When people talk about the dawn of Western civilization, they describe the development of a society that traveled westward from Ancient Greece, bringing with it a blend of European cultural ideas and philosophies. Philosophy emerged around this time, as early as the 5th century BC. Philosophy is a Greek word meaning love of wisdom. Over time, philosophical questions became so diverse that different schools needed to be formed to satisfy everyone seeking answers. These became the separate schools of philosophy.
The primary schools of thought are metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, and logic. While there are differences among them, there are no hard and fast rules or regulations for philosophy. By its very nature, these groups are not mutually exclusive and even overlap at times. They also mix with other academic disciplines such as art and science.
Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. It aims to question how we learn the things that we know and the origin of that truth. The four main bases of knowledge include divine revelation, experience, logic and reason, and intuition.
Axiology helps us examine our principles and values. It is divided into ethics and aesthetics. Ethics is the questioning of morals and personal choices. The concepts of morally right vs. wrong and morally good vs. bad are the areas of focus. The school of philosophy that takes a critical look at why we love art and beauty is called Aesthetics. It looks at our perception and appreciation of beauty to discover why we get enjoyment from things.
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that thinks about our physical universe and asks questions about reality, the origin of the world, and what is beyond the stars. Logic is the least emotional branch of philosophy in that it seeks to teach people how to think in a structurally, rational, and sound manner. Reasoning can either be deductive or inductive. They differ in that deductive reasoning examines a general case, deduces a broad set of rules, and applies those rules to a specific issue. Inductive reasoning takes a particular topic and examines general principles or problems that may have caused that to happen.
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