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Defining Philosophy - Essay Example

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From an overarching contemporary perspective philosophy has been articulated as the investigation of the fundamental problems of life, most specifically those of existence, morality, meaning, and the nature of language (Teichmann). While this definition provides a general understanding of philosophy, it is necessary to consider philosophy’s evolution in terms of schools of thought to properly encapsulate its essence. In these regards, it is perhaps most appropriate to start with ancient Greek philosophy, as it is here that the term philos (knowledge) first emerged. Within Greek philosophy there emerged three major schools – pre-Socratic, the middle period, and finally the Hellenistic era. Among these the most significant era was the middle period where texts by Plato and Aristotle functioned to investigate many of the concerns that would become fundamental areas of investigation for later philosophers. Among the primary elements that emerged during this period were investigations into the nature of proper government, considerations of what constituted the main purpose of existence, and in Aristotle investigations into art, beauty, and various scientific factors. As the academic disciplines of the sciences had yet to emerge, it’s clear that during this period of history philosophy in-large part constituted all investigations into the nature of reality.
While philosophy during Greek antiquity was greatly rooted in humanistic investigations into the nature of reality, this was not true of the Medieval period of philosophy. During this era philosophy came to be more prominently concerned with Christian investigations into the nature of religion. It was believed that Christianity answered many of the major problems of existence, so it was important to consider the philosophical nature of Christianity (Teichmann). This understanding of philosophy continued until the Renaissance period. During the Renaissance there was a rebirth of philosophy and a ...Show more


Because of the long history of philosophy, there have been a number of schools of thought and evolutionary patterns that have not only investigated new topics, but have…
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