Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 04, 2023

       

Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology

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Introduction

Philosophy and Ideology sound the same, and many a time, people confuse between them. They are both related to beliefs, but there are significant differences between them. It happens many a time that both the words are used interchangeably since many people do not recognize their true meaning. The primary difference between Philosophy and Ideology is that philosophy is on a general level, but ideology is personal. Philosophy refers to a belief about the way of life, whereas ideology is a personal belief of oneself. Knowing and understanding the way of life, facts about life, and how life works are all what philosophy consists of. Ideology is what idea a person believes in. It is not flexible and is very firm in its approach.

Philosophy is the truth, a general fact that is accepted by a majority of the population, but ideology is personal and is biased. Moreover, the doctrine of any institution or organization is also recognized as an ideology because it is what that organization believes in and preaches and does not necessarily mean the actual truth. Philosophy is the ultimate truth about life, but ideology can vary from person to person.

Philosophy vs Ideology

The terms philosophy and ideology are closely related, so, people often confuse between them. This is because the concept of belief is connected to both of them. But this does not mean that they are the same. Philosophy can be separated from ideology in the sense that it is accepted by the majority of people as the universal truth, whereas ideology is somewhat of a personal truth of an individual that is forced upon other people. Philosophy compels people to think about life and existence and invites discussion with others. The theories that are established due to self-thinking by philosophers is what involves philosophy.

Philosophy is like the spiritual knowledge about life. Ideology, on the other hand, is a personal truth because it is what an individual believes in. It is truth for that particular individual only, and others may not believe in it. People do not willfully accept ideology because everyone has their ideologies, so, many a time, it is forced upon others, which is why it has a dogmatic approach. This can be seen in the case of political parties that have an ideology on their own, and through propaganda and manipulation, they make people believe and support their ideologies. Ideologies are not universal truths like philosophies.

Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology in Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonPhilosophyIdeology
MeaningPhilosophy is belief, knowledge about the ways of life, and how to lead a better life.Ideology is an individual belief, perspective, or idea about something.
EtymologyThe term philosophy has been derived from ‘Phil’ and ‘Sophos’ which together stands for love for wisdom.The word ideology has been derived from the Greek word ‘eo’ and ‘logy’ which together means study of ideas.
Level of TruthPhilosophy includes theories which are truths universally accepted by a majority of the people because they can relate with it.Ideology is a belief followed by a particular individual which may not be followed by another person which makes it personal and not universal. Every person has a different idea or perspective of his own.
ObjectiveThe approach of philosophy is pragmatic.The approach of ideology is dogmatic.
BiasesPhilosophy is unbiased because even if not scientific, it includes spiritual facts about life that are true.Ideology is biased because it is a personal idea or perspective of an individual which makes it subjective.
GoalPhilosophy mainly aims to enlighten everyone with the universal truths of life. And existence.Ideology mainly focuses on keeping intact one’s personal beliefs and trying to force others into believing that.
ResultThe surrounding environment affects philosophy as it continues to gain knowledge from nature.Ideology impacts society. It does not learn from society but it affects society by spreading individual beliefs and faiths.

What is Philosophy?

The term philosophy is derived from two words, 'Phil' and 'Sophos' which come together to mean love for wisdom. It is a subject that attempts to teach an individual through self-retrospection various useful values of life. Moreover, not only self-retrospection individuals are also allowed to discuss these topics with others to find out the answers and for establishing better philosophical theories. So, philosophy can also be equated with spiritual knowledge. It is a way of enhancing one's spiritual knowledge about life and existence through self-retrospection and by discussing with others. People who are involved in the field of philosophy are called philosophers. They try to figure out how the universe functions and learn the universal truths behind everything.

 Philosophy does practical thinking to find out the answers related to life and existence, and it was never concerned with changing the world for a better future but with accepting it in its raw form. Philosophy is related to ideology in the sense that it also consists of ideas, but ideas that are objective and factual and need a lot of thinking and reasoning before they are established. It includes healthy participation to discuss various theories and ideas and to develop new theories. These theories are not baseless and have a strong foundation in reality, they are based on reality. Philosophic ideas come out of the thought process. The philosopher develops a new theory or idea through thinking and urges others to think about it too. It changes in nature as it gets affected by society and the surrounding environment because, with time everything changes. Moreover, because people's thinking changes along with time, a theory that was developed years ago may not find relevance in today's time.

Types of Philosophy

The word philosophy stands for 'love of wisdom'. This field of study consists of a huge variety of subjects to deal with, such as logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. Philosophy consists of several branches, and some of them are: -

  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics

Metaphysics

Metaphysics means 'Beyond Physics'. This sub-part of philosophy is involved in studying reality in its entirety, starting from the existence of different forms of life and the relationships between the different objects of the universe and ending with concepts such as time, how everything around us originated, and the cause of existence. It is considered the most complex branch of philosophy since it majorly focuses on the abstract and revolves all around existence.

Epistemology

The term Epistemology can be divided into two words, 'Episteme' and 'logo' both of which are Greek words. Episteme stands for knowledge, and logo stands for study. This branch of philosophy is more concerned with studying scientific knowledge to develop philosophical theories.

Ethics

In this branch of philosophy, an individual's actions are taken into account to study that person's behavior or human behavior is studied through individual actions. The name ethics itself says that it deals with how to lead a good life by encouraging moral values of right and wrong, having a good conscience, and being virtuous, all of which are essential to lead a good life.

What is Ideology?

Ideology can also be broken down into 'idea' and 'logy'. The idea stands for a belief, a notion, and logy stands for study. So, it means the study of ideas. Ideology is closely related to philosophy because both of them are regarding beliefs and ideas. However, there are significant differences between the two that one needs to understand to truly grasp their meaning. Ideology is a set of beliefs or ideas followed or believed by an individual. A particular individual can be defined through their ideology. It is what a person believes in, and according to that individual, this belief guides him in his life. It is different from philosophy because it is personal and not general.

It is not any universal truth that everybody will accept, but it is personal and true only for that individual. So, it is not objective in its approach, but it is subjective. This individual who believes in a particular belief or idea can be a single person or an organization. The organization here functions as an individual with a particular ideology, even if it consists of a group of people. Every person has a different kind of ideology, but more than one person can follow one particular ideology, but that does not necessarily mean it is a universal truth. This generally happens in the case of political parties. A particular ideology keeps a political group together. Ideology, unlike philosophy, is forced upon others to follow through propaganda and manipulation. There is no space for discussion here, and one ideology has to take the place of another. It does not accept the world as it is and tries to change it. It is not affected by society. Instead, it affects society through dictatorship and forcefully imposing one's own beliefs upon others. Moreover, unlike philosophy, it is very rigid and cannot be easily changed, which is why its approach is dogmatic, as there is no place for any other ideology. One has to defeat the other.

Types of Ideology

Some of the types of Ideology are: -

  • Left Ideology
  • Right Ideology

Left Ideology

Left Ideology is considered as one end of the political spectrum. It focuses on preaching internationalism, freedom, equality, and reformation. Left ideology economically ensures protectionism and a welfare state with the help of adequate government intervention and central planning.

Right Ideology

Right Ideology comes on the other side of the political spectrum, opposite to left ideology. It focuses on ideas of authority, nationalism, traditionalism, and hierarchy. Economically, the government has a very low level of interference or absolutely no interference in the economic markets, and a laissez-faire economy is encouraged here.

Major Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology (In Points)

  • Philosophy and Ideology are very closely related because both of them are connected to beliefs, and many a time, people get confused between the two. But their true meaning should be understood to appropriately use them. Philosophy stands for 'love for knowledge or wisdom'. It is a self-teaching method where individuals question themselves regarding life and existence and think over those topics to develop certain theories. It also involves discussing with others regarding such topics. Philosophy can be related to spiritual knowledge. It is like enhancing one's spiritual knowledge regarding life and its existence through self-thinking and by discussing it with others. Ideology, on the other hand, is a set of ideas, perspectives, or beliefs of a particular individual about something. It is completely personal to an organization or an individual and does not involve any discussion with others.
  • Philosophy can be simply described as spiritual knowledge. It is factual and unbiased, even though it is not like science. But it includes truths that are universal, general, and are accepted by a majority of the population. Philosophy includes abstract facts that are true on a spiritual level, facts such as existence, life, and its causes. Ideology, on the other hand, is completely biased because it is a personal truth. It is subjective. Any idea, or perspective can be personally followed by an individual, and others may not accept it. Ideologies vary from person to person. So, unlike philosophy, ideologies are not universally accepted truths. Rather they are forced upon others. 
  • The approach of philosophy is pragmatic because it is flexible in its approach as it includes self-thinking and discussing with others before coming to an endpoint, whereas the objective of ideology is dogmatic. This is because ideology is very rigid and firm in its approach. There is no space for any other ideology. If one ideology is not followed, then it is forced upon others, and the other ideology is bound to get erased. It is dictatorial. This is exactly the aim of ideology: to strongly believe one perspective and force it on others, whereas in philosophy, the primary aim is to enlighten everyone with the wisdom of life and existence.
  • Philosophy is affected by the surrounding environment and by society because it is based on everyone's thinking, and with time, everything changes. So, a theory developed by a philosopher many years ago may not match with today's surroundings. Ideology, on the other hand, is not affected by society, rather it affects society. It does not accept the surroundings and the society as it is but tries to change it by spreading and forcing one's ideology over others.

Conclusion

Hence, Philosophy includes theories that have been established through self-thinking and discussing with others, which are general or universal truths. They are factual and unbiased. Ideology, on the other hand, is a set of beliefs, perspectives, or ideas believed by an individual about something. It is usually biased and subjective because it is personal, and the perspectives held by a certain individual are not necessarily true. Philosophy has a pragmatic approach because it is flexible and considers others thinking and opinions. In contrast, ideology has a dogmatic approach because it tends to force one's beliefs upon others.

References

  • https://thecontentauthority.com/blog/philosophy-vs-ideology
  • https://www.sociologygroup.com/ideology-meaning/#google_vignette
  • https://neurotray.com/what-are-the-4-major-branches-of-philosophy/

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"Difference Between Philosophy and Ideology." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-philosophy-and-ideology>.



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