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It is at the root of any other knowledges.
It encourages one to verify his beliefs and/or actions. Without philosophy, one may do/believe things with no rationale.
It depends on how we define what "useful" is. I believe this term is relative and rather subjective.
It teaches us about the history of ideas and intellectual development through the ages.
Philosophy has uses so it is useful. It can be used for many things like mindfulness, critical discussions, etc.
Philosophical thought has existed since the dawn of mankind. Philosophy as we know it started centuries before the common era and we still wonder what love is.
It trains highly useful and praticable skills such as the analysis of arguments.
Virtually no professional philosophers are employed outside of universities.
The discipline doesn't seem to have any practical use, or create anything of economic value.
Why do people hold philosophy higher then critical thinking?
Philosophy isn't really useful, as most of the questions philosophy tries to answer aren't relevant to everyday life. Even so, on any given question, there are reasons to believe and not to believe in it, as evident on this discussion board.
Philosophy can't be useful because usefulness affects impartiality. You can't be impartial while trying to be useful.