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History of philosophy
Western philosophy Realism Nominalism Rationalism Empiricism Skepticism Idealism Pragmatism Instrumentalism Continental philosophy Phenomenology Existentialism Structuralism Post-structuralism Analytic philosophy Consequentialism Deontological ethics Virtue ethics
Eastern philosophy Chinese philosophy Indian philosophy Hindu philosophy Buddhist philosophy Jainism Iranian philosophy
Article Sources and Contributors Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 240 246
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.   It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom".  
Branches of philosophy
The following branches are the main areas of study: • Metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and body, substance and accident, events and causation. Traditional branches are cosmology and ontology. • Epistemology is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, and whether knowledge is possible. Among its central concerns has been the challenge posed by skepticism and the relationships between truth, belief, and justification.
The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David (1787). The painting depicts the philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock.
• Ethics, or "moral philosophy", is concerned primarily with the question of the best way to live, and secondarily, concerning the question of whether this question can be answered. The main branches of ethics are meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Meta-ethics concerns the nature of ethical thought, such as the origins of the words good and bad, and origins of other comparative words of various ethical systems, whether there are absolute ethical truths, and how such truths could be known. Plato (left) and Aristotle (right): detail from The Normative ethics are more concerned with the questions of how one School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509 ought to act, and what the right course of action is. This is where most ethical theories are generated. Lastly, applied ethics go beyond theory and step into real world ethical practice, such as questions of whether or not abortion is correct. Ethics is also associated with the idea of morality, and the two are often interchangeable. • Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals (or families and clans) to communities including the state. It includes questions about justice, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen. Politics and ethics are traditionally inter-linked subjects, as both discuss the question of what is good and how people should live. • Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, enjoyment, sensory-emotional values, perception, and matters of taste and sentiment. • Logic is the study of valid argument forms. Beginning in the late 19th century, mathematicians such as Gottlob Frege focused on a mathematical treatment of logic, and today the subject of logic has two broad divisions:
Philosophy mathematical logic (formal symbolic logic) and what is now called philosophical logic. • Philosophy of mind deals with the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body, and is typified by disputes between...