Definition of philosophy in US English:



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

    • ‘He is competent in diverse academic fields such as philosophy, metaphysics, Kalam, history and literature.’
    • ‘The philosophical claim of the end of philosophy as a discipline, with the end of ideology and history, has led to diverse reactions.’
    • ‘If you want to really get into and informed discussion on philosophy and the nature of reality, then take some courses at college.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘He still hopes to study the philosophy of cultures and ancient art.’
    • ‘Plato has a claim to be the first philosopher to establish philosophy as a subject.’
    • ‘Indeed, logic's relation to reality may be the fundamental question of philosophy.’
    • ‘On the other hand, philosophy as discipline gets some of its ‘legitimacy’ from claiming to be a form of engagement with the world.’
    • ‘It is important to note that we often have to look beyond academic philosophy to find the women who were influential social philosophers.’
    • ‘Leaders of every academic discipline - politics, philosophy, economics, history, science and mathematics - have united to attack Marx.’
    • ‘Theology ‘is an academic discipline like philosophy, English literature or the classics,’ he said.’
    • ‘Socrates, after all, rejected everything in philosophy that could be thought of as academic.’
    • ‘The nature of philosophy is itself a philosophical question.’
    • ‘These connections were severed for a time when empirical psychology and speculative philosophy went their separate ways as academic disciplines.’
    • ‘Those who question the existence of African philosophy argue that philosophy is rooted in epistemology and metaphysics.’
    • ‘Heidegger meant to tear up universal notions of reason to restore philosophy on the basis of a pre-reflective and more rooted ‘being-there’.’
    • ‘At its broadest, we might say that philosophy is concerned with knowledge of how things are the way they are.’
    • ‘I really like philosophy, especially existentialism.’
    • ‘He very likely engaged in some kind of inquiry about whether or not to begin the formal study of philosophy in the first place.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental tasks of philosophy has always been to determine what belongs to nature.’
    1. 1.1 A particular system of philosophical thought.
      ‘Schopenhauer’s philosophy’
      • ‘Both Nietzsche and Hegel recognize the need to work out their philosophies within, and in response, to culture.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In his latest book Smith argues that science, along with its attendant philosophies of naturalism and materialism, has systematically eclipsed this big picture.’
      • ‘Analytic philosophy did eventually develop social, ethical and political philosophies; albeit one's that turned away from the historical.’
      • ‘He attacked or dismissed their metaphysical beliefs, and particularly the philosophies of history of Hegel and his successors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The atheistic philosophies of Nietzsche and Heidegger declared that human authentication is not derived from God.’
      • ‘Compatibilist philosophies seek to reconcile free will and determinism in a modern time.’
      • ‘Are Nietzsche and Heidegger the fathers of philosophies of existence partly because Germanic creates this semblance of physicality and there-ness?’
    2. 1.2 The study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.
      ‘the philosophy of science’
      • ‘The philosophy of India is inspiring and I read a lot of books on Hindu philosophy.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the Tao has a basic respect for the balance of nature.’
      • ‘One explanation looks to the institutional and disciplinary history of theoretical physics and the philosophy of science.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the German Reform Movement evolved further at conferences held in Brunswick in 1844 and in Frankfurt in 1845.’
      • ‘The philosophy of natural right - the Founders' philosophy - rests on a single proposition: There is a universal human nature.’
      • ‘In the twentieth century, the epistemological framework that gained ascendancy within the philosophy of science is that of positivism.’
      • ‘In spite of his lack of depth in the philosophy of science and epistemology, Noll is clearly a gifted historian and writer.’
      • ‘His writings on the philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of language are of major importance.’
      • ‘A new generation of Iranian scholars has studied the philosophy of science and religion.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘The philosophy of Islam has encouraged learning from others-their sciences, technology and skills.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He has also done work in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mathematics.’
      • ‘The philosophy of individualism defined cheerfulness as the most beneficial of emotions since it served the self.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is common practice in historical studies of the philosophy of science to contrast the views of Mill and Whewell.’
      • ‘He introduced one of the most famous metaphors in the philosophy of science, the image of the watchmaker.’
      • ‘Finally, the balance of power within the field has shifted from general philosophy of science to the philosophy of particular sciences.’
      • ‘Professor Bradie has published numerous articles on the philosophy of science and epistemology.’
      • ‘The philosophy of science deals with philosophical issues that arise in connection with science.’
      thinking, reasoning, thought, wisdom, knowledge
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    3. 1.3 A theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.
      ‘don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed, that's my philosophy’
      • ‘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 the fund is to invest in its four favoured vice areas of defence, drink, tobacco, and gambling.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the parole office was to be supportive to the offender, but maintain a role as a monitor of behavior.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the campaign echoed the ethos of his Department in the care of older people.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the Young Irish Film Makers is to provide young people with the freedom to learn through doing.’
      • ‘The philosophy of functional build originated in Japan and is an offshoot of lean manufacturing.’
      • ‘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 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 park is underlined by the actual conservation of the animals, with each enclosure keeping close to their natural habitats.’
      • ‘The philosophy of the dance has a physical part (which you practice) and, as with yoga, a philosophical part.’
      • ‘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 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!’
      • ‘The philosophy of ‘live by the camera, die by the camera ‘must also be on the minds of some editors.’’
      • ‘The philosophy of the paper throughout both its news and its company structure has been ‘Question everything.’’
      • ‘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 the camp is to connect teenage girls with the mind, body, and spirit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Urban schools provide a different context for the development of knowledge, attitudes, and philosophies that guide the behaviors of beginning teachers.’
      • ‘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 this institution is that investment in information technology results in the staff feeling supported and thus more efficient.’
      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’.