Philosophy is a Greek word which itself is made up of two words, “Philo” and “Sophy”. These words combine to form the literal meaning of philosophy i.e. “love of حكمة”. It is the study and investigation of the truths and principles of existence and knowledge. Since times immemorial, there have been a number of philosophers, for instance – Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and several others who have contributed immensely in the advancement of the study of philosophy.
The term philosophy was coined by Pythagoras probably. Astronomy, arts, politics, medicine, physics, sociology, linguistics etc all were once encompassed by philosophy. Philosophy is considered to be synonymous with any body of knowledge. Traditionally there are three branches of philosophy namely, natural philosophy, moral philosophy and metaphysical philosophy. However, today, this division has changed. Natural philosophy has been further divided into astronomy and various other natural sciences. Moral philosophy consists of social sciences and value theories. Metaphysical philosophy consists of epistemology i.e. study of knowledge, cosmology, mathematics and others.
Since, the existence of philosophy, there has been no significant progress in it. Several debates that started centuries ago are still in continuation and with no chances of ending soon. Philosophers specialize in one or more than one historical periods which are related to a specific period, individual or school. The questions first raised were those of the cause of the origin and existence of the universe. Greek philosophy, which is pursued even till today, was being formulated and unified. Plato founded the Academy of Athens which was a school of philosophy and used Socratic methods to examine and deal with problems. Then, next was Medieval philosophy which was marked by renaissance and Hellenistic philosophy which were related to the existence of God, faith, religion etc. And the latest is Modern Philosophy which focuses on the foundations of knowledge.
Philosophy helps us greatly in understanding the relation between the nature of mind and body. It has made us understand that things in themselves existed independently and out of our judgements and perceptions, as Immanuel Kant has also formulated. Today, philosophy has also become a part of the popular culture. There are several books and publications which publish books and essays specifically for common people to broad their understanding of the subject. Also, movies such as The Matrix, Star War movies also helped a great deal that philosophy became a part of the popular culture. To get to know more about it, give yourself a read of something related to philosophy.