What is philosophical knowledge?

We explain what philosophical knowledge is, its characteristics, types, examples and how it relates to scientific knowledge.

  1. What is philosophical knowledge?

Philosophical knowledge is the accumulated set of existential, reflexive and contemplative knowledge that humanity has been formulating throughout its history , from ancient to contemporary civilizations.

This model of knowledge is distinguished from the religious in that it does not necessarily imply the understanding of the sacred and the divine. On the contrary, try to understand the existence of the human being as it is. However, in many cases it shares borders or origins with religious knowledge.

Philosophical knowledge is the fruit of long traditions of thought , organized in schools and groups, or of geniuses who revolutionized in their respective times the way in which human existence was understood.

During the golden ages of the different human civilizations, he has guided the common interests and represented the summit of the capabilities of human thought, in his ability to understand the world around him.

This type of knowledge arises from the human being questions about himself, many of which do not have a simple solution, such as: “who are we?”, “Where do we come from?”, “Where are we going?” Or “ Why is there what exists? ”, Among many others.

  1. Characteristics of philosophical knowledge

Philosophical knowledge aspires to be pure thought or pure reflection, and therefore does not require a praxis or a verification methodology , much less experiments . On the contrary, it obeys only the laws of logic and rational thinking.

In that sense, it approaches certain forms of literature , since it depends on language . The difference is that philosophical knowledge does not pay attention to how and forms, that is, to beauty, but to what and the bottom line, that is, it is proposed to find the truth .

  1. Examples of philosophical knowledge

Platon philosophical knowledge
Confucius was a Chinese thinker who inaugurated a philosophical current.

We can find examples of philosophical knowledge in the numerous treatises of philosophy from the history of mankind, especially the great moments of thought, such as ancient Greece, cradle of thinkers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle , fundamental in history of Western thought.

There are also non-Western philosophical traditions , such as those from Buddhist Asia (Gautama Buddha), from ancient China (Confucius, Tsun Zu, etc.), etc.

  1. Types of philosophical knowledge

Philosophical knowledge is organized around the different branches of philosophy, which are:

  • Metaphysics . The study of the nature, structure, components and guiding principles of reality, which includes the attempt to define what is real and other concepts associated with it, such as: identity , being, existence, object, subject , etc.
  • Gnoseology . Also called Theory of knowledge, it is the philosophical branch dedicated to the study of knowledge and knowledge: its nature, its limits and its origin.
  • Epistemology . Similar to the previous one, it studies knowledge from the perspective of historical, psychological and sociological circumstancesthat allow to justify, validate or invalidate the knowledge of humanity.
  • Logic . This branch also constitutes a formal science , related to mathematics , which studies the principles of demonstration, validation and invalidation of thought, as well as the notion of truth , fallacy, paradox , etc.
  • Ethics . Also known as moral philosophy, it focuses its interest in human behavior, and tries to define or understand concepts such as good, bad, moral, immoral, and even some more difficult ones such as happiness , virtue and duty.
  • Aesthetics . The branch of philosophy concerned with understanding beauty and beauty, its essence and its way of perceiving.
  • Political philosophy . This branch focuses on the study of the relationship between human beings and the community , including ideas such as government , state , society , law , freedom , equality, justice , etc. It is essential for politology , for example.
  • Philosophy of language . This branch is dedicated to the study of language , both in its fundamental and basic concepts (meaning, meaning, reference, etc.), as well as in its uses (pragmatic, translation, etc.), as well as its relations with thought.
  • Philosophy of mind . Also called philosophy of the spirit, it tries to understand the human mind itself through itself, stopping at complex issues such as emotions, feelings, dreams, thoughts and beliefs.
  1. Differences with scientific knowledge

philosophical knowledge galileo galilei scientist
Some great scientists like Galileo Galilei were also philosophers.

Scientific knowledge is the object of study, organization and debate of philosophy , understood as the mother of all Sciences, since it was once the only tool available to humanity to understand the laws that govern the world, many of which today in Day are subject to the different branches of science ( chemistry , physics , etc.).

However, there is a fundamental difference: scientific knowledge requires verification and proof . In other words, to understand how a natural phenomenon occurs and find its fundamental laws, it is necessary to replicate it under controlled conditions.

On the other hand, philosophical knowledge does not require verifications , beyond formal ones: that it obeys logic and that the thread of deductions or inductions can be followed, that it is understandable and that it has no procedural errors or fallacies.

  1. Other types of knowledge

Other forms of knowledge are as follows:

  • Scientific knowledge . The one that derives from the application of the scientific method to the different hypotheses that arise from the observation of reality, in order to demonstrate through experiments what are the laws that govern the universe .
  • Empirical knowledge . The one that is acquired through direct experience, repetition or participation, without requiring an approximation to the abstract, but from the things themselves.
  • Intuitive knowledge . The one that is acquired without a formal reasoning, quickly and unconsciously, the result of often inexplicable processes.
  • Religious knowledge . One who is linked to the mystical and religious experience, that is, to the knowledge that studies the link between the human being and the divine.

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