What is Philosophy?

By Spiral Nature | May 2, 2004

The men sat sipping their tea in silence. After a while the klutz said, “Life is like a bowl of sour cream.”

“Like a bowl of sour cream?” asked the other. “Why?”

“How should I know? What am I, a philosopher?”

- Author Unknown

“We are all walled cities shouting at each other over the armament of our perceptions.”

Between the Worlds Conference 2015

- Robert Anton Wilson, The Earth Will Shake

“Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence. As against special sciences, which deal only with particular aspects, philosophy deals with those aspects of the universe which pertain to everything that exist. In the realm of cognition, the special sciences are the trees, but philosophy is the soil which makes the forest possible.”

- Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It

“Many of the problems of philosophy are of such broad relevance to human concerns, and so complex in their ramifications, that these are, in one form or another, perennially present. Though in the course of time they yield in part to philosophical inquiry, they may need to be rethought by each age in the light of its broader scientific knowledge and deepened ethical and religious experience. Better solutions are found by more refined and rigorous methods. Thus, one who approaches the study of philosophy in the hope of understanding the best of what it affords will look for both fundamental issues and contemporary achievements.”

- Jerome A. Shaffer, Philosophy of Mind


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