We can apply ethics to the self, interpersonal relationships, large groups, and even states. That is, the categories of philosophy are logically broken down into sections based on the questioning of different aspects of the human experience and subcategorized from there… but there is no one perfect place to draw divisions. The main branches of philosophy include axiology, epistemology, metaphysics and logic. ), Philosophy of Religion [actually two things -- question related to the existence of God or gods AND questions relating to the sociological phenomenon of religion. Start with Plato and Aristotle in the 300s BC., two prolific Greeks, one who laid the groundwork of modern western philosophy (Plato) and one who wrote books on each of the major philosophies (Aristotle). TIP: Eastern philosophy can be categorized and understood through the lens of western philosophy, or it can be explored on its own merits. Philosophy the Basics is the best one to cover the main areas, the books is broken down into: I don't think that there is a single useful non-overlapping set of branches. See a theory of human knowledge for an epistemological and ontological theory. Log in Join now 1. I would question some of the. Dealing with nature is one of the branches of philosophy. Or, we could do anything in between (or even use a mix of systems and consider “transcendental categories” or divide into continental and analytic, or western and eastern, etc, etc, etc). of logic is basically inseparable from metaphysics, I'd say, broadly speaking, that phil. Western philosophy can be divided into six branches that have assumed various importance over time. Philosophy, more than being about branches or sub-branches, is about going beyond what we know for sure. We won’t consider how to organize a society based strictly on morality; we will try to use critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and structured arguments. 10 branches of philosophy and their meaning Get the answers you need, now! The study of logic in philosophy examines the concept of reasoning. No lines of reason have more influence on society than political, economic, and social philosophies. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. (There are tenured positions in it. Principia Mathematica is almost certainly the most important work in this field. The Philosophy of History is a relatively minor branch in the field of philosophy, focusing on the study of history, writing about history, how history progresses, and what impact history has upon the present day. Still, for those who want a specific list, or for those who want definitions of the major branches, the rest of the page is devoted to that. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy which deals with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. If you think of the impact that philosophers like Marx, Smith, Kant, and Locke had on cultures around the world, you can see how this area of philosophy is one of the greatest importance. Philosophy of Art, Beauty, Perception, Ethics & Morality: Philosophy of Behavior, Choice, and Character, The Relationship Between Technology and Religion, Leonardo Da Vinci: Renaissance Humanist, Naturalist, Artist, Scientist, An Atheist's View of the Christian Right's Agenda and Beliefs, History of American Religion:1600 to 2017, History of Humanism With Ancient Greek Philosophers, What is Agnosticism? and all their subdivisions essentially have a related field of philosophy. With that said, calling all of philosophy “metaphysics” doesn’t tell us much about what we are studying, so it helps to divide philosophy into branches. The philosophy of Language involves the study of how our language interacts with our thinking. Almost all of the great thinkers are most widely know for the political, economic, legal, and or social philosophies they have presented. Some of the famous epistemologists are Descartes, Kant and Hume. @Brian - I do see their existence and as of now they are part of the main Philosophy but I wanted to keep this answer more traditional. Epistemology is the study of human knowledge. For instance, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of logic are, on some views, contained within one another (on some views philosophy of logic is a branch of philosophy of mathematics, on others the containment goes the other way). Metaethics arguably straddles all of the first 3; philosophy of mind overlaps with at least metaphysics, etc. Nigel Warbuton (Open University lecturer of Philosophy)'s books cover the basics very well. Then going even deeper, we can consider philosophy of a specific TV show, or the philosophy of making a great vegan taco, etc., etc. So you’ll see a lot of recurring themes, and importantly for our conversation, you’ll be able to spot the types of philosophies employed. involves taking into account different priorities than those of the 19th century A.D. The major branches of philosophy can be denoted as: metaphysics (what is), epistemology (what we can know), logic and reason, ethics and morality, and aesthetics (beauty and art).[1][2][3]. Metaphysics seeks to explore the true nature of reality in terms of any subject by asking questions like: “what is, what could be, and what ought to be?” Since philosophy itself can be described as “the study of…,” metaphysics at least covers the “study of what is, what could be, and what ought to be,” and very broadly speaking works as almost a synonym for philosophy in this respect (or at the very least, a synonym for all philosophies that deal with that which we don’t know for sure). Major Questions resolved or unresolved in Philosophy. The scientific method is a rule-set with which we can debunk our theories. The main difference is theology assumes there is a God as a starting point, and ontology doesn’t (it considers the nature of being, and therefore considers the possibility or impossibility of God). How can we know we know? Every subject under the sun, real or imagined, gets a philosophy, and consequently there are as many ways to categorize them as there are ways to categorize all systems ontological and epistemological. With all that said, to re-state this core point, there is notably no one way to express either the major or minor branches of philosophy (especially considering how some bleed together and how some branches are more “major” or “minor” than others). The name is derived from the Greek words, Meta which means beyond or after, and Physika which means physics. In ways, logic is the math of philosophy (or often, when dealing with rhetoric and politics, the social science of philosophy). Some only regard metaphysics as the study of "higher" reality or the "invisible" nature behind everything, but that isn't actually true. Skip ahead to the scientific revolution with Descartes in the 1600’s who sums everything up at that point. What is the nature of the process of knowledge? This gives us minor “branches” (AKA categories of philosophical inquiry) like the philosophy of geometry, the philosophy of post-modern art, the philosophy of comedy, the philosophy of propositional calculus, the philosophy of moral sentiments, the philosophy of computers, the philosophy of medicine, the philosophy of U.S. law, the philosophy of group behavior, etc. Philosophy of History, Language, and the Humanities – When we study the philosophy of the humanities or history, but not from an aesthetic viewpoint it can be labeled its type of philosophy. You can learn more about philosophies and philosophers at Wikipedia. There are no limits when we muse on a subject we partake in a philosophy of it.

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