What is Philosophy, What Does Philosophy Mean?

What is Philosophy, What Does Philosophy Mean?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

In general, philosophy is “knowing what you don’t know” and “knowing yourself”, as Socrates said. It is the science of principles or first causes, as Aristotle said, an operational system designed to ensure a happy life. As Plato said, it is the intellectual work towards finding the truth; In other words, it is trying to reach the facts and truths with the mind and thinking. The main subject of philosophy is the universe and life.

Philosophy, according to Augustine, is ‘knowing God, true philosophy and true religion are identical. According to Tertullian, to philosophize is to explain ‘dogma’. According to Anselmus, it is “trying to understand what is believed”. For the scholastics, philosophy is the demonstration of the conformity between reason and dogma. For Thomas Aquinas, the subject of philosophy is God, philosophy is the demonstration of God. According to Scottus Eriugena, philosophy is the ‘science of belief’, and according to Hegel, philosophy is conceptually capturing what religion presents as a product of imagination.

Philosophy, as Abelardus said, is to find out whether what is believed is worth believing. As Epicurus said, knowing that everything has a natural cause, acquiring the right knowledge and taking the right action, and avoiding unnatural thoughts, fairy tales, fantasies, which make people unhappy for nothing by causing uneasiness and disrupt the state of atarxia, which is the greatest happiness, is a natural world view. is to acquire.

Philosophy, as Hegel said, is to explain the universe. Philosophy, as Giordano Bruno said, is knowing nature. As Francis Bacon said, philosophy is thinking on scientific data based on experimentation and observation. As Auguste Comte said, philosophy is a science that unites all sciences, a science of sciences. As Ludwig Feuerbach said, philosophy must always be connected with the natural sciences, and the natural sciences with philosophy. As dialectical materialism (Dialectical Materialism) says, Philosophy is the science that determines the general laws of all development. Philosophy means looking for the way of knowledge and obtaining it, philosophy cannot be without science, and science cannot be without philosophy, philosophy, just like science, must be realized by moving from concrete and scientific intuition to abstract thought and from that to concrete practice again.

Philosophy is a universal science that determines the general laws that are the basis of all phenomena of the natural, intellectual and social universe and all kinds of development in discontinuous continuity, integrates it with the understanding of universal dependence, unity and existence, is based on science, changes and strengthens with science.

It is to think on scientific data and to draw practical conclusions from them. With our consciousness determined by the material external world, it is not only to grasp and explain the material external world by putting one’s hand on our temple, but also to grasp and explain scientifically (based on science) without adding anything to nature, but also to change the world as it is the method of changing the world. It is the only scientific guide to transforming the pre-human age into the human age.


Since philosophy is the product of reason and free thought, it is really difficult to give a universally accepted definition of it. Because the scientific background, social and political environment, religious and life understandings of the period in which he lived, as well as his own personal tendencies, of course, have a great role in the growth of a philosopher and his intellectual formation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In other words, there is no doubt that although the discourse of the philosopher is universal, as each person is the product of his own age, he carries the stamp of his age and personal tendencies. Based on this fact, we can say that there is no definition of philosophy that every philosopher agrees on and that satisfies everyone.

Although this is the case, the definitions of philosophy coming from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the three founding philosophers of the Ancient Age, who also have a close relationship between them at the level of teacher-student, have been repeated as traditional definitions in every age and various interpretations have been made on them. In addition, it is understood that it has become a tradition to include these definitions in the introduction of philosophical works written in the Hellenistic Period and the middle times.

We know that any branch of information is defined either in terms of its subject or purpose or considering its importance or benefit. It is possible to see these different aspects in the definitions given below.

Philosophy is the love of wisdom (wisdom)

In this definition, which originates from the etymology of the word, philosophy, which consists of fila meaning love in Greek and sofia meaning wisdom and wisdom, means the effort made with the enthusiasm and desire to investigate and comprehend all aspects of existence, facts and events, without expecting any benefit, without the feeling of glory and fame. is coming. A philosopher is someone who does this work.

Philosophy is self-knowledge.

This definition, which belongs to Socrates, also expresses a break and a transformation in the history of thought. As it will be remembered, the sophists, who emerged in ancient Greece before Socrates, gave correct and general information about the outside world.