Topics: Plato, Philosophy, Theory of Forms Pages: 28 (10007 words) Published: September 23, 2013
Definition. What is Philosophy? There are a number of definitions of philosophy given by many thinkers and they vary according to their interests and orientations. Generally, philosophy is regarded as perhaps the most obstruse and abstract of all subjects that seems apart from ordinary life. Although quiet a number of people may think of it as a being remote from every normal interest, it may be inferred that all of us have some philosophical views, whether we are aware of it or not. Most often, the term appears vague for it has been a part of our conversations.

Origin. The word “philosophy” is derived from the Greek “philia” meaning “love” and “sophia” meaning “wisdom” or “knowledge”. The literal definition of philosophy, therefore, is “love of wisdom”. In current popular usage, many different ideas are involved in the manner we use the term. In some cases, philosophy refers to an attitude toward certain activities. For instance, during election, we often hear some people say, we are voting for a certain candidate because we favour for his philosophy of government. In classes in philosophy, the most common question the teacher asks is what the philosophy of student is. The popular conception of philosophy, in spite of many ways we may use the term, is a complex intellectual undertaking. Regardless of the various ideas of the role of philosophy in one’s life, its importance cannot be overemphasized.

Parent Science. Philosophy may be considered as the “parent science”, in that it has given birth to natural, physical, and social sciences. These disciplines continue to provide philosophy with an abundance of contemporary issues, questions, that are seemingly difficult to answer. Philosophy is both independent fro other disciplines and embedded in their foundations and on-going activities.

Philosophy as a science. Philosophy has been defined as a science because it deals with the study of the processes governing thought and conduct. It investigates the principles and laws that regulate the universe and underlie all knowledge, which satisfies the requisites of scientific state of knowing.

Science has been defined as a body of systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experiments carried out in order to determine the nature of principles of what is being studied. Its main concern is the discovery of truth.

The difference between the two fields of knowledge lies in the scope and nature of their interest and their approach. While specific sciences deal particularly with restricted field, e.g., chemistry, philosophy deals with all aspects of man’s experiences. The interest of science is limited to the physical world, while the concern of philosophy issues on justice, conscience, reason, the soul and the Supernatural Being. The science approach to any investigation is establishing and systematizing facts, principles, and methods through experiments and hypotheses, while the approach of philosophy in its object of study is encompassing. Science tends to eliminate the persona factor and values in the quest for objectivity, while philosophy is interested in human experiences, personal values and purposes.

Science is primarily concerned with the nature of things as they are, while philosophy is interested not only in the real aspects but alos in their worth and meaning. The aim of science is to observe nature and to control processes, while philosophy criticizes, evaluates and integrates the various dimensions of human experience.

Philosophy as a science carefully examines and criticizes the premises and conclusions of all sciences-physical, natural, and social. Some propositions have been made by the sciences which, when examined carefully, may be found too impossible to attain or to prove. Philosophy synthesizes and compares the assumptions and conclusions of the difficult findings of the different sciences when they appear to be contradictory. Philosophy harmonizes...
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