Now, the deductive method comprehends merely the laws which govern inferences or conclusions from premises previously established.
These premises may, in their turn, be inferences from other premises, and so on, to certain extent and just so far this method is all sufficient. But it is evident that the evolution of premises and conclusions, and conclusions and premises, must have limit.
There must be premises which are not conclusions from other premises, but which arise in some other way.
THE TERM Philosophy in common usage has obtained an indefinite and often an improper application. When em ployed alone, and without relation to any specific subject, it is generally supposed to refer to natural science and thus "Treatise, or Essay, or Lecture, on Philosophy", would be expected to embrace something relating to "Mechanics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Electricity, or Magnetism".
Some undoubtedly would go beyond this and regard the term in its higher applications, as expressing something in relation to the doctrines of the intellectual and moral powers or they would simply identify it with Metaphysics, term no less vague and obscure to common apprehension.
It is to be expected that the affirmation will at first appear to many paradoxical, that "Mechanics, Astronomy, Chemistry", are not branches of Philosophy but in the end it will appear perfectly just.
Philosophy indeed holds close and most important relation to these sciences they are grand results of philosophy but they are not philosophy itself. And even Metaphysics, general and comprehensive as it is, does not comprehend all philosophy it only forms one of its important divisions.
In defining philosophy, we may go on to say, that it is the Scientia Scientiarum the Science of Sciences as its objectis to explainthe principlesand causes of all things existing and to supply the defects of inferior sciences, which do not demonstrate, or sufficientlyexplain their principles/Or we may call it the Science of the Universal and the Absolute."
But this is not enough. It would be like defining "Astronomy as the Science of the Heavens." definition may be just,and yet by reason of its "dry, general, technical", and elaborate form of expression, may fall short of the true end of all definition, viz., to lead the intelligence to clearer insight and more perfect comprehension.
Philosophy is word formed from the Greek "Philo/Sophia". It primarily expresses mental affection "LOVE of KNOWLEDGE" or of "WISDOM".