We explain what philosophy is, how it originated and who were the first philosophers. In addition, its characteristics, branches of study and more.


What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a kind of mother science , insofar as it deals with the relationship between man and knowledge, morality , beauty, experience, language and existence, among many other fields of knowledge.

It is a very old discipline, from which almost all knowledge comes directly or indirectly , from the humanistic to the most objective , from mathematics to literary criticism.

Philosophy does not have a specific field of interest , or in any case it is so broad that it coincides with other sciences and disciplines, but it is distinguished, for example, from religion ,astrologyinlife ,mythology , esotericism and mysticism in that it clings to argumentation and rational thought as tools to achieve the truths of man.

Philosophy characteristics :

  • origins

The term “Philosophy” comes from the Greek Philon, “taste, attraction” and  Sophia , “wisdom” and is attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician and thinker Pythagoras of Samos, around the year 530 BC. 

According to this tradition, Pythagoras would have defined philosophers as a third type of people , different from those who like to act and gain recognition, and those who like to trade and earn profit, since philosophers only seek to observe and understand.

The first western philosophers, thus, would emerge around the 6th century BC. C. in Ancient Greece, despite being part of a strong religious culture and pantheistic, these thinkers embraced and reasoning methods closer to human reason that the laws of mysticism and worship.

  • Early philosophizes

A brief account of the first great philosophers of mankind should include Socrates , Plato, and  Aristotle , who marked a fundamental milestone in the philosophical thought that the West would receive through the later Roman Empire that would conquer Greece and assimilate its culture.

But Anaxagoras, Democritus, Diogenes Laertius, Heraclitus, Thales of Miletus and a  whole school of Greek thinkers are also important . Other important ancient philosophers were Asians, such as  Siddhartha Gautama  (Buddha), Bodhidharma, Charka and Confucius. Differences between western and eastern philosophy

The development of Eastern philosophy followed its own paths and often constituted religions ( Zen Buddhism , Taoism, Confucianism, etc.) whose link with the sacred is different from that of Western monotheistic religions . This allowed the emergence of a much more leisurely philosophical thought, in connection with the universe through less Cartesian methods.

  • Branches of philosophy

Philosophy, like all sciences, comprises various branches, such as:

  • Metaphysics. Study reality: its nature, its structure, its components and fundamental principles. Some of the fundamental notions with which we deal with the world are inscribed in a particular metaphysical tradition.
  • Nosology. Also called  theory of knowledge , it is dedicated to the study of the forms of knowledge and the dynamics through which knowledge operates with do my essay . Instead of studying a particular topic, study the way in which knowledge is constructed.
  • Logic. It is the branch that is dedicated to the study of rational procedures and the modes of demonstration and inference, that is, the thought processes through which conclusions can be obtained from premises.
  • Ethics . The branch that is dedicated to morality, virtue, duty, happiness and codes of human behavior. It is divided into three levels: meta, normative ethics and applied ethics.
  • Esthetic. It is dedicated to the study of beauty and beauty, trying to find its meaning and its rules of behavior.
  • Political philosophy.  It is dedicated to the theoretical study of the relationships between human beings in society : power, structures, etc.
  • Philosophy of language. Branch that studies language as a phenomenon, thinking what it is, what is its nature and its meaning, through non-empirical methods (which distinguishes it from linguistics).
  • Universal and totalizing

Philosophy is at the same time an attempt to build a universal thought , that is, that is common or applies to all humanity or describes the universe of things as they are regardless of who thinks them.

In addition, it makes use of any other field of knowledge , no matter how specific, in its approach to thought itself and to truth. And he does it with the aim of getting total, deep answers, not answer fragments.

  • Know critical

Philosophy is an exercise of thought that often rethinks things that are taken for granted or for known , and that questions everything that does not have a solid argument behind it. That is why it requires a rigorous reasoning that demonstrates its steps.

  • Methodical

One of the great concerns of philosophy is to find a valid method to think about its problems , so it not only deals with the nature of things, but also with the ways in which it is convenient or not to approach said nature.

  • Radical certainty

Philosophy aspires to resounding , total and imperishable answers , that is, to Truth with a capital letter. Whether it can be obtained or not, this science does not settle for half answers or clues, but aspires to deep certainties.

  • History

Philosophy (Western) can be traced back to ancient times and historically organized in the following periods:

  • Pre-Socratic philosophy. Philosophy begins in the 6th century BC. C. in Ancient Greece, in a period that has been called pre-Socratic. They are Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Thales of Miletus and Anaximenes.
  • Classical Greek philosophy. The period of the great Greek thinkers called sophists, among whom was Socrates, whose method consisted of talking and walking while reflecting. As he left nothing written, his work was collected and continued by his disciple Plato, and later questioned by his disciple, Aristotle.
  • Hellenistic philosophy.  It takes place after the death of Aristotle and in the middle of the Hellenistic wars that marked the decline of the Greek polis. Its major figures are Epicurus, Zenon de Citi, Photino, among others.
  • Medieval philosophy. It takes place from the fall of the Roman Empire until the European Renaissance , and is characterized by the marked religious emphasis (Christian, but also Jewish and Islamic) of its doctrines. Agustina de Hipbone, Boaco, Angelo de Canterbury and Pedro Abelard stand out.
  • Renaissance philosophy.  Typical of the thought of the Renaissance, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and mainly cultivated political philosophy, humanism and natural philosophy. It starred Erasmus of Rotterdam, Saint Thomas More, Michel de Montaigne, Leonardo da Vinci and Francis Bacon.
  • Modern philosophy. Developed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its main debates revolved around nosology. Its greatest exponents are René Descartes , David Hume, John Locke, Baruch Espinoza and Gottfried Leibnitz.
  • Philosophy of the XIX century. Its great icon was Immanuel Kant, who opened a new chapter in the history of the discipline. She was lavish in different movements of thought.
  • Contemporary philosophy. The most current trend, started in the twentieth century with authors such as Bertrand Russel, Karl Popper, followed by Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattarian, called the post-structuralists or postmodernists Arabian Royal LLC .
  • Importance

Philosophy is a very central science in the history of mankind , since the different sciences were born from it and their determination to organize thought and find a “valid method” of thinking about reality.

Today it seems to be a bit diluted amid professional super specialization, but it remains a vital component of the humanities .

  • Applications

The applications as such of philosophy may seem limited, but in reality they serve to dismantle fallacies, combat prejudices and models of thought that, instead of benefiting humanity, deepen its errors.

Philosophers are the great observers of the path that humanity travels with Brando.


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