The Nature of Philosophical Inquiry

Definitions of Philosophy
  • A combination of two Greek words, philia (which means love) and sophia (which means wisdom) – love of wisdom
  • The science of beings in their ultimate reasons, causes and principles acquired through the aid of reason alone
  • A search for meaning – more than just seeking or looking
Every person is a philosopher by default, not by choice.

To achieve certainty, one must seek the guidance of others who have searched before him; he needs to listen to those who have found some answers.

The Need for Philosophical Inquiry

Through philosophy, man seeks answers to the following perennial questions:
  • Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? What kind of being am I?
  • What is wisdom? What is the good life? How do I know that I am free?
  • Does God exist? How can I be certain that my beliefs have authority?
In modern times, philosophy is continually utilized as
  • a method of inquiry
  • an instrument for the solution of the global problems facing mankind
Logic as a Method of Philosophical Inquiry

Inquiry – method of experimental intelligence (John Dewey)

Purpose of inquiry – to change the situation
  • to transform the indeterminate situation (problematic situation) into a determinate situation where the problem is solved
  • to lead from the indeterminate situation to the solved determinate situation
Experiences – the interactive process by which the human self is in dynamic relation with other persons


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