Plato informs me that philosophy means a Jazz solo. I am no musician but I think I comprehend a little about jazz because I understand Plato’s message.
To do philosophy is to create meaning. To learn philosophy is to study the great minds of history as they create meaning while in an attitude of critical self-consciousness of a radical nature.
To do philosophy is to liberate the individual just as I imagine that jazz liberates the musician; s/he liberates the self by arousing the emotions and extending by analysis the knowledge and the understanding of our self and the world.
Knowledge is an achievement instigated by a search for truth; truth is our comprehension of reality and it has a universal quality. Understanding is the creation of meaning; it is a leap beyond knowledge. Understanding is a rare confluence of intellect and emotion; meaning is subjective, it is meaning for me. Understanding is the resulting synthesis of fragmentary knowledge into a form that has meaning for me.