Essay title: Defining Philosophy
In my effort to try and define what philosophy means to me I discovered that it means a lot of things to a lot of people. When I shared with my co-workers and friends that my next class is Philosophy they laughed and jokingly stated that I would be walking around the office sprouting comments about my point of view on life, which, in truth, wont be that much different than what I go around talking about now. When I was younger I used to sit back and listen, taking in information that I felt was or might be usefully applied in life either in the present or future. People who knew me then now want to know what happened to that shy girl they used to know. Well, for anyone willing to listen to my point of view on life, I am more then willing to share it with them. In this sense, ones personal philosophy is ones fundamental intellectual viewpoint on life. As one grows and learns, life experiences form the basis of an index that will become the context of intellectual knowledge. The nature of philosophy is best defined in The American Heritage Dictionary as being, “Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline and the investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than experimental methods”.
Since Philosophy is defined as the love of or for knowledge, we can go one step further and define this by saying that philosophy is how deep and wide we want to extend our knowledge of a specific subject. In exploring our quest for a deeper knowledge we must understand that all philosophical knowledge is well thought-out and therefore proceeds in an orderly manner based on the method the thinker has identified as basic and essential. This is accomplished by proceeding from one point to the next in a clear and careful manner, dictated by basic principles and how these principles have been affected or influenced by other factors.
In looking to extend our wide knowledge of philosophy one tries to give an account of everything, a broader view of the world. We want to know how reality, truth, goodness, and beauty are all interconnected and interrelated forming a comprehensive view of the world, of humanity, and of our place in the world. This thought process requires the ability to grasp and interrelate with all areas of human knowledge.
In focusing on how philosophical questions differ from questions of a scientific or factual nature, one must understand that science is the rational way to interpret and understand the physical world, where philosophic