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Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?
It is as absurd to expect members of philosophy departments to be philosophers as it is to expect members of art departments to be artists.
Leo Strauss, “What is liberal education?” Liberalism, Ancient and Modern (1968), p. 7. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.
Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.
Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (1912).
There exists a definite misunderstanding between scientists and philosophers; a misunderstanding which might easily have been avoided had philosophers possessed a proper realisation of their inevitable limitations when discussing scientific matters.
A. D'Abro, The Evolution of Scientific Thought from Newton to Einstein (1927) p. 343
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