Meaning, Nature and Scope of Philosophy



   Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions or problems such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, reason, values, mind and language.

It is the  most basic beliefs, concepts and attitudes of an individual.

The word philosophy refers to a certain way of thinking.

The word ‘Philosophy’ comes from the greek word ‘Philosophia’ which consists of two words i.e ‘Philos’ and ‘Sophia’ . ‘Philos’ means ‘Love’ and ‘Sophia’ means ‘Wisdom’. So, the term Philosophy means “Love of Wisdom”.

Philosophy attempts to find the deeper meanings of problems. It may be to resolve a confusing situation.

It is concern with a search of eternal truth and knowledge and the man who engages himself in this search is called as ‘Philosopher’.

=> Many philosophers define Philosophy in their own way as described below :

 i. Plato – Philosophy is, “Knowledge of the true nature of different things.”

ii. Aristotle – “Philosophy is a science which discovers the real nature of supernatural elements.”

iii. Herbert Spencer – “Philosophy is concerned with everything as a universal science.”

iv. George Berkeley – “Philosophy, being nothing but the study of wisdom and truth.”

v. Dr. Sarvepally Radhakrishnan, considers Philosophy as a logical inquiry into the nature of reality.

Hence, from the above discussion we conclude that, Philosophy is actually the study of wisdom and truth.

Nature of Philosophy :

Scope of Philosophy :

Scope refers to width and breadth outlook. comprehensiveness, range of experience, purview etc.

The scope of philosophy is so vast. Francis Bacon, a greate English philosophers regarded philosophy as the greate mother of science.

The scope of Philosophy can be understood by seeing the branches of philosophy.

Broadly speaking there are mainly three branches of Philosophy and that are

– Meta Physics

– Epistemology 

– Axiology

1. Epistemology :

i.  Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which deals with the problem of knowledge. It is considered as theory of knowledge.

ii. It deals with the sources of knowledge mainly perception, inference, Testimony, comparision etc.

iii. Here, ‘Episteme’ means ‘knowledge’ & ‘Logy’ means ‘science’. So, it is “science of knowledge.

iv. Many Philosopher accepted that, the sources of knowledge are mainly Experience, observation, logical assumptions, authority, intution etc .

     So. Different philosophies and different philosophers have provided different answer.

v. It deals with the questions like:

– What is truth, what is cloubt ? etc 

– What are the sources of acquiring knowledge ? etc

2. Metaphysics :

i. Metaphysics is the brance of Philosophy when deals with the problem of reality. It is also considered as theory of reality.

ii. Here. ‘Meta’ means ‘Beyond’ and ‘Physics’ means ‘Nature’ so, it is considered as “Beyond Nature”.

iii. It deals with the man, world and ultimate reality or god.

iv. It is the deeper study of finding truth.

v.  It deals with the questions like:

  • What is living being? What is soul?
  •  what is relationship between body and soul?
  • What is relationship between man, world and God?

3. Axiology :

i. It is the brance of philosophy which deals with the problems of values. It considered as theory of values.

ii. Here, ‘Axios’ means ‘value’ and ‘Logy’ means ‘Science’. So, it is considered as “Science of values”.

iii. It deals with the following kinds of values, i.e,

Logical values – investigates the nature of truth.

Ethical values – Investigates the nature of good.

Aesthetic values – Investigates the nature of beauty.

iv. It deals with the questions like:

– Is the world created or Evolved?

– If it is Evolved, it is evolved mechanically or ideologically?

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