Philosophy is often referred to as the first science. But who actually named it so? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of philosophy and its evolution into a recognized field of study.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is derived from the Greek word “philosophia,” which means “love of wisdom.” It is an intellectual discipline that seeks to understand fundamental questions about reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, and ethics.

The Origins of Philosophy

The origins of philosophy can be traced back to ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE. It was during this time that a group of thinkers known as the “pre-Socratics” began exploring fundamental questions about the nature of reality and existence.

One of the most influential pre-Socratic philosophers was Thales of Miletus. He believed that water was the primary substance from which all things in the universe were derived. Another notable pre-Socratic philosopher was Pythagoras who believed in mathematics as a means to understand reality.

The Evolution of Philosophy

As time went on, philosophy evolved into different branches such as metaphysics (the study of reality), epistemology (the study of knowledge), ethics (the study of moral values), logic (the study of reasoning), and aesthetics (the study of beauty).

One significant figure in the evolution of philosophy was Aristotle, who lived in ancient Greece during the 4th century BCE. He is often referred to as the father of Western philosophy and made significant contributions to many areas within philosophy.

Who Named Philosophy First Science?

The term “science” comes from the Latin word “scientia,” which means knowledge. While philosophy predates science by several centuries, it wasn’t until much later that it came to be recognized as a distinct field of study.

It was Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries, who is credited with naming philosophy the first science. Bacon believed that philosophy was the foundation upon which all other sciences were built.


Philosophy has a rich history that has spanned over two thousand years. It is a discipline that seeks to answer fundamental questions about reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, and ethics. While it predates science by several centuries, it was Francis Bacon who named it the first science, recognizing its foundational role in shaping our understanding of the world around us.