What is philosophy?

  • Philosophy then as [any knowledge = philosophy]
  • Philosophy now as a “second order subject”

defining philosophy:

tautology or the circularity problem. Paradoxical nature of philosophical problems.

characteristics of any philosophical discussion:

[a wrong but very practical definition of philosophy, Philosophy is what the philosophers do, when they are doing philosophy!]

a) Big, fundamental or basic issues,
b) openness or freedom of queries, and
c) argumentative analysis [it’s the Method of philosophy.]

Philosophy is not a traditional subject. It’s is a seconder order subject. Actually, it’s a method of engaging with basic issues of other disciplines.

Problem of the definitions of philosophy that start with “জীবন ও জগতের ….”

Areas of philosophical studies:

  1. Core philosophy:
  • metaphysics [reality or being],
  • epistemology [knowledge],


  • logic [laws of thought and good reasoning]
  • ethics [ought or should, normative aspects]
  • aesthetics [sense of beauty]
  1. Branches of philosophy as “philosophy of …..”
  2. Eastern philosophy:

Muslim philosophy, Indian philosophy, far-eastern philosophy that includes Chinese and Japanese philosophy and Bangladesh philosophy

History of philosophy:

  • Greek philosophy, medieval philosophy, modern philosophy, post-Hegelian philosophy or contemporary philosophy.
  • Analytic-continental split.

Western philosophy vs eastern philosophy:

western philosophy –

  • merits [freeness, argument basis, in-depth and it works in all the areas.]
  • demerits [Dichotomy or binary]

eastern philosophy

  • merits [hierarchical and integration]
  • demerits [ lack of freeness, burden of scriptural reference, descriptive. It doesn’t work in all the relevant areas of human understanding and interest.]

utility of philosophical studies:

  • analytic power, critical thinking, ethical life, knowledge-based society and social pluralism.

Contribution of philosophy:

  • Giving rise to and protection the human civilization.
  • initiating and guiding science and technology as an outcome.
  • Philosophy is the foundation and life line of any scholarly study and research.
  • philosophy shows the possible alternative ways
  • only philosophy can give us certain of knowledge. A priori truths, square circle, time travel

Urgent reforms in philosophical studies in Bangladesh:

  • student size, class room facilities and exam system.
  • To introduce philosophical contents in primary and secondary level.
  • To allow anyone to take credit-earning relevant philosophy courses in their under-grad and graduate level.

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