Above all other titles, I prefer to wear the label of “philosopher.”
In response to my fondness of the term, some have asked me, “why do you insist on calling yourself a philosopher? Isn’t philosophy an ancient archaic discipline? Do you think you’re the next Socrates or something?”
I think the best answer to these questions comes from the etymology of the word itself.
“Philosophy” is a construct of the two Greek words “philos” and “sophos.”
“Philos” means “lover.” It is sometimes translated as “friend” or “intimate companion.”
“Sophos” means “Wisdom.” This word is sometimes translated as “knowledge” or “understanding.”
So, the literal meaning of the term “philosopher” refers to one who is a “lover of wisdom”, a “friend of knowledge”, or an “intimate companion of understanding.”
The real question of import, then, as I see it, is not why I consider myself to be a philosopher; it’s what makes a person assume that they are NOT a philosopher?
Wherever there have been human beings with a capacity for thought and reflection, there has been a longing to understand our place in the universe.
This sense of wonder is the very spirit of philosophy.
Anyone who embodies that spirit, whether they enjoy reading Plato or not, is a philosopher.
So I call myself a philosopher because I wish to bring attention to the fact that curiosity and contemplation is not the unique domain of Ancient Greeks.
I call myself a philosopher because I am one of those thinkers who has not bought into the myth that there is such a thing as a non-philosopher.
I call myself a philosopher because I am human.
In Cartesian terms, I suppose I could say “I am, therefore I philosophize.”