What are we discussing?

It is commonly known that philosophy is about discussions and debates. However this common idea is not totally accurate; some philosophers might say it is totally wrong. Therefore, what is the source of this misconception?

Discussions and debates have always been present with opinions; to be more precise, when democracy was invented. We discuss opinions and this goes alongside the freedom of speech. Regardless of this much needed sense of freedom, philosophy is not a gallery of opinions.

“Opinion”, from the Greek doxa, is a subjective and sometimes emotional point of view. An opinion is never based on any rational analysis not on a scientific proof, in spite of the sharpness and the truthfulness of some opinions. This is the reason why we argue about opinions because the latter has no rational foundation.

Philosophy treats with concepts. A concept is an abstract idea that synthesizes many relevant empirical and concrete representations. For example: the concept of freedom is the collection of many ideas about freedom: freedom of speech, the belief that freedom is to do whatever one wants to do, for some people a natural scenery like watching the sea or walking in nature is representative of freedom etc. All of these are implicitly contained in the concept of freedom. Therefore, discussing freedom is about what each one believes freedom is; it means discussions goes to opinions and representations.

Philosophy is concept crafting. When philosophers criticize one another, it is through long analysis and essays. Philosophy is not a talk show.