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What is Philosophy?

What is Philosophy?


Philosophy: What is it, really? To some, there may be endless possibilities when it comes to how they would answer this question. To others, it may be almost impossible.  According to the dictionary, philosophy is defined as, “The use of reason and argument in seeking truth and knowledge of reality.”  As you can see, the question as to what philosophy really is has no specific answer. Every human has a different view of the world, and therefore no two people see philosophy the same way. It is perhaps life’s biggest mystery.


When I think about the word, “philosophy,” the main thing that comes to mind is different perspectives and theories. The world that we live in is composed of many “facts.” Many people rely on cold hard facts, born from the idea of “right and wrong” or “obvious” to make decisions, while others prefer to go with what their own personal instinct tells them to do. It seems as though facts make up the world we live in; if something is true and can be proven, it is a fact. An opinion, on the other hand, cannot be proven, but can however be much more powerful than a fact because it makes us question the fact. However, although facts can be proven, how did they come to be facts in the first place? How can we be sure of what is really organic to our world and what isn’t? All these “facts” that many believe in all boil down to the first day of the universe. Obviously, we as humans can’t just travel back in time to that very day. We’ll never be able to see for ourselves what really happened on that day. There are many different theories on this. Most of those who believe in God would argue that He created the universe and all facts that come along with it, while those who do not believe in God would say that facts evolve from science. Which of these theories is really true, though? We’ll never really know, because both theories were created by man. No one was there to witness that very first day, therefore what happened can never be proven. The one thing that this does prove, however, is that facts are born from opinions. Of all the theories in the world, we’ll never know which ones are 100% accurate, if any. To me, this is philosophy: Questioning the fact with the unknown. Everyone in the world is a philosopher. Those who came up with the most genius theories are philosophers, as is someone who’s never made a bigger decision than what they should eat for lunch that day. No matter what, our opinions have the power to affect and change everything. If you’re reading this essay, than your opinion on it has the power to change the philosophy of “What is Philosophy?” We may never know the true answer, but the way I see it is that philosophy is about embracing the unknown and the power of opinion.



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