The word ‘philosophy’ is composed of the two Greek words ‘philien’ or ‘philo" and ‘Sophia’ or ‘sophos‘ meaning ‘love’ and ‘wisdom’ respectively. Thus, philosophy is love for wisdom. Philosophy is a deliberate attempt of understanding the facts of the world outside.
- Philosophy refers to knowledge concerned with the discovery of truth.
- Philosophy is an endeavor of discovering the secrets of the universe in an integrated manner.
- Philosophy refers to the acquisition of wisdom which influences the role of life.
- Philosophy is an activity which conducts independent research. It extends doubts to the established traditions. It looks into the hidden aspects of those hypotheses that have been accepted by mankind without any valid reason.
- Philosophy is the study of the most general and abstract features of the world and categories with which we think.
- Philosophy is the general study of values, ethics, logical thinking and theoretical speculation about the nature or reality and reason.
- Philosophy is the study of knowledge, reality and human nature.
- Philosophy is concerned with the study of forms of thought and argument and the grounds of knowledge in other subjects.
- Philosophy is the activity of clarifying our ideas in the light of wisdom.
- Philosophy is the activity of presenting, interpreting and clarifying ideas and human problems in the light of wisdom.
- Philosophy is an academic research which is conducted for solving the problems of universe and mankind.
- Philosophy is a conscious attempt which answers to the metaphysical questions after careful intellectual considerations. Let us see the scope (branches) of philosophy in the following lines :-
Metaphysics (ontology) :
Metaphysics refers to an outlook of an individual or a motion concerning God, Man and Universe. As a branch of philosophy, it also explains the relationship among them. It is also called ontology. The metaphysical concepts are visibly reflected in the traditions and customs of a Society. Metaphysics directly concerned with the questions belonging to the nature of the universe. It is concerned with all those things which exist. It also raise question regarding the existence and non-existence of God. This is also a significant subject of metaphysics to discover the nature of life, death and the life after death. It also searches for the
purposes behind the creations of the universe. What is the relationship between Man and Universe? What is the object of human creation? What would be the nature of rebirth? These questions and many other questions of this type are considered to be the basic functions of metaphysics.
Axiology refers to the area of philosophy that examines value issues especially in ethics and aesthetics. This area of philosophy tells a nation about good and evil. Axiology is very much concerned with values. To me, axiology is the science of value. It discusses value from the philosophical point of view.
Its main problems are :
What is value?
What are the primary values?
What is good? What is reality?
What is the fountainhead of values?
What is the nature of values?
Are values subjective or objective in nature?
Are values permanent or temporary?
We cannot solve the problems regarding values without discussing the aforesaid problems. Axiology, primarily, decides good and bad for an individual and a nation. It set the standards of good and bad. All of our social life largely rests on this branch of philosophy.
Epistemology refers to the part of philosophy that deals with the sources, limitations, contingencies and nature of knowledge.
It also refers to the theory of knowledge that answers questions such as :
what is knowledge?
And what is the difference between knowledge and opinion?
To me, epistemology is the science of knowledge and truth. Its problems are primarily concerned with the process of knowledge. It is strange that so many intellectuals and academicians are busy in the acquisition of knowledge. There are very few Who think over the general questions concerning the nature of knowledge, its limitations and the relation of know-er with he known. The questions of this type are raised in the field of epistemology. Thus, epistemology provides and discusses basic foundations of knowledge. Epistemology is also termed as original philosophy. As a branch of philosophy, it explains and establishes the relationship between Man and God. It critically evaluates the nature, limits, sources and validity of knowledge. It has significantly served humanity by categorizing knowledge into various academic disciplines.
In conclusion, it is concerned with the questions like :
What is the fountainhead of knowledge?
What are the sources of knowledge?
What are the limits of knowledge?
What are the measures to check the authenticity of knowledge and what is the relationship between knowledge and the world outside?