What are the 10 branches of philosophy?
In this brief guide we are going to answer the question ‘What are the 10 branches of philosophy?’’ We will highlight the main branches of philosophy, what each one studies and we will explain the importance of the role of philosophy in science.
What are the 10 branches of philosophy?
- Philosophy of Language
- Mental Philosophy
- Philosophy of science
- Natural Philosophy
Man is a thinking animal, a rational being. For this reason, over the centuries he dedicated himself not only to developing means to survive but also to thinking about himself, to observing the world that surrounds him, to reflecting on his condition. This is how Philosophy arose a long time ago, a discipline that tries to find answers to existential questions such as knowledge, truth, ethics, evil and good, beauty, language, thought. In this sense, here we will talk about the different branches of Philosophy.
Philosophy of Language
It’s an area that reflects on the pillars and foundations of language. It analyzes the ontology of meaning and reference, the ways of interpreting meaning, the limits and scope of translation, etc.
Undoubtedly, the Philosophy of Language has made human communication more effective by analyzing the procedures we use to transmit a message and raising awareness about the limitations that this ability presents.
Perhaps the name may seem like a redundancy – since Philosophy is a science-based on thought – but, nevertheless, the discipline exists as such. Mental Philosophy thoroughly analyzes the individual’s perception of reality, their dreams, emotions, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, fantasies and any other concept of an eminently mental nature.
It’s necessary to clarify that until a century ago, Mental Philosophy constituted what we know today as Psychology; But thanks to the contributions of various specialists such as Freud, both concepts have been able to differentiate themselves and each has gained their own field of study.
The original meaning of this word is “beyond the physical”; Well, Metaphysics really goes beyond the barriers of the merely physical world and tries to answer existential questions such as the meaning of life and the essence of man or the Universe.
Thus, it analyzes the pillars that support the reality that we know, those concepts necessary to understand the world, such as “time”, “space”, “being”, “entity”, etc.
According to the different theoretical currents, these concepts can also be considered as an area of interference of Cosmology or other sciences.
This current is dedicated to studying the being itself and its essence. The origin of what we see is asked in order to understand what matter consists of and what makes the objects around us real. In addition, Ontology analyzes the relationships that are established between different entities or between an act and its agents.
Among the branches of Philosophy that we are considering, Theology asks if there is a superior deity that governs the world of men and tries to understand the nature of divinity through reason. Two of the typical procedures he uses to achieve this are induction and speculation.
Currently, Theology is studied mostly within religious careers and in areas that have to do with different creeds. The heyday of this study occurred during the Middle Ages, with the theocentric conception of the Universe.
We are in front of the philosophical subdiscipline that analyzes the entity, origin and scope of knowledge in general. Gnoseology pays attention to the very act of knowing, the “cognitive act”, to know where it comes from and what its nature is. It’s important not to confuse this area with Epistemology, which deals exclusively with scientific knowledge.
Traditionally, Gnoseology distinguishes three types of knowledge: propositional (based on true propositions), practical (which implies mastery of skill) and objective or direct (which starts from the knowledge of another object or being).
Philosophy of science
In the previous section, we mentioned Epistemology, an area of study that is also known as “Philosophy of Science”. It’s a component of Philosophy that questions the nature of scientific knowledge and to what extent it’s valid to extract, from practice, true and reliable knowledge.
Any person who dedicates themself to scientific research in a serious way, should have bases of Epistemology in its knowledge base. It’s an area that allows us to reflect on the limitations of knowledge and invites us to question the validity of our own discoveries or reasoning, in order to achieve a much more solid, well-founded and reliable work.
It takes into consideration the so-called “natural” phenomena: the composition of the objects that make up reality, the movement of the cosmos, the conformation of the human body.
Thanks to the contributions of Natural Philosophy, we have obtained a more complete understanding of how the world that surrounds us and the Universe itself works. In addition, from the reflection on natural phenomena, we can understand what influence they have on us as human beings and thus explain sensations, feelings, concerns, etc.
Maybe you believed that Logic came from the field of Mathematics, but it’s not like that. It’s one of the most studied and complex branches of Philosophy. This science studies the concept of truth, paradox, fallacy, proof and inference (by deduction, abduction and induction).
Today, Logic is included as a fundamental content of many university careers that have to do with Engineering, Law, Mathematics or Administration, beyond the borders of Philosophy.
Surely you have had to study Ethics in your years of schooling. It’s a current that analyzes human behavior according to their actions, and from there reflects on what is right or wrong, what is unfair or just, the nature of happiness, the sense of responsibility, the principles morals, virtue.
It’s essential that you do not confuse Ethics with morals, something that happens very often among those who do not know about the subject. Morality itself is the set of social conventions, customs, rules and beliefs that govern the actions of individuals in a society; Instead, Ethics is the reflection, study or explanation at the theoretical level of the same moral.
In this brief guide we answered the question ‘What are the 10 branches of philosophy?’’ We highlighted the main branches of philosophy, what each one studies and we explained the importance of the role of philosophy in science.
If you have any comments or questions just let us know!
Quine, W.V.O. (2004). Philosophy of Logic. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Benton, M. (2017). Epistemology Personalized. The Philosophical Quarterly. 67 (269): pp. 813 – 834.