Contrary to some of the vacuous bullshit you'll find on this page, philosophy is a noble, no, possibly THE most noble academic discipline one can study. Sans repeating what our friend correctly said about the five major fields, I will say this: We live and die for philosophy. Even if we don't realize it, nearly everything we believe is predicated on someone's philosophical investigations. To debase the mother of all sciences as a "waste of the taxpayer's money" is to admit barefaced ignorance.

Oh yeah, and philosophy majors score higher than any other majors on the graduate exam; mathematics students come in second. Maybe they're doing something right.

PS. I'm not a philosophy major.
Do philosophy, dipshit.
by Matt May 26, 2004
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1. The major for people who value education and intelligent thought over silly matters such as getting a job.

2. The reason that one day I will live in a box, unless I buckle down and take those damn LSATs.
Homeless man: Give me money!
Pedestrian: Hey, I recognize you! Werent you an honors philosophy student at my college?
Homeless man: But what does 'recognition' REALLY mean? *ponders*
by susievader October 1, 2007
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The love of knowledge and the love of seeking it, then producing exhaustive writings of exhausting and inept metaphors, being refuted by another philosopher's exhausting and inept metaphors, then replying in rebuttal to challengers, ad nauseum. While one of the most noble intellectual pursuits, it is also one of the most masturbatory.
Summa Philosophia: Key Figures in Philosophy, Summarized in 500 Words or Less

Nietzsche = Woot, but mighta had bad thoughts about family members.

Socrates = Straight up gangsta, dat nigga drank any drank put in frunna him.

Plato = Overrated heir apparent of Socrates that screwed up Science for more than a thousand years with First Principles and other useless crap.

Aristotle = Reincarnated some time later into Gene Wilder.

Aquinas = Justified Catholic bullshit from a very comfy chair.

Confucius = Had the same PR agent as Jesus and gets all sorts of cool stuff attributed to him.

Augustine = Converted to Christianity early enough that he was one of the religion's editors - he gave you the God you "know" now by stealing heavily from Plato.

Descartes = Brought intellectualism to new highs and degrees of convolution by rationalizing things instead of pulling new crazy shit out of his ass.

Kant = Changed Minds. No, really - he changed them from being viewed as a cup that sorta just fills up with experiences into a filter and interpreter of sensory data. A computer rather than a trashcan.

Kierkegaard = Brought angst to the forefront of philosophy and did ultimately dehumanizing things that lead to quantifying peoples' lives in terms like "The Average Person spends 1/3rd of his Life Asleep" and other damning, mope-infested whinings about escapism and wasting time. Waste of Time? Kierkegaard.

Lao Tzu = The Asian Sensation. Tao De Ching is a quick read with little novel and even useful tidbits. Like a compilation of fortune cookie fortunes, but better.

John Locke = Shared a few basic principles with Kant. The mind is a house furnished with experiences and sensory input.

Karl Marx = History is the record of class conflict, material interests, and the exchange and exploitation involving them. Philosophy should not just interpret the world, but shape it.

Pascal = Somehow made the first mechanical calculator at age 15 in 1642. Beat that, fuckers. Sadly, he abandoned supermathgenius for philosophy, probably shooting all of humanity in the foot in the process, but he at least contributed to scientific investigation.

Spinoza = Ultimately just another dude that desperately needs God to exist in some fashion, but wrote avidly of ethics and against traditional religious views. Interest in his writing persists in modern environmentalists and ecologists.

Hume = Related the mind in terms of perception (impressions), processing and memory (idea). Like a bunch of other dudes. It was inevitable, really, but thanks for getting your papers in on time. ;D

Leibniz = Desperately tried to resolve The Problem of Evil so that God could be both Omnipotent and Benevolent at the same time and totally looked retarded for it. Voltaire totally burned him in Candide for it.

The ultimate lesson of Philosophy that you will never find in these old dead guys' writing is this: You utilize what is useful and discard what is not. No one has the answer and if someone somehow did, no one else would believe it or realize it. Walk your own way and try not to step on other peoples' toes. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring water.
by gadiv January 9, 2009
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The habit of continuously asking questions about every aspect of the human condition.Has been known to make some of its adepts pompous and arrogant,but has also made others a little brighter than they were before.
Philosophy was an integral part of his/her life.
by Joe Twothree May 16, 2004
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A field of study which can essentially be divided into the subfields of epistemology, metaphysics and ethics.

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, how it is gained and to what degree it is possible.

Metaphysics is the study of what exists, how it exists and how we define it.

Ethics is the attempt, having decided upon theories of knowledge and existence, to create a coherent way of living.

Contrary to popular belief, philosophy is not, or at least does not have to be, useless. If everyone thought carefully about what they believe, why they believe it and how they should act accordingly the world would be a better place. Everyone from politicians to scientists to soccer-moms must make decisions of ethics which affect them and those around them.
Sartre (a major figure in philosophy) says of epistemology that we cannot have absolute knowledge, of metaphysics that the world is subjective, and of ethics that by existing we choose ourselvse and the world.
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The art of thinking.

Philosophy is the ability to conceptualize and articulate with other people, ideas on society, the world, how it functions, people's roles in it, existence itself and even things such as sports and athletics. It is a very narrow-minded concept that philosophy only has to do with deep thought, but it can also be rather light.

Ultimately it is usually viewed as reading others thoughts, such as Aristotle, and learning arguments so you can repeat them, but I believe one whom follows philosophy would be more concentrated on finding new ways to think about things, or would rather have intelligent conversations on subjects and enjoy just simply thinking about them.
You can spend your whole life reading philosophy and never be a philosopher, but you can spend five seconds and ask one question and go farther than many go in years.
by Splinter of Chaos April 11, 2006
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