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Introduction to philosophy

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Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 038-crop

The philosopher, by Rembrandt (detail).

The term philosophy comes from the ancient Greek word "Φιλοσοφία" (philo-sophia), which means "love of wisdom". In a modern context, it is used to refer to debates concerning topics such as what exists, what knowledge is and whether it is possible, and how one should live. Philosophical literature is typically characterized by its use of reasoning in order to advance cogent arguments about these topics. Typically, these arguments involve consideration of competing views and their perceived inadequencies.

Informally, a "philosophy" may refer to a general world view or to a specific ethic or belief.

Since antiquity, questions that are now treated within psychology were subsumed within philosophy and it is only relatively recently that the relationship between psychology and philosophy has been redrawn[1].While the scientific study of psychology has dominated discussion of much of modern philosophy, particularly with the evidence derived form cognitive neuroscience, the work of philosophers in such fields as ethics and epistemology has a great deal of relavence for psychologists.

A number of psychologists have written substantial textbooks on the main philosophical subjects areas. These writers include Dewey, Fechner, Helmholtz, James, Kulpe, McDougall, Stumpf, Ward and Wundt[2]


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