Philosophy entails the study of problems, both general and fundamental. These problems could be connected with language, reason, mind, knowledge, values and existence. In other words, philosophy is the rationale investigation of trying to figure out the existence of the world and things, knowledge and ethics. Unlike other subjects, philosophy is critical and it relies on the rational argument put across. Philosophy, therefore, is translated to mean “love of wisdom”. Most notably, philosophy involves investigating issues that cannot be explained using scientific investigation. This insight can be used to add weight to the definition of philosophy. Philosophy is thus defined as the search of knowledge by rationale means about topics that cannot be explained using empirical investigations. Any individual or group of people needs to be guided by ideas. Philosophy thus, tries to elucidate the most fundamental of these ideas. This is because; man lives in a complex world that must be understood at all costs. This is where philosophy applies. It tries to explain the world and its phenomena that science has failed to explain.
Understanding the world is a difficult task. It is not only difficult, but it’s also never ending and cannot be finished. The quest for knowledge never ends and any attempt to understanding the world is usually prolonged. Thus, it is throughout history that philosophers have been largely engaged in trying to understand the world. These philosophers, if they are any good, have never forgotten that the understanding of the world does not mean the end in itself. In so far as Marx in his now hackneyed apophthegm claimed that philosophers only managed to interpret the world in various ways. The point of philosophy, according to him, is to change the world and make a difference by providing answers to world queries. This, he claimed, most philosophers have abandoned this practice. The function of philosophy everywhere is to study the rational basics of our life using the best available methods of knowledge and reflection for the well being of man.
Indeed Marx himself is a shining example of a philosopher who sought to base his studies ion the society and their philosophical understanding of the world. Marx lived in evolutionary times and at the time people were willing to accept even the half baked ideas for the improvement of society. Therefore, philosophers needed to be well equipped with a philosopher’s tool kit in order to carry out their research effectively. A philosopher’s tool kit refers to a set of tools that critical thinkers or philosophers need to posses and utilize in order to be successful.
The critical thinking
Critical thinking is general, defined as a higher-order of thinking seeks to answer life’s questions and assumptions. Critical thinking helps in determining whether an assertion is true or false. Sometimes claims are partly true and partly false. Critical thinking has also been defined as thinking in a reflective and reasonable manner with the objective of determining what is to be believed and what is not true. Some refer to it as thinking about thinking. A more descriptive definition is that critical thinking is a process of intellectually and disciplined thinking that allows a person to analyze data skillfully. This is done to guide a belief or an action.
This is achieved by applying knowledge obtained to conceptualize, analyze, and evaluate information. The information is usually obtained from reflection, observation, experience, communication and reasoning. Therefore, critical thinking can also be defined and described as a process where purposeful, self-regulatory judgment is applied to make reasoned consideration to evidence, criteria, methods, context and conceptualizations. Critical thinkers must be willing to remain open to various perspectives as well as willing to foster critically in others. This is very necessary in ensuring critical thinkers and philosophers are not subjective and biased in their findings.
The meaning of praxis in philosophy
Praxis refers to a process by which lessons, theory or skills are endorsed, practiced, personified, or realized. It may also refer to the process whereby ideas are engaged, applied, exercised or realized. This has been a frequent subject in the field of philosophy, where it has been analyzed and talked about in the writings of philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, Immanuel Kant, St. Augustine, Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, and many others. Praxis, therefore, refers to the act of applying theoretical knowledge in real life situation. Praxis, when analyzed in a strategic and organizational perspective is used to give emphasis to the need for a steady cycle of conceptualizing the magnitude lessons acquired from experience in order to reframe tactical and operational models.
On the basis of social work theory, praxis is used to highlight the relationship between action and theories in the world. It goes further to describe a cyclical process where social work interactions lead to the development of new theories and at the same time refining old ones. In summary, praxis can be loosely defined as the translation of an idea into action. That means, putting theory into practice. Praxis is an intricate action whereby people are able to make their culture and society. This allows them to embrace their humanity by becoming conscious human beings. Some of the relevancy and influential characteristics of praxis include; self-determination, rationality, creativity and intentionality.
Philosophers have over the years been applying critical thinking and praxis in conducting their research. Their ability to analyze information and theories they come across helps answer life’s questions. These philosophers examine the minute details of life and they strive to make sure people understand the world they inhabit.