Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.〔〔〔Definition of "philosophy, n.". ''Oxford English Dictionary Online''. June 2015. ''Oxford University Press.'' (http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/142505?rskey=uk0M8u&result=1 ) (accessed August 05, 2015):
"7. The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, and the basis and limits of human understanding; this considered as an academic discipline. (Now the usual sense.)〕 The Ancient Greek word (''philosophia'') was probably coined by Pythagoras〔 and literally means "love of wisdom" or "friend of wisdom".〔〔〔〔Strong's Greek Dictionary 5385, http://biblehub.com/greek/5385.htm〕〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Home : Oxford English Dictionary )〕 Philosophy has been divided into many sub-fields. It has been divided chronologically (e.g., ancient and modern); by topic (the major topics being epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics); and by style (e.g., analytic philosophy).
As a method, philosophy is often distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its questioning, critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.〔 As a noun, the term "philosophy" can refer to any body of knowledge.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Online Etymology Dictionary )〕 Historically, these bodies of knowledge were commonly divided into natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and metaphysical philosophy.〔 In casual speech, the term can refer to any of "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group," (e.g., "Dr. Smith's philosophy of parenting").〔
== Areas of inquiry ==
Philosophy has been divided into many sub-fields. In modern universities, these sub-fields are distinguished either by chronology or topic or style.
* Chronological divisions include ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary.
* Topical divisions include epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics.〔〔
* Divisions of style include analytic, continental, and social/political philosophy, among others.
Some of the major areas of study are considered individually below.
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