The term philosophy is taken from the Greek word "φιλεω" (phileo) meaning "to love" or "to befriend" and "σοφια" (sophia) meaning "wisdom." Thus, "philosophy" means "the love of wisdom". Socrates, a Greek philosopher, used the term philosophy as an equivalent to the search for wisdom. Also, the term wisdom is used as a general term for describing the intellectual probing of any idea.
Introduction to Philosophy
The study of any discipline, such as Philosophy, should begin with its definition. Webster's dictionary defines philosophy as:
"the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics"
The definition highlights the nature of philosophical inquiry. Philosophers ask questions. These questions try to understand the metaphysical and physical world of man. Philosophy is considered to have developed as a form of rational inquiry in the cities of Ancient Greece.
The history of philosophy in the west begins with the Greeks, and particularly with a group of philosophers commonly called the pre-Socratics. This is not to deny the occurrence of other pre-philosophical rumblings in Egyptian and Babylonian cultures. Certainly great thinkers and writers existed in each of these cultures, and we have evidence that some of the earliest Greek philosophers may have had contact with at least some of the products of Egyptian and Babylonian thought. However, the early Greek thinkers added at least one element which differentiates their thoughts from all those who came before them. For the first time in history, we discover in their writings something more than dogmatic assertions about the ordering of the world -- we find reasoned arguments for various beliefs about the world.
Thales (in Greek: Θαλης) of Miletus (circa 635 BC - 543 BC), also known as Thales the Milesian, was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Many regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition. He has also been... [continues]
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