Planes of Philosophical Thinking
Philosophers are not necessarily sharp and clever people; their intelligence is of a different sort. In fact, many times they can appear absent minded during ordinary conversations which leads to a false impression of their intellect. In my view, a good philosopher is defined not in terms of his/her IQ level, but rather in terms of the plane at which his thoughts lie. Philosophers tend to think at the most fundamental of levels: questions so simple, yet so devious, that ordinary people never ask: how can we be sure the sun will rise tomorrow? Does a text have a single and stable meaning? Does the external world really exist or is it just a collection of internally generated sensations by my mind? What does it mean to say that A causes B? It is about pondering over questions that lie at the bottom of everything.
Another plane at which philosophers usually think is the holistic plane-- concerned with the synthesis of knowledge, a complete, over-all view of learning. As human knowledge grows, sciences are branching into increasing number of specializations; experts abound which know more and more about the less and less. But this focus on the minute is making us forget the value of the grand perspective. In the over-flow of information, wisdom is being lost, and it is the task of philosophers to place things in perspective and provide a synthesis of knowledge, a sort of basic map to make sense of the labyrinth of scientific discoveries.