Chet wordmark with orange bowtie Chet wordmark with orange bowtie

Rediscover Philosophy

Hanging above my desk, just above my line of sight, hangs my degree in Philosophy. It’s been more than a decade since I walked across that stage, and though it is always before me, it more or less blends into the scenery of my office.

I use my degree in almost every moment of every day. In a very real sense, it shaped how I perceive the world. Yet, philosophy is not the sort of hard skill that you consciously apply during your working hours. Rather, it’s the framework through which every bit of information passes through.

In my years on campus, I read dozens of dense philosophy books each semester. With the passage of time, I find myself wondering, as an adult, why I persisted through that workload. Unpacking the most complex thoughts of the brightest minds to have walked the planet, and paying for the privilege, seems to be nothing more than drudgery.

Two weeks ago, I came across the work of Arthur C. Brooks. Although he styles himself as a happiness scientist, and he’s a Harvard professor who lectures on the science of happiness, he is much more than that. He’s studied music professionally, is a trained economist, philosopher, and now a popular social scientist. Add to that fascinating academic background is the fact that he’s a convert to Catholicism, whose conversion was sparked by seeing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I picked up one of his books, signed up for his newsletter, and have listened to several extended interviews he’s done with various podcasts. Going through his work, and unpacking his ideas, I feel spots of my brain lighting up again. I’m instantly taken back to fall on campus, sitting in my room with the windows open, exploring life with the world’s great thinkers.

Philosophy is a wonderful thing to study professionally; it’s a field of study so ubiquitous that it finds its application at work, at home, at play, and at rest.

All Posts