Social Sciences

What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy

Misty Thomas
By Misty Thomas. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy

People have been trying to figure out the meaning of life for thousands of years. Philosophy is the study of this meaning, the nature of reality, existence, values, reason, mind and language. Philosophy has five main branches of study that can be divided. If you don't know what these are, read this OneHowTo article and find out what the main branches of philosophy are.

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  1. Epistemology
  2. Metaphysics
  3. Aesthetics
  4. Logic
  5. Ethics and political philosophy


This is one of the absolute basic branches of philosophy. Many people say that this is also pretty much the easiest one to understand. Basically, Epistemology is the study of knowing or knowledge. This is the study of how we know if things are true or not. When studying this branch of philosophy, many students can ask questions like "What is it that I can know", "How do I gain knowledge", and "Is there anything in this world that we can be certain of?" By asking these questions, one can start to realize many things about the world around us. These questions are a basic starter for studying the branches of philosophy.

What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy - Epistemology


This is the branch of philosophy that deals with one's reality. This branch deals more with going further and further beyond the math and science world. This branch looks at our existence in a way that opens up new realms. This branch touches more on people's souls and the afterlife. It studies features of reality, as time, the properties of objects and causation.


This is a branch of philosophy that focuses on the beauty of the world around us. Art and beauty are the main topics of this branch. Philosophers asked questions about art and what it means to us and the world around us. They looked at the comparisons of life and art and how beauty can truly impact each and every one of our lives.

What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy - Aesthetics
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This is another very popular branch of philosophy because it basically works around what we know about the world and each other. Philosophers use their basic thinking skills in order to make assumptions about the world. Thinking logically is one of the oldest forms of thought and philosophy.

This branch studies reasoning and argument.

Ethics and political philosophy

This is the branch that studies the best ways to live. Political philosophy studies how people should interact with one another to live in a good society.

Even though these are the main 5 branches, there are other divisions. All the branches are also divided, depending on its authors and thoughts. By studying the many different philosophers, you can look further into their readings and research to better understand how they saw the world.

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What Are the Main Branches of Philosophy