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Introduction to Philosophy

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Renáta Kišoňová

The first part of this textbook introduces philosophy to the reader as a part of culture, in addition to science, religion, art. It outlines various disciplines of philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind etc. The second part maps the understanding of history, or the philosophical reflection of history in the history of philosophy.

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2. Philosophy as a Term

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19 2. Philosophy as a Term Let us start with an analysis of the term philosophy. Hei- degger claims that if we do not use the term philosophy and instead listen attentively to the original sound, we will hear the Greek word fi losofi a. (see: Heidegger, M.: Co je to- fi losofi e?, p. 117) “The word fi losofi a tells us that philosophy is something that determines the existence of the Greeks. And not only this – fi losofi a determines also the innermost basic feature of the history of Western Europe.” (Heidegger, M.: Co je to- fi losofi e?, p. 117) The term philosophy originates in Greek and consists of the words fi lein and sofos. The word fi lein translates to sisterly love or friendship, whilst sofi a means skilful- ness, agility, knowledge, cognition, wisdom, and the art of living. Philosophy could be love of knowledge or even more precisely love of cognition since philosophy 20 does not represent anything complete or permanently fi xed, but rather a process of asking questions and seek- ing answers. Jaspers analyses the term fi losof as the opposite of the term sofos. Filosofos means ‘one who loves knowledge’ whereas sofos is one who has knowledge readily available (or believes that he does) and is called the cognizing one. (see: Jaspers, K.: Úvod do fi lozofi e, 1996, p. 12) In Jaspers’ opinion “this meaning of the word still endures: the essence of philosophy is not the possession of truth but the search for truth, regardless of how many philosophers may...

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