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Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry

What Is Philosophy? – Daniel

Philosophy. It’s a mysterious and vast topic. So vast, in fact, that many have devoted their entire lives to unravelling the deeper workings of this single concept. As a joke, the philosoraptor meme provides us with some respite from everyday life through clever and witty remarks about, well, everyday life. So then, what exactly is philosophy? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts, or simply the pursuit of wisdom.” Oxford similarly defines philosophy as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” My French English dictionary simply translates it as “philosophie, fem.” However, as we have learned these past few days philosophy is much more than simple dictionary definitions and oftentimes when piercing deep into the hide of this untamed beast dictionaries are, quite frankly, thrown out the window.

I once read a quote somewhere that went something like this: “Time does not exist. Clocks exist.” If philosophy is time then the clocks, so to speak are ways of us simplifying and adapting philosophy into our everyday lives and into society so that everyone may have some mutual structure that they can all reflect and agree upon. That is, religion and science and everything inbetween. However, getting to understand the raw philosophy (or time, whichever part of the metaphor will help your understanding better) takes more than just preset equations or bible verses or seconds or minutes or hours. Understanding philosophy requires an open and constantly questioning mind that takes in everything in order to synthesize an ever-changing meaning for life and beyond.

And that’s basically what it is. Understanding philosophy in itself is philosophy. Philosophy is never static, always changing and reacting to one’s perception and reactions to moments around them. Philosophy is the ongoing pursuit of knowledge and deeper understanding for just about everything.

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Discussion

One thought on “What Is Philosophy? – Daniel

  1. It really is nice to be able to revisit everyone’s work in here. Now I can pause when I get to the quote “Time does not exist. Clocks exist.” like I wanted to before. In works of or about philosophy it’s hard to absorb everything as quickly as it is given to us in a speech.

    Posted by 113marianag | September 16, 2012, 11:40 pm

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