The Nature and Division of Philosophy
“To teach how to live with uncertainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy in our age can still do for those who study it.” This statement, given by Bertrand Russell, conveys the simple yet infinite nature of philosophy itself: the uncertain. Philosophy is the seemingly natural result of man’s ability to wonder. It questions what is real and, ultimately, what is the explanation of reality.
There are four distinct yet somewhat overlapping divisions of philosophy. The first, metaphysics, is concerned with the discovery of ultimate reality. This area of philosophy itself has three divisions. The
first deals with the being and the non-being, the second with the basic structures of the world, and the third with matters such as the soul, immortality, and God. Logic raises questions such as: What is a valid argument What is a sound argument What is a logical fallacyOther types of philosophy are studied, though they are all related to the basic areas. Logic itself has three distinct areas. The final division, abductive logic, is the reasoning of a probable truth that is already existing, with the possibility of fallibility. Metaphysics raises questions such as: What is mind How is mind related to body Is there a God Epistemology is the area of philosophy that deals with the nature of knowledge. The fact that philosophy is a significant part of any field of study amplifies the realization of the vastness of human uncertainty and the importance of philosophy as man"tms ability to question reality. Examples of these are philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and philosophy of language. Axiology raises questions such as: What justifies our definitions of right and wrong Does morality depend on religion Are all men equalLogic is the fourth division of philosophy. This is a result of the many questions raised that do not fit neatly into one category alone. Inductive logic is the reasoning toward a probable truth of future occurrences with the possibility of fallibility. It deals with the questioning of more abstract objects such as morality and beauty. It raises questions such as: What can I know How do I justify what I claim to know What are the limits of reason Axiology is the division of philosophy that deals with the study of values. Thus any thorough study of philosophy constitutes the study of all of these areas. ------------------------------------------------------------------------Bibliography. While these are the divisions of philosophy, it is truly impossible to study one without also being drawn in to the study of the others.