Philosophy

Also: A theory by which one orders one's life.

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Speculative inquiry which investigates matters not yet within the realms of science or art. Four chief questions are dealt with: The nature of reality (is the Universe more like an idea in someone's mind, or like a machine, or the commonsense view; are all natural laws reducible to a single principle; does god exist; what is the difference between being and not being; is the future course of events determined; usw?) Gaining knowledge of reality (are our senses dependable; can we be absolutely certain of anything; what are the rules of logic; how can we find the referent; ktp?) The nature of the good (are there absolute values; what is the relation between individual and general welfare; is happiness the only test of good; should one accept things as they are or try to change them; etc?) The nature of the beautiful (are there essences which are captured by the artist; should art have any relation to morality; should the artist create only for his own taste; what is the essential difference between prose and poetry; and so on?)

It should be evident that the first two groups of questions (metaphysics and epistemology) concern principles very important in discussion of fantasy; and that the latter two (ethics and aesthetics) are subjects that fans have talked about a great deal ever since the First Transition.

The worth of philosophy lies not in giving dogmatic answers to these questions, but in mapping out the answers that have been given, and showing the assumptions and implications of the various theories.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
Speculative inquiry which investigates matters not yet within the realms of science or art; specifically the four questions; What is the nature of reality (is the universe more like an idea in someone's mind, or like a machine, or the commonsense view; are all natural laws reducible to a single principle; does God exist; what is the difference between being and not being; is the future course of events determined? How can we gain knowledge of reality (how dependable are our senses; can we be absolutely certain of anything; what are the rules of logic; how can we find the referent; ktp)? What is the nature of good (are there absolute values; what is the relation between individual and general welfare; is happiness the only test of good; should one accept things as they are or try to change them; &c)? What is the nature of the beautiful (are there essences which are captured by the artist; should art have any relation to morality; should the artist create only for his own taste; what is the essential difference between prose and poetry; etc)? It will be easily seen that the first two groups of question, metaphysics and epistemology, concern principles very important in discussion of fantasy; and that the latter two, ethics and aesthetics, are subjects that fans have talked bout a great deal since the First Transition. The worth of philosophy lies not in giving dogmatic answers to those questions, but in mapping out the answers that have been given, and showing the assumptions and implications of the various theories.