In the literal meaning, philosophy refers to the love of wisdom. In fact, philosophy is derived from a word that means love of wisdom (Fixico 2). As a result of many roles and tools that philosophy plays, different meanings of philosophy have arisen. Therefore, it can be defined as a set of theories that study of the elementary nature of knowledge, existence, reality, mind, values, language and reason. It is a tool that tries to seek the truth by questioning why things are done in a certain manner. It uses the science of reasoning to scrutinize the ideas, statements, thoughts, and most importantly the way things are done.
American Indian philosophy is an association whose members are professional philosophers and students studying philosophy. Their main aim is to promote and further the study of all issues of philosophy that affect the indigenous people and the community (Fixico 7). This is a philosophy paper that summarizes some of the ideas of the great philosophical thinkers and with their major contribution to the many beliefs of the American Indian. According to Fixico (11), philosophy is fundamental because besides being used for teaching, it is a rational tool for investigative purposes of the being, knowledge and conduct. Philosophy is used as a tool used to convince people especially when they are in the wrong. Through its tools of reasoning it is able to subject people’s opinion to the rigor of scrutiny and eventually it can identify a flaws reasoning and they can be convinced otherwise. Philosophy also serves to develop intellectual abilities which are important in life. Other than having the requisite skills for a particular profession, the knowledge of philosophy helps an individual to become analytical, interpretive and critical in human capacity context and to any subject matter. Philosophy has made it possible for people to classify what they believe in by thinking about ultimate questions about the existence of God. Philosophy makes it possible for a person to study the about the past and able to discover why the people thought as they did and scrutinize the value they thought may have been based on (Fixico 22). Philosophy also influences the everyday lives by affecting the languages we speak and gives it a classification. For example philosophy holds an idea that there is a difference between things and action which is used to classify a language into nouns and verbs. Therefore we make a philosophical inquiry each time we try to find the difference between noun and verbs. Philosophy has helped in many ways to transform many institutions such as government, marriage, religion, family, education and business as reported by Fixico (29). Philosophical arguments have led to putting to an end system of government that is delivering to expectations. It is bringing prompt changes in the laws and the changing of the whole economic system. These changes have been effective because the leaders of these institutions have been able to hold beliefs about what is considered essential, true and real about how the institution should be led and how life should be. Fixico (48) asserts that the education system is based on philosophical ideas about the development of what students should learn about and for which purpose. Democratic society which has been developed by society philosophy hold it firmly that people should be left to think and make choices for themselves. However, non democratic societies do not apply the use of philosophy in the leadership thus discourage democratic rule whilst insisting on citizens to surrender their own interests at the expense of the state’s interest (Fixico 51). Therefore, the values and skills of philosophic ideas that are taught by the educational system of society have been developed as a result of philosophy. Branches of philosophy Philosophy is divided into various branches, which include the following. First, is the epistemology which is the