What is Philosophy?

The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom”, where wisdom means ‘deep understanding’.

In everyday settings people use the word “philosophy” to refer to a general and personal world view. There is much more to philosophy as an academic discipline.

The academic discipline of philosophy is focused on questions about the fundamental nature of people and the world, including questions about what kinds of behaviour are right and wrong, the conditions under which knowledge is possible, and the difference between good and bad reasoning. The discipline is very old (it has been going for over 2500 years), and contemporary philosophy grows out of that long history of argument and debate.

Philosophy doesn’t only focus on fundamental questions, but on the problem of how to support answers to those questions. So philosophers are also deeply interested in different types of arguments, and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

As articles about what philosophy is are added to this site, links to those articles will be added below. We will also post links to pages on this topic at the websites of selected other universities.

North Carolina State University on The Study of Philosophy.

‘What is Philosophy?’ from The Open University.

‘What is Philosophy?’ from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

‘What is Philosophy?’ A collection of quotations on Brainpickings.

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One Response to What is Philosophy?

  1. Pingback: What is Philosophy? A partial answer in quotations | ukznphilosophy

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