People often mention the philosophies of their lives when they try to share their ideas on different issues. They do not refer to the discipline, but reveal their opinions. It is noteworthy that the word ‘philosophy’ has several meanings, but only some people know them or pay attention to them. Interestingly, two meaning of the word are closely connected, and when people talk about their ‘philosophy of life,’ they often reveal one aspect of philosophy as the discipline.
In the first place, it is important to identify the meaning of the saying ‘philosophy of life’. When people say that, they express their opinion on some issues and their set of values. They simply share the way they see this world. They reveal their ideas on what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. It is possible to note that philosophy, in this meaning, is the set of an individual’s opinions and knowledge.
Remarkably, this is closely connected with the discipline of philosophy. Philosophy is often defined as “the love of wisdom” and “the search for the larger picture” (Solomon & Higgins, xv). Therefore, discipline is also all about the world around people and the way it can be seen.
People have always been interested in such issues as the meaning of life, the nature of things, the essence of justice and morality. Socrates was one of the first people who were bold enough to say that it was possible to answer those questions with the help of reasoning (Rachels & Rachels 4). It is possible to state that Socrates was also the first one to develop a set of values into a discipline focusing on people’s reasoning and values (Chaffee 91). People understood that they could think hard about life and come up with all the necessary answers.
It is necessary to note that Socrates was the first one to say aloud about the power of reasoning, and Kant was the first one to use Socrates’ principles to the fullest. Kant managed to show how reasoning could lead to exact solutions. However, it is important to mention the peculiarities of people’s ideas on life and philosophy before Kant.
There were two approaches to solving major philosophic issues, rationalism, and empiricism. According to rationalist philosophers, people should not trust senses as they “sometimes deceive” (LaFave n.p.). Rationalist philosophers tend to base on facts and objective standards in everything.
At the same time, empiricist philosophers claim that senses are “primary” as people learn about the world around them through their senses (LaFave n.p.). According to this approach, every judgment should base on the way people feel about it.
Kant combined these two approaches to developing his view on the philosophic issues. Thus, Kant stresses that people learn about the world through their senses, but he also adds that people’s mind is limited and can experience things with certain constraints (LaFave n.p.). Thus, Kant notes that people have to rely on both their senses and knowledge when making decisions.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the philosophy of life is a reflection of one of the major principle of philosophy as a discipline. The discipline is a set of approaches used to reason about life, the way people see it, which is based on reasoning, facts, and senses. At the same time, the philosophy of life is the set of values each has. This set of values is also developed throughout the individual’s life and is based on his/her life experience as well as senses.
Chaffee, John. The Philosopher’s Way: Thinking Critically about Profound Ideas. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2012. Print.
LaFave, Sandra. Kant: The “Copernican Revolution” in Philosophy. 2006. Web.
Rachels, James and Stuart Rachels. Problems from Philosophy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Humanities, 2011. Print.
Solomon, Robert, and Kathleen Higgins. The Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.