While our knowledge of the ancient era begins with Thales in the 6th century BCE, little is known about the philosophers who came before socrates (commonly known as the pre Socrates). The ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools. Most notable among the schools influenced by Socrates’ teachings were plato, who founded the platonic academy and his student  Aristotle who founded the peripatetic school Other ancient philosophical traditions influenced by Socrates included cynicism, cyrenaicism stoicism, and Academic skepticism. Two other traditions were influenced by Socrates’ contemporary , Democritus: pyrrhonism and Epicureanism

Ancient era

Medieval era;Medieval philosophy (5th–16th centuries) took place during the period following the fall of the Western roman empire and was dominated by the rise of christianity; it hence reflects judeo-christianism theological concerns while also retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought. Problems such as the existence and nature of God, the nature of  faith and reason, metaphysics, and the problem of evil  were discussed in this period. Some key medieval thinkers include Augustine ,Thomas,Aquinas, Boethius,Anselm and Roger Bacon. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to theology (ancilla theologiae), and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture. This period saw the development of scholasticism, a text critical method developed in medieval universities based on close reading and disputation on key texts

Early  modern philosophy;

Early modern philosophy  in the Western world begins with thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes (1596–1650). Following the rise of natural science, modern philosophy was concerned with developing a secular and rational foundation for knowledge and moved away from traditional structures of authority such as religion, scholastic thought and the Church. Major modern philosophers include spinoza, Leibniz, Lockie, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

Indian philosophy

Adi shankara is one of the most frequently studied Hindu philosophers.

Indian philosophy (Sanskrit: darśana, lit ’point of view’, ‘perspective’) refers to the diverse philosophical traditions that emerged since the ancient times on the Indian subcontinent. Indian philosophy chiefly considers epistemology, theories of consciousness and theories of mind, and the physical properties of reality.  Indian philosophical traditions share various key concepts and ideas, which are defined in different ways and accepted or rejected by the different traditions. These include concepts such as dharma,karma,pramana,dukha ,samsara,moksha.

Some of the earliest surviving Indian philosophical texts are the Upanishads of the  later vedic period(1000–500 BCE), which are considered to preserve the ideas of Brahmanism Indian philosophical traditions are commonly grouped according to their relationship to the Vedas and the ideas contained in them. Jainism and Buddhism originated at the end of the vedic period, while the various traditions grouped under Hinduism mostly emerged after the Vedic period as independent traditions. Hindus generally classify Indian philosophical traditions as either orthodox (astika) or heterodox (nastika) depending on whether they accept the authority of the vedas and the theories of  brahman and atman found therein.


At its core the study of metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality, of what exists in the world, what it is like, and how it is ordered. In metaphysics philosophers wrestle with such questions as:

  • Is there a God?
  • What is truth?
  • What is a person? What makes a person the same through time?
  • Is the world strictly composed of matter?
  • Do people have minds? If so, how is the mind related to the body?
  • Do people have free wills?
  • What is it for one event to cause another?


Epistemology is the study of knowledge. It is primarily concerned with what we can know about the world and how we can know it. Typical questions of concern in epistemology are:

  • What is knowledge?
  • Do we know anything at all?
  • How do we know what we know?
  • Can we be justified in claiming to know certain things?


The study of ethics often concerns what we ought to do and what it would be best to do. In struggling with this issue, larger questions about what is good and right arise. So, the ethicist attempts to answer such questions as:

  • What is good? What makes actions or people good?
  • What is right? What makes actions right?
  • Is morality objective or subjective?
  • How should I treat others?


Another important aspect of the study of philosophy is the arguments or reasons given for people’s answers to these questions. To this end philosophers employ logic to study the nature and structure of arguments. Logicians ask such questions as:

  • What constitutes “good” or “bad” reasoning?
  • How do we determine whether a given piece of reasoning is good or bad?

History of Philosophy

The study of philosophy involves not only forming one’s own answers to such questions, but also seeking to understand the way in which people have answered such questions in the past. So, a significant part of philosophy is its history, a history of answers and arguments about these very questions. In studying the history of philosophy one explores the ideas of such historical figures as:


What often motivates the study of philosophy is not merely the answers or arguments themselves but whether or not the arguments are good and the answers are true. Moreover, many of the questions and issues in the various areas of philosophy overlap and in some cases even converge. Thus, philosophical questions arise in almost every discipline. This is why philosophy also encompasses such areas as:

Philosophy of LawPhilosophy of Feminism
Philosophy of ReligionPhilosophy of Science
Philosophy of MindPhilosophy of Literature
Political PhilosophyPhilosophy of the Arts
Philosophy of HistoryPhilosophy of Language