Stating the Obvious | Nature of Obvious | Value of Not-obvious

Value of Not-obvious

Let’s get back to the idea of not-obvious insight, the kind of insight that Brooker was hoping for. De Botton is a philosopher, a person who makes it his project to ask questions about life, and to think things through, coming back from his mental travails with jewels of insight. But why is it that we need philosophers to do this thinking for us? We are capable of thought, of meditation; surely we could, if we wished, think things through ourselves and come to our own conclusions?

The value of philosophical insight is, amongst other things, that it comes to conclusions that our minds are theoretically capable of reaching; yet, due to intellectual limitations (resulting from, amongst other things, genetic, environmental, and psychological (intra-personal) factors) it is insight that we are, or believe ourselves to be, incapable of inducing. It may also be insight that we feel ourselves able to reach, but are, for whatever circumstances, unwilling to induce (e.g. we don’t have the time, motivation, etc).

In the same way that being able to kick a ball doesn’t make a professional footballer, to be able to think doesn’t necessarily lead to philosophical (not-obvious) insight.

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