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The division of philosophy into a practical philosophy and a theoretical discipline has its origin in Aristotle's moral philosophy and natural philosophy categories. In Sweden and Finland courses in theoretical and practical philosophy are taught separately, and are separate degrees. Other countries may use a similar scheme—some Scottish universities, for example, divide philosophy into logic, metaphysics, and ethics—but in most universities around the world philosophy is taught as a single subject. There is also a unified philosophy subject in some Swedish universities, such as Södertörns Högskola.
Practical Philosophy is also the use of philosophy and philosophical techniques in everyday life. This can take a number of forms including reflective practice, personal philosophical thinking, and philosophical counselling.
Examples of practical philosophy subjects are:
Scope of philosophy
Science, which emerged from philosophy, deals with material realities, arts with the various styles of expressions while philosophy deals with our experience of reality by essentially different methods.
Ontology provides techniques to deal with the concept of reality, and how truth may be either doxa (informed opinion) or techa (demonstrable fact). This branch of philosophy also considers the relation of man to the measurable physical universe and to the virtual concept of divine influences.
Axiology provides directions in determining what is socially correct opinion and behavior:
- What is good? (socially beneficial)
- What is bad? (socially harmful)
- What is khair (social obligations)
- What is shar? (social prohibitions)
- What are the sources of knowledge?
- What sources of knowledge are dependable?
Each social group develops its ideology of life according to epistemology. While science provides a measure of testable techa, it is also partly a belief system with values.
First, the practitioners (there must be at least two) must identify what is wanted from the process - the objective of the enterprise. Secondly we consider the resources we have to hand such as time, learning, experience, intelligence and so on, and finally we try to unite what we do now know as truth to the objective we wish to know, using techniques such as rhetoric, debate, discussion, argumentation. No matter what the protagonists actually think or believe, generally one person or group tries advocate the conventional point of view, while their opponents try to convince them of a radically opposing and controversial opinion.
- Philosophical counseling
- Philosophy of education
- Philosophy of law
- Philosophy of religion
- Value theory
- Reflective practice