Wikipedia : Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom" is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
Let's take two distinct and mutually exclusive philosophies, Dualism and Feminism.
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women.This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
Dualism (from the Latin word duo meaning "two") denotes the state of two parts. The term dualism was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been more generalized in other usages to indicate a system which contains two essential parts.
I am trying to make a checklist (a list of requirements) to call an idea as a philosophy. So if we take the above two and see what they share, I was able to grab a few points. They are both based on on idea. They inspire other ideas and movements (for or against). A human being reacts to them in 3 ways -
- Feels inspired and takes action.
- Accepts the idea and lives on.
- Does not accept it and lives on.
- Does not accept and opposes all actions based on the idea.
These philosophies grow overtime, so other ideas evolved in different times and regions gets attached to the same root. Most philosophies end in "-ism" in the English language (Not a big point really). All philosophies originate from the thought of a single human, which later on transcend time and thoughts to evolve into a larger framework.
I was only able to come up the above requirements. I hope I have made the question clear. I am more or less trying to objectify the term "philosophy" from its common abstract form. This is the sort of task you take, when you want to make an AI engine that can distinguish between idea and philosophy. To the human mind, it is more easy. To add one more example, if you take Chemistry, it is a study of matter. It inspires people to action (scientists). It leads to reforms (scientific). But it is not a philosophy. There is a clear line distinguishing it. I looking to make that line more clear.