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2.1 PHILOSOPHICAL

MEANING OF PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is the earliest and the most original discipline. It is one of the oldest and the most respected provinces of knowledge. A knowledge of philosophy, in fact, is fundamental not only to an understanding of man and his world but also to what he lives for and why he does so; how he wants to live life and where his ultimate quest will lead him to. These are some of the basic questions which philosophy seeks to answer.

1.Derivative Meaning of Philosophy.

The term philosophy has been derived from the two Greek Words ‘Philos’ which means ‘love of and ‘Sophia’ which means ‘wisdom’. So, the word philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’. But mere love of wisdom does not necessarily make a true philosopher. It implies understanding life in all its meanings, it means finding meaning and relationship among ideas.

Plato, the great Greek philosopher truly remarked: ‘He who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is curious to learn, and is never satisfied may justly be called a philosopher.

2. Aristotle’s ‘s View.

Aristotle defines philosophy as ‘a science which investigates the nature of being, as it is in itself.’

3.Plato’s View.

According to Plato, ‘Philosophy aims at a knowledge of the eternal nature of things.’

4.Cicero’s View.

Cicero defines philosophy as ‘the mother of all arts.”

5. View of Coleridge.

Coleridge defines philosophy as ‘the science ofsciences’.

6. Russell’s View.

According to great British scholar, Bertrand Russell, “Philosophy like all studies, aims primarily at knowledge.”

7. Kant’s View.

According to Kant, “Philosophy is the science and criticism of cognition (knowledge).”

8. Fichte

also regards philosophy as the ‘science of knowledge’.

9. View of Theadore Brameld.

Brameld who gave the theory of social reconstructionism defined philosophy as a persistent effort of both ordinary and persistent people to make life as intelligible and meaningful as possible.

10. Henderson’s View.

According to Henderson, “Philosophy is an attempt to conceive and present an inclusive and systematic view of the universe and its main place in it.” He also says: “Philosophy is a search for a comprehensive view of nature, an attempt at a universal explanation of nature of things.”

11. T. Raymont’s View.

Philosophy is inceasing effort to discern the general truth that lies behind the particular facts to discern also reality that lies behind appearance.”

12. Brightman’s View.

In the words of Brightman, philosophy may be defined as the attempt to think truly about human experience as a whole and to make our whole experience-intelligible.

13. View of George F. Kneller.

In the words of George F.Kneller, “Philosophy is the attempt to think in the most general and systematic way about everything in the universe-about the whole of reality.”

In short, Philosophy is an attempt to answer all the questions of life. This is so because human mind is moved by ‘intellectual curiosity and by the desire for order’. In other words, philosophy enables man “to understand the sum of things of which we as individuals are only a part’. Philosophy gives meaning to human experience: it is a way of life, so to say.

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