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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
After studying Philosophy and Ancient Greek in high school in Italy, I had the privilege (and at times the overwhelming difficulty) to dive into a sea of honourable philosophers and creative thinkers that have changed and shaped the world, leaving a legacy that is echoed in society still today. I’d like to share my experience by writing about my favourite philosophers in future articles. Now philosophy isn’t all fancy nonsense as some would say, it is the ability to see beyond the visible. How is that possible? Well, continue reading to find out just what makes philosophy such an intriguing window of opportunities!
The word philosophy come from two Ancient Greek words which mean ‘study’ and ‘love’, which indicates that a philosopher is thee who loves to study or thee who loves learning. Many would say that a philosopher is a ‘herr warum’, which in German means the man who asks why. In fact the duty of a philosopher is precisely that. A child who always asks ‘why’ until a parent becomes so frustrated they say the usual ‘because I said so’ is a thinker. A philosopher will never be satisfied with notions; he/she needs to question the unquestionable. With the use of logic and intuition, one can take a perfectly reasonable statement and make it completely irrational. If someone was to say that 2+2=5, and they certainly have, you would need to doubt your entire rationale for assuming that 2+2=4 - at least until you can prove it. The journey you take from asking and answering the question is philosophy, only an answer isn’t necessary as the main feature that distinguishes philosophy from other subjects is the questioning. George Orwell puts it in a rather comical light, this passage may leave you perplexed.. But that is the art of philosophy.
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then?"
That was a typical philosophy lesson with my teacher. We would go into the lesson confident that we had revised enough and knew the basic theories yet by the end of the class we were left with a thousand unsolved questions. It is the unanswered questions that push philosophers to attempt to discover the truth. But is there ever only one universal truth or can the truth be relative? Philosophers remain divided on this question as they are on many others.
As philosophy is such a broad discipline it can be divided into branches, some of the most influential are metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics. They all seem to be complicated terms but in reality their meaning starts from something quite simple. Metaphysics is the study of existence and traditionally has attempted to answer two main questions: what is out there and what does it look like? Ontology comes from the Greek verb ‘ontos’ from the verb ‘to be’ and ‘logos’ which means ‘the study of’, consequentially ontology is the study of beings. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, how it is obtained and how much we can know – it is this thirst for knowledge which is one of the most fascinating questions of philosophy in my view. Ethics is the consideration of our actions, what we should and shouldn’t do from a moral stance and lastly, aesthetics is the study of art, its value and meaning, and has led to many controversial opinions. For example Plato condemns strongly all forms of art! It also questions what life should be like which will lead some philosophers to agree will Oscar Wilde’s statement that ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life’. Axiology is either a mixture of ethics and aesthetics or considered a foundation for the two fields. As you can see the philosophical world of questioning does nothing but raise more questions – you can either love it or hate it. If this articles has left you at least a little bit curious than immerse yourself if the works of many wacky philosophers which can be explained more in this category!
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