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Passion and the Purpose of Philosophy

  • "I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem with decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to know where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you believe and are acting from. "
  • ~ William Faulkner, American writer, 1897 – 1962
  • "Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is hard to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline. "
  • ~ William L. Shirer, American journalist and historian, 1904 – 1993
  • "Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, `This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it. "
  • ~ William James, American philosopher and psychologist, 1842 – 1910

Insane World

Philosophers demonstrate their mastery and understanding of life by a detached calm; the ideal attitude seems to be that little, if anything, could really matter once one has found the “truth.”

Living Sanely

The purpose of philosophy is not to quench passion, but to enhance it. Life is full of surprises, sudden change, hope, and disappointment. Philosophy provides a perspective, and serves as a path and a guide, so that one never loses sight of the goals, even if the insanity of the times causes temporary despair.

Most young people are filled with hopes and dreams. As they encounter obstacles, unfairness, and irrationality, they usually give up or compromise their dreams; daily life becomes grinding, dull, and routine. A sound philosophy should help restore and nurture the spirit of youth as they fight the battles of adulthood.

More than anything else, the purpose of philosophy is to remind you that you are in control of your own life. You can choose your own goals and the rules you use to guide your life. You are accountable only to yourself.


Yesterday is past; now is the time to develop and live by your own philosophy.

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