Philosophy is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths concerning the nature of the world and humanity, as well as the basis and nature of value and ethical obligation, It seeks to discern the nature and scope of knowledge, both scientific and otherwise, to establish standards of evidence, to seek out rational ways of resolving conflict and create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments.
"The unexamined life is not worth living." 1
“The love, study, or pursuit of wisdom, truth, or knowledge” 2
“[The] thinking study of things”. 3
“The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find . . . that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.” 4
1Socrates (Plato, Dialogues, Apology)
3Hegel, G.W.F, ‘Introduction’ in Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences
4Russell, Bertrand, ‘Chapter XV: The Value of Philosophy’ in Problems of Philosophy