Most Read
Most Commented
Read more like this
From Our Readers
LETTER | Malaysia should develop appreciation of philosophy

LETTER | The challenges that the present global order is experiencing highlight the importance of philosophy and the necessity of the philosophical impulse in the Malaysian consciousness.

This is so given the potential that Malaysia has in world-building and global governance. It is important, therefore, that Malaysia find ways to produce more philosophers.

Viewing the world’s challenges through a philosophical lens allows us to analyse them through new and unique perspectives and establish a stronger ground for the values that underlie those philosophical outlooks.

The moral quandaries that have long since exhausted the dictates of the international rulebook may be refined by the established teachings found in the teachings of philosophy - in order to birth a harmonised set of ideals and norms that both inspire enhanced cooperation between nation-states as well as appease the desire for a renewed social ethic that binds the global community around shared understandings.

The august world religions in their distinctive capacities - Christianity, Islam - could inform global policy-making, to the extent it addresses the divisions present in religious communities across the world; forging a philosophical alliance that encourages mutual dialogue, respect, love and understanding.

Philosophy, in all its forms, can introduce healthy discussion and invite communities to be curious about their respective neighbours in the spirit of charity and unite the world.

The question of what will colour the ideals, values and norms of the global nucleus is central as it will provide a picture of how the world understands its identity in an era of increased interconnectedness and globalisation. It will come to define and shape our beliefs and determine the future trajectory of civilisation altogether.

What this necessitates is the need for a conversation - one that discusses the philosophies that should undergird our motivations, beliefs and understandings in a way that equips us with the cognitive tools necessary to intellectually map the many issues facing the world and effectively resolve them.

A resurgence

The European Renaissance, birthed from the labour pains of a civilisation which experienced tremendous turmoil, in all its majesty and grandeur conceived the beauties of art, literature, architecture, morals and scholarship and was notably renowned.

The movement would spill over to the nations of the world - inspiring revolutionary ideals and paving the way for the refashioning of global civilisation. The Renaissance however did not occur in a strict vacuum, as it was the culmination of differing schools of thought.

The revival of Greek scholarship by prominent Islamic philosophers coupled with their exploration of the notable teachings from Islam complemented the resurgent interest in the Western world in philosophical traditions, allowing the Renaissance to arise spectacularly when the two worlds encountered each other.

It is important to note that the patronage towards philosophy and scholarship was what allowed the world to enter an era of technological, spiritual and political advancement.

The ideals inherent in the wisdom of ancient traditions and philosophies can serve to redefine the approaches traditionally taken towards global leadership. Philosophy can reform the very infrastructural mechanisms that constitute the global order for the greater good.

This can only be carried out however if the nation prioritises philosophical advancement - that is by incentivising Malaysians of all stripes to value philosophy as a uniting tradition.

I hope that more Malaysians develop an appreciation for philosophy as it could very well be a ticket towards an ideal world.

A world that is stable, safe, healthy and at peace.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Please join the Malaysiakini WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news and views that matter.