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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why Philosophy Matters | IAI News

"To celebrate World Philosophy Day 2017, we asked philosophers why it's important to them" summarizes IAI News Editorial Staff.

Photo: IAI News
This November marks the 12th anniversary of World Philosophy Day, a moveable feast endorsed by UNESCO and aimed at underlining the significant and often overlooked impact and value of philosophy on everyday life and human thought.

The benefits of philosophy on intellectual development have been well-documented, with a recent wide-ranging study in UK schools demonstrating that children who spent an hour each week participating in philosophical discussion, debate and reflection over the course of a year saw significant gains in maths and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students reaping the greatest benefits in terms of improvement. This of course attests to philosophy’s demonstrable social and economic ‘impact’ – a word quickly that has, quite deservedly, become anathema in humanities departments – but doesn’t speak to philosophy’s broader implications for self-reflection, confidence and reasoned deduction. At at a fundamental level, philosophy equips us with the tools to ask the questions that occur to most thinking people: Why am I here? What is it to be conscious? How can I live a good life?

At the Institute of Art and Ideas, you might not be surprised to learn that we take all of this quite seriously. It is our vision that philosophy and big ideas are an essential tool in determining what is possible; to finding new and better ways to make sense of our world.

This was why we began HowTheLightGetsIn, our annual philosophy and music festival, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018. Gathering together many of the world’s leading philosophers, scientists, politicians, activists, poets, sociologists, filmmakers, writers, and theologians, our festival has broken down the idea of philosophy as being an impenetrable and irrelevant discipline. With next year promising to be our biggest and best festival yet, we can attest firsthand to the important role of philosophical ideas in the daily lives of the public.

Source: IAI News