What Is Philosophy?

Philosophy... moulds and build the personality, order's ones life, regulates one's conduct, shows one what one should do and what one should leave undone, sits at the helm and keeps one on the correct course as one is tossed about in perilous seas. Without it no one can lead a life free of fear and worry. Every hour of the day countless situations arise that call for advice, and for that advice we have to look to philosophy.

- Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 16

Podcast of the Day

Edward Craig, former Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University, author of Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, and editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, gives an interesting analysis of the nature of philosophy and what makes good philosophy good in this interview.

Listen to Edward Craig on What is Philosophy?

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Yes, philosophy, like any field in which people conduct advanced research, can be very technical and the output of its professional practitioners can seem esoteric. An article from a professional philosophy journal might be just as obscure to a non-philosopher as an article from a chemistry journal would be to a non-chemist. But all philosophical discussion, however rarefied, exists in the context of a conversation that has been going on for over 2500 years about the most important and fundamental questions that humans ask. Philosophy is one of the humanities. Various fields, such as art, literature, history, and philosophy are called “humanities” fields because they deal with the concerns we have not as members of any particular group, ethnicity, or nationality, but simply as human beings.

The questions that occupy philosophers are the questions that arise naturally in the mind of any reflective human being once he or she has brief respite from life’s most pressing demands. These are questions of right and wrong, good and bad, and whether there is a best way to live a human life...

Continue reading Keith M. Parson's article: What is the Public Value of Philosophy?

Further Reading

Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?...

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Philosophy

Related Topics

 Logic | MetaphysicsReligion | Wisdom

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