Explain what it means to ‘do philosophy’
Philosophy is commonly defined as the rational investigation into the truths and principles of knowledge and being. In my opinion, however, the act of doing philosophy goes much further. Philosophy has spanned over thousands of years and been applied to so many different situations it is simply too difficult describe it within a one sentence explanation. Although we use philosophy so much in everyday life by questioning things and expanding our depths into the mind, one of the most difficult questions to answer is what doing philosophy actually means.
One extremely significant aspect of philosophy is the idea of proposing questions; with the aim to expand the knowledge we have about ourselves and the world around us. This, however, comes with the awareness that there is no definite answer. Bertrand Russell once said ‘If there are no definite answers, then there is the freedom for the search of the unfound answers’ which highlights that there is no certainty with philosophy and people can have their own interpretations of things because they can never be fully proved. Closely related to this is the idea of James Anthony Froude who stated that ‘Philosophy goes no further than probabilities and in every assertion keeps a doubt in reserve’. This shows how the act of doing philosophy is delving beneath simplicity and trying to conjure answers to almost impossible questions, which explains why there is so much room for debate.
Another important thing to consider when doing philosophy is to refer to the origins and historical features of it. A view supporting this is that of Henry Ward Beecher who said ‘The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next’. This shows how overtime previous philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato, have made a lot of progress over many years and that we should make reference to them when doing philosophy as it could potentially help us find out what we want to know. This is...