(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
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 theory.
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.