I am a philosophy MA graduate currently based in Norwich, in the UK, who occasionally runs philosophy workshops in schools and in the community.

What is philosophy?

Have ever wondered “does God exist?”, “I am the same person I was 10 years ago?”, “why does anything exist?”, “is it right to eat meat?”, “is this real or am I dreaming?”, or even “can inequality be justified?” if so then you have been doing philosophy.

Philosophy is not just a body of knowledge but an activity. It is the process systematically answering certain kinds of questions about certain kinds of thing. The main areas of philosophy are Metaphysics - questions about what exists, Epistemology - questions about what we can know about what exists, Ethics, Aesthetics and Political philosophy - questions about what we value in what there is, Philosophy of Language - questions about how it is that our words mean things, and Logic - questions about the validity of our arguments. Roughly speaking, philosophy can be distinguished from science, which is concerned with empirical evidence, and religion, which is concerned with faith and mystical revelation.

Darren Poynton - September 2016 (updated April 2017 and January 2019)