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Philosophy (from Greek philosophia, “love of wisdom”) is the rational, abstract, and methodical consideration of reality as a whole or of fundamental dimensions of human existence and experience.


Philosophy is the discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are the correct principles of reasoning (logic). The word itself is of Greek origin: φιλοσοφία (philosophía), a compound of φίλος (phílos: friend, or lover) and σοφία (sophía: wisdom).

Though no single definition of philosophy is uncontroversial, and the field has historically expanded and changed depending upon what kinds of questions were interesting or relevant in a given era, it is generally agreed that philosophy is a method, rather than a set of claims, propositions, or theories. Its investigations are based upon rational thinking, striving to make no unexamined assumptions and no leaps based on faith or pure analogy. Different philosophers have had varied ideas about the nature of reason, and there is also disagreement about the subject matter of philosophy. Some think that philosophy examines the process of inquiry itself. Others, that there are essentially philosophical propositions which it is the task of philosophy to prove.

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