Just wrote this paper for my philosophy class in maybe 30 minutes (maybe a little more). Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s shit. I really don’t know. I think it’s good, but I think that it also may be a pile of shit. Here was the prompt: “Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom. What kind of love is this? How is it different from other kinds of love?” And the following is my response:
I believe that the love of wisdom is a fundamental desire of human beings on the whole. I believe that human beings are naturally wired to want to understand the truth. I believe this is obvious in many ways, and I will illustrate this with several questions that are very frequently asked: “Does he love me?” “Why are we here?” “Is there a God?” “Can we cure cancer?” To these questions, there is a yes or no answer, albeit to varying degrees with the first question. “Does he love me?” can mean that he loves you a little or a lot. “Why are we here?” turns into a yes or no answer because the questions will inevitably be asked “Are we here for this reason?” and the answer will be yes or no, and the questions will continue to be asked. Is there a God must be a definite yes or no answer because He either exists or He does not: there cannot be a “partial” existence, for then there would be an existence, and the answer to the question would be “Yes.” Can we cure cancer is also a yes or no question, because logically, we either can or we cannot. It is not cured now, but that does not mean that it won’t be cured in the future, and it doesn’t mean that it will be, either. So truth is an underlying desire that is within all humans. This is also why there are things such as faith, hope, and beliefs in general. We want to know the truth, so we have faith that a certain thing will give us that truth, or we hope that it will, or we believe that it will. Our existence is not one that wants to be lied to. We are always striving for truth because it is in our nature.
Now, how is this different from other kinds of love? As I previously illustrated, I believe that it is actually very similar, and may in fact be no different at all. As I questioned earlier, “Does he love me?” is a question of truth or no, but it has another dimension in that although 2 + 2 has a sense of truth, it may not trigger the same response. There is a similarity between the fact that “Does he love me?” is a yes or no question, but the emotional response is usually different than asking “Does 2 + 2 = 4?” Both questions have either a yes or no answer, and although I believe that it is certainly possible for the one that asks “Does he love me?” to feel an exact measurement of emotions X and for another person that asks “Does 2 + 2 = 4?” to have that exact same response, even though it would be hard to measure, I believe, as I believe most things are in life, that the relationship between any types of love are subjective. To explain the difference between philosophy and other types of love would be of my subjective opinion, which would be, more than likely, different than the subjectivities of others. I believe that to some, the love is no different. Perhaps they will say that they are happier solving math equations than spending time with their wife, even if they really, truly do love their wife. Perhaps they love animals more so than children. Perhaps it is vice versa. But I believe that in almost every cause, to describe how philosophy is different from other kinds of love really can only be answered on a subjective level and not an objective level. So for this purpose, I say that it can only be different on an individual, subjective level, and perhaps philosophy and other types of love may be very similar within the minds of some individuals while completely different than others. Perhaps an individual reveres philosophy on the same level as basketball, and perhaps another person reveres philosophy as much as soccer, and hates basketball. Could we say that both individuals’ love for philosophy is the same? It is hard to say: perhaps it is, or perhaps it is not. So I really believe that any relationship between philosophy and other types of love can only be solved on the subjective level, which means that everything occurs on an individual level. So, in my opinion, philosophy is a fundamental desire of humans, and human beings vary on their types of their desires and the extent to which they desire them, so they could be felt exactly in the same way or completely differently.
August 20, 2013.