Philosophy literally translated from ancient Greek means "love of wisdom." Well, or "wisdom", if someone likes it more. This term, like most terms in the humanities and disciplines, has many meanings. Many "explorers" in this area, not content with the opinion of their predecessors, found their own definitions of philosophy. Let's try to consider what is the subject of philosophy in more detail and, if possible, objectively, from different angles.
What are we studying?
In Soviet educational institutions, philosophy was defined as "the science of the most general laws of the development of nature, society and thinking." However, "professional philosophers" who were educated in specialized universities do not agree with this. They say that philosophy is not a science, but a worldview, a special way of knowing the surrounding world, which has developed a system of generalizing concepts and fundamental principles of being and cognition. It seems that such a definition is too vague and you should not start acquaintance with "wisdom" from it, otherwise you will get lost in the intricacies of incomprehensible terms and logical constructions, and the desire of philosophers to express their thoughts using complex or complex sentences does not make them clearer.
Considering that among the philosophers themselves there is no unanimity as to what philosophy is - whether a science, a complex of sciences, a field of knowledge, a worldview or something else, it is impossible to get an unambiguous answer about the subject of philosophy. But consider the most popular versions - why not? So, starting the study, you will surely come across the following sciences:
- Logic; this term denotes the science of the methods, forms and laws of cognitive activity, it is also called the science of correct thinking; the main task of logic is the search for truth based on the existing premises;
- Metaphysics; it has very little in common with physics we know from the school course; rather, it explores the primordial nature of reality and has absolutely no applied meaning;
- Practical philosophy, which includes:
- Ethics - the science that studies morality and morality;
- aesthetics, which studies the essence of beauty in creativity and art as a form of social consciousness; on this topic, we can recommend Ivan Efremov's fantastic story "The Razor's Edge", where he talks about the expediency of beauty in an accessible and captivating form of fiction;
- political philosophy (ideas and essence of political reality);
- philosophy of history (objective laws of the historical process in the spiritual and moral aspect);
- social philosophy (study of the relationship between man and society);
- Theoretical philosophy, including:
- natural philosophy (the most general laws of natural science);
- philosophy of science (the concept of science, its boundaries and methodology);
- metaphilosophy (this is a kind of "philosophy of philosophy" that studies the purpose and functions of philosophy).
Here is a list of the most common and accepted branches of philosophy. Different philosophical schools can include a large number of exclusive auxiliary disciplines and sections, it is hardly advisable to give a complete list of which, since there are quite a few of them.
A little about history
The first treatises, which can be called philosophical, were published in the ancient states - Egypt, Sumer, India and China. At this time (the turn of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC), the subject of philosophy is often mythology, as well as the relationship between man and society. This also includes some applied disciplines that have just begun to emerge, and art (in particular, oral folk art, recorded in the form of collections of aphorisms and sayings). Philosophy reached its true flowering a little later - in Ancient Greece of the classical period.
Thales of Miletus, who lived in Asia Minor, is considered the first Greek philosopher. His authority was so high that even in ancient times he was recognized as the "father of philosophy" and invariably headed all the lists (of which there are quite a few in different editions) of the "seven great sages". He can rightfully be called the first encyclopedist, since the range of his interests was extremely large. For example, he proved himself as a diplomat, a "businessman", a military engineer of the Lydian king Croesus, and even an astronomer who predicted a solar eclipse in 585 BC. However, Elizabeth's successor, Peter III, returned the city to the Prussian king Frederick II.
In the 19-20 centuries, new directions of philosophy appear:
- epistemological anarchism;
- transhumanism, etc.
It is especially worth mentioning such a phenomenon as Russian cosmism. This is a philosophy on the verge of religion, science, art and esotericism. Prominent representatives are Helena Blavatskaya (The Secret Doctrine), Peter Uspensky (Tertium Organum, New Model of the Universe). Some even consider Konstantin Tsiolkovsky to be a cosmist, although he was more likely still a theoretician of cosmonautics than a philosopher.
What is the subject of study of the philosophy of Russian cosmism? This is, first of all, a person and his relationship with society and nature: Nikolai Fedorov, one of the founders of Russian cosmism, dreamed, for example, that someday it would be possible to put together scattered molecules and atoms by the forces of science and in this way bring about the resurrection of previously deceased people. Moreover, he developed the concept of resurrection within the framework of the interaction of religion and science, while remaining an Orthodox Christian. His ideas were highly appreciated by L. N. Tolstoy, K. E. Tsiolkovsky, F. M. Dostoevsky and many other famous contemporaries of Fedorov.
This is just a brief overview of philosophy. With a more detailed acquaintance with this area of knowledge, any interested person will be able to find a lot of interesting things for himself. Both in the works of ancient authors and in the works of our contemporaries..