We live in a day and age where everyone constantly focuses on data, numbers, and scientific findings, but what is often overlooked is the philosophy of everyday life, the impact it has on decision-making, and the direction of professional careers and its relationship to life.
First of all, what is philosophy? Philosophy means love of wisdom. Philosophy goes beyond facts, measurements, and scientific findings and it depends on judgment, reflection, and intuition.
Philosophy helps me to view situations in a subjective manner where I don’t have to use data to determine what is right or wrong; I instead use my feelings as a guide to my judgment of that situation. For example, right now I am debating on whether I want to continue on and get my master’s degree or if I will be satisfied with a bachelor’s degree. When I posed this question to my good friend, he asked “why not just get your Ph. D.?” I will use my philosophy and reflect on these important decisions by using judgment and discernment.
As a human being, there is more to life than scientific measurements. How can science describe faith, spirit, or soul? Faith is the belief in the unproven with complete trust. Philosophy allows me to have faith in things that are otherwise unproven. I am a very spiritual person and try to find the connection between mind, body, and soul, but without philosophy, this couldn’t be possible because everything else would be based on data or facts.
As a physical educator, it’s important to be able to understand and know how to pursue philosophical answers. It would be easy for me as a physical education teacher to create lessons in which students have the most success in terms of results e.g. calories burned, VO2 max increase, or how long a student stayed in their target heart rate, however, these results or data do not show the whole picture which is an argument against linear causation.
Linear causation suggests that human behavior has multiple aspects that impact anything and everything we do. What this data wouldn’t represent would be the various individual influences that each student has such as family history, gender, age, aspiration, genetic makeup, or their past experiences. Students may have great results because of these lessons, but the various parameters each student has will influence whether or not they will find value in these lessons and continue them throughout life.
When reflecting on metaphysics, otherwise known as the nature of things, I focus on reality and the question of what is it, why is it, and how can we understand it. In life, as I come across anything I am unfamiliar with, such as a different religion than my own, I ask myself these questions. It not enough to merely dismiss what is unknown without first trying to understand it. Philosophy has reinforced the importance of taking on tasks with an open mind and trying to understand the differing concepts by asking critical questions.
When it comes to my professional career as a physical education teacher and metaphysics I think of lifelong learning and how important it is. As I grow as a professional, there will be new methods of doing things and new information that is beneficial to all physical education teachers. It is important for me to desire to gain this knowledge so I can be the best educator I can be. It is almost certain that after I graduate college and become a professional that new information or findings of being physically active will be discovered. As a teacher I need to ask those three crucial questions the define metaphysics and the nature of things; what is it, why is it, and how can I understand it. In the end, it will be my attitude and my desire to soak up this knowledge that will project me to be the educator I know I can be.
The connection between body and mind is important in physical education as well as the overall quality of life. Dualism focuses on primarily two aspects, thought and matter. The matter is easy to describe for it has shape, color, taste, texture, and smell whereas thought has no shape, color, taste etc. It is somewhat difficult to actually describe thought or mind because it has no physical properties.
Dualism also plays an important role in my personal life. Dualism creates a link between what I see or feel objectively and what I think or dream subjectively. It is hard for me to believe that anyone is a pure objectivist whom only believes what he sees, feels, hears, taste, or smells.
The idea that anything and everything we do has an impact on later decisions is known as holism. As an elementary student, I couldn’t see the connection between different subject areas. For example, I thought music was just singing and mathematics was just numbers, but as I got older and music became more complex, there was the need to be able to count the different notes. In my life holism ties every decision I have ever made with every decision I will ever make.
This philosophy class has really helped me find the linkage or connection between all subject areas I am studying or have studied. I further developed my critical thinking skills through the different approaches in philosophy. I learned the importance of lifelong learning and the impact that being surrounded by great minds can have on success in life. Having a positive attitude can have a big influence on whether I succeed or fail in anything I may do in life. Everything we have talked about can be used in some way or another in our lives. It doesn’t matter if we are physical education majors, exercise science majors, physical therapy majors, art majors, or history majors the information presented to us can be used in any life situation that we may stumble upon. I will leave you with one final quote that influences my life every day and drives me to always want to be better. “There is nothing noble in being superior to fellow mankind. The true nobility is being superior to your previous self” (Chin, 2010).