Attributes of Philosophy

Attributes of Philosophy

(Vinod Anand)


All the sciences are in fact philosophical, provided they are taken to the desired height with the help of knowledge that is treated as the basic instrument for this process. Once that height is attained all sciences talk of the world with their specialty of the universe. They also need intelligence and enterprise. Hence philosophy has many attributes and realms.

The first realm is its logic.  Just frail and adventurous reason and profound and obscure intuition does not help. Another realm is epistemology which connotes the theory of the method or grounds of knowledge. Sometimes logic has many weary paths. Then the riddle of knowledge is solved through reality and honesty that we perceive. Metaphysics is another realm of logic, which means theoretical philosophy of being and knowing. In other words, it is the philosophy of mind, and is abstract and subtle. It is full of treasures of soul. Here nature hides her secret essence and puzzles us with a hundred clues. Here we ponder the problems of matter and life, of brain and mind, of materialism and spirituality, of mechanism and vitalism, of determinism and freedom.  Another realm is called history that teaches us to go ahead in life. For example, the writing of the great economists still help us to apply their theories, and to formulate new theories. The other realm is that of politics, or political economy (an intermix of politics and economics), which talks of the various political systems. It also talks of utopia (an imaginary system) in which only wise men rule, and every city is rich and beautiful. Let us briefly look at philosophy itself, as it reveals to its readers the beautiful, the immortal, and the good.  Philosophy modestly studies beauty, while art reveres and re-creates it. Philosophy knows only the problems of beauty. It tells us from where the beauty comes, and what it means, and whether it lies in the form itself or only in the hunger of our hearts. This is the realm of aesthetics  which is made dreary for centuries by scholastic minds, but which is still full of wonder and delight. There is also a realm of morals and ethics which is arid with academic abstractions, but in some ways the richest of the mansions of philosophy. Ethics is the lore of the art of life. Philosophy lifts the varied knowledge of ethics into living wisdom, and it gathers guidance for mankind. It answers questions like what is the best life after all; of what good is goodness, and what right is there in power, is pleasure the aim of life, is love immoral except within the law, what is justice, and what does justice say of our industrial and developed world? These are very vital questions, in which entire civilizations may find their fate involved. Here are dilemmas that touch every state and every heart. The science of economics has perhaps effective answers to these questions.

Everyone knows that that man is mortal and the life span is unknown. Immortality also belongs to philosophy. In that case all the debates get stilled, and thought turns fearfully to consider the great enemy, and in this sense philosophy enter the portals of religion and spirituality. It dwells on the man’s relationship with the sum of life and the totality of things, of his origin on this earth and his final destiny. It can be defined as a matter of life and death. These questions do not have any answers and, as such, philosophy finally is concerned with God. It is not concerned with the God of theology, conceived presumably as outside the realm of nature, but with the God of philosophers, the law of structure, the vitality and the will of the world.

Philosophy, thus, takes us to extreme heights that are beyond our thinking. It is, therefore, termed as the queen of sciences. It will not be out of place to mention that economics also preaches many life lessons, which if followed correctly, makes people happy. In that case the ultimate end never scares anyone.




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