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What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is the most ancient of scholarly disciplines, and is at the root of many other branches of knowledge.  An often misunderstood subject, the philosopher uses reason to systematically assess the world.  This inquiry can stretch over a number of subject areas, ranging from philosophy of art to the philosophy of science and mathematics.  Major areas of philosophical work include (but are not limited to) metaphysics (theory of reality), epistemology (theory of knowledge and justified belief), logic, ethics, aesthetics, theory of mind, political philosophy, and philosophy of language.