The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to philosophy:
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as mysticism, myth, or religion) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. It involves logical analysis of language and clarification of the meaning of words and concepts. It is a set of views and beliefs about life and the universe, which are often held uncritically.
The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek philosophia (φιλοσοφία), which literally means "love of wisdom".
The branches of philosophy are divided into the many fields of philosophy:
Aesthetics is study of the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and the creation of personal kinds of truth
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the source, nature and validity of knowledge. Central questions -
Ethics – study of the right, the good, and the valuable
Logic – the systematic study of the form of valid inference and reason. Ability to test arguments for logical consistency and understanding the logical consequences of certain assumptions.
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?"
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?
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of science
Lists of philosophers
In analytic philosophy, anti-realism is an epistemological position first articulated by British philosopher Michael Dummett. The term was coined as an argument against a form of realism Dummett saw as 'colorless reductionism'.
Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, and both of which together are also known as neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was the verification principle. This would-be theory of knowledge asserted that only statements verifiable through direct observation or logical proof are meaningful. Starting in the late 1920s, groups of philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians formed the Berlin Circle and the Vienna Circle, which, in these two cities, would propound the ideas of logical positivism.
Meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature, scope, and meaning of moral judgment. It is one of the three branches of ethics generally studied by philosophers, the others being normative ethics and applied ethics.
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Its origins are often attributed to the philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Peirce later described it in his pragmatic maxim: "Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object."
Analytic philosophy is a tradition of philosophy that began around the turn of the 20th century and continues to today. Like any philosophical tradition it includes many conflicting thinkers in a broad umbrella with its own particular lineage and history and so is resistant to a clean-cut summary. Some aspects generally found are a fascination with modern scientific practices, an attempt to focus philosophical reflection on smaller problems that lead to answers to bigger questions, and valuing clarity and rigor in one's philosophical thoughts and arguments.
Logical atomism is a philosophy that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy. Its principal exponent was the British philosopher Bertrand Russell. It is also widely held that the early work of his Austrian-born pupil and colleague, Ludwig Wittgenstein, defend a version of logical atomism. Some philosophers in the Vienna Circle were also influenced by logical atomism. Gustav Bergmann also developed a form of logical atomism that focused on an ideal phenomalistic language, particularly in his discussions of J.O. Urmson's work on analysis.
Ethical intuitionism is a view or family of views in moral epistemology. It is at its core foundationalism about moral knowledge; that is, it is committed to the thesis that some moral truths can be known non-inferentially. Such an epistemological view is by definition committed to the existence of knowledge of moral truths; therefore, ethical intuitionism implies cognitivism.
In metaphysics, realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
This glossary of philosophy is a list of definitions of terms and concepts relevant to philosophy and related disciplines, including logic, ethics, and theology.
Geoffrey Sayre-McCord is a philosopher who works in moral theory, meta-ethics, the history of ethics, and epistemology. He teaches at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also the director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society.
Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. It addresses the questions "What is knowledge?", "How is knowledge acquired?", "What do people know?", "How do we know what we know?", and "Why do we know what we know?". Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth, belief, and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as skepticism about different knowledge claims.
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. Cosmology and ontology are traditional branches of metaphysics. It is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. Someone who studies metaphysics can be called either a "metaphysician" or a "metaphysicist".
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to metaphysics:
Objectivity is a philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence, sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.
This is a list of philosophical literature articles.
Ethics is, in general terms, the study of right and wrong. It can look descriptively at moral behaviour and judgements; it can give practical advice, or it can analyse and theorise about the nature of morality and ethics.