What is philosophy?
It would be easy to simply post the dictionary definition of the word philosophy and work from there, but language is not as simple as the strictly defined semantic allocations that we designate to the words that we use. specific definitions for words is certainly necessary for precise communication, especially in formal matters such as in laws and the more objective academics, but in many interpersonal interactions, especially colloquial verbal communication, many words are used with more of an emotional and connotational semantic meaning rather than a singular, objective definition. Language is limited in its abilities to convey ones thoughts and often times cognitive thoughts are rather incorporeal and formless in a sense, difficult to define within the restrictions of linguistic communication. More feeling than substance, these thoughts are still important to share, and thus as linguistic communication is our only true means of conveying our thoughts, (as we unfortunately seem to be incapable of telepathy) we must attempt to convey these difficult to define thoughts and feelings by assigning subjective connotations to the words we use and hope that the person we are attempting to communicate with picks up on and comprehends these connotations without us needing to elaborate with a hasty and inefficient explanation of what we mean.
So then “philosophy” is more than simply it’s dictionary definition, but without adherence to a widely accepted and agreed upon definition, the semantic meaning then becomes subjective. What one may consider to be the meaning of Philosophy may be contested by another’s. My point essentially being that communicating thoughts through language is difficult and oftentimes a very inefficient and ineffectual art.
So without further ado; My subjective semantic definition of what philosophy is, is merely contemplation.
Contemplation of all that is ephemeral, ethereal, and incorporeal. All that is without form or substance, that is not of this physical realm that we inhabit. It is the contemplation of the incomprehensible, of all that cannot be strictly defined. Contemplation of all that is subjective and of whether certain things are subjective or not, whether anything at all is truly objective.
Philosophy is contemplation of the nature of the universe,
of the nature of reality.
Philosophy is the contemplation of everything that exists and does not exist.
Philosophy is the contemplation of all that we can see and cannot see, everything we can experience and everything that we can not, all that we know and do not know.
Philosophy is the contemplation of what is and what isn’t, of what is within and of what is beyond. Beyond what we can see and know.
It is the contemplation of truth, and of justice, and of what constitutes each respectively.
It is the contemplation of morality and ethics, of what the right way to love one’s life is, and of what “rightness” is itself.
It is the contemplation life and of death, of what happens after we pass from this life and of what happened before we entered it.
It is the contemplation of beauty and art and emotion.
It is the contemplation of humanity and what makes us human.
It is the contemplation of meaning and of reason.
It is the contemplation of everything in a sense, as everything could in one way or another be considered incorporeal and indefinite.
It is the contemplation of nothing, in the sense that is the contemplation of the nature of “nothingness”.
Whereas science could be considered the contemplation of “how”, philosophy is more the contemplation of “what” and “why”. The contemplation of what things truly are, of what truly exists and of what is beyond our senses and understandings. The contemplation of why we exist and what our meaning is, of why we are conscious and aware, of why we are able to experience the world around us, of why existence itself exists.
It is the contemplation of what things are, of what their meaning is, and of the nature of their essence is.
Philosophy is by extension, the contemplation of what philosophy is.
What philosophy is, cannot be fully defined, and thus in my attempt to define it, i shall define it as an attempt to define that which cannot fully be defined.