Did you know that today is World Philosophy Day? Introduced by UNESCO in 2002, this annual observation celebrates this subject while attempting to raise awareness about its value. Wondering just how relevant this ancient study of the nature of reality and existence remains in the modern world? Read on for a roundup of four reasons why philosophy is as important now as ever before.

1. Philosophy is the foundation of critical thinking.

While society is very different today from when the founding figures of Western philosophy were making their mark, the questions we face today are just as challenging. Enter modern philosophy, which puts critical thinking and problem-solving at the forefront in order to make sense of these weighty problems.

Writer Alexander Leivesley explains in the Huffington Post, “Philosophy is not obsolete. Philosophy brings the important questions to the table and works towards an answer. It encourages us to think critically about the world; it is the foundation of all knowledge and when utilized properly, can provide us with huge benefits.”

2. Science can’t answer every question.

We lean very heavily on science today. And with good reason: Thanks to advancements in science and technology, we live in a very different way to how we would without them. From fridges for our food to airplanes for travel, there’s no denying that scientific advancements are vital to our survival as a species.

But just because science is important, that does not negate the value of philosophy. In fact, the two go hand in hand. “Science, I am sorry to say, does not have all the answers. Just like every other field, it has its limits. We cannot derive everything from experience, and philosophy is not dead….For example, science cannot determine human values. Empiricism cannot determine why we ought to act morally, nor why we ought to value human happiness over human misery. We cannot create an experiment that tests the nature of Truth or the obtainability of knowledge,” contends Gabriel del Carmen for Odyssey.

Blogger David Calhoun adds, “At its core, philosophy is a striving towards figuring out what is true and worthwhile, and what it means to live a meaningful and worthwhile life. That’s something off-limits for science, because science can tell us how things are empirically, but it can’t prescribe how we should then live. [...] In short: science helps us live longer, whereas philosophy helps us live better.”

3. Philosophy has particular meaning in the business world.

At first pass, a “soft” science like philosophy may not seem especially relevant to business. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management professor of philosophy Christine Tiefensee explains that anyone who wants to succeed in a challenging, leading position in business, public administration, politics, or the wider society needs a crucial set of skills. She adds, "You will need to see quickly through complex issues, put together convincing arguments for or against given proposals, filter relevant from irrelevant information, check the consistency and soundness of policy papers, decide which problems are crucial and identify the issues that are still badly understood. These skills of rigorous analysis, sound argument and critical examination are the bread-and-butter of philosophy: no subject trains our ability for consistent, systematic thought better than philosophy.”

These skills aren’t limited to the business world, however. They can be applied in virtually any context -- both professional and personal.

4. Ancient philosophers continue to influence humanity.

While Plato and Aristotle are often credited with shaping future civilizations, and their influence is still felt today, Publishers Weekly insists, “The ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle may seem like the quintessential Dead White Males, but in fact they are very much alive. Twenty four centuries ago they laid the foundations of Western culture, and their ideas and insights still dictate essential features of our world right now, from what we eat to what we see on the internet.”

And while you may think of Confucius purely in terms of sound bites, his work was extremely significant -- and remains so today. This is very useful to know, especially for students in fields such as political science, diplomacy and international politics. For example, according to National Geographic, China’s modern government has modeled much of its ethos on Confucius' rhetoric, such as “obedience to the emperor, hierarchy, and loyalty.” On the other hand, recent superhero movies Man of Steel (about Superman) and The Dark Knight (Batman) feature major moral dilemmas based on an age-old philosophical issue known as the 'trolley problem'.

So, while to some people philosophy may not be the sexiest of subjects on paper, it’s one with extraordinary staying power and potential. It does not just stand to change the world; it just might change your life. One student, describing being strong-armed by his father into taking an intro to philosophy college course altered his life’s trajectory, wrote, “While I once scorned philosophy, I am now majoring in it. I have come to realize that philosophy provides the tools for us to become good thinkers, which is perhaps the most important skill there is.”