What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy?

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The main branches of philosophy include axiology, epistemology, metaphysics and logic. There are also various subdivisions within the three branches, such as ethics and aesthetics.

Divided into the topics of ethics and aesthetics, axiology is the philosophical study of value. Ethics involves the principles of morals and rules. The subject matter is examined in relation to individual conduct, social agreements and organizational values. Aesthetics encompasses the studies of standards, judgments and feelings in relation to the arts.

Epistemology is the study of human knowledge. It attempts to explain the origin and nature of knowledge. It also investigates the methods for learning, and the scope, integrity and limits of human understanding. The challenges of contextual variation are included in this branch of philosophical study.

Also referred to as ontology, metaphysics explores the nature of reality. It includes inquiries and theories about the universe, and the relationship between mind and matter.

The study of logic in philosophy examines the concept of reasoning. Understanding the nature of thought processes is central to this area of philosophy. It proposes theories about how inferences are made.

Methods of forming ideas, such as deductive reasoning, are evaluated. Logic studies also evaluate the use of generalizations, classifications and judgments.