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Philosophical methods and their role in integrating learning and faith
Pages 12 (3012 words)
Philosophy as a concept can be traced through etymology to the root meaning of the Greek words that establish the range and application of the term in thought. An understanding of the definition of philosophy is critical, for a “love of wisdom” may be experientially different from the systematic application of a series of rules and laws…
In Greek semantics, the traditional goal most associated with philosophy as a discipline is not stated directly, which is not to say that truth is absent in the definition of philosophy, but rather that truth is present in the defining aspect of wisdom. Wisdom relates to truth as knowledge relates to understanding, and the dynamics of this relationship is illustrated in the Greek term ‘Sophia’. In defining philosophy as the “love of wisdom,” the nature of wisdom itself must be analyzed through a comparison to other types of knowledge.
On a fundamental level, traditional philosophy in both the Eastern and Western traditions is gnostic, for these schools assert that truth can be directly experienced and known by human consciousness and that truth is divinely inspired or created by aspects of a divine being. Yet, philosophers themselves may differ in the degree or the manner in which they accord truth to be divine, sacred, holy, or beautiful. Similarly, an agnostic philosophy may be possible, where followers of the teaching believe that truth itself cannot be known absolutely, constructed accurately, or experienced in a valid form by human consciousness, and that truth is not divinely inspired or created by theistic forces. An agnostic belief system or philosophy would appear to be inherently tragic in believing that truth cannot be definitively known to mind, whereas a gnostic or religious system of philosophy can be expected to be liberating through either immanence or transcendence related to mental apprehension of truth. ...
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