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Why study Philosophy?
Philosophy can be an intimidating science to study, and for some it is considered an elitist, and useless waste of time. To some degree that judgment may be well earned by some examples of the philosophical community. However, I’d argue that philosophy is in principle a human act, and something that we do regardless of whether we formally study it in schools.
In our current western culture some would be esteemed more for their sophisticated vocabulary than a common-sense approach to life in general. We have philosophers like David Hume who espouse excessive doubt as a type of wisdom, meanwhile he adds, it's not worth living one’s life as such. These impractical approaches to wisdom, can amount to the doubt of wisdom or its obscuring rather than its love. And that is what philosophy ultimately is: a love of wisdom. Catholic Philosophy helps us get out of these dark places, and helps us find the harmony in our own being, and a type of peace in our day. Philosophy is not meant to be a place of intellectual work but rather a type of delight and rest in what is ultimately good.
From a biblical point of view, God commands Adam to be the first philosopher when he tells him to name all the creatures in the garden. The first act of the intellect, according to Aristotle is to define our terms. God wants man to exercise this ultimately spiritual act by way of distinguishing. Much of philosophy is a matter of discerning or distinguishing between one thing and another: good or evil, real or unreal, this or that, et cetera.
Philosophy in many ways can be used to help us safeguard Theology from superstition or fundamentalism. While philosophy does not reveal to us what only God can reveal to us, it can help us unpack dogmatic truths in a manner that has integrity. For instance, Scripture does of itself not use the term Trinity, but it contains the very essence of that term’s meaning when describing the three Divine Persons. Philosophy helps us tease these truths out of scripture without falling into the errors about who God is, and how He works.
Philosophy is also a type of useless study that human beings actually should be drawn toward. Our culture is fixated on what is practical, what puts us to work. We insist on being 'practical people,' but often this actually means we are utilitarian, a mere cog in a machine. We are busy-bodies, always looking for some application to our moral behavior. We do not savor the truth or just want to be steeped into it for its own sake. In this regard, our western culture is unaware of the speculative virtues.
Study is an end in itself. If a person asks you why you are studying: you would rightly answer for the sake of leisure. And then you might explain that leisure is where we derive the term school from. The point is, our culture, and even in our Church, wants us to work-work-work, but not pray, not discern, not rest, and therefore not study for its own sake. Study itself is becomes no longer a restful activity, but is merely pragmatic and tiresome.
The ultimate end of the human person is to rest in the Ultimate Truth, which is God. To deny this dynamic in our lives, would be to cut out the very ultimate purpose for our existence, and aimlessly wonder from one practical means to another - like chasing a carrot on a stick. We focus on what we are to do but not why. We lose a sense of wisdom. Perhaps the world is afraid of what truths lie in the silence of our hearts, and that can only be heard in such silence? I do not know - but philosophy rightly orders our mind, giving us the spiritual 20-20 vision, we need to discern natural and things divine. When a God who is Wisdom itself comes to us, He tells us not to be afraid. Albeit none of it is possible without grace, might I suggest turning to Our Lady Seat of Wisdom for intercession.
If you’d like to get started, I might suggest looking into anything Peter Kreeft writes. Here are some suggestions:
Summa of the Summa
If you are trying to make a connection between Spirituality and Philosophy take a look at this by Bishop Robert Barron: