Philosophy
Philosophy Phi*los"o*phy (f[i^]*l[o^]s"[-o]*f[y^]), n.; pl. {Philosophies} (f[i^]*l[o^]s"[-o]*f[i^]z). [OE. philosophie, F. philosophie, L. philosophia, from Gr. filosofi`a. See {Philosopher}.] 1. Literally, the love of, inducing the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws. [1913 Webster]

Note: When applied to any particular department of knowledge, philosophy denotes the general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena or facts relating to that subject are comprehended. Thus philosophy, when applied to God and the divine government, is called theology; when applied to material objects, it is called physics; when it treats of man, it is called anthropology and psychology, with which are connected logic and ethics; when it treats of the necessary conceptions and relations by which philosophy is possible, it is called metaphysics. [1913 Webster]

Note: ``Philosophy has been defined: -- the science of things divine and human, and the causes in which they are contained; -- the science of effects by their causes; -- the science of sufficient reasons; -- the science of things possible, inasmuch as they are possible; -- the science of things evidently deduced from first principles; -- the science of truths sensible and abstract; -- the application of reason to its legitimate objects; -- the science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason; -- the science of the original form of the ego, or mental self; -- the science of science; -- the science of the absolute; -- the science of the absolute indifference of the ideal and real.'' --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

2. A particular philosophical system or theory; the hypothesis by which particular phenomena are explained. [1913 Webster]

[Books] of Aristotle and his philosophie. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

We shall in vain interpret their words by the notions of our philosophy and the doctrines in our school. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

3. Practical wisdom; calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity; fortitude; stoicism; as, to meet misfortune with philosophy. [1913 Webster]

Then had he spent all his philosophy. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

4. Reasoning; argumentation. [1913 Webster]

Of good and evil much they argued then, . . . Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. The course of sciences read in the schools. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

6. A treatise on philosophy. [1913 Webster]

{Philosophy of the Academy}, that of Plato, who taught his disciples in a grove in Athens called the Academy.

{Philosophy of the Garden}, that of Epicurus, who taught in a garden in Athens.

{Philosophy of the Lyceum}, that of Aristotle, the founder of the Peripatetic school, who delivered his lectures in the Lyceum at Athens.

{Philosophy of the Porch}, that of Zeno and the Stoics; -- so called because Zeno of Citium and his successors taught in the porch of the Poicile, a great hall in Athens. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • philosophy — ► NOUN (pl. philosophies) 1) the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. 2) the theories of a particular philosopher. 3) a theory or attitude that guides one s behaviour. 4) the study of the theoretical basis of a… …   English terms dictionary

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