What is Philosophical Knowledge?

Meaning of Philosophical Knowledge

Philosophical knowledge is a form of knowledge based on questioning the apparent natural order of the world. From doubt, philosophy builds a systematic and rational thought.

It is valued in Western culture as a kind of high and refined knowledge of mankind.

Why does it have such positive values ​​in our society? Below are some of its definitions and relationships with other knowledge .

In the traditional western narrative, the origin of philosophy is in ancient Greece, although the fact is currently being questioned: there is earlier evidence of philosophical knowledge, for example, in Africa.

Although Western philosophy is not necessarily science, it should not be confused with mythology either. Therefore, one of its objectives is to formulate knowledge based on reason, denying traditional myths.

Characteristics of Philosophical Knowledge

There are many possible philosophical insights. In the western way as we know it, it is important to highlight at least 4 important characteristics to remember about this type of knowledge:

  • Reflective: aims to understand human thoughts and ideas, producing speculations and hypotheses on the subject. Therefore, the reflective exercise must be constant;
  • Interrogator: philosophy is interrogative because it starts from doubts about the world. Therefore, not taking things for granted and thinking about them is paramount;
  • Rational: the company of thought carried out to produce philosophy must be guided by reason. In other words, philosophical knowledge must be guided by logical and consistent criteria;
  • Systematic: in addition to formulating hypotheses about the world, these ideas must be organized systematically, relating to each other. Therefore contradictions are not desirable.

These features are important criteria for discussing philosophical knowledge . In addition, they are also useful to guide more general debates, ensuring a more democratic relationship in society.

Types of Knowledge

Philosophical knowledge is only one of the forms of knowledge that exist in humanity. Therefore, it is important to understand some of them, as well as their differences and similarities with philosophy:

Common sense

It is one of the most widespread and well-known forms of knowledge. Therefore, in opposition to philosophy or science, common sense is generally considered irrational, thoughtless, or even naive.

However, it is important to understand that these are many prejudices against common sense .

In fact, this knowledge can also be coherent and is linked to the logic of everyday life . Therefore, they are important to the experience of life in general.


Like philosophy, science uses rationality, logic, and systematization to produce knowledge. However, scientists are concerned with experimenting and verifying their hypotheses in reality, a task that is not up to philosophers.

Therefore, science often also generates technical knowledge , with the aim of transforming nature or modifying relationships between people.

In turn, philosophy is not necessarily committed to such technologies.


As much as theology generally refers to Christianity in particular, it is possible to think of religious knowledge in general. The knowledge produced in religions is neither philosophical nor scientific, nor is it limited to common sense.

In this way, each religion has its own beliefs, customs, rituals and a way of organizing the world according to its sacred or profane agents.

Often only religious leaders hold the deepest secrets of this knowledge.

Therefore, there is a variety of important knowledge and they cannot be considered more important than the other.

In addition to those mentioned, there is, for example, magical knowledge . Anthropological research demonstrates how complex and coherent this knowledge is.

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