Questions Science and Education

What is the origin of philosophy?


Aaron S Lopez

Improvise Adapt and Overcome

Philosophy is a core subject of Humanities, and it is defined as the study of existence and reality. The meaning of the word Philosophy is “the love of wisdom.” For its excellent subject matter, it is included as one of the most important disciplines of Humanities. It is a way of belief or attitude a person reflects in his personality towards the outer world. 

 Origin of Philosophy: A myth or reality?

There are many myths about the origin of philosophy. The word Philosophy can be divided into two words “Philo” and “Sophos” both of which are Greek. Here “Philo” means “love" and “Sophos”  means "wisdom." It was the great Philosopher of Greece named Socrates, who is believed as the father of Philosophy first focused light on this term. 

 Philosophy in Webster’s Dictionary

The Webster’s dictionary defines Philosophy, as an investigation which is done rationally on specific questions which detect the existence of knowledge and ethics. This indicates that Philosophy is metaphysical as well as physical in nature. This subject was then termed when various perceptions and beliefs of human beings were easily converted to rational inquiries and ideologies.

 Philosophy in various civilizations according to the origin

The origin of philosophy can be well described if we focus on the ancient cultures which prevailed all over the world.   

i. Western civilization and philosophy

During this era, the Pre-Socratic thinkers highly participated in a revolution held in the Western world during the 6th century. This era is for Western Philosophy. The famous names of this era are Thales, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle.

ii.Medieval civilization and philosophy

Being started from the 5th century till the16th centuries, the significant fall of the Western Roman Empire led to the rise of Christianity. The famous names like  St. Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon are firmly attached to medieval philosophy.

iii. Indian philosophy

The Indian philosophy is strongly dominated by Sanskrit and is divided into many other eras like the Jain Philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and Hindu Philosophy. 

 iv. Middle Eastern Philosophy

Also known as Babylonian philosophy had its origin from Mesopotamian civilization which followed ethics, in the forms of folklore, dialectic dialogues, hymns, proverbs, epic poetry, etc.

 v. East Asian Philosophy

Eastern philosophy or Asian philosophy originated in East and South Asia and included the Chinese, Japanese and Korean philosophy too. It also prevails in some parts of Indian too.

vi. African Philosophy

The ancient Egyptian philosophy showed the path for the rise of popular philosophical traditions of Regional North Africa, West Africa and Central Africa which gave rise to the African Philosophy.

vii. Indigenous American philosophy

Indigenous American philosophy is associated with the practice of philosophy with a  vast knowledge of various indigenous culture, history, traditions, and language.

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