Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools

Paper Info
Page count 3
Word count 879
Read time 4 min
Topic Philosophy
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US


Throughout history, the attention of philosophers was directed to the attempts to grasp the meaning of life and the search for universal wisdom. However, despite the common intention, their approaches differed depending on their perceptions of reality, which resulted in the emergence of numerous schools. In other words, the reasoning behind the examined phenomena defined the overall outcome of a thinker’s activity, and it, in turn, affected the development of the ideas of disciples with similar views. In order to understand the role of major schools, it is vital to study them with the inclusion of the leading figures belonging to them.

This paper aims to consider such directions of philosophical thought as analytical and empirical epistemology, social and political philosophy, and existentialism. Moreover, it provides a perspective on the strongest of these schools based on the conducted analysis in terms of their applicability to real life.

Analytical and Empirical Epistemology

The first school under consideration is epistemology, and it implies the central role of knowledge in the process of cognition. Its ideas can be divided into theoretical and practical orientations or, in other words, analytical and empirical sub-types. The former was explicitly represented by Socrates, who claimed that “human existence is a special kind of knowledge,” which affects one’s actions and motivation (Soccio, 124).

In this way, he highlighted the interconnection between knowledge and behavior. In turn, the latter’s prominent figure was Plato, whose orientation was both on ideas and physical changes. Meanwhile, he emphasized the importance of “the problem of knowledge” for the practical solution of all tasks posed by the field (Soccio, 131). Thus, he used observations to explain the concept of “the world of becoming,” which means the reality one can experience through the senses (Soccio, 132). Hence, these philosophers laid the basis for the examination of world phenomena on the grounds of knowledge in all its forms.

Social and Political Philosophy

Such a direction as a social and political philosophy is aimed at defining the issues through the consideration of corresponding entities. They are engaged in the discourse on government and “the exercise of power” and “the effects of social institutions on individuals,” respectively (Soccio, 4). In this way, the belonging of philosophers to this school is characterized by their attention to society and politics. One of the most prominent thinkers of this branch of philosophy was Karl Marx, whose ideas regarding the political situation in the world contributed to the development of this field.

Thus, for example, he openly expressed criticism of the Russian government and the rulers of Prussia (Soccio, 369). He also sympathized with exiled German workers and French laborers, thereby highlighting the need for a drastic change in society for their benefit (Soccio, 369). Another philosopher who contributed to the progress of this school was David Hume. At some point in his career, he “turned to politics and history” to explain his views on acute social problems (Soccio, 289). Hence, the use of these disciplines allowed the philosophers to consider the issues through the lens of existing institutions.


The third philosophical school under consideration is existentialism, and it covers a variety of issues. They are related to “meaning and choice as they affect existing individuals” and reflect on such concepts as freedom, identity, inauthenticity, and many others (Soccio, 390). The significance and the distinctive characteristic of this direction of thought is the orientation on practical benefits and the application of knowledge to the real world in contrast to entirely theoretical approaches (Soccio, 390). One of the representatives of this school is Jean-Paul Sartre, and he is known for emphasizing the freedom of people in the acceptance or rejection of any facts (Soccio, 515).

In this way, the philosopher claimed that everything is “under our immediate influence or control” (Soccio, 519). Another thinker belonging to existentialism is Søren Kierkegaard, and his ideas were related to the subjectivity of truth since “any choice, once made, rules out all other possibilities” (Soccio, 397). In this way, the issues presented by existentialists were similar, and they were viewed through the lens of human freedom.

The Strongest Philosophical School

The three schools presented above have their solid grounds for reasoning. However, existentialism seems to be a more rational approach to cognition. In contrast to analytical and empirical epistemology, it does not present an obsession over meanings at the expense of practicality. It also compares favorably with social and political philosophy by shifting from the perceptions and benefits for one population group to the good for humanity as a whole. In this way, it can be concluded that existentialism is an optimal solution to the issues experienced by people.


In conclusion, the examined philosophical schools present varying views of thinkers on different issues. Thus, analytical and empirical epistemology emphasizes the central role of knowledge in cognition while focusing on the theoretical and practical aspects of the matter, respectively. The social and political philosophy reflects on the concerns of people regarding specific issues and the problems of population groups. However, the most reliable approach is existentialism considering the meaning and choice as fundamental parts of studying the world. It does not incorporate the limitations of epistemology regarding the sole importance of knowledge and is more extensive than social and political directions of the thought.


Soccio, D. J. (2015). Archetypes of wisdom: An introduction to philosophy (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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EssaysInCollege. (2022, May 24). Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools. Retrieved from https://essaysincollege.com/epistemology-and-other-philosophical-schools/


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Work Cited

"Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools." EssaysInCollege, 24 May 2022, essaysincollege.com/epistemology-and-other-philosophical-schools/.


EssaysInCollege. (2022) 'Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools'. 24 May.


EssaysInCollege. 2022. "Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools." May 24, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/epistemology-and-other-philosophical-schools/.

1. EssaysInCollege. "Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools." May 24, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/epistemology-and-other-philosophical-schools/.


EssaysInCollege. "Epistemology and Other Philosophical Schools." May 24, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/epistemology-and-other-philosophical-schools/.