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Philosophy Skill

by Harold Hale

Philosophy (Social Science--EDU): The rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. It differs from Research skill, in that the investigations which takes place are not for the purpose of seeking out a specific piece of information (the manufacturer of a drive component, the leader of the Daibei Faction during the Rebellion, etc.), or even necessarily involve the use of research materials--the focus is instead on gaining an understanding of the basic principles and concepts of the sapient condition with a view to possibly improving, reinterpreting, or reconstituting them.

Philosophy is subdivided into three broad categories of study: Natural Philosophy which concentrates on gaining a better understanding of the physical universe, Moral Philosophy in which the emphasis is on the proper conduct and interaction of sentient creatures with each other, and Metaphysical Philosophy which is concerned with the larger questions of existence, causality or truth (Why are we here?, Do we really exist?, What is the origin of the Universe?, What are the limitations of knowledge?). For purposes of roleplaying and generating character color, a player can designate an area of specialized study for each 2 skill points, as with the History Skill. Unlike History, however, no advanced degree is required.

Philosophy can be used as an enabling skill for Persuasion (allowing the individual to better formulate their arguments), as an enabling skill for scientifically-oriented tasks (allowing the character to better grasp overall concepts), or as a substitute or an enabling skill for Willpower (at the referee's discretion) in certain situations.

This skill can include or influence other social science (even "hard" science) disciplines as well. Priests and other serious students of Religion (i.e. St. Augustine or Martin Luther) usually have high skill levels of Philosophy and History. Political philosophers (i.e. Thomas Jefferson or Edmund Burke) have high levels of Philosophy, Admin/Legal and History skills. Economic philosophers (such as Karl Marx or Adam Smith) have high levels of Philosophy, History, and Economic skill. Philosophy skill allows an individual to go beyond increasing level of knowledge in a particular field of study to apply that knowledge to a view of the world which may be unique and possibly (though not necessarily) influential on others.

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