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phi·los·o·phy  (f-ls-f)
n. pl. phi·los·o·phies
1. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
2. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
3. A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
4. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
5. The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
6. The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
8. A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

[Middle English philosophie, from Old French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek philosophi, from philosophoslover of wisdom, philosopher; see philosopher.]

aes·thet·ics or es·thet·ics  (s-thtks)
n.
1. (used with a sing. verb)
a. The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and expression of beauty, as in the fine arts.
b. In Kantian philosophy, the branch of metaphysics concerned with the laws of perception.
2. (used with a sing. verb) The study of the psychological responses to beauty and artistic experiences.
3. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A conception of what is artistically valid or beautiful: minimalist aesthetics.
4. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) An artistically beautiful or pleasing appearance: "They're looking for quality construction, not aesthetics"(Ron Schram).