What Is Philosophy?


As a subject of study, philosophy involves studying of fundamental problems. These problems include reality and understanding different types of knowledge. Philosophy is quite huge and it actually involves many subjects within it. These fields include logic, ethics and metaphysics among others. In this essay, we evaluate the different mini subjects within philosophy and timelines of the field.

Philosophy’s mini subjects

The first mini subject within the field of philosophy is knowledge. In knowledge, two aspects of its nature and scope are examined. In studying knowledge as part of philosophy, someone is able to look at issues such as scepticism, foundationalism and empiricism. Scepticism is the case of taking a stand of not believing anything one hears or comes across before adequate justification. Foundationalism involves justifying a statement through the use of axioms that may be unproven. Empiricism is a means of gaining knowledge by observing or using one’s senses. Another subtopic under philosophy is logic, which is a set of principles under any correct reasoning. In this subtopic, the two ways of carrying out an argument are evaluated. These two ways are deductive and inductive reasoning. Another branch of philosophy is metaphysics, which examines the most common qualities of reality. Metaphysics could include branches such as cosmology and ontology. The former studied the world and the latter studied existence.

The history of philosophy

Philosophy from the East has three main periods: ancient, medieval and modern. For a start, we examine ancient period of philosophy. This history examines societal traditions, which were based on some philosophies. In Egypt, Ptahhotep is considered the first philosopher in the area of morality. He named his documentation of these philosophies as The Maxims of Pta-Hotep. Chinese communities in this period came up with many philosophies, which shaped the intellect and culture of the people. For instance, the philosophy of Confucianism implies that a human being can be taught, improved and perfected. All that is needed in the achievement of these steps is some personal and communal inputs. This philosophy placed great emphasis on the Chinese people being virtuous and ethical. In India, there were many schools of philosophy as well. They included Buddhist, Vedanta and Jain among others. These schools may have been in different geographical areas but the philosophies had similarities. Actually, some schools were absorbed in others over time.

Philosophy is good. It can make someone or a community wiser and morally upright.



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