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The Definition Of Philosophy Essay

1022 words - 5 pages

The Definition of Philosophy

A personal or moral philosophy is an idea about how one should live, or how one should act. Often we will hear a person state that their philosophy about life is to “live it to the fullest” or to “take the bull by the horns” or any number of clichés. The usage of the word philosophy by these people, while correct by definition, differs from the word so closely associated with the great thinkers of our past, present and future. Philosophy, as it means to those in the quest for knowledge, the meaning of life, and the truth of all things, has a much greater, but much less concise meaning. I would say that the grand definition of philosophy is the relentless ...view middle of the document...

A true philosopher will not rule out a potential answer to a question simply because of their own preconceived notions.
Socrates was one of the first philosophers to admit that he may not have all of the answers. On being declared the wisest of men by the oracle, Socrates believed himself to have no special skills or knowledge and he was befuddled by the oracle’s proclamation. After speaking with many men of great wisdom, “Socrates affirmed that he would rather be as he is, knowing that he knows nothing, than to be inflated by a false sense of his own great wisdom. Thus, he concludes, he truly is wiser than other men because he does not think he knows what he does not know.” (Plato & In Woohead, 1953) This point cannot be over-emphasized and speaks to the mindset of one of the greatest thinkers the world has known. To be truly wise, one must admit that their wisdom is not enough and they must continually seek answers. In fact, Socrates may have died for this belief, as he made many men realize that they were not quite as wise as they had once thought.
Thus we find ourselves again with the realization that our notions and opinions cloud our ability to reason. Men with vast knowledge in their field often believe that this gives them a high ground from which to advise others, even when the subject is outside of their scope of understanding. These men may be highly intelligent, but I would suggest that they are more in love with the reverence or power generated from their intellect than they are with wisdom. This is the key difference between moral philosophy and the subject of philosophy which can be defined as the love of wisdom and the pursuit of truth.
As students we have been taught throughout the years in mathematics and science...

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