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Philosophy in Daily Life


The postscript article “What Is Philo­sophy?” by Suyash Saxena (EPW, 15 June 2019) was a delightful read. The ­author answered a question that was not so easy to answer, that too in a form ­understandable to a nine-year-old child. 

It is learned that philosophy, like all sciences, is a pursuit of knowledge in the mundane affairs of daily life; that philosophy, like art, is essentially an activity of discovering the abstract beauty hidden behind the obviousness of ordinary things, which go unnoticed by an ordinary person. 

There is not much difference between the “mysterious” smile of Mona Lisa and the smiles one encounters daily. But Leonardo Da Vinci, with his extra­ordinary mind, successfully extracted the beauty of this ordinary smile and brilliantly expressed it through the art of painting. Ordinary minds lack such perception. Hence, many events of everyday life go unnoticed and unappreciated until thought of and acted upon by extraordinary minds, like those of Da Vinci, Picasso and their ilk. 

“Where science ends, philosophy starts.” Essentially, there is no conflict between science and philosophy or science and art as believed by the common person. Rabindranath Tagore asserted that the essence of science lies in its beauty. Incide­ntally, Einstein’s “e=mc2” is the most bea­utiful equation ever created by man. Thus, philosophy is the mother of all wisdom and all sciences are her children.

The author further goes on to state, “Philosophy is an activity of making the obvious a bit more obvious.” Having ­understood the essence of philosophy and its application in ordinary business of life, it may be asserted that in today’s chaotic world, a large number of philo­sophers are needed, not only to make sense of daily life, but to “help people shape their behaviour in the desirable direction.”

Samares Kumar Das


Updated On : 11th Jul, 2019


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