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Ontology of Ontologies

Over the years of my reading philosophy I've always kept a basic "epistemology of philosophical knowledge" in my head as a way to organize all knowledge. But several difficulties arise:

  1. Is it comprehensive, covering all philosophical knowledge?
  2. Does it cover all knowledge? If not does it provide hooks to provide or expose a way to organize all knowledge?
  3. Is it authoritative or just bull? I just made it up to track everything I've learned.
  4. Is it useful or functional?

I think it's safe to say the answer to all is no except maybe the last, but only to me. In any case here is my brief organization of philosophical knowledge:

  • Metaphysics & Ontology
  • Existence & Mind
  • Ethics & Justice
  • Aesthetics
  • Social & Society


  1. I believe that all science and technological studies fit under all of those categories.
  2. I also think that the first four form a kind of base and that society, relationships, etc fit squarely on top (I often see Mahjong tiles).
  3. I think aesthetics is much more than just "what color should I wear today" encompassing beauty and the "way of life" someone chooses.
  4. To me metaphysics and ontology represent "classical philosophy" which includes all though up to and including Kant. All philosophy to this point was an attempt objectively describe the universe, establishing an understanding of the universe much like physics was trying to describe it. This objective philosophy was more or less successfully completed, "blanks" being filled in by Kant. This was his true importance.
  5. But the backlash of the enlightenment was the romantic period and here we saw an interior, subjective look at everything from art to philosophy. I believe philosophy is still in the midst of this epoch, trying to describe the interior experience which was started by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Heidegger was the most important figure here and all philosophy of mind, psychology and neuroscience is trying to describe how the brain works, how the mind works and what it is to exist.
  6. It is likely we will be in this period for sometime until these questions are answered and that these answers (much like Newton did for the enlightenment) will be based on a foundation of neuroscience and other behaviors of science.
  7. Aesthetics and Society cannot be understand or a serious undertaking of them made until all studies of metaphysics, ontology, existence and ethics have been exhausted.

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