The word “philosophy” is derived from two roots that are “philo” and “Sophia.” Philo means love whereas Sophia means wisdom. Therefore, philosophy means the love of wisdom. In actual practice, philosophy entails study of, pursuit, and enquiry into wisdom. A good number of great philosophers have referred to philosophy as the art of thinking. Others have only defined it as the systematic study of human feelings and thoughts.
It is noticeable that many subjects that once belonged to philosophy have broken off and become independent disciplines. These subjects include physics, psychology, and chemistry. This, however, has not left philosophy devoid of content. There are numerous other things that have always belonged to philosophy since the beginning of time and are still part of philosophy up to date. These issues are; the possibility of knowledge, the nature of the universe, the standard of justice, the correct use of reason, and the qualities of beauty. These issues have the foundational structures of the five branches of philosophy that are epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic, and aesthetics.
Western philosophy has three fundamental eras. These are the ancient era, medieval era, and the modern era. The ancient era mostly incorporates the works of Roman and Greek thinkers, some of whom were influenced by mainly by the developments in Mesopotamia and Egypt. During the ancient period, Greek philosophy was dominant and most creative. The Romans also contributed their part, but they were primarily building on what the Greeks had come up with earlier. The Romans did not add any substantial part that could give them the recognition of Greek caliber. Medieval philosophy was heavily reliant on Christianity. It did have elements of Socrates and Plato, but not to the extent of equaling the Christianity influence. It began around the fourth century with the famous St. Augustine and came to a halt in the 15th century. Modern Philosophy represents a certain break of thought from Christianity. As a matter of fact, modern philosophy delves into scientific investigations. It encompasses aspects such as the rise of humanism, the renaissance, and the Enlightenment springing from around 1500BC.
Ancient philosophy began around the sixth century. During that time, there were no microscopes, no telescopes, and no laboratory equipments. Without these modern equipments, Greeks from the Minor Asia area and other areas attempted to describe the nature of the earth and the universe. These Greeks were primarily metaphysicians looking for reality behind all visible mysterious objects. The period of Greek philosophy is divided into three major parts. These parts are; Socrates work, Plato, and Aristotle work. These three formed the basis of most of the schools of thought that sprouted afterwards.
The classical period of Greek philosophy was between 430-320 BC. During this time, Socrates was the main philosopher and he came after several...