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Defining Pholosophy - Essay Example
Pages 3 (753 words)
Philosophy is the systematic inquiry into the principles and presuppositions of any endeavor. It comes from the Greek word “philo” which means fond of or affinity for, and “sophia” which means wisdom. …
Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, states that philosophy “is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason..." (What is philosophy?, n.d.) The four main branches of philosophy are logic, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. These branches of philosophy are divided as to the nature of the questions asked in each area; however, these divisions cannot be rigidly separated. Logic pertains to the attempt to codify the rules of rational thought. This is one of the primary tools used by philosophers in their inquiries. Logicians explore the structure of arguments that preserve truth or allow the optimal extraction of knowledge from evidence. The second branch of philosophy is epistemology which is the study of knowledge itself. It deals with the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge. Epistemologists ask questions such as what are the limits to our knowledge, does science give us knowledge at all or can our powers of reasoning give us knowledge. The third branch of philosophy is metaphysics which is the study of the nature of things. Metaphysicians ask what kinds of things exist, and what they are like. ...
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