Definition of Philosophy and the Nature of Inquiry

Topics: Philosophy, Logic, Epistemology Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: December 28, 2011
DEFINITION OF PHILOSOPHY AND NATURE OF PHILOSOPHICAL ENQUIRY. The term philosophy is Greek word from two words. These are: philos which means love or desire and Sophia which means wisdom (Pojman and Vaughn). So a philosopher is the one who searches for knowledge by asking questions .This paper aims at the definition of philosophy and nature of philosophical enquiry. Any given field of inquiry has philosophical roots and extensions. In general, philosophy is both an activity involving thinking about these kinds of ultimate questions and an activity involving the construction of sound reasons or insights into our most basic assumptions about the universe and our lives. Quite often, simply asking a series of ‘Why’ and ‘How’ questions can reveal these basic presuppositions. Children often ask such questions, sometimes to the annoyance of their parents, in order to get a feel for the way the world works. For example a child asking his father as to why he is reading this philosophy book: Child: Why are you reading ‘Reading for philosophical Inquiry?’’ Father: ‘It’s an assigned book in philosophy, one of my college courses.’ Child: ‘Why do you take philosophy?’

At this point in the dialogue, the child is curious to know everything and this conversation will likely take long until the father gets annoyed. However, philosophy is not just asking any questions but questions about the analysis of concepts, defining concepts or terms carefully, and about the grounds of knowledge, beliefs actions and activities. Rogers Straughan and John Wilson (1983) use the verb philosophizing instead of the noun philosophy. According to them philosophy is an activity. It is something one does and usually gets better at with practice. It is a form of thought one uses; it is a method of argument one adopts. Philosophizing involves getting clear about the meanings and uses of words and about the concepts that lie behind the words and about relevant types of reasons and argument, so that...
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