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Categorization of Philosophy

  1. Sep 9, 2005 #1
    We recently had to reevaluate where philosophy fits in the scheme of things.
    When creating a general category, as exists on some web directories on the web for example, philosophy's place is always a strange and undecided one.
    Besides placing it in its own category, where would you place it?
    Under: Social science > philosophy?
    maybe : Arts & humanities > philosophy?
    Some place it under: Science & Technology> philosophy?
    Any other suggestions/thoughts/ideas?
    Where do you think it fits best?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2005 #2


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    Well I have the often stated opinion that philosophy is an art form, like music or painting, and I adduce its propensity to form schools that never settle their differences but continue to exist side by side, and old schools occasionally are revived just like retro fashions. Also each school seems to consist of one big time name, e.g. Kant or Wittgenstein, as it were Mozart or Picasso, and a lot of imitators. Just so Classical Music and Cubism.
  4. Sep 9, 2005 #3


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    Well, the thing is that Philosophy is really the parent category of most fields of study. The problem is that sometimes, subfields of Philosophy codify their methodology and blossom into important fields of study in their own right (such as mathematics or the physical sciences). For some reason, the customary usage of the word "philosophy" tends to exclude such subfields.
  5. Sep 9, 2005 #4
    But assuming people look for it under a non philosophy top-category..
    Would you think it best first in
    Art & Humanities - I thought about it but thought its a bit presumptuous to expect people to realize its there, but what do you think?
    Social science? (I have a tiny feeling it best fitting)

    If you had to guess where most people will first look for it.. what do you think will be the most common guess?

    if you had to guess where it is on DMoz for example - http://www.dmoz.com/
    where will be your first guess?
  6. Sep 9, 2005 #5


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    I agree with Hurkyl. Asking where it should be on that dmoz page doesn't make much sense to me-- philosophy is not properly categorized under any of those categories, and so should be a category of its own. Trying to fit philosophy into one of those categories would be like deleting science from the list and trying to fit it into one of the remaining categories. It wouldn't really work.
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