Being a student of philosophy, I am apprehensive about the future of this important subject in Pakistan
SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: I recently graduated from a prestigious university in the field of philosophy. Being a student of philosophy, I am apprehensive about the future of this important subject in Pakistan. Various political systems may claim to know how to run the world, but the ideas they advance are based on political philosophy. Philosophy plays a significant role in the life of a human being. If we look back into history, we see that philosophy has played a key role in the creation of several great nations. The role of philosophers in the French and Russian revolutions cannot be discounted. Similarly, in the creation of Pakistan, great philosophers and poets played vital roles.
According to Rene Descartes, “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” The study of ethics concerns human conduct, character and values. It explores the nature of right and wrong, and the distinction between good and evil. It explores the nature of justice and of a just society, and also one’s obligations to oneself, to others, and to society. There are many benefits of studying philosophy. However, within our education system, the subject has been completely sidelined and ignored. Not more than five universities teach philosophy as an academic subject from undergraduate to higher level. There are many reasons for this, the first being that philosophy has little scope as a career and most students in Pakistan seek an education to earn money and not for the sake of learning and broadening the mind. The second reason is that philosophy is a very complex subject and is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea.
If the situation does not change, we will keep ignoring an important subject that holds a lot of relevance to our social lives as human beings. I sincerely request the government and the Higher Education Commission to make philosophy a compulsory subject from secondary to higher education in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2015.
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