Philosophical Movements & Branches by


Here are brief definitions and interpretations for philosophical movements, schools and branches as posited by many philosophers. Some philosophers have tried to explain the human condition and how it interacts with the outside world using a one-size fits all approach. Others have taken a more holistic approach. We are practicing Eclecticism, which I consider a great way to expand one’s horizons by choosing from multiple theories and paradigms.


Unconditional truths are not affected by them. The universal truths that are true regardless of circumstance can be discovered by humans. It is similar to objectivism, which deems certain acts objectively right and wrong.
Plato and Aristotle believed in absolutism. This was also promoted prominently by Immanuel Kant.
Many religions hold morally absolute positions. They consider their system to be set by a deity that is perfect and unchanging.


Absolutism’s polar opposite, relativism holds that views and opinions are relative. Ideas and views are not absolute and can be subjectively interpreted according to different perceptions.
Michel Foucault, Ludwig Wittgenstein and others are two of the most well-known thinkers associated with this branch.


The universe is not a place where man can find meaning.
The comedian Tim Minchin discusses the lack of meaning during his speech at the University of Western Australia’s graduation ceremony. “[…]Arts degrees can be amazing. They help you find meaning when there is none. I can assure you that there isn’t one. It is not there. It’s like looking for a rhyme in a cookbook. You won’t find it, and you’ll be unable to make your mark.
Albert Camus is one the most well-known absurdist philosophers


Only the individual can give life meaning. Living passionately and honestly while taking responsibility for one’s actions, thoughts, and emotions is the best way to achieve this. This movement is often associated with thinkers who refuse to belong to any particular school of thought, claiming that they are disconnected from real life.
Existentialism is a 19th-century philosophy that was founded by Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard. However, neither of them used the term. Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir are two other existentialists who have contributed greatly to the popularity of the movement.


Originated from the Latin word “nihil”, meaning “nothing”, While existentialism emphasizes the individual’s responsibility to give meaning to their lives, nihilism asserts that life is without purpose and morality does not exist. Knowledge is impossible. Happy right? ).
This ideology was not popularized by many philosophers (I wonder why …), or even Nietzsche, who extensively studied it, were critical of nihilism, and its potential consequences).
Shakespeare summarised existential despair in Macbeth with the words: “Out, Out, Brief Candle!” Life is but a shadow, a poor actor that strides and frets for his hour on the stage, and then is not heard again. It is a tale told only by an idiot, full sound and fury, Signifying absolutely nothing.


Other branches prefer to be happy and focus on all the good things in life. Aestheticism believes that life should be about creating and enjoying beauty. It is not surprising that this philosophy has been called the philosophy of beauty and art.
Although aesthetics was not a common branch of philosophy, many philosophers included it in their larger philosophy. Friedrich Hegel believed art was an objective revelation about beauty, while Arthur Schopenhauer (the first major openly atheist philosopher) claimed that it goes beyond the realms of sufficient reason, making it more objective that the scientific viewpoint.


One of the most human-centered philosophical ideas was to show that humans are the reason the universe exists. They have a superior value to all other organisms, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find an anthropocentric vegetarian.


Although the term is based on the lack of belief in the goodness and worthiness of others, it can be used to describe a philosophy of cynicism that disregards selflessness, altruism, honesty, and other virtues. According to Cynics, virtue is the purpose of life. They could live a simple, happy, possession-free life by rejecting the conventional desires of wealth, power and fame (yes, sex).
Diogenes of Sinope is a Greek philosopher who believed in this school of thought. He was said to have slept in a large ceramic container in Athens’s market and beg for his living.


Stoicism, which is based on the moral ideas of Cynicism, is a school that believes that emotional and physical self control is key to happiness. This leads to inner peace, strength, and joy.
Stoicism is often compared to hedonism. However, it doesn’t require that one ignore all pleasures. It does however encourage freedom from passion in order to avoid becoming a slave to one’s pleasures.
Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, was one of the most well-known stoics.


Hedonists believe that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. It is the ultimate goal and holy grail for self fulfillment. Based on how much pleasure they can get, behaviours and actions are judged.
Religious institutions have often condemned Hedonism, seeing it as inconsistent with their emphasis on sin avoidance. Epicureanism was inspired by the teachings Epicurus, a 3rd-century BC Greek philosopher. It emphasized happiness as a state that is more tranquil than it is pleasure.


Through observation and reasoning, we can infer that the universe was created by a supreme being. This eliminates the need to have organised religion as this non-interventionist creator does not interfere in human affairs. In this scenario, God is simply the entity that flipped the switch at the beginning time. Pantheism, which claims God and nature are one and the exact same, shares a similar view.
Although deism has its roots in Heraclitus in ancient Greece and Plato in ancient Greece it thrived in 17th-century England and France, with major proponents Lord Herbert of Cherbury and Voltaire as well as Montaigne, Montaigne, and Rousseau.


Moral statements and judgments are nothing more than expressions of one’s own opinion with the intent of changing others’ actions or attitudes. Because moral statements are meaningless and express the speaker’s feelings, the first part of a statement like “it was wrong for John to be killed” does not add to the (nonmoral) information within. Emotionalism, also known as the “hurray/boo theory”, refers to the effect the speaker wants to have on the person he or she is addressing. It is not a way to tell someone to stop stealing, but to show that they don’t approve of the practice. A. J. Ayer is one of the most well-known emotivity.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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