Back in Athens, I often found myself standing still, staring out towards the hills, not really looking at them but gazing through them. Sometimes I would stand motionless for hours. People thought I was mad. I have even read recent historical descriptions in which they claim my motionless gaze was caused by a neurological seizure. Really? Are people not allowed to stand motionless unless something is wrong?
I have been reading this article on the value of the humanities: How The Humanities Can Train Entrepreneurs. The article’s author appears to place an instrumental value on the humanities — they are valuable because they make people better at their jobs. Philosophy is on their list as a subject in the general field they call “humanities”. It seems that the love of wisdom is valued because it makes people better at their jobs.
I am clearly foolish in my thinking because I always considered the love of wisdom to be valuable for non-employment reasons; for example, coming to understand the nature of happiness. Still, even if it is valuable because it makes people better at their jobs, it could still have value for other reasons. As an examiner of life, I am compelled to look more closely at the instrumental value of philosophy.