What is Philosophy?

When you look up the word Philosophy in the Stanford Encyclopedia of PHILOSOPHY, you won’t find a definition. If you look up the word in other prominent sources – e.g., the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Catholic (New Advent) Encyclopedia – you will get a long history of what different philosophers thought about the word ‘philosophy’ throughout the ages. All formal articles dealing with the subject end without a crisp definition of this enigmatic term. No one alive today has any idea what Philosophy means or is supposed to be about. You have no choice but to rely on the definition you find in the Wikipedia. However, the Wikipedia is dismissed by many as an informal source. In other words, there is no formal, scientific definition of Philosophy.

The informal definition of Philosophy

The Wikipedia may be regarded as an informal source, but, as a result, it is probably a more important source than the so-called ‘formal’ and ‘respectable’ ones. The Wikipedia provides a version of words as understood by the majority of the population. Therefore, if the ‘formal’ and ‘respectable’ sources which are allegedly peer-reviewed cannot define a term, we have to go with the notion that the great majority of the global population has of that word.

“Philosophy (love of wisdom) is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.” (Wikipedia)

The Wikipedia article clarifies that classic philosophical questions include:

    • Is it possible to know anything and to prove it?

    • What is most real?

    • 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 becomes readily apparent that none of these questions come down to anything but opinions. It is thus that ‘philosophy’ has been and is routinely equated with opinion (e.g., “That is his philosophy.”).

The 6 branches of ‘philosophy’

We verify this conclusion when we look at the six branches of philosophy that have sprouted from these vague notions:

Aesthetics: What is beautiful?

Ethics: What is good?

Epistemology: What is knowledge?

Logic: How do I know it?

Political Philosophy: How should we act?

Metaphysics: What exists?

It is as a result of blurring the lines between Physics and Philosophy that we have no mainstream rational explanations today for how the Universe works. The amusing physical interpretations that contemporary Mathematical so-called ‘physics’ offers cannot be taken seriously by those few rational individuals that still remain on Earth [e.g., a particle can be at two places at once (Quantum Mechanics), a star orbits a zero-dimensional, massive ‘singularity’ (General Relativity)].

Paradigm Shift

Let’s propose an alternative that distinguishes clearly between the only two branches of Science (capitalized to distinguish it from what mainstream mathematicians and ‘philosophers’ do).

Under the proposed version, Philosophy has nothing to do with opinions (i.e., religion). Philosophy is the second leg of Science, the ‘alter-ego’ of Physics. If Physics attempts to explain the objective world of matter, Philosophy attempts to explain the workings of the human mind. Philosophy seeks to understand why someone behaved as they did (e.g., why Napoleon went to Waterloo in 1815, why a killer murdered someone, why members of a tribe paint their faces)

This version allows us to get rid of frivolous subcategories such as epistemology, ontology, metaphysics, and Philosophy of Science that have plagued humanity for the last 2500 years and only caused confusion.

The instant proposal suggests that whosoever mentions the words ‘thing’ or ‘exist’ in any, way, shape, or form in a scientific context (i.e., theorizes) has crossed the line into Physics.

The purpose of Physics is not to describe mathematically. The purpose of Physics is to explain Mother Nature’s invisible mechanisms (light, gravity, magnetism, electricity, etc.). For this, we need to identify Mother Nature’s secret agents. Remove the observer and simulate mechanisms objectively, ideally by making the invisible mediators visible in a movie.

Physics is the Science of Existence. In contrast, Philosophy is the Science of Behavior (why someone did something). We need no further grand categories. All other disciplines should fall within one branch or the other.

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