The basis of Philosophy is to question everything. The word literally means a love of wisdom. People who study this subject do so because they are instinctively fascinated with knowledge about the universe, themselves, and their role in their connection to the universe. The discipline of Philosophy welcomes all questions, no matter how abstract or generalized. Questions about our very existence carry as much weight as questions about morality and why some of us reason differently and learn languages at different speeds. Everything is connected. Questions are presented in an open-ended format to encourage thoughtful, meaningful debate instead of yes or no responses.
Philosophy can be dated back to 4000 B.C. in Egypt. Archaeologists have uncovered depictions of the afterlife and various gods on tomb walls. Thousands of years later, evidence shows that it had traveled to Mesopotamia evidenced by the poem known as The Epic of Gilgamesh from 2150 B.C. There is evidence of Philosophy traveling to India around 1500 – 500 B.C. and then on to Persia with the development of Zoroastrianism. China embraced philosophy around 1046-256 B.C. during the Zhou Dynasty. Eventually, Philosophy made it to Greece around 585 – 322 B.C. and then culminating in Rome from 155 B.C. with the arrival of stoicism in Rome.
Philosophy serves an important role in society, especially among seekers of knowledge. It might come about organically as a person ages and starts to question things, but it can also serve as a way to placate people who are feeling underserved in other mediums, such as religion. Many people turn to Philosophy when they feel that their religion fails to fully explain questions about the why’s of the universe.
The three main divisions of Philosophy that are taught and studied are Methodology, Metaphysics, and Theory of Value. Each one also has subdivisions to further explore their concepts. Methodology is further subdivided into the ways of attaining knowledge and the ways of interpreting knowledge, also known as logic and epistemology.
Metaphysics is concerned with the nature of reality and is subdivided into the study of the basic categories of the sciences, also known as analytical metaphysics or ontology. It also explores generic conclusions and inter-relationships of the sciences, also known as synthetic metaphysics or cosmology.
The Theory of Value is concerned with the nature of ideals and how they become real. It is subdivided into the study of good and the means of realizing it in conduct. This is also known as ethics. The other subcategory is Æsthetics, which is the branch of philosophy dealing with the principles of beauty and artisanal taste.