Branches of Philosophy

8343 Words Jul 3rd, 2009 34 Pages
Branches of philosophy
The following branches are the main areas of study: • Metaphysics investigates the nature of being and the world. Traditional branches are cosmology and ontology. • Epistemology is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, and whether knowledge is possible. Among its central concerns has been the challenge posed by skepticism and the relationships between truth, belief, and justification. • Ethics, or 'moral philosophy', is concerned with questions of how persons ought to act or if such questions are answerable. The main branches of ethics are meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Meta-ethics concerns the nature of ethical thought, comparison of various ethical systems, whether there
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Sometimes a fourth period is added that includes the Christian and Neo-Platonist philosophers. The most important of the ancient philosophers (in terms of subsequent influence) are Plato and Aristotle[7].
The themes of ancient philosophy are: understanding the fundamental causes and principles of the universe; explaining it in an economical and uniform way; the epistemological problem of reconciling the diversity and change of the natural universe, with the possibility of obtaining fixed and certain knowledge about it; questions about things which cannot be perceived by the senses, such as numbers, elements, universals, and gods; the analysis of patterns of reasoning and argument; the nature of the good life and the importance of understanding and knowledge in order to pursue it; the explication of the concept of justice, and its relation to various political systems[8].
In this period the crucial features of the philosophical method were established: a critical approach to received or established views, and the appeal to reason and argumentation.
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St. Thomas Aquinas

[edit] Medieval philosophy (c. A.D. 500–c. 1350)

Main article: Medieval philosophy
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe and the Middle East during what is now known as the medieval era or the Middle Ages, roughly extending from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Medieval philosophy is defined partly by the rediscovery and further development of

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