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Practicality of philosophy

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By Seo Young-hoon

I truly enjoy philosophy. To exercise and hone my mind to think and develop an idea or perspective in the pursuit of truth is a captivating and intriguing experience. While my school does not offer a course in philosophy, I immerse myself with the thoughts of Plato, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and Nietzsche by reading their works. However, sometimes, I feel as though I was born in the wrong era, as if I was supposed to be born in either ancient Greece or early modern Europe in the company of the aforementioned philosophers. This is because of the erroneous yet ubiquitous misunderstanding in contemporary society that philosophy no longer has value.

A few years ago, Stephen Hawking, an eminent physicist, declared that "philosophy is dead" and that scientists have replaced philosophers in the pursuit of truth. This notion that philosophy is obsolete and does not possess practical utility is not exclusive to Hawking but instead permeates throughout our society. We often render philosophy as meaningless squabbles over semantics and abstracts, and therefore, believe that philosophy has no........

© The Korea Times