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The word Philosophy comes from two Greek words, ‘Philos (love of) and Sophia (wisdom) so it literally means ‘the love of wisdom.’ Any philosophy is a system of belief(s).
The definition of philosophy typically, it is the study of ideas, or beliefs, to determine the fundamentals or meaning of a subject.
Philosophies typically address a subject matter systematically through rational or logical arguments and ideas, however, some that are considered philosophies do not follow such guidelines.
Types of Philosophies
Primary branches and foundational understanding have to be established in order to correctly develop any philosophical understanding. Some of the main areas of philosophy as applied to human understanding are:
- Epistemology – the study of knowledge
- Logic – the study of reasoning
- Metaphysics – the study of reality and how we relate to it
- Ethics – study of moral philosophies, understanding the best way to live
- Aesthetics – the study and understanding of beauty, art and sensual enjoyment
Many other branches exist but these 5 make up a basic understanding of how we interpret information around us, and are able to relate it to our existence.
Laws of First Principles or Causes
In order to conclude logic from any subject, the foundation must be set in order for the human mind to systematically make that conclusion.
The first principle is a basic foundational assumption that cannot be concluded from any other assumption, it becomes a prime statement.
Propositions or assumptions that are consistent with one another can produce statements that can be deducted from one another, for example:
LOGICAL ASSERTION: All men are mortal, Joe is a man, therefore Joe is mortal.
List of Philosophies & Types of Philosophical Beliefs
The following is a comprehensive list of many famous or important philosophies developed or discovered over time.
The philosophy claiming universal facts or absolutes can be discovered and understood
LOGICAL ASSERTION ‘in the Negative’: “No absolutes exist”; rebuttal “are you absolutely sure about that?”
The philosophy that human efforts to find inherit meaning will fail because the need for information and the vast uncertainty make it impossible.
The belief in efforts to promote, impede or change social, political or environmental change.
The philosophy that states any claims about any deity cannot be known or understood by humans.
The philosophy about selflessness and concern only for the welfare of others, with no expectancy of and benefits, either direct or indirect.. The opposite of Altruism is selfishness.
The philosophical belief in pre-destination, specifically from God.
The economic philosophy in which trade and industry is operated by private ownership, or the people of a society.
The belief in superiority or glory over another.
The philosophy that evolution can be applied to everything scientifically observable and all natural phenomenon, and that this process progressively moves any given organism or subject to a more intricate or complex condition.
The philosophy that exalts a nature centered value, rather than a human centered value.
A philosophical argument concerning an argument that uses poor reasoning or invalid arguments.
Presumption – are fallacies that fails to prove a conclusion because it assumes a conclusion in the proof. i.e. I found a fossil, fossils are old; therefore this fossil must be ten thousand years old (presumption).
Weak Inference – fallacies that fail to prove a conclusion due to insufficient evidence.
Distraction – fallacies that fail to prove a conclusion due to irrelevant evidence, like emotions.
Ambiguity – fallacies that fail to prove a conclusion because it is too vague in its description.
Falsehood- fallacies that fail because they are based on information that is incorrect, based on manipulation or is a lie, the later usually found out over time.
The over obsessive enthusiasm for a activity, typically coupled with little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions.
The philosophical belief in t he ability to make choices without any constraining factor.
The philosophical belief in the strict adherence to a specific belief, practice or duty, and to promote its accuracy and continuance.
The philosophical belief and argument that pleasure is intrinsically good. Hedonists typically strive to maximize their pleasures and the pursuit of such.
The philosophical belief that asserts all reality as we can know it is fundamentally mental, or immaterial. They prioritize the mind and argue the world is experienced in the mind.
The philosophy that emphasizes strict obedience to a legal system.
The philosophical belief that liberty or freedom should be held in every aspect. Different degrees of liberals exist but it can go as far as the belief that we should be free to do whatever we desire, without limitation.
The philosophy that all things that exist, do so in the material world or universe, and that all emerging phenomenon are the result of material interactions. This belief hold there is nothing that exists outside a material universe.
The philosophical belief in becoming associated with extraordinary or supernatural experience. Beyond this, it has been used in a very broad sense for various other beliefs.
The belief that nothing exists beyond the natural universe. Nature governs and rules the behaviors and changes in the universe.
The principle that states the most simple answer is usually the correct one. That the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: I Found a red leaf on the ground in the park; it must have come from the only red tree in the park.
The philosophical study of the nature of existing, being or reality. It is a part of the major branches of metaphysics, the study of reality.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: I think, therefore I am.
Is the philosophical practice of taking selfish advantage of a circumstance or situation.
The philosophy that interprets all situation nd events as being the best, or optimum state.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: The glass is half full
The philosophical opposition to all types of war, violence or actions that lead to such.
The philosophical persistence in obtaining the optimal quality of a particular subject or application.
The philosophical view which anticipates the undesired outcome or believes that the negative of a situation or event outweighs the positive.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: The glass is half empty
The belief or practice that separates people into different groups based on racial or ethnic categories, then considers each of those different groups to be more or less superior.
The philosophy that regards reason as the primary source and test for all knowledgeable facts. This typically appeals to any view that appeals to reasoning as the justification or method to accurately discern knowledge.
Is the philosophy that we can only have an approximation of the true nature of reality, and that every observation only bring us closer to understanding it. It is the belief that reality operate independent of our conceptual understanding, beliefs, practices, etc.
The philosophy that there is no absolute truth or validity to anything, that all concepts are true only from a certain point of view and are subject to different perceptions and considerations.
The philosophical belief that destructive emotions are the result of errors or bad judgments. Stoics believe that a person of moral and intellectual perfection would not suffer from such errors.
A principle of logic, it is a formula that is true in every possible interpretation. It is a key component in determining any rational or logical conclusion. A Tautology is always true regardless of which valuation is used for the propositional values.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: This statement is true, otherwise, it would not be.
The philosophical belief that at least one deity, of one sort or another exists. Specifically, theism is the study of God in relation to all or any aspect, ordinance or governance of the universe.
Theosophy (Greek for ‘divine wisdom’)
The philosophy concerning the discovery and study of seeking divine knowledge, or mysteries behind nature from the divine, or even the nature of divinity.
Is the philosophical application to a subject that is believed to be able to universally or completely applied to other subjects or fields.
The philosophy that maximizes every possible ‘utility’ or course of action in order to produce a specifically desired outcome. It believes that any action is good or right as long as you get the results.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: “The end justifies the means.” do what it takes as long as I get what I want in the end.
The philosophical belief in looking for and/or creating a paradise in which people can live in. This is one of mankind’s oldest desires as far back as the dawn of civilization.
Is the philosophical understand of why and how much value people place into things, including other people, objects, ideas, etc.
LOGICAL ASSERTION: My wife is worth more to me then all the gold in the world.
This is an analytical philosophy that tests other systems of belief to create a formulated criteria that could ensure the statements meaningfulness, objectivity, and ability to assert truth or error. It encompasses all areas of logic to represent a standard for meaning that could be confirmed through scientific methodology, observation or experience.
Is the philosophical statement that all living organisms are fundamentally different then non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles then the inanimate objects.
Is the philosophy that you can attain enlightenment from Buddhist teachings, specifically from the school of Mahayana Buddhism.
Criticism & Apologetics
Logic Dictates The Existence of God
First Philosophy – Philosophy of Principle and Cause
The great philosopher Aristotle was the first to identify the fact that in order for philosophy to even exist, the principle of ‘first cause’ must have already been in place. This means that in order for humans to identify logic or rationality, and to be able to systematically put ideas in order, a divine order must have first existed on which the order of rationality in our universe can be built upon.
The principle of ‘First Philosophy’ was identified as theology (study of God) even in ancient Greek times. This is because logic and rationality itself cannot account for its own existence, neither could logic come to existence by and random means. It must have some deeper integration and created order based on the fact that rationality can be systematically constructed and that logical matter must work together in order for any idea to even come into existence.
Dictionary of Philosophies and Religions, William L. Reese; Humanity books 1998
Classics of Philosophy (Vols. 1 & 2, 2nd edition) by Louis P. Pojman
Smart, Ninian. World Philosophies
Sinclair, Alistair J. What is Philosophy? An Introduction, 2008