When people talk about philosophy as if it's some kind of academic discipline that you have to "study" and that you can't be expected to engage in if you're not "educated", they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding or appreciation of what philosophy is.

Philosophy has two charactistics following from being about consciousness: it's accessible to everyone, and it's important for everyone.

It's accesible to everyone because everyone has direct experience with the object of study, and after a few years of such, there isn't really anything about consciousness you can't understand without more experience.

It's important for everyone because it encompasses what good and evil are, how humans work and thus how to interact with them, how thought works and thus how to use it more effectively, and any number of other things supremely important for every person to know. If you don't think those things are worth understanding, there's something wrong with you.

The treatment of philosophy as an academic discipline is a very destructive attitude, because it leads to a culture of not thinking about the most important things.

Another harmful consequence is the omnipresent idea that something other than philosophy is able to trump it. This crops up whenever someone responds to my a priori arguments about the nature of consciousness with "But it's been scientifically proven!" It doesn't matter what other evidence you have; if there's a logical contradiction in a belief or if it goes against the directly experienced nature of the human mind then you know it's false, period. You might as well say it's been scientifically proven that there's a number that doesn't equal itself, or that humans really only have two emotions and there's no difference between sorrow and anger.

The definition of a philosopher is someone who doesn't think of philosophy this way; someone who cares to seek understanding of what is universal and universally important.

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