Most philosophy classification schemes appear to begin with metaphysics, followed by epistemology, which is then followed by one or more branches that typically include logic, ethics and aesthetics.

Some schema also include a variety of what I loosely call "discipline philosophies" (is there a better term?), such as philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of biology, philosophy of history, philosophy of education, philosophy of language, philosophy of law, philosophy of religion, philosophy of dance.

This is kind of a trivial question, but I wondered if these "disciplines of science" are given their own category as a matter of convenience, or if they simply don't fit in with the main established branches (metaphysics, epistemology, etc.

For example, most sciences can be loosely correlated with metaphysics, while the study of science focuses largely on epistemology (or more properly on the broader category philosophy of mind). Philosophy of law can similarly be thought of as the intersection of ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of mind.

To put it another way, imagine a classification scheme that includes metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic, ethics and aesthetics. Would these branches combined intrinsically include these various "discipline philosophies"? Or is there something about philosophy of law, philosophy of dance, etc. that sets them apart from the primary branches?

  • It would depend on your definition of discipline (isn't it just a branch of knowledge?). Following your suggestion, for example, ontology, the study of the being, would not be a discipline (which I strongly disagree) and therefore cannot be a "discipline philosophy", and it must be set apart from "discipline philosophies". If it would be a discipline, it does not need to be set apart from other philosophies. – RodolfoAP Jul 31 at 20:19
  • All taxonomic schemas are just means for we humans to pigeon hole and classify to observations and thoughts to help in our interpreatations – Swami Vishwananda Aug 1 at 6:03
  • It seems that these are simply two different classifications based on two relatively independent criteria, one intrinsic, the other from applications. Each of the "discipline philosophies" has its own specific issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, etc. – Conifold Aug 1 at 9:15

It's a matter of convenience, I'd say, though there's nothing arbitrary about it ... Discipline philosophies pursue specific questions, but general philosophy is always just around the corner; there's no philosophy of science without general epistemology (e.g. see the internalism/externalism-debate), say. So there's this, specific questions, where asking specific questions is all about isolating an area from more general concerns. In other words, discipline philiosophies are also characterized by what they take for granted; for instance, radical skepticism is no issue in the philosophy of science.

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