Does a philosopher need a degree?

As I have spent a little time delving into philosophy and the greater questions of what life is generally about, it has made me wonder about more than a few things. One that keeps coming up is whether or not a philosopher needs a degree to be recognized as such.

I want to pursue knowledge for it’s own sake, and I’m perfectly happy to dedicate a substantial portion of my time to do so. But I really don’t want to go through the formal education system, spend 10s of thousands of dollars, and have what is widely considered to be a useless degree. I seek the wisdom of those who have walked this well-trodden path before me, and I hope to make meaningful contributions to the endless discussion about our place in the universe.

As it stands, I consider myself a generalist, with a growing appreciation for certain philosophical schools. The Greek philosophers in both the Epicurean and Stoic traditions have written so beautifully about what it means to live a good life, and they both interest me greatly for different reasons. There is just so much to learn and so many different directions I could go that I am spoiled for choice and excited at all of the possibilities. I have really dug into both of these schools of thought and I will use this as a foundation for further study. I am sure that some areas of philosophy will bore me to tears, but I mustn’t dismiss them without a proper study.

If my time is going to be dedicated to anything, let it be the pursuit of knowledge so that I may share in this timeless tradition.

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