Philosophy literally means 'Love of Wisdom'. It is derived from two Greek words; 'Philein' (to love) and 'Sophia' (wisdom). The Myanmar term for philosophy is 'ဒဿန' which is derived from the Pāli word darsana, meaning 'Vision of Truth'.
To define philosophy is difficult. Philosophy is generally defined as a search for wisdom, a quest of truth. Different philosophers gave many different definitions of philosophy. But C.E.M Joad gives the most appropriate definition. For him, philosophy is a critical study of concepts and their meanings clear.
There are five branches of philosophy. They are (1) Metaphysics (Ontology), (2) Epistemology, (3) Logic, (4) Ethics and (5) The philosophy of X.
(1) Metaphysics (Ontology)
Metaphysics is concerned with the question about the nature of ultimate reality. Metaphysicians asked the question such as 'what is the origin of the universe?', 'the world we see is the real world?', etc.
Epistemology is concerned with the questions about the nature and criteria of knowledge. The epistemologist wants to know the meaning of the fundamental words like 'knowledge', 'belief', 'criteria' etc.
Logic is concerned with the question about the nature of inference. It is a systematic investigation of the principles of valid reasoning.
(4) Ethics Ethics is concerned with the question about the nature of human conduct. It studies the moral aspect of man. The moral philosopher is interested in the nature of ethical judgments and principles and criteria of moral actions.
(5) The philosophy of X
This branch of philosophy consists of philosophical study such as Science, History, Education, Art and Religion etc. Thus we have Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Education, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Religion.
In Mandalay University of Foreign Languages, The department of philosophy teaches all second years' respective subjects in the first semester, Eastern specialization subjects, especially, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai: the principles of logical reasoning and the philosophies of the East (Phil 2010). And also Western specialization students namely, English, German, French and Russian, can study the principles of logical reasoning and the philosophies of the West (Phil 2011). Though the study of subsidiary subject, the students are able to understand the nature, scope and subject-matter of Logic and the definition, nature and scope of Philosophy.
Philosophy has the ability to evaluate and solve the deepest philosophical problems, makes a comparative study of the classical literature between East and West, understand the traditional custom and belief, and the moral norms.
That is why the purpose of the teaching of this subject can promote reasoned knowledge, solve easily and justly everyday problems, and contribute partially to build a good social paradigm.