Life Advice Author Mark Manson on Why You Should Study Philosophy

Philosophers (academic and otherwise): you might find this of interest.

Mark Manson (noted author of the New York Times bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) provides an overview of what philosophy matters that is sufficiently competent for someone who probably took a few courses in the subject in college and absorbed them.

Manson argues reasonably that in our era of constant distractions, chronic information overload, and the increasing difficulty of discerning truth from falsehood amidst the narratives competing for our (your) attention and loyalty, philosophy has never been more important. Why? Because it gives you the tools for questioning your premises, or the prevailing ones, on your road to something that might be both personally helpful and useful in your community: a worldview that is adequate to the facts, free from contradictions, and existentially satisfactory in that it renders life meaningful.

Manson’s article is lengthy, and does not shy away from theh “colorful” language that is one of his trademarks. But I figure readers of this site have appropriate attention spans, and that we’re all adults here.

I don’t agree with Manson on every point or emphasis. For my taste, he spends too much time on the roots radical feminism and critical race theory, and I would never endorse the idea that Simone de Beauvoir is a more significant twentieth century philosopher than, say, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

But as philosophy today needs all the friends it can get, and Manson has hundreds of thousands of subscribers to his weekly newsletter, despite these quibbles I’m glad this is out there, available as an anchor from which anyone can begin to engage the subject.

About Steven Yates

I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Georgia and teach Critical Thinking (mostly in English) at Universidad Nacionale Andrés Bello in Santiago, Chile. I moved here in 2012 from South Carolina. My most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011). I am the author of an earlier book, around two dozen articles & reviews, & still more articles on commentary sites on the Web. I live in Santiago with my wife Gisela & two spoiled cats, Bo & Princesa.
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