Philosophy |02| - major branches

in philosophy •  2 months ago


'Structural division' of philosophy

As you can see - in the picture below - philosophy can be divided into five 'components'/'branches' that are considered necessary to fully answer basic questions of philosophy:

  • Metaphysics - the most basic branch - determines what reality is, its nature (here a conflict is divided into: subjective or objective reality); the nature of reality further determines every other aspect of next considerations, because everything else is a part of the reality;
  • Epistemology - in short, this is the field of researching the method of learning - how to inquire truth, how to discover and investigate it (alternative: a reference to faith, the spiritualist/mystic (usually authoritarian) approach vs rational approach, relying on facts and logic);
  • Ethics - an implication of metaphysics and epistemology - a view of the nature of reality and a choice of a method of learning and inferring about it together lead together to development of ethical system - objective metaphisics connected with epistemology of reason will 'result' in different ethics than in case of 'subjective' metaphisics and epistemology of misticism; in the field of ethics, the most important distinction is between the ethics of altruism and egoism;
  • Aesthetics - the distinction: what can be considered to be beautiful or valuable as art, what can be in "good taste"; aesthetics, as such, is not meant to moralize or teach but to bring inspiration, glorious examples of what man 'can be';
  • Logic - improving the analytical skills, rhetoric and non contradictory thinking; the main, most important place for application of logic (except previous fields: metaphysics, epistemology and ethic) is the domain of politics, the development of social system for humanity; because of that it is justified to identify this term with the term of 'politics' - which means the political theory and not political medial fight;

Above terms will be discussed in more details in the further parts of this series.


Picture: 'The School of Athens' by Raphael


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