I was sat in my tiny Mini Cooper with three other basketball players, all bigger than me, on my way to Bath University for a mid-season thriller. We actually lost horrendously, but that’s another story. On the way there, my friend and club president Alex was sat in the front with me and I started asking him about his philosophy degree. Now I don’t quite know how I managed it, but I’d gone a grand total of 26 years of my life without ever engaging with the subject. Yes I had heard the word uttered, but I had never even given it one brain cell of thought until that night. The whole journey was spent with incredible intrigue into the subject. I learnt enough to know I wanted to know more. So the next day, I text my friend Zak, who just so happens to teach Philosophy at a secondary school.
When I got there, Zak’s wife Hannah suggested that I read the Norwegian classic, Sophie’s World. It’s basically a cute introduction into Philosophy generally, the history of different philosophers and their thoughts at the time. It’s done in story form though and keeps you gripped. The main character, Alberto Knox, is explaining it all to 14-year-old Sophie, so although it may seem patronising at times, it’s because it’s written as if talking to a child, which makes it simpler to understand to a beginner to the subject like me.
It took me a little longer than a week to read but I found it fascinating. It even led me to bond with staff at the local cafe Nero as I would sit for a couple of hours at a time that week transfixed. Every new philosopher I read about, I wanted to agree with, then when another philosopher developed them further, or even contradicted them, I wanted to agree with them too. It was a pretty intense week, I’m not going to lie, but I absolutely loved it. I am still very interested in Philosophy – I often find myself thinking in a way I never had before. I think I am now able to question the way things are and my ‘norms’ just by learning to think differently.
As you can see from my response post, it messed me up a little, but I am so glad I took the time to really engage with the subject and look forward to a long life of more and more learning.
“I know one thing; that I know nothing”
This quote pretty much sums up how I now feel!