Definition of Philosophy

1. Noun. A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school.

2. Noun. The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics.

3. Noun. Any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation. "My father's philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it"
Generic synonyms: Belief
Derivative terms: Philosopher, Philosophical

Definition of Philosophy

1. n. Literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws.

Definition of Philosophy

1. Noun. (originally) The love of wisdom ¹

2. Noun. An academic discipline that seeks truth through reasoning rather than empiricism ¹

3. Noun. A comprehensive system of belief. ¹

4. Noun. A view or outlook regarding fundamental principles underlying some domain. ¹

5. Noun. A general principle (usually moral). ¹

6. Noun. (archaic) A broader branch of (non-applied) science ¹

7. Verb. (rare) To philosophize. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Philosophy


Medical Definition of Philosophy

1. Origin: OE. Philosophie, F. Philosophie, L. Philosophia, from Gr. See Philosopher. 1. Literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws. When applied to any particular department of knowledge, philosophy denotes the general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject are comprehended. Thus philosophy, when applied to God and the divine government, is called theology; when applied to material objects, it is called physics; when it treats of man, it is called anthropology and psychology, with which are connected logic and ethics; when it treats of the necessary conceptions and relations by which philosophy is possible, it is called metaphysics. "Philosophy has been defined: tionscience of things divine and human, and the causes in which they are contained; the science of effects by their causes; the science of sufficient reasons; the science of things possible, inasmuch as they are possible; the science of things evidently deduced from first principles; the science of truths sensible and abstract; the application of reason to its legitimate objects; the science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason; the science of the original form of the ego, or mental self; the science of science; the science of the absolute; the scienceof the absolute indifference of the ideal and real." 2. A particular philosophical system or theory; the hypothesis by which particular phenomena are explained. "[Books] of Aristotle and his philosophie." (Chaucer) "We shall in vain interpret their words by the notions of our philosophy and the doctrines in our school." (Locke) 3. Practical wisdom; calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity; fortitude; stoicism; as, to meet misfortune with philosophy. "Then had he spent all his philosophy." (Chaucer) 4. Reasoning; argumentation. "Of good and evil much they argued then, . . . Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy." (Milton) 5. The course of sciences read in the schools. 6. A treatise on philosophy. Philosophy of the Academy, that of Plato, who taught his disciples in a grove in Athens called the Academy. Philosophy of the Garden, that of Epicurus, who taught in a garden in Athens. Philosophy of the Lyceum, that of Aristotle, the founder of the Peripatetic school, who delivered his lectures in the Lyceum at Athens. Philosophy of the Porch, that of Zeno and the Stoics; so called because Zeno of Citium and his successors taught in the porch of the Poicile, a great hall in Athens. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Philosophy

philosophy (current term)
philosophy department
philosophy of science

Literary usage of Philosophy

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Social Principles of Education by George Herbert Betts (1912)
"philosophy seeks to find in the world as a whole a broader and richer ... philosophy attempts to fit part to part in the great mosaic of creation, ..."

2. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury by Thomas Hobbes (1839)
"philosophy seems to me to be amongst men now, in the same manner as corn and wine ... In like manner, every man brought philosophy, that is, Natural Reason, ..."

3. Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic by William Hamilton, Henry Longueville Mansel, John Veitch (1861)
"And, if such a preparation be found expedient for ^ exhibi. other branches of study, it is, I think, peculiarly requi- "h"0^!0* site in philosophy ..."

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