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Outline of philosophy
Overview of and topical guide to philosophy
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to philosophy:
Philosophy – 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. The word "Philosophy" comes from the Greekphilosophia (φιλοσοφία), which literally means "love of wisdom".
Epistemology is the study of knowledge. How is knowledge different from belief? What can we know? How does knowledge arise? Can there be objective knowledge?
Ethics – study of the right, the good, and the valuable
Applied ethics – philosophical examination, from a moral standpoint, of particular issues in private and public life that are matters of moral judgment. It is thus the attempts to use philosophical methods to identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life.
Decision ethics – ethical theories and ethical decision processes
Environmental ethics – studies ethical issues concerning the non-human world. It exerts influence on a large range of disciplines including environmental law, environmental sociology, ecotheology, ecological economics, ecology and environmental geography.
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?"
Ontology – philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.
Philosophy of mind – studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain.
Philosophy of space and time – branch of philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the ontology, epistemology, and character of space and time.
Philosophy of action – theories about the processes causing willful human bodily movements of a more or less complex kind. This area of thought has attracted the strong interest of philosophers ever since Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Third Book).
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?
Encyclopedia of Philosophy – one of the major English encyclopedias of philosophy. The second edition, edited by Donald M. Borchert, was published in ten volumes in 2006 by Thomson Gale. Volumes 1–9 contain alphabetically ordered articles.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – free online encyclopedia on philosophical topics and philosophers founded by James Fieser in 1995. The current general editors are James Fieser (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin) and Bradley Dowden (Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Sacramento). The staff also includes numerous area editors as well as volunteers.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy – encyclopedia of philosophy edited by Edward Craig that was first published by Routledge in 1998 (ISBN978-0415073103). Originally published in both 10 volumes of print and as a CD-ROM, in 2002 it was made available online on a subscription basis. The online version is regularly updated with new articles and revisions to existing articles. It has 1,300 contributors providing over 2,000 scholarly articles.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – combines an online encyclopedia of philosophy with peer reviewed publication of original papers in philosophy, freely-accessible to internet users. Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, including professors from many academic institutions worldwide.
^Jenny Teichmann and Katherine C. Evans, Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide (Blackwell Publishing, 1999), p. 1: "Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose."
^A.C. Grayling, Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 1: "The aim of philosophical inquiry is to gain insight into questions about knowledge, truth, reason, reality, meaning, mind, and value."
^Anthony Quinton, in T. Honderich (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 666: "Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of the three elements in this list has a non-philosophical counterpart, from which it is distinguished by its explicitly rational and critical way of proceeding and by its systematic nature. Everyone has some general conception of the nature of the world in which they live and of their place in it. Metaphysics replaces the unargued assumptions embodied in such a conception with a rational and organized body of beliefs about the world as a whole. Everyone has occasion to doubt and question beliefs, their own or those of others, with more or less success and without any theory of what they are doing. Epistemology seeks by argument to make explicit the rules of correct belief formation. Everyone governs their conduct by directing it to desired or valued ends. Ethics, or moral philosophy, in its most inclusive sense, seeks to articulate, in rationally systematic form, the rules or principles involved."
^The definition of philosophy is: "1.orig., love of, or the search for, wisdom or knowledge 2.theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe". Webster's New World Dictionary (Second College ed.).