Explorations In Philosophy: Introduction

What I am taught about Philosophy:

Philosophy is only a few things.  Philosophy is a great stepping stone to being a lawyer, philosophy is good if you want to teach, philosophy is the ideas of a bunch of other, older, typically white, males.  Philosophy is studying various “branches” (ethics, epistemology, so on and so forth).  Studying these branches, if you stay in philosophy as an academic leads to you writing journal articles about what some other person’s ideas or arguments either say, would say, prove, disprove or could add to some other argument of some other person’s making.

I am told students who study philosophy are good at logic, reading, writing and synthesizing large and complicated ideas into much simpler ideas.  I am basically told that those who study philosophy are good human computers, nothing more.

This is what being a major in philosophy has in general tended to tell me.

I, on the other hand, believe that philosophy is focused on one thing and only this thing:
How shall I live?

This question, this is the point of philosophy, it’s not some random pseudo-scientific exploration of what “is” the real world, how do we “know” things and all the other questions that the ivory tower of philosophy likes to put effort into.

Now how in the world does one start this?

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