Keystone Engages the Philosophical Mind
Posted 09/15/2017 10:41AM

Derived from the Greek word philosophia, philosophy, meaning the love of wisdom, is the study of knowledge. Typically, philosophical questions are foundational and abstract in nature. So what are the benefits of maintaining a philosophical mind? According to Zhou Guoping, philosophy helps you adopt independent and critical thinking. It enables you to satisfy the requirements of the soul by finding out more about the universe, where you come from, and where you are going in the future. “Above all else,” he said, “ it helps you in keeping an open heart and an open mind.”

Philosopher and writer Zhou Guoping entertained a full audience at Keystone Academy’s Education Salon last September 8. He took his listeners on an exploration of the abstract and talked about curiosity, doubt, uncertainty, ego, life and death, ethics, religion, and morality. He distinguished between objective reality and subjective happiness, and underscored the importance of reasoning for the philosophical mind.

“Philosophy is more than a science or a field of study,” Zhou Guoping said, “it is a way of life in pursuit of wisdom. Anyone keeping a philosophical mind will always encounter new surprises and entertain new doubts,” he continued. Zhou Guoping explained that what sets us apart from each other is our curiosity about the world and our independent thinking. “If you keep thinking about bigger questions, even if you don’t find the answers, you help develop a more magnanimous mind,” he said. Zhou Guoping ended the evening with a quote by Oscar Wilde: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. “I hope that you are all looking at the stars,” he concluded.

Born in Shanghai, Zhou Guoping studied philosophy at Peking University and received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently a research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy, specializing in Nietzsche and aesthetics. 

Keystone’s Education Salons provide a space to engage with the best minds in education, literature and the arts who share their views on traditional and modern aspects of education. Discussions between our prominent guests and the community spark creativity and lively conversation around each topic. Keystone uses these salons to highlight contemporary themes in education and other disciplines, and as opportunities to discuss, rethink, and revision current practices in education. Our next Salon with chess expert Leontxo García on the power of chess in education will take place at Keystone on 25 September, 6:30-8pm: A Journey Through the World of Chess. For more information about Salon topics and to receive an invitation to our events, please email

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