You want to study philosophy because you want to know the truth, right?
The problem is, everyone’s truth is different, and there are as many ways of knowing truth as there are philosophers in the world.
Therein lies the problem with studying philosophy how do you know what’s true and what isn’t?
If you aren’t careful, you might end up with an education that leaves your mind muddled and confused.
10 Things You Need to Know Before Studying Philosophy
1) The History of Philosophy
The history of philosophy is a vast and rich subject that spans across thousands of years.
The earliest philosophers were ancient Greeks, such as Plato and Socrates. Many philosophical questions are still being debated today:
What is the nature of reality? What is the meaning of life? Is there free will or determinism?
2) The Major Schools of Thought
There are many schools of thought in philosophy. Some of the major schools include Plato’s school, Aristotle’s school, Stoicism, Marxism, and Existentialism.
Most schools focus on a particular subject or concept, but others like Platonism are all-encompassing.
Most philosophers develop their own theories about philosophical subjects, but there is not one unified philosophy that encompasses all other philosophies.
If you’re interested in studying philosophy you should read up on some of the major philosophical schools and decide which ones seem most interesting to you before deciding what to study more closely.
3) The Key Philosophers
Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC) was a student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, who argued for an immortal soul and the immortality of the human body, as well as for the unity and goodness of God.
Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher from Königsberg who taught himself Latin as a teenager in order to read Aristotle’s original texts developed in the mathematical theory of logical types.
He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein.
4) The Core Concepts
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, knowledge, ethics, justice, and beauty.
It can be divided into three major branches – metaphysics or ontology (questions about what kinds of things exist in the world), epistemology (questions about how we can know anything at all), and axiology (questions about value).
The first two branches are more theoretical than practical.
There’s much debate over which came first: philosophy or human civilization?
5) The Study of Ethics
The study of ethics is the study of moral action. It asks questions like: What is the best way to live?
and What does it mean to be a moral person? To answer these questions, philosophers often explore topics like virtue, human nature, and happiness.
What you need to know before studying philosophy: If you’re interested in philosophy, but not sure where to start, this list might help you figure out what you need to know.
It’s all about questions: Philosophers are always asking big questions like What’s good? or What’s right?.
There are many different schools of thought on how best to answer those big questions.
6) The Study of Politics
Politics is the study of how people in a society influence one another.
Politics takes place at many different levels including interpersonal relationships, communities, and even within organizations.
Studying philosophy will help you make sense of the political theories and issues from past philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, and Hobbes. It will also give you insights into new thinkers like Hegel, Marx, and Arendt.
The best way to learn about philosophy is by reading the original texts written by the philosopher themselves. As well as studying other secondary sources such as commentaries on their work.
7) The Study of Aesthetics
To study philosophy, you need a strong foundation in the basics.
This means taking courses in mathematics and logic, as well as studying ethics and political philosophy.
If you’re interested in the study of aesthetics, then courses in art theory and history may also be helpful for your studies.
In order to get the most out of your philosophical education, make sure you understand that not all thinkers are created equal.
Some are more influential than others, so make sure you know who is writing about what.
8) The Study of Logic
Philosophy is the study of logic, meaning and existence. When it comes to philosophy, there are many different schools of thought.
In order to understand the various perspectives, you need to get a firm understanding of what logic is and how it works.
Logic can be broken into three parts: deduction, induction and abduction.
Deduction is when you start with an assumption or premise which becomes a conclusion that is then proven true or false.
9) The Study of Epistemology
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and scope of knowledge.
Epistemology seeks to answer questions such as How do we know anything?, What is truth?, and How do we define knowledge?
The word epistemology comes from the ancient Greek word ἐπιστήμη, which means knowledge.
Knowledge can be defined as a justified true belief, or a belief that something is true that has been acquired by a reliable process.
10) The Study of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies existence and reality, encompassing questions about subjects such as being, knowing, perception, mind, space and time.
The word metaphysics derives from two Greek words: meta meaning after or behind and physika meaning physics.
Metaphysics is a field that emerged in Ancient Greece as a philosophical and scientific study that sought to understand the nature of existence and reality.