WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
Plato said, “begins in wonder.” It was from our natural curiosity about the world and our place within it that philosophy emerged.
In the ancient world, people wondered about the things they saw and experienced and questioned why the world is the way it is.
Religion of one sort or another provided some answers, describing natural events as the actions of gods or spirits, but in the early civilizations, people wanted explanations that satisfied their capacity for rational thought.
The foundations of Western philosophy, which focused on reason and observation, were laid by Greek scholars in the 6th century bce.Thinkers such as Thales and Democritus studied the physical world
its structure and what it is made of—and their theories paved the way for the development of the physical sciences many centuries later.
At roughly the same time, thinkers in India and China pondered similar questions from different cultural and religious perspectives. As their societies became more sophisticated, the early philosophers in both the East and the West turned their attention to the human world. They asked questions about the nature of suffering, how we should live our lives, and how it is that we can understand the world at all.
Throughout history, there have been many different schools of philosophical thought, and their ideas have often directly opposed each other.
But philosophy is about asking questions, examining ideas, and taking part in debate and rational argument. Rather than providing definitive answers, philosophy is, above all, an active process of considering the fundamental questions about the universe and our place in it.
It is not just the domain of academic philosophers; it is an activity we can all take part in—and we already do, when we look at the universe we live in and wonder.
Philosophy began as an attempt to understand the world without relying on religious or mythological ideas. It was centred around two general questions: “What is the nature of reality?” (the subject of metaphysics) and “What is the nature of knowledge?” (the subject of epistemology).
Answers to these questions fell into two main schools of thought: rationalism, which treated reasoning as the most reliable source of knowledge, and empiricism, which stressed the importance of sensory experience. Early philosophers were the scientists of their day; the physical sciences only became distinct from philosophy in the 17th century.
本资源包含内容：【DK全球视觉 Simply Philosophy 2021版 通俗哲学系列】高清pdf