigarrettes and some literature all summer. The things I learnt during those 3-4 months was astonishing. I had an old philosophy text book (as in the kind that they would prescribe to first year students of philosophy, replete with topic questions at the end of each chapter) and at the turn of every page was something new and exciting to be learnt. It may sound a bit absurd (excuse the pun) now, but the thrill I got from just learning about these concepts (of which I had never even thought about, let alone come to some conclusion about them) has, sadly, never been equalled in the time succeeding it.

So that’s my story. I hope that someone, somewhere, attained complete enlightenment during the time it took me to write it.

i haven’t really discovered philosophy, when people start posting about Aristotle’s Dissertations or whatever i have no idea what they mean, but i do have an interest in answering many of the questions raised on these boards and the Politics & Economics forum does have a few interesting discussions though :wink:

The word “philosophy” literally means the “love of wisdom”. So anything and everything is about philosophy really.

  • Sivakami.

I’ve been interested in philosophy a long time, but never in reading it. I’d always liked to think about these sorts of things on my own, since I spent a lot of free time by myself. What got me into reading the philosophy of other people and into discussing philosophy, I’d have to say, is when I took an intro “mind, world and self” philosophy class in my freshman year. I had a lot of fun comparing my own views to the people we were reading, and also started to learn that there were a lot of things other people had considered in the past which I hadn’t thought about yet.

Actually, Camus is an existentialist and The Stranger is an existentialist novel. Nihilism claims no meaning to anything, extistentialism is all about the creation of personal menaning that only appies to the self. ('Course it does them both an injustice to generalizations into several words each.)

Well yes, but the existentialism of Camus and his contemporaries - i.e. Satre - was born of nihilism.

Nihilism (in the philosophical sense) amounts the the rejection of God and the resultant rejection of any inherent meaning in human life. The optimisitc existentialism of Camus and Satre came from this quite pesimistic approach. Thus Camus is neither a nihilist nor an existentialist, but rather both.

Or at least that’s the way I see it. :wink:

It’s kind of funny how I got interested in Philosophy. I really didn’t know I was interested in philosophy till someone told me. See, my whole life, or since I could write, I have been writing my thoughts on life and every aspect of it in a book. One day a friend asked me what I call my book or the topic of what I write - I could not answer. We talked some more about it and came to a realization that it was philosophy. This was further confirmed when I started to read about philosophers and began taking courses on them. It appears that I have hit upon many of the things ancient philosophers have, just in a slightly different way. I believe philosophy is my calling, and I believe that philosophy is responsible for all the great things we have in life. Anyway who has read ancient philosophy knows that everything started with philosophy. It was philosophers that were the first scientists - only they weren’t called that.

What’s your take?

What I meant was that no one really thinks about Nietzche or the death of God everyday…it affects us, but not many people actually read about it.

So a class got you interested… heh, I started getting interested by doing something that didn’t really involve philosophy: policy debate. I don’t know if you ever heard of this, but there are these arguments that are called “kritiks” that, instead of using traditional policy arguments like a plan couldn’t solve because it will involve a backlash from another nation, etc., they critique a plan by something like the plan perpetrates sexism. So did anyone else do speech and debate while they were in high school?

I didn’t have much of an interest until I came to this site really. I was doing a search on yahoo for something odd to do, I was REALLY bored that day, then I came here and then I stopped searching because I found the 1… lol :unamused: (aww…)

I realized that I was alive.

The band Tool. Namely the album Lateralus.

when you ask more questions than people can answer you can either accept when they say your stupid or ask why.

Sufficant to say my natural curriosity grew until it could not be suppressed by synicism, and once there I simply continued to ask why allong with what if, and how.

For me there is little else to it, save for the desire to learn and understand the universe around me, and I have often found that science can explain certin aspects of life, but without asking questions it is meaningless.

thus spake zarathustra

I was 14 when I got taken in by the mystery and rich imagery of the Tarot. So I learnt it. And it was pretty clear to me that this was more than a simple divination tool - that there were some fundamental ideas about ethics and the how the universe works.

Pretty soon I got disinterested in divination (and ultimately, practising any kind of divination, even reading your stars in the paper, requires a philosophical stance) and followed up on the ideas behind it.

AWESOME, do you sacrifice goats and raise people from the dead. If so, I would like to commission you to raise my father from the grave. I could pay you in goats.

I take goats too, but I’m not cheap :smiley:

“Cogito ergo sum”

The ancients used two pieces of wood to make fire.
Were they using magic or physics or logic?
When you decide to answer this question what do you do?

Philosophy is the science of thinking. At least for me.

About great philosophers? Same then sales guys.
Many are a ‘waste of skin’ but the few who is good can make our life better.

Sounds like what you said came in the grammatic style and logic of Mr. Bush himself.