Philosophy and the Branches of Philosophy

Philosophy – What comes to your mind when you hear or see the word philosophy? In this advanced era, the word philosophy is certainly no stranger to our ears. Surely many of us have heard or studied philosophy. For those of you who have heard the word, what comes to your mind when you see or read the word philosophy?

Is it a science that studies abstract things? Or one of the college majors on your campus? Or maybe the subject you don’t like the most? Do any of you think that philosophy is a science that deals with love? Or are some of you aware that our thinking process is also included in a philosophy?

You need to understand that philosophy has become one of the sciences that is often underestimated, considered something that is unclear, strange, and abstract if you don’t understand it more deeply. If you haven’t studied philosophy in depth, then you will never like this field of knowledge.

Because, if you understand it more deeply and study it properly, then you will find a “love” in philosophy. Well, below we will discuss the flow of philosophy in more depth along with its understanding and other matters related to philosophy. For those of you who want to learn, see this article until it’s finished.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is one of the words that comes from the word in English, namely “Philosophy”. The word comes from Greek which is divided into two words, namely “Philein” or “Philia”, and “Sophia”. Then, what do the two words mean? So, these two words have the word Philen or Philia, which means to love or love, while Sophia means wisdom. Simply put, philosophy means to love wisdom or love of wisdom. A philosopher or a thinking expert loves wisdom very much.

Where people who love or like wisdom will be more careful in believing and accepting things that have no clear source. They will try to keep asking questions until the answers they receive are enough to answer all their confusion and doubts. It can be said that their life will feel more calm. With questions and their efforts to find answers, it can help them not to get too wrapped up in things that are not clear on the truth. This is in accordance with the characteristics of philosophy, namely radical, universal, and also systematic.

Philosophy itself is universal, that means the thoughts in philosophy apply to everyone, without exception. Then philosophy has a radical characteristic, namely to dig something down to its roots or sources. Where a philosopher doesn’t just stop at one or two questions, but their questions will continue to arise until there is no longer anything that makes them feel doubtful or confused. Then philosophy is systematic, namely all thoughts that arise or questions that arise until all the answers are sequential and interconnected. In the end, you will find that the existing philosophical schools are streams that are interconnected with one another.

You can get the second love at the beginning of the emergence of philosophy. One of the positive emotions that exist in humans is awe and philosophy emerges from this positive emotion. Awe in the end brings a high sense of curiosity about the things we admire. It was from that feeling that questions arose to form a school in philosophy. As we know that philosophy does not only have one or two schools, but philosophy has various kinds of schools. Where these streams arise because of differences in our way of looking at the world and everything in it.

Even in looking at similar things, we may have different points of view. Maybe you will see from the right side and others will see from the left side. Then eventually some people will create a new view. Likewise with the currents in philosophy. Various kinds of genres are certainly the points of view of the characters in seeing the world. This point of view can be based on how people’s life experiences or the principles and beliefs they have.

Certainly, all of these things are based on a clear, found out of curiosity and questions that arise from that feeling. In the following, we will discuss the branches of philosophy and also the various schools of philosophy that you need to understand.

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Philosophy Branches

Below are several branches of philosophy, including:

a. Ontology

Ontology or often referred to as metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that explains the nature of everything that exists and discusses the very basic or ultimate nature of objects or the reality behind direct experience. Basically, ontology explains everything that exists, the questions to be dismantled are not limited, for example, what is the nature of space and time, matter, motion, and change? What is the origin of this universe? and other questions. In relation to education, the ontology of educational science discusses the nature of substance and also the organizational pattern of educational science.

b. Epistemology

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that observes the origin, methods, structure, and legitimacy of knowledge. The most basic question is What is knowing? What is the origin of our knowledge? How do we know that we have knowledge? How do we get knowledge? And other questions. In this way, epistemology discusses the nature of formal objects as well as educational materials.

c. Axiology

Axiology generally talks about the value and usefulness of everything related to the moral principles of developing the use of knowledge obtained. For example, educational axiology discusses the nature of the value of the theoretical and practical functions of education.

d. Logic

Logic is a branch of philosophy that talks about rules of thought so that with these rules the right conclusions can be drawn. In other words, logic is a systematic study of rules to corroborate premises or causes about the conclusion of these rules. So that we can use it to distinguish good arguments and bad arguments.


The following are some of the currents in philosophy:

1. Idealism

Idealism is a school that assumes that reality or reality is composed of souls and ideas. The term idealism comes from the word “idea” which means something that is present in the soul. This flow became a very important beginning for the development of human thinking. The basic thinking of this school was also explained by Plato. According to him, the most basic reality is an idea. While the reality that can be seen by humans is the shadow of the idea itself.

This thinking certainly views visible reality as something that is not so important. They will only accept it if the reality is connected with ideas. Even so, this idea of ​​idealism is the thought most acceptable to figures or philosophers, one of whom is Descartes. He agrees that the elements related to the soul are more important elements than a visible object.

2. Rationalism

The flow of rationalism is a school that puts forward style as the only source of knowledge that can be trusted. For the characters, reason is the most important asset possessed by humans to acquire, discover, and test knowledge. They also assume that reason has the ability to solve various kinds of problems that exist in life. All problems can be solved and solved using common sense. The famous figure in the flow of rationalism is Rene Descartes. He has the nickname as the father of modern philosophy.

This flow arose because of one question from him “What is the basic method that will be used by humans to reflect?” It was from this question that he found reason as one of the most basic things that humans use to reflect on something. If this flow is drawn to the present, is it still relevant? Do you belong to a rationalist group of people, who always use reason to solve all kinds of problems that arise in life? Or maybe you belong to another stream?

3. Empiricism

This flow focuses more on the experience possessed by a person as a source of knowledge. The word empiricism comes from the Greek which means sensory experience or observation experience through the five senses. Empiricism is a stream that is very contrary to rationalism. According to the characters in it, knowledge comes from experience. So that the five senses are the most obvious and certain main source of reason. Everything that is known by humans depends on how they use their five senses, from hearing, seeing, touching what they have, and speaking.

The empiricist figure also rejects the belief that humans have the nature of knowledge within themselves. According to this school, without experience, knowledge cannot be formed. In addition, this flow was also formed by Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes with the view: All knowledge can be formed by combining what has been experienced by humans. Are you one of those who believe in this flow? Where experience becomes something that can shape a person’s perspective so that it can influence how they behave and the personality that is formed from that experience.

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4. Dualism

Dualism is a school which reveals that reality consists of two different and contradictory roots. Each root is unique and cannot be removed. Thus, there are several figures who say that this school is a combination of idealism and materialism, or a school that combines the soul and body. The figure who shaped this thought was Thomas Hyde. Where basic thoughts are substances and thoughts are different things and both will complement each other to form a knowledge.

5. Positivism

This one flow emerged in the 19th century. Where the basis of this thought was sourced from knowledge that came from what was known, certain, and real things. Positivism focuses on a real fact and ignores things outside reality and unseen realities. This school is very close to empiricism, which both believe that knowledge is based on experience based on the senses. According to the characters in it, humans will never know anything more than what they see. Based on real facts, humans will not know anything behind these facts if they don’t see it.

The figure who created this school was Henri de Saint Simon, who was later developed by his student August Comte. The basis of this thinking is to understand a knowledge that humans must draw causal relationships. Until the laws that shape this knowledge. In this search process, humans will find various kinds of real facts in that knowledge.

6. Realism

Realism is a current in science. According to this school, he is concerned with the object of human knowledge. Where realism views that the object of knowledge believed by humans is outside the human self, for example.

a. Knowledge of trees
b. Knowledge of animals
c. Knowledge of the earth
d. City knowledge.

All the examples mentioned above do not only exist in the mind of the human who observes them, but also exist by themselves and are independent of the human soul.

The flow of realism is divided into two groups, among others:

1. Group of Rational Realism

This type of realism is divided into two, namely classical realism and religious realism. The two streams, both classical and religious, are based on Aristotle’s philosophy. However, there are fundamental differences in these two streams. Where the difference is that classical realism is usually directly from Aristotle’s point of view, while the flow of religious realism is not directly from Aristotle. It developed within the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, a Christian philosopher who became known as Thomism. The views of both agree that the material world is real and exists outside of those who observe it.

Then, adherents of Thomism argue that the soul is one of the important things even though it is not as real as the body. Therefore, this school also believes that the soul and body were created by God. The flow of Thomism also assumes that knowledge is obtained through revelation, experience, and thinking. Adherents of religious realism argue that the rules of harmony in the universe are God’s creation, so we need to study them.

2. The School of Natural or Scientific Realism

This group of streams is the development of natural science. Where the flow of natural realism has a skeptical and experimental nature. This flow holds that the world around us is real, so one of the tasks of science is to investigate all the contents in it and this is not the task of philosophy. The task for philosophy is nothing but the co-ordination of various scientific concepts and discoveries. According to this flow, nature has a permanent nature. There will indeed be changes, but those changes are directly in accordance with natural laws which are permanent and make the universe continue according to its orderly arrangement.