What is Philosophy?
While Philosophy has no clear cut definition, it can be described as the act of questioning ideas, thoughts, and beliefs to try to form answers supported by good reasoning. These answers are not always clearly supported by fact like scientific questions, but use logic to express what a person views as correct. Questions of a philosophical nature can be grouped into four main branches and use a method of arguments and logic to support a reasonable opinion or view. Four major areas of philosophical questions are: Metaphysics, Epistemology, questions related to value, and logic (Moore & Bruder, 2005). Metaphysics is an area of philosophy concerned with questions related to being or existence. Philosophers in this area ask questions like “Are we really here?” The second area, Epistemology, is concerned with questions relating to knowledge. Some questions in Epistemology are “What is truth?” and “Is there a limit to what is known?” The third area, questions related to value, includes moral, social, and political philosophy as well as aesthetics. This area questions ethics, society, government, art, and the justifications of each. The final area is questions of logic. These types of questions seek to outline and establish the validity of correct inference. Any philosophical question can be placed into one of these four areas. Philosophical and scientific questions are different, even though they will both try to answer the same questions sometimes. While both types use facts, logic, and reasoning, scientific questions will end with an answer of how things work. Philosophic questions will discuss how things should be. A scientific question will have an answer based on facts and experimentation. Just gathering facts and doing experiments do not answer philosophical questions. While science will question and try to answer, “What is the Universe made of?” through mathematic equations, philosophy will try to answer, “Is there a purpose for the...
References: Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2005). Philosophy: The Power of Ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill
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