Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as mysticism, myth, or religion) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. It involves logical analysis of language and clarification of the meaning of words and concepts.

 

The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek philosophia, which literally means “love of wisdom“.

 

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?

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Fields of philosophy

Aesthetics

Epistemology

Philosophy of language

Ethics

Philosophy of mind

Metaphysics

Political philosophy

Logic

Religious philosophy

Philosophy of religion

Philosophy of science

Other

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Phenomenon

Phenomenon A phenomenon (‘thing appearing to view’; plural phenomena) is “an observable fact or event.” The term came into its modern philosophical usage through Immanuel Kant, who contrasted it with the noumenon, which cannot be directly observed. Kant was heavily influenced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in this part of his philosophy, in which phenomenon and noumenon serve as interrelated technical terms....

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Meta-ethics

Meta-ethics Meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature, scope, and meaning of moral judgment. It is one of the three branches of ethics generally studied by philosophers, the others being normative ethics and applied ethics. While normative ethics addresses such questions as “What should I do?”, evaluating specific practices and principles of...

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Imperialism

Imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending a country’s rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. Imperialism has been common throughout recorded history, the earliest examples dating from the mid-third millennium BC. In recent times (since at least the 1870s),...

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Objectivist Movement

Objectivist Movement The Objectivist movement is a movement of individuals who seek to study and advance Objectivism, the philosophy expounded by novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. The movement began informally in the 1950s and consisted of students who were brought together by their mutual interest in Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead. The group, ironically named “the Collective” due to their...

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Moral Skepticism

Moral Skepticism Moral skepticism (or moral scepticism) is a class of metaethical theories all members of which entail that no one has any moral knowledge. Many moral skeptics also make the stronger, modal claim that moral knowledge is impossible. Moral skepticism is particularly opposed to moral realism: the view that there are knowable and objective moral truths. Some defenders of moral skepticism...

Anselm of Canterbury

Anselm of Canterbury Saint Anselm of Canterbury(1033/4–1109), also called Anselm of Aosta (Anselmo d’Aosta) after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec (Anselme du Bec) after his monastery, was an ItalianBenedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his...

Château de Chambord (1519–1547), one of the most famous examples of Renaissance architecture

Renaissance

Renaissance The Renaissance was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It occurred after the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages and was associated with great social change. In addition to the standard periodization, proponents of a long Renaissance put its beginning in the 14th century and its end...

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Ancient Roman Philosophy

Ancient Roman Philosophy Ancient Roman philosophy was heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks and the schools of Hellenistic philosophy; however, unique developments in philosophical schools of thought occurred during the Roman period as well. Interest in philosophy was first excited at Rome in 155 BCE. by an Athenian embassy consisting of the Academic Skeptic...

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Terrorism

Terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence for political or religious purposes. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in the context of war against non-combatants (mostly civilians and neutral military personnel). The terms “terrorist” and “terrorism” originated during...

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Reality

Reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown....

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Teleology

Teleology Teleology or finality is a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal. A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic. Natural teleology, common in classical philosophy, though controversial today, contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of...

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Outline of Philosophy

Outline of Philosophy Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as mysticism, myth, or religion) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

Mind

Mind

Mind Mind is a concept developed by self-conscious humans trying to understand what is the self that is conscious and how does that self relate to its perceived world. Most broadly, mind is the organized totality of the mental processes of an organism and the structural and functional components on which they depend. Taken more...

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Outline of Metaphysics

Outline of Metaphysics  The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to metaphysics: Metaphysics is traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:  What is...

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Philosophy of Music

Philosophy of Music Philosophy of music is the study of “fundamental questions about the nature of music and our experience of it”. The philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical questions in metaphysics and aesthetics. Some basic questions in the philosophy of music are: What is the definition of music? (what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for...

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Justice

Justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes “deserving” being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Consequently, the application of...

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Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor Occam’s razor, Ockham’s razor, Ocham’s razor, or law of parsimony is the problem-solving principle that “entities should not be multiplied without necessity”, or more simply, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. The idea is attributed to English Franciscan friar William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), a scholastic philosopher and theologian who used a preference for simplicity to defend the idea...

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Being and Existence

Being and Existence Being and existence in philosophy are related and somewhat overlapping with respect to their meanings. Classical Greek had no independent word of “existence.” The word “existence,” as distinguished from the word “being,” arose in the Middle Ages. Influenced by Islamic philosophy that recognized the contingency of the created world as compared with God the Creator,...

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Essence

Essence Essence (Latin: essentia) is a polysemic term, used in philosophy and theology as a designation for the property or set of properties that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property...

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Being

What is “Being”? Being means the material or immaterial existence of a thing. Anything that exists is being. Anything that partakes in being is also called a “being“, though often this usage is limited to entities that have subjectivity (as in the expression “human being“). The question of being, in philosophy, has been a central topic...

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