This zh.wikipedia article describes the etymology of 哲学 by first relating it to the English word from the Greek meaning "love of wisdom." But then that article also refers to ancient Chinese.

Is this a term in classical Chinese? Or is it more recent?

  • 1
    Not sure if this answers your question or not but there is also a Wikipedia page entitled, 中国哲学, which says: 中国哲学(古称诸子百家).
    – Mou某
    Dec 10 '20 at 22:47
  • @Mo. I believe 诸子百家 really is a pretty old expression, but I might be wrong. And 哲学 could have been an expression at the same time, or not. Dec 10 '20 at 22:52

The wikipedia page you quote literally says "1874年,日本启蒙家西周,在《百一新论》中首先用汉语词“哲学”来翻译philosophy一词". So "哲学" as a word is as old as that.

The Classical Chinese occurrences are about the word "哲", not "哲学". They are not exactly the same thing.

  • But that page also is marked as possibly inaccurate. 此条目内容疑欠准确,有待查证。The term may be older than that. Dec 11 '20 at 4:26
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    Yes, but the marking means some of the page content is possibly inaccurate, not all. As for the term etymology part, two sources are given on the page, so I think it is reasonably reliable. At least there is no widely-accepted older usage of the term.
    – Betty
    Dec 12 '20 at 6:20
  • Yes, indeed none of the content is said to be inaccurate. Just possibly inaccurate. Dec 12 '20 at 11:54

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