What is philosophy?

Topics: Philosophy, Mind, Psychology Pages: 2 (555 words) Published: November 25, 2014
What is philosophy?
Philosophy is an activity that exercises the mind by seeking inquiries which arises from one’s inquisitiveness. A critical and comprehensive process of thought, it utilizes the mind by thinking about things in a rigorous, questioning way, presenting arguments for one's ideas, encountering arguments against them, and being prepared to transform one's mind. According to Bertrand Russell, a contemporary British philosopher, it aims at rational knowledge and uses discursive methods in dealing with the views drawn from experience, history, work, or any other realm of human life. 1 Philosophy pursues questions rather than answers. It aims at understanding and enlightenment rather than shorthand answers. Despite the fact that it is absolutely committed to the truth, certainty in philosophy is never given and complete as we cannot definitely close out the totality it strives to capture. Therefore the search for truth is rather like constant striving for more insight than for the final word on the matters of life and the world. Nevertheless, a true philosopher is not bounded by any particular "truths" that set limits to his urge to continue forming inquiries. Philosophy does not have any specific subject matter and hence cannot be defined with regard to any particular scope of investigation. It may deal with every dimension of human life and can raise queries in any field of study or endeavor. Skepticism lies at the heart of philosophy. Therefore, asking a question is more fundamentally important than answering one. However, we should always keep in mind that philosophy properly done is not mere speculation. Just like scientists, philosophers formulate hypotheses which ultimately must answer to reason and evidence. 2 Philosophy starts from bewilderment, curiosity, amazement about the world, life, and ourselves. It emerges from the functioning of an inquisitive mind which is puzzled by seemingly common things or by those that appear to be entirely...
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