Literally taken, philosophy means love of wisdom. The ancient Greeks took philosophy seriously, because they knew of its practical consequences for daily living. When the word philosophy comes to mind, however, many people associate it with being clever, but especially with being able to argue cleverly. Thus, in the Philippines, we have the untranslatable word filosopo, which is often linked to the ability to win an argument in a way that baffles the mind. But this is far from its original meaning. Philosophy is really about asking why. A philosopher is not content with seeing things as they are. Indeed, he is not satisfied with asking why. He even dreams of things not yet tried, and he asks—why not? He goes beyond what ordinary people think of what is reality all about, what is true, good and beautiful. This is one reason why it is important to be a lover of wisdom.
But if we consider how most people think, it may be noticed that they are content with what appears to them, or what other people tell them. They hardly inquire into the whys and wherefores of things. We observe, for example, that what many call good and important revolves around personal achievement and possession. The common question is: what have you got? A pretty or handsome face? A colorful career? Prestige? At the President Estrada Impeachment Trial in 2000-2001, for instance, a lady senator known for dispensing legal wisdom in an inimitable fashion, seemingly browbeat a witness lawyer, Ma. Jasmin Banal, with a suggestion that the normal career path of law graduates from the University of the Philippines (UP) is to choose a high-paying job over a low-paying one. In other words, for the lady senator common sense teaches that UP law graduates are motivated primarily by monetary self-interest in their career. Of course, one wonders if this is true of most professionals. But the fact that we admire people who accumulate wealth, even if the way they acquire it is morally questionable, says much of how we look at the realities of living. Continue reading here.