Definition of philosophy in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

    • ‘Leaders of every academic discipline - politics, philosophy, economics, history, science and mathematics - have united to attack Marx.’
    • ‘The nature of philosophy is itself a philosophical question.’
    • ‘He very likely engaged in some kind of inquiry about whether or not to begin the formal study of philosophy in the first place.’
    • ‘On the other hand, philosophy as discipline gets some of its ‘legitimacy’ from claiming to be a form of engagement with the world.’
    • ‘Heidegger meant to tear up universal notions of reason to restore philosophy on the basis of a pre-reflective and more rooted ‘being-there’.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental tasks of philosophy has always been to determine what belongs to nature.’
    • ‘These connections were severed for a time when empirical psychology and speculative philosophy went their separate ways as academic disciplines.’
    • ‘Socrates, after all, rejected everything in philosophy that could be thought of as academic.’
    • ‘It is important to note that we often have to look beyond academic philosophy to find the women who were influential social philosophers.’
    • ‘He is competent in diverse academic fields such as philosophy, metaphysics, Kalam, history and literature.’
    • ‘Some of the fundamental problems of philosophy are no closer to being solved today than they were at the time of the Greeks: Why is there something rather than nothing?’
    • ‘Indeed, logic's relation to reality may be the fundamental question of philosophy.’
    • ‘Theology ‘is an academic discipline like philosophy, English literature or the classics,’ he said.’
    • ‘He still hopes to study the philosophy of cultures and ancient art.’
    • ‘Those who question the existence of African philosophy argue that philosophy is rooted in epistemology and metaphysics.’
    • ‘Plato has a claim to be the first philosopher to establish philosophy as a subject.’
    • ‘I really like philosophy, especially existentialism.’
    • ‘At its broadest, we might say that philosophy is concerned with knowledge of how things are the way they are.’
    • ‘If you want to really get into and informed discussion on philosophy and the nature of reality, then take some courses at college.’
    • ‘The philosophical claim of the end of philosophy as a discipline, with the end of ideology and history, has led to diverse reactions.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A particular system of philosophical thought.
      ‘the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle’
      • ‘He attacked or dismissed their metaphysical beliefs, and particularly the philosophies of history of Hegel and his successors.’
      • ‘Whether correct or not, Kant's suggestion has provided the cornerstone of many subsequent philosophies of the self, from that of Schopenhauer to those of Husserl, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein.’
      • ‘Both Nietzsche and Hegel recognize the need to work out their philosophies within, and in response, to culture.’
      • ‘Analytic philosophy did eventually develop social, ethical and political philosophies; albeit one's that turned away from the historical.’
      • ‘Compatibilist philosophies seek to reconcile free will and determinism in a modern time.’
      • ‘In his latest book Smith argues that science, along with its attendant philosophies of naturalism and materialism, has systematically eclipsed this big picture.’
      • ‘The naturalistic philosophies of the non-religious do not play the same kind of high profile role in political and civic life as do the supernaturalist ideas of their religious counterparts.’
      • ‘There certainly appears to be a tension between a mechanistic philosophy and a humanistic outlook.’
      • ‘Are Nietzsche and Heidegger the fathers of philosophies of existence partly because Germanic creates this semblance of physicality and there-ness?’
      • ‘At Jena, Hegel published a long pamphlet on the differences between the philosophies of Fichte and Schelling: in every case, in his opinion, Schelling's view was to be preferred.’
      • ‘The popularity of Jacques Derrida's philosophy among academics is hard to understand except as a symptom of decadence.’
      • ‘The atheistic philosophies of Nietzsche and Heidegger declared that human authentication is not derived from God.’
      • ‘This is because traditional notions of determinism in positivist and empiricist philosophies of science produced the odd idea that causation in the human world is agent-less and is not a force.’
    2. 1.2The study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.
      ‘the philosophy of science’
      • ‘He introduced one of the most famous metaphors in the philosophy of science, the image of the watchmaker.’
      • ‘His writings on the philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of language are of major importance.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the Tao has a basic respect for the balance of nature.’
      • ‘The philosophy of India is inspiring and I read a lot of books on Hindu philosophy.’
      • ‘Finally, the balance of power within the field has shifted from general philosophy of science to the philosophy of particular sciences.’
      • ‘A new generation of Iranian scholars has studied the philosophy of science and religion.’
      • ‘Professor Bradie has published numerous articles on the philosophy of science and epistemology.’
      • ‘This is a distinction central to the branch of the philosophy of social science known as epistemology (simply defined as the study of how we can claim to know something).’
      • ‘He has also done work in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mathematics.’
      • ‘One explanation looks to the institutional and disciplinary history of theoretical physics and the philosophy of science.’
      • ‘The philosophy of Islam has encouraged learning from others-their sciences, technology and skills.’
      • ‘The philosophy of natural right - the Founders' philosophy - rests on a single proposition: There is a universal human nature.’
      • ‘In the academic practice of moral philosophy and the philosophy of science, Simplicio's voice has been hard to hear, but Toulmin wants to amplify it and insist on its pertinence.’
      • ‘In the twentieth century, the epistemological framework that gained ascendancy within the philosophy of science is that of positivism.’
      • ‘You've talked a lot about how the philosophy of science, as a subject of academic study, would be much different if it were based on biology instead of physics.’
      • ‘The philosophy of individualism defined cheerfulness as the most beneficial of emotions since it served the self.’
      • ‘It is common practice in historical studies of the philosophy of science to contrast the views of Mill and Whewell.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the German Reform Movement evolved further at conferences held in Brunswick in 1844 and in Frankfurt in 1845.’
      • ‘The philosophy of science deals with philosophical issues that arise in connection with science.’
      • ‘In spite of his lack of depth in the philosophy of science and epistemology, Noll is clearly a gifted historian and writer.’
      thinking, reasoning, thought, wisdom, knowledge
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  • 2A theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

    ‘don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed, that's my philosophy’
    • ‘The philosophy of the festival is that we're an intimate blues festival, all blues, nothing but the blues, no distractions from the blues.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the camp is to connect teenage girls with the mind, body, and spirit.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the park is underlined by the actual conservation of the animals, with each enclosure keeping close to their natural habitats.’
    • ‘The philosophy of auctions took off in the '90s, and one can grant de facto property rights without de jure property rights.’
    • ‘The philosophy of ‘lock em up and throw away the key’ isn't the answer to the epidemic of violence that has overtaken our streets in the last few years.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the fund is to invest in its four favoured vice areas of defence, drink, tobacco, and gambling.’
    • ‘The philosophy of this institution is that investment in information technology results in the staff feeling supported and thus more efficient.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the dance has a physical part (which you practice) and, as with yoga, a philosophical part.’
    • ‘The philosophy of ‘live by the camera, die by the camera ‘must also be on the minds of some editors.’’
    • ‘The philosophy of disguising your shortcomings while emphasising your favourite features has now evolved from personal mantra to words on the pages of her new book, Put on Your Pearls, Girls!’
    • ‘Urban schools provide a different context for the development of knowledge, attitudes, and philosophies that guide the behaviors of beginning teachers.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the campaign echoed the ethos of his Department in the care of older people.’
    • ‘The philosophy of putting the user first is applied with specific commentary on the misuse of error messages, toolbars, and other common elements.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the Young Irish Film Makers is to provide young people with the freedom to learn through doing.’
    • ‘The philosophy of some aircraft manufacturers still is to specify castings only in places where failure of the part cannot cause loss of the airplane.’
    • ‘The philosophy of selecting the best available player will be critical in the second and third rounds because the team will expect its first three picks to play right away.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the paper throughout both its news and its company structure has been ‘Question everything.’’
    • ‘The philosophy of functional build originated in Japan and is an offshoot of lean manufacturing.’
    • ‘The philosophy of switching to pharmacy medicines or over the counter medicines is to empower the patient to participate more fully in his or her health care.’
    • ‘The philosophy of the parole office was to be supportive to the offender, but maintain a role as a monitor of behavior.’
    beliefs, credo, faith, convictions, ideology, ideas, thinking, notions, theories, doctrine, tenets, values, principles, ethics, attitude, line, view, viewpoint, outlook, world view, school of thought
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Middle English: from Old French philosophie, via Latin from Greek philosophia love of wisdom.