Philosophy: What Are Its Main Areas?
The term philosophy originates from the Greek word philos, which denotes fondness, and the word sophos which means understanding. In literal terms, philosophy refers to an individual’s passion for wisdom. According to Sober, philosophy refers to the study of the subsistence, understanding, and realism of objects. It deploys the supremacy of the mind (rationale) and judgment to derive conclusions that are beyond any reasonable doubt concerning an object’s subsistence, worth, and authenticity.
Philosophy involves developing knowledge about nature and its existence through questioning, critical analysis, and systematic approaches where one should only subject the mind to reasoning in a rational way. Hence, the mind should not be exposed to dogmatic reasoning or illogical conviction if one is to develop non-prejudiced wisdom. From this position, Guess asserts that philosophy entails thinking and acting in a manner that is influenced by rigorous questioning while providing thoughts, advice, and counterarguments. Hence, philosophers are freethinking individuals who are only persuaded by the supremacy of reasoning to change their minds and worldviews.
The key philosophical areas depend on the methodology of classifications that are done according to theoretical techniques, themes, and chronology. Traditionally, the core areas of philosophy were categorized into innate, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs. From the basis of topics, the main areas comprise aesthetics, judgment viewpoints, epistemology, moral principles, and metaphysics. In terms of chronologically, the key areas comprise prehistoric viewpoints and the contemporary way of life. The analytic philosophy is an example of classifying the main areas of philosophy based on styles.
After posing the question of philosophy and the main philosophical areas to three colleagues, different ways of thinking emerge. The first colleague asserts that philosophical ideas are important in all disciplines of study. Indeed, research methodologies in all disciplines are guided by a particular way of thinking that is deployed in a given school of thought. He defines philosophy as a way of thinking about a given issue if only such thinking is not influenced by emotions or compulsion. On the issue of the main area of philosophy, the colleague claims that he does not consider it necessary to subdivide philosophy into branches since this subdivision makes a group of people think in a certain way. Therefore, they are influenced by developers of such schools of thought to view things from the same angle.
The second and third colleagues claim that when they use the term philosophy, they imply a particular approach to addressing or responding to a given problem. The second respondent notes that the approach implies that problems that are similar in terms of their facts require a common way of addressing them. Therefore, philosophy can be divided into different areas according to the topic of the problem. This view is similar to my suggested approach to dividing philosophy according to topics such as metaphysics if the problem at hand is metaphysical in nature. The third respondent opposed any attempt to subdivide philosophy into different areas. She claims that the plan provides an individual with the potential way of thinking in a manner that prejudices one’s power of reasoning freely.
After reading the beginning chapters, my thoughts have not been changed. However, it is important to learn philosophy. It provides insights into the need to permit the freedom of reason and rational critiques of problems to arrive at logical solutions. This view matches my thoughts since learning philosophy undermines dogmatic reasoning.