Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw
The whole idea of self development and being able to improve yourself all comes from the roots of philosophy. The whole idea of asking yourself questions in order to find your true authentic self, becoming an individual and questioning your own reality goes all the way back to Socrates. While doing this process of improving oneself it’s important to know where it all started.
Western Philosophy thinking has its roots in the Ancient Greece and the Roman way of thinking. Some notable philosophers in this field are Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. These thinkers solve the abstract problems of life and science through logical means such as questions. This was important because it made the student dive deeper into their thinking and understanding of their question. It made people begin to question their ideologies and think for themselves; often it made people realize they knew very little about the subject matter.
Some example questions are:
“Why do you say that?”
“Is this always the case?”
“Is there reason to doubt your case?”
There are three main focuses of western philosophy, Individualism, Fragmentary and Conflict.
Individualism is the sense of one’s own self. That you are an individual separate from society and there are certain things that you resonate more with than other people. According to western philosophy in order to live a completely fulfilled life you need to move away from this social structure and find your own place in society through experimentation. As an individual you need to establish certain values and morals that you live by and you can’t waver from these values because if you do you will be moving away from your authentic self. The authentic self is a western philosophy idea where there is a self out there which you can never truly be. This self is completely separate from society and you have perfected all areas of life that resonate with your being. This self is completely conscious and aware. According to western society this is the self that everybody should be striving for.
As opposed to eastern philosophy western philosophy chooses to see things as separate rather than whole. One example is the mind and body are separate in western philosophy which each should be worked on separately. Also the idea of being one with the universe is quite foreign to western philosophers. Often religion is opposed and they are two separate things in western philosophy. This is mostly because western philosophy is more logical while eastern philosophy is more spiritual.
Another major focus of western philosophy is the idea of good vs evil, God vs devil. These contrasting conflicts has strong influence in western philosophy. Often times western philosophers try to debate with each other to find the best idea or viewpoint. This is largely shown in America where there are many groups of people debating how much better they are than other groups. A simple example of this is republicans vs democrats. Other examples include problems such as gay marriage rights or abortion rights. Instead of trying to find common grounds one side tries to outwit the other.
Have a great day!
Although this video is completely text based, it shows the general evolution of western philosophy. It can be cool to see how western philosophy has evolved through famous quotes. You can check out the short video below.