As I start my masters program in philosophy, something from the introductory lecture struck me. PhD is doctor of philosophy. M.Phil is master of philosophy. Whatever specialization/subject you take, you are becoming a master/doctor in philosophy. This came to the awareness when Professor hinted at it. Why is it so?
His explanation (it makes sense) was, you reach the philosophical issues of any branch when you deal with any subject in a higher level. I don’t know whether all will agree with that term philosophical issues, but let us try to understand it a little better.
For me, Philosophy deals with basic questions of life. It is connected to truth, knowledge, meaning, life etc. It asks the fundamental questions. In each of the branches, it raises pertinent questions concerned with that branch. For example, philosophy of science as a branch raises questions regarding the various commonly used terms like observation, evidence, measurement and such. In a PhD in science, the researcher asks some basic questions regarding the work in his/her field and s/he claims that s/he has a better answer to explain reality. Thus such a earnest look into the underlying questions help us to have a better grasp of reality.
I have come across an article which mentions about the top 10 philosophical issues of 21st century and top priority one is Global Justice.
- What new principles of justice will help us manage distinctively 21st Century problems like preserving the environment while allowing the poorer nations of the world to improve their standards of living? The philosophy of the past has given no real models for answering such questions. It is urgent that philosopher of the 21st century do so.
For a detailed analysis, please read through (https://neouto.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/top-ten-philosophical-issues-of-the-21st-century/ )
Thus the challenge for me as I do philosophy is the invitation to go broader, higher (GLOBAL) and deeper (LOCAL). For me, authentic philosophy is not just abstraction, but a journey into the heart and soul of reality.
(Whether I practice the above paragraph is the greatest philosophical issue for me in the next couple of years)