Philosophy is the study of knowledge, reality, and existence. That sounds very nice but what does that mean? That's just it - there is no exact in philosophy. The word philosophy comes from the Greek words for love and wisdom. Simply, philosophy is the love of wisdom.
Philosophers ask really big questions that have no clear answers or that have more than one answer. The purpose of these questions is to open topics of discussion and to get people thinking.
Here are five questions a philosopher might ask:
1. Is our government working?
2. What does it mean to be beautiful?
3. What makes something music?
4. Who is the most important person in your classroom?
5. Should asking some questions be against the law?
The ancient Greeks thought of philosophy as an art and philosophers as teachers of the art of asking questions. But some things in ancient Greece could not be questioned. It was against the law to do so. That did not stop one famous philosopher from asking these questions anyway. He found himself in a lot of trouble because he ignored the law. His name was Socrates. Two other famous Greek philosophers were Plato and Aristotle.
Socrates taught Plato. Plato taught Aristotle. Plato actually had an academy of instruction, and taught many students many things, including philosophy.
There were other philosophers in ancient Greece, but Socrates, Plato, and Artistotle are the three most famous. All three men wrote down some of their philosophical questions. These writings are still studied and are topics of discussion by philosophers today.
Any question will work as a philosophical question as long as it is a really big question that has no clear answer, and gets people thinking.
Greek Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
For Teachers: Ancient Greek philosophy lesson plans and activities