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Read philosophy for philosophy's sake

By Julian Baggini   April 2002

Why should anyone bother to read philosophy? Isn’t it a nit-picking discipline with no real benefits? I used to have a stock riposte to such views, which I thought presented a pretty good defence.

First, philosophy provides an excellent training in clear thinking. The abilities to reason, to distinguish sense from nonsense and to construct strong arguments can serve one well in many areas of life. There also seems to be something valuable about critically scrutinising the important questions that confront us-as in the famous phrase, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

This engagement with deep issues could even…

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