Abstract. This paper studies the viability of philosophy as a system of knowledge and its efficacy as a tool for decision making. Decisions are the key to life, given the existential predicaments human beings constantly confront and the fact that man is a purposive being. A being with a defined purpose is inevitably a being possessing rationality. Rationality is about the meaning and communication of our thoughts and actions. It is about the way that we manage our behavior and experience as humans. Our experiences commit us to courses of action- decisions, as seen in both the public and private domains. We are often confronted with choices or options about pathways or world views to follow or adopt. Such choices compel us to make decisions or take actions that have profound consequences on our lives and eventually on the lives of others. In some cases, decision making can be a mind boggling or tricky thing. Therefore, we may ask: Is there a way that philosophical thinking or knowledge can add value to the decisions made by people or even the capacity of people to make some decisions (moral, logical, epistemological, esthetic or political)? If the answer is yes, then what logical and empirical features of philosophy can facilitate constructive and valuable decision making in daily life or at higher levels of abstract thought. Through the use of examples and analysis, the paper shows that philosophy as knowledge system is particularly illuminating with regard to the ways our human minds form ideas or principles, and the role of ideas and concepts in building tools for coordinating the physical and mental aspects of reality. Reality is partly based on facts and phenomena, as well as value judgments, opinions, beliefs, tastes and preferences. How does philosophical knowledge help us to manage these dynamic and different elements in reality? This work emphasizes the qualitative or social elements that philosophy brings to bear on the material and mental aspects of human existence.
Keywords: philosophy; decisions; thinking; logic; conceptual analysis; human mind
Dr. Philip Ogo Ujomu
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Federal University Wukari
Taraba State, Nigeria
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