Philosophy is the study of behavior. True, it is the study of very specialized behaviors. Philosophers study the nature of the universe, the underlying and unchanging nature of great concepts such as Justice and Truth and Right and Wrong. But underlying and unifying all these concepts are people, you and me. These are just very specialized aspects of you and me, therefore philosophers study behavior.
Philosophy is a behavior in its own right. In order to do philosophy, you have to think about these things. Thinking is behavior. True, it’s the sneakiest form of behavior because we don’t (yet) have a way to see inside someone’s head to tell what they are thinking. So when you see a lady lounging on the beach with a daiquiri in hand and you ask her what she’s doing, she can say “I working doing philosophy” and we would have to take her word for it. It may be that she was thinking of something else, or may have even been napping (it’s impossible to see her eyes behind those big beautiful sunglasses and floppy hat), but there’s no way for us to know.
The reason we should study philosophy as behavior is because so many of us look towards philosophy in order to understand our world. So many young people take philosophy courses in school, and so many other adults attempt to tackle philosophy when they have time. But, as far as I can tell as of this writing, no one is making any great strides in understanding. Everyone is still, just talking.
That’s why there are so many closet philosophers. We don’t like to admit it, but many of us (especially writers and other artists) are thinking about these sort of big questions. And it’s our duty as students of behavior to put some of our tools to use in their behalf. We certainly aren’t going to expect great philosophical insights. But perhaps our observations can shed some light on the WAY philosophy is studied today, not upon philosophy itself.
Are you with me? Alright then, let’s open that closet door and join the rest of society.