The Art of Thinking Like A Philosopher

Chris Diaz
3 min readMay 12, 2023

If more people thought how true philosophers think, our world would be innocuous. That is not to say society as a whole would be “better” due to the fact we haven’t ever seen an entire world operate so consciously.

But having the ability to think like a philosopher is important if you want to live a life of:

  • Less pain
  • Better intellectual thinking
  • Less negative social conflict
  • Better deep connections & conversations
  • Contributing thoughtful creative ideas to the world

Today I want to help you understand and achieve this way of thinking by providing 5 different ways you can adapt this way of thinking to your own life.

Memory is a poor indicator of understanding

You don’t understand an idea only when you memorize it, but instead when you know why its specific form was chosen from all other alternatives.

School teaches us the former, which is a system with many faults. But just because we were taught we must memorize vocab words or math formulas, doesn’t mean we can’t reprogram ourselves to better understand things in our life that actually matter.

So what is the best way to understand something?

Be an intellectual cage fighter

Thinking like a philosopher means you must become an intellectual cage fighter.

This requires beating the crap out of ideas to understand every aspect of them. You must tear apart these ideas until their true nature is revealed.

What good does this do?

It allows you to go on a journey with an idea. To see every path the idea has or to see every counter-argument someone could make.

Tear the idea to bits and pieces so you know how it is formed and how the idea is routed.

But then rebuild it. Possibly even in a new undiscovered way.

Don’t rush to form an opinion

People who have something to say on any subject that may arise in deep or even casual conversations, often have intellectual insecurities.

Thinking like a philosopher requires us to stop doing this.

This may mean being silent in a lot of conversations you aren’t suited to talk about. You’ll know when your opinion is undeveloped, when you realize this, stop talking.

Ask questions to better understand the subject. But under no circumstances should you voice your opinion when you don’t fully understand the subject.

Question your own beliefs

Philosophers question the standards, the beliefs the world has held for long periods of time and people don’t think twice about it.

A great example of someone who did this was Martin Luther King Jr. He not only questioned something that everyone thought was normal, but he fought against it to create a new and better world.

Not only should philosophers question the world’s beliefs, but they also question their own.

Start asking yourself why you believe what you believe.

You will find great inner clarity by doing so and maybe even change the world.

Have intellectual grace

Now that you have the tools to think like a philosopher you must know the benefit of having intellectual grace with others. It sounds counterintuitive, but let me explain.

No one likes the guy or girl who is always trying to be right.

Philosophers know the time to turn thinking mode on and off.

Instead of always looking for a reason why someone is wrong, look for what that person can teach you.

This way even in social situations you aren’t a complete jerk 😅

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Thanks again! Now go change the world.