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Definition of Philosophy and Its Aims

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a body of knowledge that deals with the study of the theoretical framework of reality, existence, experience, or a particular discipline. It is a way of reasoning in which individuals adopt a particular attitude towards certain doctrines in society that are ignorantly entertained. Thus, the philosophical thought involves an attempt to gain a full understanding of the infinite amount of circumstances surrounding particular and relevant doctrines in society (The Mead Project, 2015).

It is a way of thought that looks at fundamental and general problems in a critical and systematic approach by using the rational argument. Philosophy critically assesses issues related to societal values, reason, the mind, language, reality, knowledge, and the existence of man. It represents the most fundamental attitudes, concepts, and beliefs of a particular group in the society.

The term “philosophy” was introduced by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. The ancient Greek word philosophy literally means “the love of wisdom”. According to Thomas (2014), philosophy is a way of thinking that involves a comprehensive system of beliefs, values, and concepts about the nature of reality and human nature. Thomas further mentions the particular sub-areas that philosophers tend to explore. These include aesthetics, politics, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Given that it involves the study of these broad fields, philosophy raises significant questions, thus making it difficult to propose reasonable positions to the problems that affect society.

The philosophical approach to critiquing events is usually rigorous and logical since the issues dealt with in philosophy are fundamental and general in nature (Thomas, 2014). In addition, the issues addressed in philosophy have an influence on the general public through various means. These include religious inspiration, political movements, and secularism. The notable ideological factors include socialism, Christian conservatism, political activism, and left-wing environmentalism.

The Aims of Philosophy

According to Zunjic, the principal aim of philosophy is to gain an in-depth understanding and enlightenment in relation to the universe or a given body of knowledge. It aims at disclosing the truth about the complexity of the human nature using a well-structured and logical approach. The primary objective of any philosopher is to investigate the existence of truth in a particular discipline that affects the well-being of humans. Given that it is mainly concerned with asking continuous questions, the philosophical field of study is not limited to any pre-existing truths and conceptual ideas about a particular body of knowledge (Zunjic, n.d.).

Peter (2008) also states that the purpose of philosophy is to ask critical questions about the artistic activities of human beings. According to this view, philosophy is a form of intellectual entertainment. Philosophers aim at asking in-depth questions about those activities that entertain people. The philosophical processes are, hence, aimed at examining the artistic activities that offer pleasure to people.

In addition, philosophy aims at coming up with individual truths about the societal values, reason, the human mind, language, reality, knowledge, and existence (Peter, 2008). It also aims at coming up with guides to the everyday living of people. The philosophical concepts developed by philosophers provide benchmark that the actions of persons should conform to. Also, philosophy aims at coming up with the standards that guide the science and the politics of a given country. The philosophical concepts developed by philosophers in the fields such as language, mind, epistemology, reality, values, and the existence are all useful in providing solutions to the evils that befall the society.

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