Philosophy has the reputation of not being practical. But nothing could be further from the truth. Philosophy is intensely practical.

Of course there are many individual questions and debates in philosophy which have no obvious practical application. Many of these things I personally find cool, and fun, and even inspiring. I am amazed at what people can figure out. And I am inspired by seeing how various ideas are related to each other. But I think philosophy is extremely important, precisely because it is extremely practical.

Of course a great deal of work in philosophy is too narrow and precise and technical to be understood by most. And many of these small issues have little practical and immediate practical application. But even these small topics inevitably aim at contributing to answering life’s most fundamental questions. And answers to these questions will tell us how we should live. They will tell us what we should do. So they are intensely practical.

‘Philosophy’ means ‘love of wisdom.’ And being wise is fundamentally a matter of having good judgment. The best way to tell whether a person is actually wise is to observe whether they act in a wise manner. So philosophy includes, especially, the love of an understanding of how to live. So philosophy obviously has a very practical end. (I venture no opinion on how many of us actually possess wisdom.)

To illustrate exactly how philosophy is practical, notice that Ethics is one of the main branch of philosophy. And Ethics is about what is the right, or wisest, or smartest, way to live—an obviously practical goal. Logic is another sub-discipline of philosophy. Logic is about how to distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning. Good reasoning helps us figure out the truth about various things, while bad reasoning often misleads us and causes us to believe things that are not true. Knowing the truth helps us make better decisions about what to do to achieve our goals. Believing falsehoods often causes us to be mistaken about how to most effectively pursue our goals.

Philosophy won’t tell you how to change a lightbulb, of course. It aims to answer much more fundamental and general questions. It aims to help us know how to live. It aims to use reason to discover the answers to life’s most fundamental questions, and so to know what is the smartest—the wisest—way to live.

The purpose of this site, then, is to bring to bear the insights of philosophers and many others on the very practical issues facing all of us. It endeavours to discuss things in a way which will be accessible to everyone. And it will discuss very practical specific issues which would not typically be considered philosophy. It will attempt to be very practically useful, but also bring to bear fundamental and broad philosophical insights to these very specific and a practical questions.

I will express my own opinions, of course. But I invite anyone to respond with their own opinions on the issues discussed. We desperately need each other’s insights, and we need each other’s help in spotting the mistakes in our own reasoning. We need these things to most effectively pursue truth and life.