Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom", and was originally a word
referring to the special way of life of early Greek philosophers. The main subjects of ancient philosophy are: understanding the fundamental causes and principles of the universe; explaining it in an economical way; the epistemological problem of reconciling the diversity and change of the natural universe, with the possibility of obtaining fixed and certain knowledge about it; questions about things that cannot be perceived by the senses, such as numbers, elements, universals, and gods; the analysis of patterns of reasoning and argument; the nature of the good life and the importance of understanding and knowledge in order to pursue it; the explication of the concept of justice, and its relation to various political systems.
In this period the crucial features of the philosophical method were established: a critical approach to received or established views, and the appeal to reason and argumentation.
If our standard is absolute certainty, then we cannot progress beyond the existence ...
Modern philosophy begins with the response to skepticism and the rise of modern physical science. Philosophy in this period centers on the relation between experience and reality, the ultimate origin of knowledge, the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, the implications of the new natural sciences for free will and God, and the emergence of a secular basis for moral and political philosophy.
Canonical figures include Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Rousseau, Hume, and Kant. Chronologically, this era spans the 17th...
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