Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Philosophy: Disciplinary Perspective

by Dr. Maureen Sander-Staudt

Philosophy means “love of wisdom." It is a discipline that seeks truth about the ultimate questions about reality, the good, and the meaning of life. It explores the presuppositions that are only assumed by other disciplines, such as the nature and reliability of logic, numeric reasoning, human nature, and our perceptions about the physical world. It questions how various fields of study best relate to one another, and what makes for a good life. The major branches of philosophy include metaphysics (the study of reality), epistemology (the study of knowledge), logic, ethics, and social and political philosophy. However, philosophy is unlimited in its scope as it relates to every conceivable subject that may be said to pertain to wisdom.

Professional organizations/networking

The American Philosophical Association is the main national professional organization in this field. It has three national/regional divisions—Pacific, Central, and Eastern. Each regional division has numerous sub-divisions, based on areas of expertise. In addition to these professional organizations, conferences and meetings are essential places to share work, get feedback, and network. There are also informal manuscript and discussion groups.