Well, Philosophy is an action undertaken by people as they seek answers and understanding of some truths about them, their relationships with others and the world around them. Academically, those who study philosophy are mostly engaged in asking and arguing through providing answers to the life events that they are experiencing. To effectively understand and establish what philosophy is all about there is need to discuss the major areas in which philosophy is divided upon.
First is metaphysics, this is the study of nature around us; it establishes the reality of nature and what actually exist in this world. It brings forward discussions about the existence of God, the fundamental truths for some occurring events, personality discussions, thinking of the mind and other basic questions about the universe.
Epistemology basically tries to explain what we know about the world and how we came to know it through acquisition of knowledge. Ethics is believed to be the right thing or wrong thing done by an individual (Carrol and Buchholtz, 2012). It establishes the wrong and the rights actions to be undertaken in doing something or solving a problem. It brings on board the morality of some issues or events and how certain problems can be solved in the most moral way.
Logic is another disciple that provides methods and procedures of discovering the truth in a claim through reasoning. It also brings out metrics that helps discover whether methods used in reasoning are correct or not together with what makes such reasoning possible in different scenarios or events.
History and Development of Philosophy
Philosophy started in the ancient Greece when people started inquiring about everything. It is asserted that human beings look for information to confirm their doubts (Oswald and Grosjean, 2004). The uncertainty on various issues made philosophers/people to start thinking and reasoning to help explain certain things and occurrences.
To effectively understand how it started the history must be divided into two; Greek and Teutonic history (Palmer, 2010) .Teutonic was the philosophy that was found in the Christian-based countries like Spain, England and France. The roman world received and imitated action of others but with intelligence including their own religion. The Greek world at that time developed thinking as ideas while the Teutonic world considered thinking as a spirit (Palmer, 2010).
The above therefore shows that the first period of development of philosophy was a simple determination of the figurations, hidden qualities that already existed in the world at that time. It followed with the gathering of determinations together with manifestations of ideal unity. The third developmental stage was where the totality which was initially abstract realized through active and separate determinations of ideals that actually belong to it. The abstract moments poised to be universally unified and this translated to mind. Thus the Greek world formulated what was described as an idea that led to the notion of an ideal world of intellectual characteristics.
To summarize philosophy started and development through what was called periods. The first period started at around 600 B.C and developed from Plotinus to the fifth century; a time that philosophy was now extinguished. This Neo-Platonic Philosophy infiltrated into Christianity within a span of 1000 years when migration of nations and the fall of Roman empire was witnessed. The second period of the development and journey was in the Middle Ages when Arabs and Jews history were noticed. This philosophy was majorly falling within Christian churches. The third period is the philosophy of modern times, it is distinct from the others as it is contained in cogito ergo sum. This philosophy is still progressive and still being witnessed.
There are many philosophers who assisted in the development of knowledge and philosophy as a disciple. They are responsible for bringing out principles and procedures that guided the process of thinking and generation of ideas. Some of them even formulated principles that are still used in the modern world.
John Locke who is described as the “father of liberalism” with the way he developed principle of humanity and individual freedom. His thinking was on the precedent of governing seeking the consent of the subjects/governed while observing rights under the supreme laws.
Epicurus; though criticized by Christians on his teachings on self-indulgence and too much delight, advocated for not believing on anything that was not tangible including god. He brought forward arguments to suggest that anything that was not tangible was merely a notion and could easily be manipulated.
Zeno of Citium may not have been so much popular as the rest; he brought out arguments on pain. He believed that that anything that causes people to suffer in life is merely because of poor or error in their own judgment. This was formulated by him to be that the world was actually what we made of it.
Thomas Aquinas a philosopher who would be remembered for proving the existence of God; which is still believed up to now. To support his proof he argued that anything that existed had an end and so the universe had to be created by something.
Rene Descartes also referred to as “the Father of Modern Philosophy” who created analytical geometry; Cartesian coordinate that is still taught in schools on all section of mathematics.
Plato asserted that eradication of evil was possible through philosophy. This was because only the clever, well-educated and good people could rule and that the subjects led better lives because of them.
Aristotle was the first philosopher to have written materials on the creator of things, effective and final cause. The material written ranged from logics, ethics, science and literature. He is the first philosophy to argue that there is hierarchy in life in the entire universe. Christian took this idea to have a hierarchy of God, angels and human beings. He also brought up the principles that governed ethics; a concept of doing good rather than being good. His foundation on this was that an individual could be kind but before he/she helps others this means nothing.
The Uses of Philosophy in Today’s World
Philosophy has been used in the work places, schools and other social places to satisfy needs and interests that are personal. This is because the tools of philosophy help an individual think better and more clearly so as to have a good perspective of things in different situations. The many features of philosophical reasoning and understanding in various issues are useful in life as it makes one creative. The better on understand an idea the more the individual would think clearly and provide a good reasoning.
Philosophy assist individuals, institutions and even the government to formulate goals, values and objectives that are important and when pursued will improve the life of the people. Philosophy as brought forward is a way of examining ideas and choosing a better one through critical thinking (Schick etal, 2011). For a government to rule it must exercise immerse power, this can only be done by the elite members of the society through philosophical thinking and reasoning. Philosophy will also assist in the examination of the government goals even if they are ideal for the people. For example, ideas of providing welfare and housing facilities to the disadvantaged people of the society have often failed due to lack of funds mainly through embezzlement, misuse and corruption. Philosophy comes in to help in the analysis through thinking and reasoning on the potential impacts to the projects if the funds and resources are embezzled or misused.
Philosophy as a discipline impacts training and practice on how to use knowledge with intelligence. People might have professional knowledge in different area of expertise but still reason poorly due to lack of basic elements to be used in reasoning and making decisions. For example a Computer expert might have the know-how on how to navigate and use the machine but might not know that it is unethical to commit a crime using the same computer and the knowledge.
Philosophy is all about careful, continued and organized thinking. It is the willingness of an individual to pursue values and truths that might help in solving problems or reasoning in a way that will be pleasant. It is the pursuit of wisdom that would lead to better valuable decisions. As pointed out above, one may be kind, honest and charitable but he/she cannot assist people improve their life this is merely nothing to boast of. It is the pursuit of what will add value to the people; philosophy has been important and will continue to change the lives of people around the world.
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