Српска олимпијада филозофије (Републичко такмичење из филозофије у писању филозофских есеја) одржана је у Пожаревачкој гимназији 19.марта 2016. године. Есеји се пишу на енглеском језику пошто ово такмичење представља Националне квалификације за Међународну филозофску олимпијаду 2016. Ученица наше школе,Катарина Булајић 4/8, остварила je пето место на овом такмичењу (ментор Тијана Ћук-Петковић).

Катарина Булајић 4/8

The more we learn about the world, and the deeper our learning, the more conscious, clear, and well-defined will be our knowledge of our ignorance. The main source of our ignorance lies in the fact that our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite. - Karl Popper (1693): Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

We spend our whole lives learning, we start living by learning. Learning how to walk, how to speak and in a way we never stop learning. The truth is that whatever we do in life and whichever field or topic we choose we start from the beginning and than go forward. There is always something more to learn and something new to accomplish. Nothing and no one is stopping us from absorbing it all, yet we seem not to be able to conquer it all and there is always something new to discover.

Establishing we can never know everything we can ask ourselves whether we can know anything. Is there even a way to learn or are we just exploring different subjects? Socrates said that he is aware he knows nothing. He said we live inside the boundaries of our knowledge and outside those boundaries lays everything we do not know, our ignorance. So the bigger our knowledge is, the bigger our ignorance is. More we know about something the more we are aware of how much there actually is to know. Perhaps the main mistake people make is thinking they can learn something and than know it forever. Learning is a process, therefore it can never stop, and Socrates had the advantage of realising that. The paradox is that throughout our life we go to school, finish university and go into life thinking we know something, we have studied it for almost a decade and there is no chance we missed something. But when using that knowledge in real life and putting theory into reality we understand that we are maybe only at the beginning of knowing anything about the topic we are interested in. It is in human nature that we are curious and that we want to see, feel and understand everything that is unfamiliar. So we tend to try and spread our knowledge and field of interest as much as we can. However, as Socrates said the more we know, the more we find out how much there is to know and how much we do not know.

Some philosophers say knowledge is a part of every aspect of our lives. It goes to the point that freedom is a matter of knowledge. They say we can only be free if we accept and know that we are not free. If we accept that we are always going to be a part of a society and we are always going to depend on and be influenced by people who surround us. Knowledge is not presented as a product of learning, in fact it is our ability to interpret the world around us. To understand and accept everything that is happening to us.

Plato, on the other side, had a different opinion on what knowledge is. He thought that the world we live in is a reflection of the world of ideas, the world where everything is as it should be. This world is the world of shadows and we are reflections of the ideas in the world of ideas. His assumption was that everything we think we learn, we actually already know and learning is actually remembering what we knew in the world of ideas. This way everything that is wrong in this world is explained as a bad reflection from the world of ideas. To learn means to recite, and we never learn anything new we just recall it.

As someone once said, knowledge is power. It is something that is not gained easily and something that has to be used wisely. The truth is that the more we learn the more we know, we know how to learn, we know what we still need to learn and we know how to use what we know. The fact that as our knowledge grows, grows our ignorance too might be scary to some, because it makes knowledge sound unachievable. However, the truth is that the main source of knowledge is knowing your source of ignorance. The worst kind of ignorance is the one we are not aware of.