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The Map of Philosophy

by Mike Fuller

Ontology (aka Metaphysics)
Greek: On = Being; Logos = Science, Explanation, Account of, Word

What is Being?
What is real?
What is only apparently real?
How are reality and appearance related?
How many kinds and levels and dimensions of reality are there?

Epistemology (Theory of knowledge)
Greek: Episteme = Knowledge; Logos as above

What is truth?
What is knowledge?
How are truth and knowledge related to
appearance and reality?
How many types of knowledge are there?
How can we justify that they are true and apply
to reality?
Can we only justify that they apply to
Can we even justify that?
What are the limits of knowledge?

Aesthetics (Philosophy of Art)
Greek: Aestheses (?) = feeling

What is beauty?
What is ugliness?
How are beauty and ugliness related to good and bad?
How are beauty and ugliness related to truth and reality?
What is art?
How is art related to truth, reality, morality, meaning?

Philosophy of Language

What is language?
What is meaning?
What are the limits of meaning?
How do language and meaning relate to appearance and reality?
And to knowledge and thinking?

Greek: Logos as on left

What are the forms and methods and limits of rational thought and expression?

Psychology and Philosophy of Mind
Greek: Psyche = soul; Logos as above

What is “human nature”?
What is the “human mind”?
How do we think?
How is thinking related to knowledge, language and reality?
How is mind related to body?

Political Philosophy

What are the possible forms of society?
Which possible form is the best?
(How) can the best be achieved?


Pure Ethics
What should I do?
Why should I do it?
Am I free to do it?
Is there a purpose to life?
If so, how to fulfil it?
What are good and evil?
Is there an “ultimate good”?
What is the “Good Life”?
What is happiness?

Applied Ethics (Casuistry)
How can I relate the principles of pure ethics to judge good and bad and right and wrong, actions and behaviour in particular situations?

How many types of moral theory are there? (Objectivist, subjectivist, motivist, consequentialist, etc)
How is morality related to truth and reality?
How are facts related to values?

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