‘Let no one ignorant of geometry enter here,’ said Plato to his students, referring to his school, the Academy; and thereafter no philosophy has ever seriously proposed to ignore scientific knowledge.
If philosophy, like religion, has its deepest roots in human ‘finiteness’ – the fact that for us mortals time is limited, and that we are the only beings in this world to be fully aware of this fact – it goes without saying that the question of what to do with our time cannot be avoided.
As distinct from trees, oysters and rabbits, we think constantly about our relationship to time: about how we are going to spend the next hour or this evening, or the coming year. And sooner or later we are confronted – sometimes due to a sudden event that breaks our daily routine – with the question of what we are doing, what we should be doing, and what we must be doing with our lives – our time – as a whole.
This thought process has three distinct stages:
a theoretical stage,
a moral or ethical stage,
and a crowning conclusion as to salvation or wisdom
and this leads to two fundamental questions...
These two questions – the nature of the world, and the instruments for understanding it at our disposal as humans –"these" constitute the essentials of the theoretical aspect of philosophy.
To be a sage, by definition, is neither to aspire to wisdom or seek the condition of being a sage, but simply to live wisely, contentedly and as freely as possible, having finally overcome the fears sparked in us by our own finiteness.
To find one’s place in the world, to learn how to live and act, we must first obtain knowledge of the world in which we find ourselves. This is the first task of a philosophical ‘theory’
A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living by Luc Ferry