For every student of philosophy, you’ll realize that the moment you mention to anybody that you studied philosophy, they’re more likely to doubt your belief in God or even ask you out rightly if you believe that God exists.
Well this article tries to examine this seemingly all important yet seemingly unimportant endeavor.
For this sake of this article, I’m not referring to that philosophy where you write quotable quotes or saying your life philosophies. I’m talking about the rational enquiry into the deep nature of life and science. That study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. A philosopher in this article will mean a person engaged or learned in philosophy, especially as an academic discipline.
We will glean into the impact of philosophy on our society today; government, science, social structure, medicine, psychology and many more. My hope is that this help you define your thinking and sharpen your tongue.
Since the advent of the scientific method in the sixteenth century, the sciences have revolutionized our world. With unprecedented speed and leaving one world-changing discovery after another in their wake, the sciences have grown into what they are today – the empirical study of nearly everything. The success of the sciences has led many people to conclude that they have superseded philosophy as a mode of inquiry. 
But the idea that philosophy has become irrelevant is a myth founded on obsolete ideas about what philosophers do and reflects a lack of awareness about what goes on inside philosophy departments around the world. 
These articles will give you a better understanding of what philosophy is and why it’s still important today. Along the way, you’ll learn many tricks of the trade that will help you to become a clearer thinker and a more persuasive speaker. I sincerely hope I can finish it in one post but if not, we’ll continue from wherever we leave things.
Philosophy and science may seem like they’re in competition with each other, but they’re not.
We all philosophize from time to time. We philosophize when we stop dead in the street, struck by the question of what the purpose of life really is. We philosophize when someone challenges one of our deep convictions, forcing us to justify our views. In fact, philosophy is as essential to human existence as sleeping and breathing.
Of course, every discipline asks big questions and searches for evidence and reasons for their conclusions. A physicist might ask, “What is light?” A historian might ask, “What was feudalism?”
So what distinguishes philosophy from these other fields of inquiry?
Well, for one, it asks the most general questions of all. Like this one: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Admittedly, this question is pretty vague. It’s not clear how one would even begin to answer it. Without a doubt, questions like these contribute to the stereotype that philosophers just sit around pondering unanswerable and inconsequential questions.
Contrast this with the common image of the scientist as a fastidious experimenter who takes great pains to test and observe real-world phenomena. No wonder scientists have a better public image than philosophers!
But are scientists and philosophers really all that different? For most of European history, there was no distinction between philosophy and science, and people who studied nature were referred to as “natural philosophers.” It wasn’t until the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that science developed into a separate discipline, with its own methods and fields of study.
Since then, of course, the sciences have made rapid progress, with one momentous discovery following another, leaving their mark on our world forever.
Today, it can seem as though science has superseded philosophy. While they study many of the same things, such as the nature of space and time, perhaps scientific methods are just better equipped to answer these questions.
But are scientific methods able to answer all the traditional problems of philosophy?
How, for instance, would you set up an experiment to answer a question like “Does the number seven exist?” After all, you can’t exactly observe the number seven, can you? we’ll take a look at some of the things that philosophers do, and we’ll see that philosophy has its own unique concerns, different from those of the natural sciences.
Philosophers examine, clarify and critique the concepts we use to communicate.
Once the natural sciences had established their usefulness in the study of the natural world, a seismic shift would take place in philosophy, which needed to carve out a new place for itself if it was going to survive in a changing world.
This shift would become known as the linguistic turn. It was during this period, at the turn of the twentieth century, that the focus of philosophy moved away from discussions about the nature of worldly things to discussions about the language we use to talk about them.
A leading figure in this movement was the Austrian philosopher of language Ludwig Wittgenstein, who believed that all philosophical problems would resolve themselves if we could only clarify the meanings of the terms we use.
This was, perhaps, a bit optimistic. Nevertheless, it’s true that many disagreements arise because of ambiguities in the language we use. Try asking a philosopher whether we have free will, for instance. You’re unlikely to get a yes or no answer. The philosopher will probably return with the question, “Well, what do you mean by free will?” 
This question might be annoying, but it has a point: the concept of free will is very ambiguous. Sometimes it’s used to mean that a person has the freedom to act according to their own motivations. But it can also be defined as our ability to make decisions completely spontaneously and caused by nothing but ourselves. These two definitions are likely to lead to two very different answers to the question, “Do we have free will?” It’s therefore helpful to specify exactly what we mean to avoid talking at cross purposes. 
The problem is that many concepts, even seemingly simple ones, are difficult to define. Take the concept woman, for example. It’s notoriously difficult to pin down since there are so many aspects to womanhood. Past attempts at defining woman according to anatomical features, reproductive function or social role have been criticized for being overly restrictive. The fact is, there are real people behind the word “woman,” and people have an interest in not being pigeonholed into narrow definitions. In cases like this, the role of philosophy reverses: it aims to undermine overly simplistic, naïve and restrictive definitions by fleshing out their complexities.
So, on the one hand, we can become clearer speakers by clarifying what we mean by the concepts that we use. On the other hand, we can develop a richer and more complex understanding of the phenomena we’re talking about by being sensitive to the multiple meanings implicit in the concepts we use.
At this point, I think I should pause a bit and return in the next post on how philosophers develop an understanding of complex phenomena that isn’t readily available to everyone. Besides, their job is to think about what people think about, thinking about thinking.
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments box provided below.
Have a fruitful day!


Olusola Bodunrin
Olusola Bodunrin is a social commentator with a passion for gathering facts on social issues. He is writer, businessman, blogger, and wardrobe consultant. He is a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Ado-Ekiti. He anchors – ‘What You Should Know’ on SHEFFA. ‘What You Should Know’ is a column that offers to educate and enlighten the public on general falsehood and myths.