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Meaning of Philosophy

The word Philosophy is made up of two Greek words Philo and Sophia. Philo
means love and Sophia means wisdom. Philosophy is the love of wisdom or
knowledge. In Indian philosophy, darsana is the word used for philosophy. It means
the vision of the real or truth, which is nothing but God. The aim of philosophy is the
search for wisdom. One who is engaged in this process may be said to be a philosopher.
In his famous book Republic, Plato says, He who has a taste for every sort of
knowledge and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied may be justly termed a
Philosopher.
Philosophy endeavours to understand all that comes within the boundary of human
experience. Philosophy is the search for a comprehensive view of nature. It is an attempt
at a universal explanation of the nature of things.

Definitions of Philosophy:

Some definitions have been offered to understand the term philosophy. Listed below are
a few of them.
1. Philosophy is the science of knowledge Fichte
2. Philosophy is the science and criticism of cognition Kant
3. Philosophy aims at the knowledge of the eternal nature of things Plato
4. Philosophy is the science which investigates the nature of being as it is in itself
Aristotle.
5. Philosophy like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge Bertrand Russell
6. Philosophy is a logical enquiry into the nature of reality Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Classification of Philosophy:

The subject Philosophy can be divided into three major divisions They are:
i. Metaphysics,
ii. Epistemology and
iii. Axiology
These branches are particularly important in the various aspects of education ranging
from curriculum construction to its transaction in the classroom.
1. Metaphysics: Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy, which deals with the
nature of reality. Metaphysics tries to answer the question, What is real? The
purpose of education is to explain reality to the students. Is there a purpose in
life? Does life have a meaning? Is there a set of enduring principles that guide the
operation of the universe? etc. It was Aristotle who developed the study of
Metaphysics.

2. Epistemology: Whereas metaphysics is concerned with the nature of reality,


Epistemology focuses on our knowledge of this reality. Epistemology deals with
the theory concerning the various aspects of knowledge and its acquisition.
Epistemology tries to answer, How do we get knowledge? How does a man know
what is real? Knowledge is of different types revealed knowledge (revelation),
intuitive knowledge (intuition), empirical knowledge (experience), rational
knowledge (reason) and authoritative knowledge (authority sources).

Axiology: Axiology is that branch of Philosophy, which is concerned with values.


It is an attempt to discover and recommend principles for deciding what actions and
qualities are most worthwhile and why they are so. Axiology has two major sub divisions
Ethics and Aesthetics. Ethics is concerned with good and bad, right and wrong and
approval and disapproval as well as virtue and vice. Aesthetics is inquiry into the nature
of what is beautiful or ugly and why it is so. Axiology is the source of the aim of
education. All education and all form of schooling are integrated with values of life.
Consciously or unconsciously, teachers are agents of value development and
transmission.