In the midst of our ongoing national debate over healthcare and its costs, we have failed to consider non-medical, non-iatrogenic approaches to health, specifically mental health. Philosophy is, if anything, a form of mental gymnastics. Sometimes it is called so pejoratively, but it is nonetheless true. Philosophy challenges the mind, pushing it beyond its limits. And so, philosophy has often ended with a kind of mysticism, whether it is Socrates yearning after the blessed vision of the True and the Good, Nietzsche’s discovery of the earth’s meanings or Wittgenstein’s warning “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent.” This is a form of mental well-being that is not clearly offered by other avenues of self-knowledge, except the religious avenue. The uncovering of a sense of metaphysical security is priceless, and can be uncovered virtually for free by our own philosophical inquiries.
Philosophical practitioners have the training to help in the search for metaphysical security, and if they are worthy of the name ‘philosopher’, their services’ costs should be tailored to those in need of philosophical “therapy”. It is a moral obligation that has its roots at least as far back as Socrates.