Unpopular opinion: Philosophy is boring


Sean Reed

Philosophy is the process of critically thinking about the world. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Philip Arduini, Opinion Columnist

When entering college, students have a plethora of options for career choices. However, regardless of major, many students must take a humanities course such as philosophy. Such was the case with myself, and it was easily the least interesting course I have ever taken.

According to the NIU catalog, “Philosophy is the attempt to think critically about the nature of the world and of knowledge, to inquire about the significance of life, and to identify worthwhile goals for individuals and society.”

As enticing as this description may sound, philosophy as a course often divulges into discussions regarding the point of view of famous philosophers throughout history.

Philosophy is a complicated subject that often makes us think about our flaws. Introspection is important when discussing and understanding human nature.

Unfortunately, it seems that many famous philosophical works were written centuries ago and with archaic language. On top of this, a hallmark of even modern philosophical writing is the use of very specific and technical word choice. This makes doing the required readings for the course a drag on top of the boring subject.

Oftentimes, these factors result in students being more focused on daydreaming or notebook doodling than focusing on the topics at hand.

While figures such as Plato, Confucius and Descartes had an important impact on their respective societies and philosophy, their opinions have little to no importance for the average American in modern society.

Students enter college in order to develop important skills they need for their careers. Outside of philosophy majors, students have no need for learning about philosophy. Because philosophy will have minimal relevance in students’ futures, they have little incentive to do more than the bare minimum in the course.

I think it is important to note that I have no animosity for philosophy majors. Philosophy has always had an important place in society; however, many students such as myself have no interest in learning about the topic.