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The following "outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to philosophy:

"Philosophy – study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as "mysticism, myth, or the arts) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on "rational argument.[3] The word "Philosophy" comes from the "Greek philosophia (φιλοσοφία), which literally means "love of wisdom".[4][5][6]

Core areas of philosophy[edit]

The core areas of philosophy are:

Fields of philosophy[edit]

The branches of philosophy are divided into the many fields of philosophy:


"Ethics – study of the right, the good, and the valuable


"Epistemology is the study of knowledge. How is knowledge different from belief? What can we know? How does knowledge arise? Can there be objective knowledge?


"Metaphysics – traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. Metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms: "What is ultimately there?" and, "What is it like?"


"Logic – the systematic study of the form of valid inference and reason


History of philosophy[edit]

"History of philosophy – study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time. Issues specifically related to history of philosophy might include (but are not limited to): How can changes in philosophy be accounted for historically? What drives the development of thought in its historical context? To what degree can philosophical texts from prior historical eras be understood even today?

Ancient philosophy[edit]

Western philosophy[edit]

"Western philosophy

Eastern philosophy[edit]

"Eastern philosophy

Contemporary philosophy[edit]

"Contemporary philosophy

Philosophical theories[edit]

Major traditions in philosophy[edit]

Philosophical movements[edit]

"Philosophical movement

Philosophies by branch[edit]











Political philosophy[edit]

"Political philosophy

Philosophy of language[edit]

"Philosophy of language

Philosophy of mind[edit]

"Philosophy of mind

Philosophy of religion[edit]

"Philosophy of religion

Religious philosophy[edit]

Philosophy of science[edit]

"Philosophy of science

Philosophical literature[edit]

Reference works[edit]


"Lists of philosophers

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jenny Teichmann and Katherine C. Evans, Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide (Blackwell Publishing, 1999), p. 1: "Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose."
  2. ^ "A.C. Grayling, Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 1: "The aim of philosophical inquiry is to gain insight into questions about knowledge, truth, reason, reality, meaning, mind, and value."
  3. ^ Anthony Quinton, in T. Honderich (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 666: "Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of the three elements in this list has a non-philosophical counterpart, from which it is distinguished by its explicitly rational and critical way of proceeding and by its systematic nature. Everyone has some general conception of the nature of the world in which they live and of their place in it. Metaphysics replaces the unargued assumptions embodied in such a conception with a rational and organized body of beliefs about the world as a whole. Everyone has occasion to doubt and question beliefs, their own or those of others, with more or less success and without any theory of what they are doing. Epistemology seeks by argument to make explicit the rules of correct belief formation. Everyone governs their conduct by directing it to desired or valued ends. Ethics, or moral philosophy, in its most inclusive sense, seeks to articulate, in rationally systematic form, the rules or principles involved."
  4. ^ Philosophia, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus
  5. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ The definition of philosophy is: "1.orig., love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge 2.theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe". Webster's New World Dictionary (Second College ed.). 

External links[edit]

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