Indian and Western Concept of Philosophy | Wandofknowledge
Meaning and definition of Philosophy
Philosophy is the most sublime extent of human thought. It studies and analyses logically the real form of the whole universe and of human life, of creation and creator, of soul and God, of life and death of knowledge and doable and undoable actions of man. India is considered to be the master land of philosophy. After India, Greece is next in this field. At present philosophy is developing in almost all the civilized countries of the world.
Indian Concept of Philosophy
In ancient India, any type of thought was called philosophy, but as the scope of knowledge developed it came to be divided into different disciplines, such as theology, economics, medical science etc. then the branch of knowledge in which the ultimate reality or truth of the universe was discussed came to be known as philosophy. Philosophy was accepted in this form during the Upanishadic age.
The definition of philosophy at that time was- “Drashyate Anek eti Darshnam (the philosophy is that by which the ultimate reality or truth of the universe is realized)”.
In the discovery of the ultimate reality or truth of the universe it became necessary to consider the form of the universe, its creator and material cause. The philosophers paid the most attention to understand the real form of human life and in this context much was considered about soul and God, life and death, knowledge and ignorance, means of knowledge and doable and undoable actions of human. Later it became the subject matter of philosophy. In our country, philosophy is still considered to be a subject that seeks to discover the absolute truth.
In the words of Dr. Radhakrishnan-“Philosophy is a logical inquiry into the nature of reality.”
Western Concept of Philosophy
Philosophy was first developed in the western world in Greece. In the beginning the scope of philosophy there was very extensive, but with development of scope of knowledge, philosophy came to be limited in the form of an independent discipline. The word ‘philosophy’ is derived from two Greek words-‘philos’ and ‘sophia’. ‘Philos’ means love and ‘sophia’ means wisdom. In this way, the word philosophy stands for love for wisdom. This is the wide sense of philosophy. The Greek philosopher Plato accepted philosophy in this sense. According to him, he who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied maybe just termed a philosopher. By ‘all types of knowledge’ they meant to known the fundamental fact behind all.
In the words of Pluto– “Philosophy aims at knowledge of eternal nature of things.”
Plato’s pupil, Aristotle emphasized on reality along with ideas. He presented the definition of Platu with a little modification. In his words- “Philosophy is the science which investigates the nature of being as it is in itself”.
The German philosopher Kant has define it as science of knowledge- “Philosophy is the science and critics of cognition”.
However, in the present times, a great transformation has occurred in the western philosophy. Now, it is inclined towards logical analysis of different branches of knowledge in place of the discovery of the fundamental factors. This extensiveness of philosophy has given birth to several branches of philosophy, such as- social philosophy, political philosophy, economic philosophy, science philosophy and Educational Philosophy, etc. Therefore philosophy is dumb to be the signs of Sciences and criticism of Criticisms.
In the words of Comte– “Philosophy is the synthesis of sciences or universal science.”
Brightman has define philosophy in a little detailed form “Philosophy may be defined as the attempt to think truly about human experience as a whole or to make our whole experience intelligible.
Sellers too has accepted philosophy in its extensive form. In his words- “ philosophy is persistent attempt to gain insight into the nature of the world and of ourselves by means of systematic reflection.”
In the modern age, Bertrand Russel looked at philosophy in still more detail form. In his words- “Philosophy is the attempt to answer ultimate questions critically, after investigating all that makes such questions as link and after realizing the vagueness and condition that underline are ordinary .”
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