Philosophy: a Comprehensive Definition

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The word ‘philosophy,' by definition, is extremely vague and ambiguous. It can be related to anything to do with thought, perception, and even basic human existence. Therefore, in defining philosophy, perhaps it is easier to simply state what it may or may not involve rather than trying to find a concrete and simplified definition.

Philosophy includes the studies of logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Logic deals with the principles and systems of reasoning. It is the method by which we deduce and interpret information. Ethics involves the principles of morals and the judgment of "good" and "bad" conduct. Aesthetics is the appreciation of artistic beauty and taste. Metaphysics examines the nature of reality and its relationship to the supernatural. Epistemology studies the very nature of knowledge itself.

Through its development, philosophy has also touched virtually every intellectual discipline possible. These include, but are by no means limited to: science, mathematics, psychology, religion and theology, literature, politics, history, and the arts. It is easy to see how the lines from a particular discipline to philosophy can be somewhat blurred.

It is difficult to truly grasp the enormity of what philosophy can include. Perhaps an appropriate definition may be the study of the most fundamental principles of knowledge and reality. But this explanation does not seem to provide an adequate scope of what the discipline entails. Philosophy touches everything and everyone, every thought and every conception. And it is only through its study and everyday use that we are able to fully understand its extraordinary scale.
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