Philosophy Books

The term philosophy comes from the Greek word meaning “love of wisdom,” and that’s precisely what it is. The field gives us wisdom on many subjects that can’t otherwise be explored through methods like science. Instead, they require a wise perspective of deep thought and logical reasoning to understand abstract ideas. In this category of Direct Knowledge, you can read about philosophy of the past, new wisdom of the present, and potential future developments.

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Wisdom Through the Ages

Philosophy as a discipline looks at rather abstract concepts such as logic, metaphysics, ethics, linguistics, and aesthetics. Basic questions about existence intrigue philosophers, and push them to try to resolve mysteries of life. Some of the classic questions include “Is it possible to know and prove anything?”; “Do we have free will?”; and “Is beauty subjective or objective?” Here you can explore the histories of philosophical questions such as these, as well as discover other curious aspects of the field.

Some of the topics in in philosophy are often hard to study with formal and natural sciences. Thus, they become questions philosophers ask themselves and “study” through their own thoughts, observations, and logic. Or at least that has usually been the case. Many of the subjects that philosophy looked at thousands of years ago are still the focal points of arguments today. However, new findings today in sciences like psychology and neuroscience have shed light on certain topics. These findings can make philosophy change its views and methods, ultimately helping it progress.

Some Modern Changes

For example, the study of consciousness looks at how people are aware of themselves and their surroundings and experiences. This awareness comes from the mind and through physical senses. Some philosophers argue that there is no way to prove consciousness through science, making it in essence an illusion without meaning. But, science seems to be getting closer to understanding it through breakthroughs in neuroscience and biology. This might make it worth taking a look at the biology and other science categories to try to find relationships that tie back to philosophy.

The same argument sometimes occurs with free will, but these positions are not the most common. Most agree that we just don’t yet understand free will and consciousness, but that they do exist. We just need to continue pursuing them until we eventually uncover the truth. Although, some philosophers also argue that “progress” through uncovering new truths is not the right way to judge philosophy. They argue that there is no single direction for improvement, rather a general deeper analysis of the subjects through time.

These differences in philosophical thought are part of what makes the field so interesting and challenging. You can find more information here on the varied positions and learn about the main subjects within the field. Metaphysics, epistemology, value theory, logic, math, and history of the field itself are all areas in philosophy with abundant information to read up on.

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