Many people tend to avoid discussing Philosophy because they are afraid they are not intellectual enough, or that they need to have a vast knowledge
of the subject before they can take part. I believe that while being intellectual and knowing the views of famous philosophers does help, it is not
necessary in order to engage in Philosophy. One simply needs to have a relatively open mind and the willingness to ask questions and examine
So, how does one begin studying Philosophy? Well, there are a few avenues you can pursue. You might like to do an internet search for "philosophy" or
search the name of a famous philosopher you have heard of such as Plato or Confucius. It's probably a good idea to decide whether you would like to
study Western or Eastern Philosophy (or both) as they can be quite different in their approaches.
To get you started, here are a few websites you might find helpful:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Philosophy – Wikipedia
Philosophy – Space and Motion
Alternatively, you can ask yourself: "Which aspects of Life do I wish to examine and reflect upon?" The following is a list of some major branches of
- critical reflection on art, culture and nature.
- the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief.
Ethics (moral philosophy)
- the study of values and customs of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as
right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility.
- the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration.
- the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world.
Philosophy of language
- the branch of philosophy that studies language. Its primary concerns include the nature of linguistic meaning,
reference, language use, language learning and creation, language understanding, truth, thought and experience, communication, interpretation, and
Philosophy of mind
- the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties,
consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain.
Philosophy of science
- the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of science,
including the formal sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences.
- the study of such topics as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by
- study of questions about social behaviour (typically, of humans).
(Technically, the list of ALL known topics is longer, but that should be sufficient for now.)
I hope you have found this information useful and feel more confident in your approach to studying and discussing Philosophy. If you have any
questions or feel I have left out some important guidelines, please reply. Remember to think critically and keep asking questions.
edit on 19/4/2013 by Dark Ghost because: fixed links