#bgblur, #feature {background-image: url(../resources/banner8r.jpg); }

Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

What is Philosophy?

I will put together my answer following two major sources: Plato and Aristotle. The summary of these positions is as follows:
Philosophy denote a fundamental possibility of life. Resort to 'rational speeches' (Phaed. 99e), in dialogical-dialectical thought (Rep. VI, 510e-511c; VII, 532a-d), changes man in his totality ('reorientation' of existence (Rep. VII, 518b-519a)).
The connection between striving for the truth and educational and political action constitutes the heart of φιλοσοφία as Platon understood it here.

The verb φιλοσοφέω is used for methodical attempts to understand the world around man (Met. 1.3, 983b,). It denotes especially knowledge of sensorily perceptible reality of the κόσμος.
φιλοσοφία means on the one side knowledge as a whole (Met. 4.2, 1004a, 3), and on the other side the individual discipline (Met. 6,1, 1026a, 18f).
πρώτη φιλοσοφία (first philosophy) is the name of the science devoted to the unmoved mover (Met. 6.1, 1026a, 29f); physics as the δευτέρα φιλοσοφία (second philosophy) investigates the reality that may be perceived with the senses (Met. 7.11, 1037a, 14-16) or moved being (Met. 6.1, 1025b, 26f; 1026a, 12; 11.3, 1061b, 6f; 12.1, 1069a, 36f).

My tentative definition does not see philosophy as a system of doctrines, but as a spiritual exercise preparing for wisdom. Philosophy comes out from a decision to live life certain way, from a global vision of the universe, and from a decision to live in the world together with others. So, the critical elements of patterns of life, universe, and togetherness are seen as foundational in this understanding of philosophy.
blog comments powered by Disqus