The word “philosophy” is one of the most difficult to define. This is the reason I stay away myself from some philosophy books, blogs and websites which are trying to define philosophy concisely or even with a sentence. It’s not that realistic and against the nature of philosophy. What is realistic that throughout the centuries philosophers generating ideas on numerous fields and from countless viewpoints. In general concept the Greek philosopher Thales is known as the first philosopher who basically investigated the originating substances of matter. Thales was interested almost every field of natural science. His arguments and findings initiated subsequent studies and illuminated the development of both natural sciences and philosophy. His questioning approach to understand heavenly phenomena was the beginning of Greek astronomy, or just consider his best known geometrical theorem called “Thales Theorem”. So Thales not only made a great contribution to the natural sciences theoretically he also led the many way of thinking.
Philosophy is an intellectual abundance that brings comprehensive point of view on limitless of topics. This intellectual thinking concept was progressed over the years and still in progress. However this progression does not seen on the course of life of the human. Curiosity, one of the main reason of thinking decreases inversely the age of people. Moreover there are lots of saying make fun of curiosity in my country Turkey. So this kind of social pressures directly affect one of the main component of thinking.
Just imagine there are two physicists sitting on chair. While one of them thinking he is stationary, the other is thinking he has a velocity because of the rotation of the earth. So as the first physicist limits his existence with the earth, second physicist thinks the solar system or maybe the universe integrally.
Many economists know the utility function, and when you ask they can tell you about it for hours. But try to ask them “what is utility?”. The answers probably will be unsatisfied, because they mostly don’t think in this manner. You will probably also be unsatisfied if you ask “what is justice?” to a legist, or “what is psych?” to a psychologist. Think about Newton’s second rule, which shows the vector sum of the forces F on an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration a of the object: F = m*a. In this famous formula, acceleration is defined to be the rate of change of the velocity and calculated as the first derivative of velocity in terms of time (dv/dt). So what is “time”?. Physicists have never clarified the time but scaled and defined it as of second, minutes, months etc.
Philosophical thinking enrich not only the person itself but also make a huge contribution to all natural or social sciences and thereby it contributes to the life en masse. If we do science, we need to do it as how Thales did before. So I can’t think myself as an economist who don’t have a philosophical point of view. But still I can not define prosperity and poverty implicitly. 🙂