(In the original and widest
sense.) The love, study, or pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and
their causes, whether theoretical or practical.
That more advanced study, to
which, in the mediaeval universities, the seven liberal arts were
introductory; it included the three branches of natural, moral, and
metaphysical philosophy, commonly called the three philosophies.
(= natural p.) The knowledge or
study of natural objects and phenomena; now usu. called 'science'.
(= moral p.) The knowledge or
study of the principles of human action or conduct; ethics.
(= metaphysical p.) That
department of knowledge or study that deals with ultimate reality, or with
the most general causes and principles of things. (Now the most usual
Occas. used esp. of knowledge
obtained by natural reason, in contrast with revealed knowledge.
With of: The study of the
general principles of some particular branch of knowledge, experience or
activity; also, less properly, of any subject or phenomenon.
A philosophical system or
a. The system which a person
forms for the conduct of life. b. The mental attitude or habit of a
philosopher; serenity, resignation; calmness of temper.