What is philosophy ?

What is philosophy ?

In this article we try to understand what philosophy is or what is philosophy.Let's say right away: we do not claim absolute objectivity and scientific, but simply want to give an idea of ​​the philosophy of those who have little or no know anything about this interesting subject.We begin, as usual, with the origin of the word, and then move on to the scientific definition of philosophy and a description of its sections and research methods.

What does philosophy

The word "philosophy", as well as many other names of subjects and disciplines, came to us from the ancient Greek language.It is worth noting that the Greek debt in the Russian language a great many, and especially a lot of them in the scientific apparatus almost any discipline.Comprising the word "philosophy" of two Greek words: ?????(Read as "branch") - and love ?????(Read as "Sophia") - wisdom.Thus, we have direct relevance of this subject.Philosophy - a love of wisdom.

If we talk about what is the subject of philosophy, the philosophy can be described as the science dealing with the study of the fundamental principles of existence (the man and the world) and knowledge (human world).In other words, the philosophy - it is the discipline that tries to answer the question of how the world works and what is man's place in it.Now let's talk about this in more detail.

What is studying philosophy - the essence of science

We will not reinvent the wheel and just tell you about the traditional definitions.The fact that philosophers, scientists do not like to give any definitions of philosophy, often saying that such definitions does not exist.However, to start learning the subject (if desired or necessary) such determination is still needed.

Thus, the philosophy has been researching the root causes, the foundations of being, of existence.These are the universal principles on which there are changes being and thinking, trying to know the existence of.From the standpoint of traditional philosophy of being - it conceivable, and thought.That is, the subject, and thought about it are one and the same.Philosophers have long understood that their options and particulars conceivable immensely.So they began to concentrate on the general categories and the root causes of existence.The difficulty, however, lies in the fact that these categories are different for each epoch and, furthermore, - for each philosophical direction.On philosophical trends and schools, we will not tell, and immediately move on to the divisions of philosophy.Firstly, the philosophy of a lot of schools, and secondly, each area deserves special attention and a separate article.

Sections philosophy

philosophy - a very complex science as complex object itself of its study.That is why so far there are no clear boundaries in defining its subjects or topics.Because we here rely on the traditional division.Traditionally philosophy includes sections such as ontology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics and epistemology.Now look at each of these in more detail.

Ontology Ontology has been researching the actual existence, the foundations of existence, that is the most common issues.In fact, an ontology - is an attempt to describe the most general being, existence without reference to any discipline.This discipline is trying to know the existence of the unity and totality of all kinds of reality: the objective and the subjective, the real, the virtual and the physical.

Metaphysics Metaphysics - a discipline that investigates the nature of the original reality, to answer questions about where things went.Thus, metaphysics is trying to find out the true nature and cause of the being and the real world.There are the so-called metaphysical questions, the answers to which were in every time and probably will be his.The main issues (which amount, in general, to one and the same) are as follows: What is the starting point?What are the origins of the sources?What is the cause of causes?If ontology deals with the study of the existence, that metaphysics - the study of the existence of the cause.


logic also applies to sections of philosophy, as it examines the thinking: how it is arranged, there is what kind of laws, which forms matter.In fact, the logic - the science of cognitive intellectual activity, as well as the science of the laws and forms of correct thinking.Also, the logic and is often called the science of methods of reasoning and methods of proof and disproof, as thinking in the language issued in the form of arguments.


Ethics investigates the morality and ethics in a general sense, as well as ethical and moral standards of different social groups and strata of society.Here are the three main problems that the ethics of trying to solve has been for many centuries:

  1. problem of human purpose and meaning in life.
  2. problem of determining the criteria of good and evil.
  3. justice problem.

Aesthetics Aesthetics investigates the sensual, aesthetic perception of reality.In a general sense this attitude to art and nature, a manifestation of high feelings in enjoying something or in the works.Aesthetics are often referred to as the doctrine of the essence of beauty and its forms of life in nature and in art.As for art, it is one of the main objects of study of aesthetics, as a special form of social consciousness.

epistemology (epistemology)

And a few words about epistemology.There is a scientific synonym of the word - epistemology.In fact, epistemology (or epistemology) is studying the possibility of man's knowledge of the world in general and himself in the world.Thus, for the epistemology of the main problem is the problem of knowing the truth and the meaning of existence.Here again, we will not go into details, because every school and every major scientist and philosopher different answer to this question.

Philosophical Research Methods There are several basic methods by which philosophers carried the knowledge of being and existence.This methods such as metaphysics, dialectic, eclecticism, dogmatism, hermeneutics and sophistry.Now a few words about each of them.

  1. Metaphysics - a method of cognition, in which all objects are considered in isolation, static and unique.That is, all of the objects studied by themselves, without the relationship between them, without taking into account the development and changes, and excluding possible internal contradictions.
  2. Dialectics, in contrast to metaphysics, considering the objects based on their change and development, as well as internal contradictions, the unity and struggle of opposites, of cause and effect.
  3. eclectic method of cognition is an arbitrary combination of various disparate facts, concepts, ideas, etc., which do not have a common origin.The result is a very superficial conclusions, which seem, however, is quite plausible and attractive.At all times, this method has been claimed by those who needed to shape public consciousness and public opinion.
  4. Dogmatic knowledge of the world by means of well-defined and accepted dogmas - unprovable beliefs that are absolute.This method is now little used and has been a characteristic of the medieval philosophers.
  5. Hermeneutics - is both philosophical and linguistic and literary terms.The essence of hermeneutics is the correct interpretation of the meaning of a text, which leads to more objective in terms of the science results.
  6. Sophistry - a method of deducing logically correct, but essentially false premises used more for victories in disputes and conflicts than in the knowledge of truth, than to be engaged in philosophy.

There are also several philosophical trends, which can be called philosophy and methods.This materialism, idealism, rationalism and empiricism.

  1. materialism implies a realistic perception of matter, in which reality is perceived completely real.Consciousness belongs to the materialists of the matter.
  2. idealists perceive matter as derivative of the idea of ​​consciousness, the fundamental idea that gave birth to everything.
  3. Rationalists are firmly convinced that the truth can only be understood by the mind.At the same time they deny the influence of personal experience and feelings.
  4. Empiricism, on the contrary, recognizes knowledge only as a result of their own, personal experiences and sensations.

So, we have considered the main sections of philosophy and learning methods to find out what is the philosophy.We think that you understand now that philosophy - a discipline very, very difficult.But what gives the philosophy of the common man?In fact, very much.On the question of the meaning of philosophy, the answer may be.The philosophy is largely forms the human world, causing him to think about his place in the world of the fundamental categories of being, and moral norms of behavior in society.