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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun philosophy:


The word philosophy and its family (philosopher, philosophers, philosophical, philosophically, philosophies, philosophise, philosophised, philosophises, philosophising) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun philosophy

What does philosophy mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: philosophies

  1. a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonyms of philosophy: doctrine / ism / philosophical system / school of thought
    • more generic word: belief = any cognitive content held as true
    • more specific terms:
      • nuclear deterrence = the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence
      • Kabbalism / Cabalism = the doctrines of the Kabbalah
      • abolitionism = the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
      • absolutism = the doctrine of an absolute being
      • amoralism = the doctrine that moral distinctions are invalid
      • animalism = the doctrine that human beings are purely animal in nature and lacking a spiritual nature
      • animism = the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls
      • antiestablishmentarianism / antiestablishmentism = the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment
      • asceticism = the doctrine that through renunciation of worldly pleasures it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state
      • contextualism = any doctrine emphasizing the importance of the context in solving problems or establishing the meaning of terms
      • creationism = the literal belief in the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis
      • credo / creed = any system of principles or beliefs
      • divine right of kings / divine right = the doctrine that kings derive their right to rule directly from God and are not accountable to their subjects
      • dogma = a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative
      • dualism = the doctrine that reality consists of two basic opposing elements, often taken to be mind and matter (or mind and body), or good and evil
      • dynamism = any of the various theories or doctrines or philosophical systems that attempt to explain the phenomena of the universe in terms of some immanent force or energy
      • epicureanism = a doctrine of hedonism that was defended by several ancient Greek philosophers
      • establishmentarianism / establishmentism = the doctrine of supporting the social or political establishment
      • ethicism = a doctrine that ethics and ethical ideas are valid and important
      • expansionism = the doctrine of expanding the territory or the economic influence of a country
      • formalism = the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
      • functionalism = any doctrine that stresses utility or purpose
      • Girondism = the doctrine of the Girondists
      • gospel = a doctrine that is believed to be of great importance
      • gymnosophy = the doctrine of a sect of Hindu philosophers who practiced nudity and asceticism and meditation
      • imitation = the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
      • individualism / laissez faire = the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
      • internationalism = the doctrine that nations should cooperate because their common interests are more important than their differences
      • unilateralism = the doctrine that nations should conduct their foreign affairs individualistically without the advice or involvement of other nations
      • irredentism / irridentism = the doctrine that irredenta should be controlled by the country to which they are ethnically or historically related
      • literalism = the doctrine of realistic (literal) portrayal in art or literature
      • majority rule / democracy = the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
      • monism = the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element
      • multiculturalism = the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country
      • nationalism = the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
      • nationalism = the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
      • nihilism = a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
      • pacificism / passivism / pacifism = the doctrine that all violence is unjustifiable
      • pluralism = the doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or elements
      • populism = the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite
      • presentism = the doctrine that the Scripture prophecies of the Apocalypse (as in the Book of Revelations) are presently in the course of being fulfilled
      • freethinking / rationalism = the doctrine that reason is the right basis for regulating conduct
      • reformism = a doctrine of reform
      • secular humanism / humanism = the doctrine emphasizing a person's capacity for self-realization through reason
      • humanitarianism / humanism = the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare
      • equalitarianism / egalitarianism = the doctrine of the equality of mankind and the desirability of political and economic and social equality
      • feminism = a doctrine that advocates equal rights for women
      • reincarnationism = a doctrine that on the death of the body the soul migrates to or is born again in another body
      • secessionism = a doctrine that maintains the right of secession
      • secularism = a doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations
      • phenomenology = a philosophical doctrine proposed by Edmund Husserl based on the study of human experience in which considerations of objective reality are not taken into account
      • philosophical doctrine / philosophical theory = a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
      • states' rights = a doctrine that federal powers should be curtailed and returned to the individual states
      • commandment / teaching / precept = a doctrine that is taught
      • theological doctrine = the doctrine of a religious group
      • utilitarianism = doctrine that the useful is the good; especially as elaborated by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill
      • descriptivism = a doctrine supporting or promoting descriptive linguistics
      • descriptivism = a doctrine holding that moral statements have a truth value
      • prescriptivism = a doctrine supporting or promoting prescriptive linguistics
      • prescriptivism = a doctrine holding that moral statements prescribe appropriate attitudes and behavior
      • religious doctrine / church doctrine / gospel / creed = the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group
      • millennium = in Revelations it is foretold that those faithful to Jesus will reign with Jesus over the earth for a thousand years; the meaning of these words have been much debated
  2. the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
  3. any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation
    • examples: self-indulgence was his only philosophy | my father's philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • more generic word: belief = any cognitive content held as true


  1. "Philosophy" is a song from Ben Folds Five's 1995 self-titled debut album. It was written by Ben Folds. Folds continues to play the song on various tours as part of his solo career.
  2. "Philosophy" is an album by the British dance music duo Coldcut released in 1993. Vocals on this album are by Janis Alexander.
  3. "Philosophy" is a musical single of Tom Snare.
    • released in (10 years ago)
  4. "Philosophy" is a musical album of La Resistance.
    • released on
  5. "philosophy" is a composition.


"Philosophy" a.k.a. "Philosophy: Who Needs It" is a posthumous collection of essays by Ayn Rand, published in 1982, that deal with philosophy. It was the last book Rand worked on during her lifetime.


  1. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, 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. In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group".
    • also known as Düşünbilim, Filozofi, Filozofya, Filosofie, 哲学
  2. Philosophy is the scholarly journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. It is designed to be intelligible to the non-specialist reader and has been in continuous publication for over 80 years.
  3. Philosophy is a drug manufacturer.

Phrases with Philosophy

Phrases starting with the word Philosophy:

  1. philosophy department
  2. Philosophy of science

Phrases ending with the word Philosophy:

  1. legal philosophy
  2. moral philosophy
  3. natural philosophy
  4. Analytic philosophy
  5. doctor of philosophy
  6. empiricist philosophy
  7. Continental philosophy
  8. existential philosophy
  9. Speculative philosophy
  10. department of philosophy
  11. existentialist philosophy
  12. transcendental philosophy

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Philosophy

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewTextbook of Nursing Education

Fitche • Philosophy is the science of all sciences.

Google previewNew Educational Philosophy (2002)

by Bhagirathi Sahu

Philosophy is a persistent effort to know reality as a whole, to explain and appreciate life as a whole. But it is like...

Philosophy is an intellectual adventure par excellence. It does...

Google previewA Dictionary of Thoughts (1908)

Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern by Tryon Edwards

Philosophy is the art of living.

Google previewThe Quest for Plausible Christian Discourse in a World of Pluralities (2008)

The Evolution of David Tracy's Understanding of "Public Theology" by Younhee Kim

Rather, philosophy is a resolute attempt to make "the content of the human mind manageable; it adds meaning to fragmentary details; it discloses disjunctions and conjunctions, consistencies and inconsistencies. Philosophy is the criticism of ...

Google previewThe Fountain of Knowledge (2015)

by John Damascene

Philosophy is a study of death, both that which is deliberate and that which is natural.

Google previewThe ((All)) Heaven (2016)

Allarchist Philosophy of Modern Psychology by Charles Mazhar Merhebi

The ALLarchist philosophy is the aim of humanity to know the physical identity of God, the “ALL”, the soul pleasure of the...

Google previewThe Writings of Saint John of Damascus (2015)

by John Damascene

Philosophy is a study of death, both that which is deliberate and that which is natural.

Google previewInvisible Power 2 (2008)

A Metaphysical Adventure Story by Philip Allott

Philosophy is an orderly and laborious effort to think truly.' 'The rationality of philosophy is the morality of the selfordering human mind thinking about itself. If people don't know that there...

'Philosophy is a fruitful union of the private mind, thinking alone, and the public mind, thinking together.' 'The post-European American ...

Google previewNietzsche, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science (1999)

Nietzsche and the Sciences II by Robert S. Cohen

JUSTIN BARTON HOW EPISTEMOLOGY BECOMES WHAT IT IS For Nietzsche, philosophy is an intensification of fields of thought. Showing what it means to say this, and what it is for philosophical work to be an expression, in part, of this idea ( "philosophy is an intensification of fields of...

Google previewCritical Reasoning and Philosophy (2004)

A Concise Guide to Reading, Evaluating, and Writing Philosophical Works by Andrew Holowchak

Critical Reasoning & Philosophy is an innovative and clearly written handbook that teaches studnets how to read critically, think critically while they read, and write thoughtful, sound arguments in response.

Google previewThe Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics (2001)

World, Finitude, Solitude by Martin Heidegger

Because philosophy is the universal science, as opposed to the so,called individual sciences, it will give our studies the...

Google previewPerception, Affectivity, and Volition in Husserl’s Phenomenology (2017)

by Roberto Walton, Shigeru Taguchi, Roberto Rubio

Philosophy is a task that has to be undertaken and a responsibility that has to be assumed over generations: as such philosophy is...

Google previewRoutledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Questions to sociobiology (1998)

by Edward Craig

Ralph Waldo Emotion in response to art Emotions, nature of Emotions, philosophy of Emotive meaning Emotivism Empedocles Empiricism Encyclopedists, eighteenth-century Encyclopedists, medieval Engels, Friedrich Engineering and ethics ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy (2010)

by Frank Schalow, Alfred Denker

Philosophy is only possible as phenomenology. However, since phenomenology can only be the pretheoretical science of life, and not of consciousness, Heidegger had to transform the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl into a ...

Google previewCompanion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy (2002)

by Dr Brian Carr, Brian Carr, Indira Mahalingam

isa comprehensive world-view which has existential force and purportsto describe the world in such away as to give a meaning to life for the adherentsof the philosophy. Thischapter focuses upon the thought of Buddhists and scholarsof ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Philosophy

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Photos about Philosophy

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Small photo of closeup of a young man with a mug with coffee or tea, where there is the text hygge, a danish and norwegian word for comfort or enjoy, which can be a whole philosophy of lifeSmall photo of Golden square representing order and concentration. Philosophy. Photo.Small photo of BERLIN GERMANY 09 23 17: Statue of Alexander von Humboldt outside Humboldt University was a Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science.Small photo of Dark and Bright Buddhist Philosophy in Wat Tham Kao, Kanchanaburi, ThailandSmall photo of Confucian symbol. Chinese philosophy. Abstract night sky background.Small photo of Confucian symbol. Chinese philosophy. Abstract night sky background.Small photo of Japanese philosophy Wabi Sabi background. White small flowers with falling petals in a white pot on vintage rusty metal background. selective focus More...

Video language resources about Philosophy

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View more videos about Moral philosophy, Natural philosophy, Philosophy of science, and Speculative philosophy.

See also the pronunciation examples of Philosophy!

Quotes about Philosophy

Contemporary poetry is flat and focused(pyany su, not pyant kar in myanmar) , which is composed and alchemised of three area-knowledge, psychology and philosophy(the end of philosophy or the end of modern philosophy.poet nyein way (Nyein Way)
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Scrabble value of P3H4I1L1O1S1O1P3H4Y4

The value of this 10-letter word is 23 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of PHILOSOPHY

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