<p>I've been reading an anthology of philosophical writings, some of which I've found intriguing, others not so much. I especially like those texts which investigate the human condition, for example:</p>
<p>*- why do we feel/think/behave the way we do?
- how do our desires come about?
- will we achieve happiness by satisfying these desires?
- if so, what is the optimal way of doing so?</p>
<li><p>how should we function as social creatures? </p>
<li>why do we interact with others the way we do? </li>
<li>should people of greater ability be allowed to flourish naturally, or would we be "happier" in an artificial balance where everyone was forced to be equal?</li>
<li>if the former, what kind of ability should be rewarded? physical (as it was in the Neanderthal days) or intellectual?</li>
<li><p>what role does art play in our human experience?</p>
<li>why are we drawn to art if it provides no tangible benefit, as measured in terms of productivity?*</li>
<p>But here's the catch: I don't like discussions like "what is art", though I understand that we need to define what we mean by "art" before we can discuss its applications. The problem is that I have very rigid opinions of what constitutes art: any literature, music, painting or sculpture that an individual finds beautiful. That will be HIS/HER unique definition of art. I don't care about what goes into that category. I want to know what role it plays in that individual's life (and of course, generalize it hopefully). </p>
<p>Simply, I want to understand myself (and mankind in general) and find explanations for all the subconcious, involuntary impulses that we have. If I can understand that, then I can move on to the bigger question, which is: knowing what's behind all these quirks and tics (i.e. what makes us human), how then should we live?</p>
<p>Philosophy? I can't stand the mathy, rigorous parts of philosphy (like epistemology and metaphysics). Psychology? Seems like too many man-made frameworks and categorizations that just don't feel natural.</p>
<p>Someone help please! What is this discipline that I so desperately want to explore? I don't think I'll consider myself truly educated until I do so.</p>