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Branches F Philosophy


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The Branches of Philosophy Transcript

Hello, and welcome to another presentation in Philosophy 201: Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas. In this presentation, I want to introduce you to three major branches of philosophy, and talk about each branch a little bit separately, and then I’ll finish off by talking about some miscellaneous branches of philosophy that are kind of an overlap of those three branches.


The first major branch of philosophy is the branch of metaphysics. The word metaphysics means, ‘above or beyond physics.’ It investigates questions of reality and existence. But as the word implies, it’s not just simply the existence that we see or the things that we experience with our senses, but what’s beyond those. What’s beyond this real world that we see here? Why does it work the way that it works? Why is it here? How did it get here? Those are some metaphysical areas that we deal with here. We can break metaphysics into four sub-categories here.

The first sub-category is cosmological metaphysics, and this deals specifically with the origin and purpose of reality. Why does anything exist at all? That’s often been called the first philosophical question. Why does anything exist? Where did reality come from? How did it develop the way that it was? What is its purpose—why is it here? Those are all cosmological questions.

A second area of metaphysics is theological metaphysics, and this deals with the reality of something beyond the natural reality that we experience: the existence of some sort of supernatural. Here it deals with questions, Does God exist? Is there only one God? What is the nature of God—what is he like? How does he relate to reality? Now often times in philosophy courses you’ll study this under the area of philosophy of religion, but they are actually metaphysical questions because they are dealing with the ‘existence’ of

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