What Are Philosophical Issues?

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Philosophical issues are the topics and questions raised by the study of philosophy. There are several branches of philosophy, and in all of them, the search for answers often leads to more questions.

1 Metaphysics

Metaphysics is concerned with the nature of reality. What is matter? How do time and change affect matter? Is there a soul? Of what is the soul made? How are the soul and the body connected?

2 Epistemology

This branch is focused on how, if at all possible, do human beings gain knowledge. How do our senses work? What role does perception play in knowledge? How is memory structured?

3 Ethics

Ethics is the study of right and wrong. This leads to questions of who should be responsible for determining right and wrong. Is morality objective or does it vary with each situation? If human beings have free will, are they capable of determining right and wrong? If they don't, does it even matter, since we don't have control of our actions?

4 Political Philosophy

Political philosophy is traditionally concerned with questions about the good life. What is the best life to be lived, for the person living it? How does one live this life with others (in society)? What is the proper relationship between man and the state?

5 Aesthetics

Aesthetics is the study of value in art. How is beauty determined? Is art primarily a intellectual or representational activity? Is there an objective standard of art? What role does mathematics play in art? In the value of beauty?

Liz Frazier has been producing Web content, instructional articles and trivia for websites such as TopTenz.net and RealDealTechnologies.com since 2008. Her writing interests lie primarily in the areas of politics (specifically public administration and elections), the military, education and forced migration. Frazier has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Northridge.