The term philosophy is taken from
the Greek word philos (filoj),
meaning “love” or “friendship,” and sophia (sofia), meaning “wisdom”. Philosophy refers thus to “the love of wisdom”. Socrates, Plato’s instructor, used the term philosophy as an equivalent to the
“What is philosophy?” is itself
a philosophical question (the what is x? question). This gives us a clue about the nature of philosophy. Philosophy
includes itself in its scope. What is clear is that philosophy is, in some sense, thinking about thinking. This is
why some philosophers have described philosophy as a question of language since it can be perceived as being the attempt to
dig deeper in search of the definitions of things that go beyond the everyday definitions we take for granted.
Philosophy is all about asking questions or,
as the Muslim philosopher Ja‘far al-Saadiq put it, “knowledge is a lock, and the question is its key.”
In order to narrow the aims of discussion,
philosophy has been broken into branches. During the lecture, we briefly presented: (1) Metaphysics, (2) Epistemology, (3)
Ethics, and (4) Logic.
The whole of philosophy is about asking questions
about three verbs which are central to our life:
TO BE: What
is really real?
TO KNOW: Can we really know?
Epistemolog/Theory of Knowledge
What and how do we know?
TO DO: What
must be done?
is the right thing to do?
As you will surely imagine, many other disciplines
exist within the umbrella term “philosophy.” You can ask metaphysical questions about us as humans. For
instance, what does it mean to be human? What makes us be human? In this case, this will be called Philosophical Anthropology
(Greek: anthropos = human; logos = word, reason, discourse), i.e. the Philosophical Discourse on Humanity.