the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
any of the three branches, namely , , and , that are accepted as composing this study.
a particular system of thought based on such study or investigation:
the philosophy of Spinoza.
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them:
the philosophy of science.
a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.
an attitude of rationality, patience, composure, and calm in the presence of troubles or annoyances.
Contemporary Examples

Gregory Fried is Chair of the philosophy Department at Suffolk University.
What Liz Doesn’t Get About Lawyers Charles Fried, Gregory Fried March 12, 2010

The policies seem bipolar, because the only philosophy is survival, using three tools: fear, manipulation and money.
Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi Tried to Execute Me Fadel Lamen February 28, 2011

That philosophy Obama followed in giving Congress a leadership role in drafting the health care bill.
Doris Kearns Goodwin on Obama’s ‘Johnson Moment’ The Daily Beast July 19, 2009

If he says to me, Why should I seek to know the secrets of philosophy?
The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes’s Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary Malcolm Jones May 25, 2014

Both took degrees in Politics, philosophy, and Economics from Oxford, and both graduated fairly swiftly into Labour Party jobs.
Brit Brothers Battle for Labour Peter Hoskin July 9, 2010

Historical Examples

Vivian, in spite of his philosophy, felt the excitement of the moment.
Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

Instead, it presents, what all too few of us to-day possess, a philosophy of life.
The Conquest of Fear Basil King

Every principle of science, every deduction of philosophy, is a tool.
The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 Various

Neither science, philosophy, history, nor poetry held for him any interest.
Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald

Now in philosophy this attitude of mind has not as yet been achieved.
Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays Bertrand Russell

noun (pl) -phies
the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources and limits of knowledge (epistemology), the principles and import of moral judgment (ethics), and the relationship between language and reality (semantics)
the particular doctrines relating to these issues of some specific individual or school: the philosophy of Descartes
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a discipline: the philosophy of law
(archaic or literary) the investigation of natural phenomena, esp alchemy, astrology, and astronomy
any system of belief, values, or tenets
a personal outlook or viewpoint
serenity of temper

c.1300, “knowledge, body of knowledge,” from Old French filosofie “philosophy, knowledge” (12c., Modern French philosophie) and directly from Latin philosophia and from Greek philosophia “love of knowledge, pursuit of wisdom; systematic investigation,” from philo- “loving” (see philo-) + sophia “knowledge, wisdom,” from sophis “wise, learned;” of unknown origin.

Nec quicquam aliud est philosophia, si interpretari velis, praeter studium sapientiae; sapientia autem est rerum divinarum et humanarum causarumque quibus eae res continentur scientia. [Cicero, “De Officiis”]

[Philosophical problems] are, of course, not empirical problems; but they are solved through an insight into the workings of our language, and that in such a way that these workings are recognized — despite an urge to misunderstand them. The problems are solved, not through the contribution of new knowledge, rather through the arrangement of things long familiar. Philosophy is a struggle against the bewitchment (Verhexung) of our understanding by the resources of our language. [Ludwig Wittgenstein, “Philosophical Investigations,” 1953]

Meaning “system a person forms for conduct of life” is attested from 1771.

A study that attempts to discover the fundamental principles of the sciences, the arts, and the world that the sciences and arts deal with; the word philosophy is from the Greek for “love of wisdom.” Philosophy has many branches that explore principles of specific areas, such as knowledge (epistemology), reasoning (logic), being in general (metaphysics), beauty (aesthetics), and human conduct (ethics).

Different approaches to philosophy are also called philosophies. (See also epicureanism, existentialism, idealism, materialism, nihilism, pragmatism, stoicism, and utilitarianism.)

See computer ethics, liar paradox, netiquette, proof.


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