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Webster 1913 Edition


Philosophy

Phi-los′o-phy

(fĭ-lŏs′ō̍-fy̆)
,
Noun.
;
pl.
Philosophies
(fĭ-lŏs′ō̍-fĭz)
.
[OE.
philosophie
, F.
philosophie
, L.
philosophia
, from Gr.
φιλοσοφία
. See
Philosopher
.]
1.
Literally, the love of, inducing the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws.
☞ When applied to any particular department of knowledge, philosophy denotes the general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject are comprehended. Thus
philosophy
, when applied to God and the divine government, is called theology; when applied to material objects, it is called physics; when it treats of man, it is called anthropology and psychology, with which are connected logic and ethics; when it treats of the necessary conceptions and relations by which
philosophy
is possible, it is called metaphysics.
☞ “Philosophy has been defined: – the science of things divine and human, and the causes in which they are contained; – the science of effects by their causes; – the science of sufficient reasons; – the science of things possible, inasmuch as they are possible; – the science of things evidently deduced from first principles; – the science of truths sensible and abstract; – the application of reason to its legitimate objects; – the science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason; – the science of the original form of the ego, or mental self; – the science of science; – the science of the absolute; – the science of the absolute indifference of the ideal and real.”
Sir W. Hamilton.
2.
A particular philosophical system or theory; the hypothesis by which particular phenomena are explained.
[Books] of Aristotle and his
philosophie
.
Chaucer.
We shall in vain interpret their words by the notions of our
philosophy
and the doctrines in our school.
Locke.
3.
Practical wisdom; calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity; fortitude; stoicism;
as, to meet misfortune with
philosophy
.
Then had he spent all his
philosophy
.
Chaucer.
4.
Reasoning; argumentation.
Of good and evil much they argued then, . . .
Vain wisdom all, and false
philosophy
.
Milton.
5.
The course of sciences read in the schools.
Johnson.
6.
A treatise on philosophy.
Philosophy of the Academy
,
that of Plato, who taught his disciples in a grove in Athens called the Academy.
Philosophy of the Garden
,
that of Epicurus, who taught in a garden in Athens.
Philosophy of the Lyceum
,
that of Aristotle, the founder of the Peripatetic school, who delivered his lectures in the Lyceum at Athens.
Philosophy of the Porch
,
that of Zeno and the Stoics; – so called because Zeno of Citium and his successors taught in the porch of the Poicile, a great hall in Athens.

Webster 1828 Edition


Philosophy

PHILOS'OPHY

,
Noun.
[L. philosophia; Gr. love, to love, and wisdom.]
1.
Literally, the love of wisdom. But in modern acceptation, philosophy is a general term denoting an explanation of the reasons of things; or an investigation of the causes of all phenomena both of mind and of matter. When applied to any particular department of knowledge, it denotes the collection of general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject, are comprehended. Thus, that branch of philosophy which treats of God, &c. is called theology; that which treats of nature, is called physics or natural philosophy; that which treats of man is called logic and ethics, or moral philosophy; that which treats of the mind is called intellectual or mental philosophy, or metaphysics.
The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works, and to render our knowledge of both practically useful and subservient to human happiness.
True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.
2.
Hypothesis or system on which natural effects are explained.
We shall in vain interpret their words by the notions of our philosophy and the doctrines in our schools.
3.
Reasoning; argumentation.
4.
Course of sciences read in the schools.

Definition 2022


philosophy

philosophy

English

Alternative forms

Noun

philosophy (countable and uncountable, plural philosophies)

  1. (uncountable, originally) The love of wisdom.
  2. (uncountable) An academic discipline that seeks truth through reasoning rather than empiricism.
    Philosophy is often divided into five major branches: logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics.
  3. (countable) A comprehensive system of belief.
  4. (countable) A view or outlook regarding fundamental principles underlying some domain.
    a philosophy of government;   a philosophy of education
  5. (countable) A general principle (usually moral).
  6. (archaic) A broader branch of (non-applied) science.
  7. (French printing, dated) Synonym of small pica.

Meronyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:philosophy

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Verb

philosophy (third-person singular simple present philosophies, present participle philosophying, simple past and past participle philosophied)

  1. (now rare) To philosophize.

See also

  • Appendix:Glossary of philosophical isms
  • ideology

References

  • philosophy” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  • philosophy” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.