What is philosophy and how is it done?
Here is one definition:
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy
We employ reason when we philosophize:
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics and art, and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to “intuitive reason”.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason and also see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectic
Is philosophy simple musing? What is dialectical reasoning? How would you define philosophy? Let’s try to have a stimulating discussion.
The problem with such a definition is that it refers to philosophy in the classroom. Hence, “the study of . . . . .” I’d like to have met the original philosopher just to ask him/her where he/she learned philosophy? Absurd, isn’t it? The first philosopher, more than likely, postulated a thing or two, and received responses from others. He/she might not have liked those responses, but, he/she got them anyway.
Philosophy, it appears, is men and women asking salient questions about the exigencies of their world and universe. The questioner either self-answers them, or waits and receives the views of others. In any event, each participant has a point of view. That point of view might be identical with the point of view (hereinafter, POV) of the questioner, or it might be different, in varying degrees from not so different to radically different.
As time went on, philosophical ‘schools’ formed. These were loosely formed groups, usually of men - because women were too smart to get caught up in such worthless enterprises (and, for the most part, still are) - that held common conclusions derived from common premises. In other words, they shared POV’s.
In time, the participants discovered tools that would help them, with near mathematical precision, arrive at the Truth of things, or, the falsity of things. After that, philosophy became, to many, a sort of ‘game,’ played to win forensic debates (Sophism). Further along logic, probably the main “tool” for attaining Truth, began to spread its branches into various formulations.
Soon rules were created that forced people to have to use reason and reasonableness. Today, nothing much has changed. In fact, many of the schools (of philosophy) still exist, albeit perhaps modified a little. And there are new forms of logic - almost to where a ‘philosopher’ can craft a logic that will suit his or her desires, sometimes literally! (E.g., Epicureanism.)
Thus, to pigeon-hole philosophy into an unshakable order of thought for the attainment of Truth is, to say the least, difficult, and, to say the most, impossible. That said, we think we know when another “philosophy” is intrinsically wrong. Proving it, though, is another matter altogether! All that all of this means is that anyone can philosophize: anyone can be a “philosopher.” However, a philosopher’s repute becomes the next question. Repute is gained by garnering adherents, i.e., supporters, as well as providing a philosophy that seems to most closely comport with the Correspondence Theory of Truth.
A simple description, i.e. definition, is: philosophy is the postulation of ideas from various points of view, and the resulting activities necessary to maintain those ideas as reputable Truths. At least, from a perspective of the activity of philosophizing.