Running head: DEFINING PHILOSOPHY PAPER Defining Philosophy Paper University of Phoenix PHL/215 Defining Philosophy The word philosophy comes from the two Greek words philein, which means “to love,” and sophia, which means “knowledge” or “wisdom. ” Because knowledge can be discovered in many fields, the Greeks, who invented philosophy, thought of any person who sought knowledge in any area as a philosopher. Thus, philosophy once encompassed nearly everything that counted as human knowledge. A philosophy is a comprehensive system of ideas about human nature and the nature of the reality we live in.
It is a guide for living, because the issues it addresses are basic and pervasive, determining the course we take in life and how we treat other people Copyright, The Atlas Society. Also, according to Encarta, philosophy is the branch of knowledge or academic study devoted to the systematic examination of basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom. Philosophy comes with all types of different questions, such as: Why are we here? How did we get here? What is my purpose in life? But there is no simple answer to these questions or any other type of philosophical questions.
Philosophers feel that the answer shouldn’t come easy but can still be answered; any unanswered question is not worth thinking about. The nature of having philosophical questions is to get people to think outside the box, and look through a different view point. The authors of the American Philosophical Association’s 1992 publication on “The Philosophy Major” have put it this way: The study of philosophy serves to develop intellectual abilities important for life as a whole, beyond the knowledge and skills required for any particular profession.
Properly pursued, it enhances analytical, critical and interpretive capacities that are applicable to any subject-matter, and in any human context. It cultivates the capacities and appetite for self-expression and reflection, for exchange and debate of ideas, for life-long learning, and for dealing with problems for which there are no easy answers. It also helps to prepare one for the tasks of citizenship. Participation in political and community affairs today is all too often insufficiently informed, manipulable and vulnerable to demagoguery.
A good philosophical education enhances the capacity to participate responsibly and intelligently in public life. When you look at questions from a scientific and factual nature differ from a philosophical nature, you see that is it based off facts and how things work. A scientific question goes no further then what it is. It allows no room for growth or to explore other ideas. For example, how is my body going to react to a certain medicine? How many bones are in the human body? When asking a scientific question, you want a straight answer and everything is based off facts. Philosophy is based on rational argument and appeal to facts. The history of the modern sciences begins with philosophical inquiries, and the scientific method of experimentation and proof remains an instance of the general approach that a philosopher tries to bring to a question: one that is logical and rigorous. However, while today the sciences focus on specialized inquiries in restricted domains, the questions addressed by philosophy remain the most general and most basic, the issues that underlie the sciences and stand at the base of a world-view. Copyright, The Atlas Society. There are a lot of meanings to the word philosophy and the methods of its use because it is based off how others perceive it, expressly in the different religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In those well-known religions, a person could get plenty of leadership on philosophy beliefs. The different divisions of philosophy normally fall into questions related to Metaphysics, which means being or existence; Epistemology related to knowledge; Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy which is related to values; and Aesthetic, the study of art.
The benefit of philosophy is to allow people making careful differences in thought, words, and argument, and recognizing subtle distinctions among things and among facts. Philosophical solutions require logic and critical thinking skills, discussion, and exposition. Students of philosophy learn to look carefully for similarities and differences among things. They also develop abilities to spot logical difficulties in what others write or say and to avoid these pitfalls in their own thinking. In addition, they learn o recognize and critically assess the important unstated assumptions people make about the world and themselves and other people and life in general. References What is philosophy. (1990-2009). The Atlas Society, (), . Retrieved from http://www. objectivistcenter. org/cth–409-FAQ_Philosophy. aspx Moore, Brooke N. , & Bruder, Kenneth. (2005). Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed. ). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies. Philosophy. (2009). In Encarta. Retrieved from http://encarta. msn. com/dictionary_/philosophy. html