What does one think when they hear the word Philosophy? Before I began this class, I really had no idea what the word Philosophy meant. I use to think it dealt with a bunch of really smart people trying to figure out the answers to life's most basic and essential questions. For example: Why are we here? Is there a God? Is there life after death? Etc. What I failed to realize was that not only does Philosophy answer these questions but it also gets us to question things that we never once thought of before. Take a chair as an example: When one looks at a chair, they see something that their mind recognizes as a chair. However, do we know for sure that what we are looking at is actually a chair, and not a table, or a couch? In asking these types of questions, and then trying to answer them, we in turn are gaining knowledge and wisdom. What then is Philosophy? It is the love of wisdom. It's going out and asking questions to learn things we did not once know before.
Philosophy, as a discipline, is something that we study. Philosophy, as a personal activity, is something that we can live out. What does this mean? Take Christianity as an example. Jesus, the model of all Christianity, was in fact a philosopher. We, as Christians, try to live out, to the best of our ability, what Jesus preached. Treating our neighbor, as we would want to be treated is an example of a form of conduct that Jesus preached. Whether we choose to live according to this conduct, our personal activity, is solely up to the individual himself. We could also say that a discipline is a branch of knowledge and learning. We study medicine to gain enough knowledge to become a doctor; this branch of learning is that person's discipline. How he goes about performing the duties of his practice, whether he is a general practitioner or a heart surgeon, is that person's personal activity. .
Philosophy is broken down into five main branches.