The first philosophers appeared in the sixth century BC in ancient Greece. With civilisation better established, and human cognition more advanced, thinkers began to question traditional explanations for the workings of the universe and society. They sought answers based on rational thought rather than religion or conventional thought until that time.
The first question addressed was “What is this world made of?”
This is the branch of philosophy known as Metaphysics.
The next evolution in philosophy began to question “how we can be sure of what we know?”
This is the branch of Epistemology.
Coinciding with epistemology was to question the nature of our existence, Ontology.
Slowly these thinkers developed a systematic way of analysing their arguments, logic and techniques of questioning to elicit fundamental ideas. Thus began the field of Moral Philosophy or Ethics.
Ethics is concerned with concepts such as justice, virtue and happiness and this in turn led to many philosophers exploring what kind of society we want to live in, giving rise to Political Philosophy.
In the first days of philosophy, the burning question was: “What is everything made of”?
Many of the theories proposed by the ancient Greek philosophers – the notions of elements, atoms and so forth – formed the basis of modern science.
Metaphysics, however, has evolved into a field of enquiry beyond the realms of science. It also explores the nature of what exists, including such ideas as the properties of material things, the difference between mind and matter, cause and effect and the nature of existence, being and reality.
Next Philosophy in 5 article:
What is Epistemology and Ontology?