What is Philosophy, What are the Different Definitions of Philosophy?June 26, 2021
With a simple and general definition, philosophy can be expressed as “love of wisdom”.
While Aristotle defined philosophy as the science of the first causes, philosophy was attributed to the meaning of going down to the basis of events and investigating the essence of the universe (Ergün, 2006, p.56). However, it is not possible to say that philosophy only deals with metaphysics. Especially with the new age, the main field of study of philosophy has been science, and accordingly, the philosophy of science has emerged, and “evaluating the truth as a whole” has been generally accepted.
It is generally accepted that philosophy arose from myth, religion, and poetry. Over time, he tried to explain the truth completely by laying the foundations of original thinking; perspective on life has gained meaning (Özyurt, 2000, p.166). Some sciences such as mathematics, physics, anthropology, biology, chemistry, astronomy, sociology and psychology were separated from philosophy, which originally covered all sciences.
History of Philosophy
Historically, although it is stated that the term philosophy was used by Pytagoras for the first time, the term philosophy (Philosophia) gained its definite meaning in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Philosophy, whose origin is based on the Greek term philosophia, consists of the words “love” (philia) and “knowledge, wisdom” (sophia) (Akarsu, 1988, p.80). The following meanings are attributed to philosophy as a dictionary equivalent (Oğuzkan, 1993, p.56):
Meanings of Philosophy
Philosophy is a thought activity that aims to examine the whole of reality (reality), matter (matter) and various signs related to life in terms of causes, principles and purposes (goals/purposes). Philosophy is a method of thought that seeks clarity in the analysis and criticism of knowledge, concepts, beliefs and theories. Philosophy is a collective and coherent body of views that serves to guide a person’s behavior and thoughts. Philosophy is a broad field of science that consists of branches such as logic, morality, good sense, metaphysics and epistemology.
As stated, it is very difficult to explain philosophy with a single definition. The following three views, which reveal what philosophy is, are widely accepted (Sözer, 2002, p.83):
Philosophy is an effort to understand the nature of man, the structure and functioning of the world.
Philosophy is a never-ending deepening in the way of finding and teaching truth.
Philosophy is a way of thinking that leads people to the good, the truth and the beautiful.
The term philosophy is formed from the combination of the words “love” (philia) and “knowledge, wisdom” (sophia), which originates from the Greek term philosophia.
Different Definitions of Philosophy
Philosophy takes an attitude towards life and the universe
It is possible to characterize every attitude and understanding that focuses on the personality of the individual in daily life as philosophy at a basic level. For example, it can be said that the understanding we put forward in a shopping is the product of a philosophical view. Even details such as using local goods, not choosing unbranded clothes, choosing a greengrocer instead of a street market are the results of a single glance and simply contain a philosophy. Moreover, it is clear that political views on national independence, homeland and world administration, media and newspaper preferences, and views on religious belief are attitudes about life and the universe. The perspectives in the examples are actually reflections of a conscious or unconscious philosophical understanding. In summary, philosophy is a worldview and perspective on life, an effort to grasp and capture the universe as a whole (Sönmez, 2002, p.4).
Philosophy is a method based on rational examination and creative thinking.
Philosophy aims to examine events and phenomena in a systematic way, based on rational thinking principles and techniques. Philosophy in this context is now different from philosophy in a simple and narrow sense and has academic value. Philosophy teaches people to think accurately, clearly, and based on evidence with cause-effect relationships on many issues. Philosophical thinking methods prepare the necessary foundations for people to reason about almost every subject (Cevizci, 2007a, p.30). For example, we make use of reasoning techniques such as induction and deduction when we look at events and phenomena in daily life.
Philosophy is an effort to gain a certain view of the universe and the whole.
Philosophy allows the individual to systematize what he has acquired with the knowledge and experience he has gained from past to present. This process is, in a way, the formation of an individual worldview. However, philosophy is not a narrow, one-sided understanding of events and facts; It aims to look holistically. Philosopher’s point of view, instead of seeing life only from the point of view of a businessman or artist; it aims to be understood as a whole (Tozlu, 2003, p.8). Philosophy here separates “philosophy of thought” from “critical philosophy”. Philosophy approaches the more holistic and universal by taking the thoughts and results of different sciences and fields of study.
Philosophy is theories about both the problem and its solution.
Philosophy originally aims to love knowledge and wisdom, to search for truth, to reach solid information with free thought and criticism and to organize life accordingly (Hilav, 1985, p.14). In this context, philosophy