While many people love to write off the humanities as nonessential, the simple truth is that subjects such as philosophy have had a drastic impact on the world. Philosophers have been fighting to show their impact ever since Marx let slide a biting accusation on the matter. 

This introspective look into philosophy has taught humanity several things. The irony of this statement is not lost on philosophers either. After all, philosophy is the study of universal and fundamental problems – existence, knowledge, reason, values, language, and the mind. Why wouldn’t they also study the very idea of philosophy?

It is easy to spot countless philosophical theories that ended up changing the way we looked at the world. In turn, this directly changed the way humanity functioned.

Plato’s philosophy posited that all humans want to flourish and that there is an irrefutable connection between the ability to succeed and one’s happiness. This, in turn, impacted many Western religions, as well as ethics.

It was a philosopher (several actually, though Galileo is the most famous) who theorized that it wasn’t the sun that revolved around the earth, but rather that the earth revolves around the sun. This changed the very way humanity looked at the stars and solar system.

Newton’s Theory of Universal Gravitation is precisely that – a theory. It is one that many take for granted and tend to assume is accurate. However, at the time, his theory was revolutionizing. This once again shows the impact that philosophy can have on even our most basic scientific concepts.

While on the subject of theories, let us not forget Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Einstein’s theory may have seemed a bit out there at the time, but now it is the foundation of many inventions and new forms of logic. His theory directly impacted our understanding of electricity, magnetism, and so much more. Additionally, it is this understanding that helped to drive us to new (and functional) inventions. Satellite communication wouldn’t be possible without taking the Theory of Relativity into account, for example. 

These are just a few extreme examples of how philosophy has helped to change the world. There are thousands of other examples, small and large, that could quickly have been brought up inside. No matter what arguments are made, the answer is clear: philosophy has and always will impact the way humanity interacts with the world. 

Article originally published on JeanetMadurodePolanco.net