The philosopher’s life is not an easy one, but if you delight in exploring complex relationships and thinking deeply about important, but often vexing, topics, the study of philosophy might be your destiny, if there is any such thing.
Philosophy requires one to rigorously and critically examine life and the world in its totality. To do this, one must be free of prejudice, ignorance, and dogma.
The more philosophy you can read, the better a philosopher you can become.
Read the classics. Some of the most enduring and powerful philosophical ideas in Western philosophy come from long-philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus,Hume, Descartes, and Kant, and today’s philosophers recommend familiarizing yourself with their important works.
In Eastern philosophy, the ideas of Lao-Tse, Confucius, and Buddha have been equally enduring, and deserve attention from any budding philosopher.
Spend time thinking about the world, what it means to live, to die, to exist, and what the point of it is. These topics lead to big, unanswered, often unanswerable questions, questions only philosophers, young children, and other highly curious individuals have the imagination and courage to ask.
While developing your critical thinking, you should take part in any debate you can. This will increase your ability to think freely and critically. Indeed, many philosophers see the vigorous exchange of ideas as an important path toward truth.
An important part of philosophy is the investigation and analysis of the world. Put differently, a central task of philosophy is finding ways do define and describe the fundamental structures and patterns of life, often by breaking them down into smaller component parts
Write down what you think about the subjects of your inquiry, including ideas you think you shouldn’t write down (possibly because you think others may think they are stupid). While you may not be arriving at any striking conclusions, you will be exposing your own assumptions to yourself. You will probably marvel at how silly some of your assumptions can be, and in the process you will mature.
As you write, you should begin to develop your own philosophical perspective, arriving logical and well-considered ideas about life and the world. It is common for philosophers to adopt a perspective over time, especially about a specific issue.
Through several drafts, you should organize your ideas more formally and let others read your work. You can ask friends, relatives, teachers, or classmates to offer some thoughts on your work, or you can post your writings online (through a website, a blog, or a message board) and look for responses there.
To successfully pursue philosophy as a career, you must acquire a doctorate or, at very least, a master’s degree.
Even before you have completed your graduate studies, you should begin the work of trying to publish your philosophical insights.
Many of history’s greatest philosophers have been teachers. Beyond this, any university that might want to hire you to study philosophy professionally will also expect you to teach other budding philosophers.
After you’ve completed your graduate studies, start looking for a job as a philosophy professor. This process is arguably even more competitive than applying for graduate schools. Be prepared for many rejections before you finally succeed.