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The 8 branches of philosophy (and its main thinkers)

The 8 branches of philosophy (and its main thinkers)

April 29, 2024

Philosophy is one of the most difficult areas of knowledge to define. This makes that, throughout history, there have been many thinkers who have proposed the task of putting words to this abstract concept.

Maybe less difficult is delimit the different branches of philosophy for, by specifying more of what each one deals with, having a better global vision of both this discipline and the philosophers who dedicate themselves to it.

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Main branches of philosophy

Bearing in mind that everything we think we know can be questioned in a thousand different ways, and that whatever type of belief we have, however entrenched, is in danger before philosophy, it is interesting to know which are the different sides for which the task of the philosophers can serve so that we learn, leaving behind outdated ideas.


Next, we will review the different branches of philosophy, which as a whole are evidence of the extent to which this is a varied and prolific activity, as well as the different thinkers who stood out in each one of them.

1. Epistemology

Epistemology focuses on the study of the way in which human beings generate knowledge from our reflections and our relationship with the environment.

The aim is to examine both the validity of the conclusions reached by taking into account both the initial data and the methodology used, but also considering the social and historical context in which the hypotheses and questions that must be answered arise.


Epistemology has existed for many centuries, since the Renaissance, and among its most famous representatives are historical figures such as René Descartes, David Hume or John Locke.

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2. Philosophy of Logic

The philosophers belonging to this field they are dedicated to studying the logical systems , its qualities and coherence, as well as the way in which knowledge can be extracted. In addition, it currently has a close relationship with the fields of computer engineering.

Kurt Gödel, Aristotle or Charles Sanders Peirce are some of the thinkers who stood out in this discipline.

3. Ethics

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that is responsible for examining the ways in which we can establish what is morally correct and what is not. Practically all people act following a morality, but very few questions are asked systematically to examine to what extent their scales of values ​​and their application of morality are correct.


Socrates, Plato or Thomas Aquinas are examples of this type of philosopher.

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4. Aesthetics

This is the branch of philosophy that focuses on the study of the perception of beauty , inside and outside the forms of expression of art, and whether it is a visual perception or not. Although not dedicated solely to this branch, Martin Heidegger, Plato or Denis Diderot worked in this field.

5. Philosophy of science

This is the branch of philosophy that is responsible for examining both the nature of science and to what extent it is applied to practice to obtain valid and reliable knowledge.

Its appearance dates back to the late 1920s, at which time emerged from epistemology from the Vienna Circle . Among the most outstanding thinkers in this field are Rudolf Carnap, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn.

6. Ontology

Ontology is the branch of philosophy dedicated to investigating the existence of phenomena. This does not only mean asking about what exists and what does not, but also consider in what sense things exist : Is a crocodile the same as the concept of a dragon, since the latter only exists in fiction?

Some of the philosophers who stood out in this area were Plato, Aristotle, Georg Hegel, Gottfried Leibniz or George Berkeley.

7. Political Philosophy

The thinkers dedicated to this tradition are dedicated to think and research about the concepts and the logics behind political ideologies, social movements and of the value systems that underlie political and economic proposals.

Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Max Stirner, Karl Marx, Simone de Beauvoir or Thomas Hobbes are some of the most important thinkers in this field.

8. Philosophy of Language

This branch of philosophy directs its inquiries into the nature of language and the type of information exchange that is carried out through its daily or institutional use. In addition, it can support the plots of science dedicated to understanding the use of language in practice.

Ferdinand de Saussure or Ludwig Wittgenstein They are examples of thinkers who were interested in this area.


Branches of philosophy: Metaphysics, epistemology and ethics (April 2024).


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