Definition of philosophy
1a (1) : all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2) : the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology a doctor of philosophy (3) : the 4-year college course of a major seminaryb (1) archaic : physical science (2) : ethicsc : a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
2a : pursuit of wisdomb : a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational meansc : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
3a : a system of philosophical conceptsb : a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought the philosophy of war
4a : the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or groupb : calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher
Examples of philosophy in a Sentence
There's plenty of blame to go around: poor regulation, eight years of a failed Republican economic philosophy, Wall Street-friendly Democrats who helped stymie reform, misguided bipartisan efforts to promote home ownership, Wall Street greed, corrupt CEOs, a botched rescue effort, painfully fallible central bankers. —Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 9 Mar. 2009
Broadly speaking, philosophy has three concerns: how the world hangs together, how our beliefs can be justified, and how to live. —Jim Holt, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 2009
Almost none of the kids were older than twenty-five, as if there were a sell-by date on radical social philosophy, a legal age limit after which one must surrender lofty ideals and shave off all dreadlocks. —Matthew Power, Harper's, March 2008
In their mission statement, the editors bragged of their firm commitment to equality and social justice, but their philosophy didn't prevent them from summoning Lindsey to perform all their menial tasks. —Kim Wong Keltner, The Dim Sum of All Things, 2004
Her degree is in philosophy and religion.
The group eventually split over conflicting political philosophies.
Her main cooking philosophy is to use only fresh ingredients.
Recent Examples of philosophy from the Web
The philosophy undergirding the speech, administration officials said, is that melding public and private forces to rebuild the nation’s physical backbone will vastly expand the resources available to pay for doing it.
Whether the next pitching coach will fit Myers' philosophy of pitching to contact or bring more of a power pitching approach could lead to a change in playing style.
Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder defended his program’s philosophy about granting transfers in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.
In keeping with Sasse’s studied performance of folksy erudition, this 18th-century text is a bit of a political-philosophy deep cut.
Watch how Trinity athletics worked on a daily basis in her 19-year run as athletics coordinator, and that was a reflection of her philosophy.
Terrorism analysts have noted several recurring themes in Hamza bin Laden’s audio postings that distinguish his Islamist militant philosophy from the views expressed by both his father and putative al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri.
Clanton taught philosophy part-time at Diablo Valley College in San Francisco’s eastern suburbs for three semesters ending in the fall of 2016.
Gross was inspired by King's principles after learning how his philosophy ignited historic change in the violent, segregated South in the 1960s.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'philosophy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of philosophy
Middle English philosophie, from Anglo-French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos philosopher
First Known Use: 14th century
PHILOSOPHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of philosophy for English Language Learners
: the study of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc.
: a particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc.
: a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live
PHILOSOPHY Defined for Kids
Definition of philosophy for Students
1 : the study of the basic ideas about knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, and the value of things
2 : a specific set of ideas of a person or a group Greek philosophy
3 : a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live Live and let live—that's my philosophy.
Seen and Heard
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