Monday, 25 June 2012

What is Philosophy?

"Philosophy is 99 per cent about critical reflection on anything you care to be interested in." - Richard Bradley

Brain Pickings is a website which produces a weekly digest containing lots of different interesting articles, many of which link to religious education, and in particular AS/A2 philosophy. A few weeks ago it had an article discussing some of the definitions of philosophy as cited in Nigel Warburton's book, Philosophy Bites (based on his excellent website -

He observes in the book’s introduction, “philosophy is an unusual subject in that its practitioners don’t agree what it’s about.”

Indeed after a years study, my Y12 students may be able to give some kind of explination of what they have been studying, but would perhaps struggle with defining philosophy itself. Additionally some students are now looking at universities and investigating the possibility of studying philosophy... yet our studies in school have merely focussed on one branch, the philosophy of religion.

"I’m hard pressed to say, but one thing that is certainly true is that ‘What is Philosophy?’ is itself a strikingly philosophical question.” - A. W. Moore

Defining philosophy can be as tough as studying it, but (I'm hoping!) one that students thoroughly enjoy.

Read more definitions here:

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