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What is Philosophy? – Ashley

                When given the direction to define “philosophy,” I instinctively turned to the internet for the opinions of those who actually knew what they were talking about. I thought that I could create my own perfect definition based on the answers of successful philosophers. I found a vast assortment of intellectual explanations written by people with university degrees specializing in the field, but none of them seemed like they gave the correct ‘answer’ to my question.   A part of me found that pinpointing a definition of philosophy was completely impractical and barely possible because of how broad of a spectrum it covers. On the other hand I also found that the many subcategories of philosophy allowed it to be as broad as it is but with limits and borders. Figuring out which point was truer to me caused me a massive amount of grief because they completely contradict each other and I thought it would be very confusing to support both of them. However I figured out how these two contradicting points can actually complement each other very well. Philosophy, just like the universe, is infinite. The universe is broken down into galaxies, planets, stars, and more to make it comprehensible for people. The same goes for philosophy. The little pieces that they are broken down into do not limit the universe and philosophy similarly, to go beyond those.

 

                Philosophy is a general discussion that covers a massive spectrum of human thought. Because it is so broad, philosophy has been divided into more specific subcategorized trains of thought: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and aesthetics. These categories are there to set some boundaries and make discussion more useful and focused. Some may argue that these subcategories are the philosophical “limits” and that these categories alone define philosophy. My question to that is who is to say what the definition of philosophy really is? Is it practical to pinpoint an exact definition of philosophy? Is it even possible to define philosophy? Different approaches to philosophy have been taken by different cultures and eras, and an unlimited amount of approaches can be taken by and unlimited amount of people in the future. Because of this, philosophy is too much of an umbrella term to define.

 

                To me, philosophy is all about contradiction, creativity, and conversation. Without these three key elements, philosophy can’t be as unlimited as it is. Philosophy starts when somebody questions. When something is questioned, it’s usually because the questioner finds a flaw or contradiction in whatever they no longer believe. Next, the newfound philosopher has to creatively come up with an alternative or solution the problem and then share his or her ideas with others. I strongly believe that with this process, philosophy can truly be unlimited and the meaning will differ between everybody.  Although philosophy can hardly be defined, I believe that because it is so unlimited, it can be interpreted by any individual, and that can be done in any way a person decides to do so.

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Discussion

One thought on “What is Philosophy? – Ashley

  1. This is a powerful clincher: “…philosophy is all about contradiction, creativity, and conversation. Without these three key elements, philosophy can’t be as unlimited as it is. Philosophy starts when somebody questions. When something is questioned, it’s usually because the questioner finds a flaw or contradiction in whatever they no longer believe. Next, the newfound philosopher has to creatively come up with an alternative or solution the problem and then share his or her ideas with others.”

    Bonus points for the alliteration!

    Mr. J

    Posted by Mr. J | September 17, 2013, 5:06 am

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