We explain what philosophical knowledge is, its history and what its characteristics are. Also, the types that exist and some examples.

What is philosophical knowledge?

Philosophical knowledge or philosophical knowledge is called the series of conclusions to which the human being is able to arrive by means of the application of the reflective, critical and deductive methods of the philosophy , that is to say, the knowledge that is possible to reach by means of the philosophical reasoning. .

To a large extent, knowledge itself and its nature, its forms of acquisition, are the object of philosophical knowledge . In that case, we are in the presence of epistemology , the branch of philosophy that focuses on understanding knowledge .

Philosophical knowledge is different from scientific or theological, both in its procedure and in its purposes: it does not apply the experimental scientific method like the first, nor does it focus on demonstrating the existence or nature of God , like the second. It is a form of knowledge that seeks the truth of human thought , that explores its limits and mechanisms.

History of philosophical knowledge

It should be remembered that what today we call science and knowledge did not always exist in the same way. In ancient times it was part of natural philosophy, that is, philosophers brought together in the same figure various knowledge : mathematical, physical, artistic, biological, religious and cosmological, which formed the same field of relatable knowledge.

That pattern was repeated during the European Renaissance . However, the modernity brought the specialization of knowledge . Science became the leading discourse in our relationship to world learning.

Thus, scientific knowledge today constitutes an academic or theoretical field endowed with points of contact with politics , ethics and other philosophical disciplines that provide novel and questioning points of view, necessary to understand why we make the world what it is.

Rationality of philosophical knowledge

Rationality of philosophical knowledge

Philosophical knowledge is rational. It is its main characteristic , and it means that it is the result of the efforts of the human mind to reflect and think within known, understandable, explainable formal parameters, that is, to reflect and think logically.

In this sense, it is supported by categories, axioms, concepts and procedures that can be detailed and explained. Dispense with all kinds of emotional or irrational arguments .

Critical spirit

Philosophical knowledge is critical. This means that he judges the validity of his own arguments , that he submits them to judgment and verification. In this way, it verifies if it includes contradictions, inconsistencies, fallacies or problems inherent in the chosen premises, the reasoning applied or the conclusion obtained.

This is an essential feature for philosophical knowledge, since it is what sustains its validity and, therefore, its universality, its ability to give verifiable, accurate, true answers.

Analytical character

Analytical character

Philosophical knowledge is analytical: it proceeds in an organized, structured and focused way , although it can delve into any specific topic and topic. But he does not do it in an arbitrary or disorderly way, but rather traces a journey from idea to idea that can in turn be understood, explained and questioned, that is, he proposes an objective methodology for its analysis.

Historical construction

Over time, philosophical knowledge changes, since it is historical. In other words, it depends to a great extent on the cultural, social and existential precepts of the time in which it is formulated, like all forms of knowledge.

Furthermore, philosophical knowledge dialogues in time with itself , as the authors are rescued, contradicted or confronted by future authors, in a dynamic of dialogue between one another.

Totalizer character

Philosophical knowledge is comprehensive, that is, it aspires to exhaust the issues it deals with , whatever they may be, and to provide complete, total explanations that do not have holes or leave segments in the dark.



Philosophical knowledge is, finally, systematic. This means that it operates as a system, obeys the rules that you have set and incorporated , and that it adheres to your methods or systems of work. Therefore, it can reproduce itself or at least follow the line of reasoning if it wants to.


If it is not objective per se, philosophical knowledge aspires to objectivity. In other words, he aspires to evaluate the ideas that interest him in a cold and concrete way , without letting personal points of view, prejudices or considerations of another nature hinder the result. In philosophy what is valid for someone, must also be valid for everyone who follows the same reasoning.

Types of philosophical knowledge

Types of philosophical knowledge

Throughout time, philosophical knowledge has given rise to other forms of knowledge that today we consider different, but that at some point were branches or partitions of philosophy. These are:

  • Empirical philosophical knowledge. The one that depends on the real experience and the factual verification of the hypotheses and theories.
  • Scientific philosophical knowledge. What today we call "science", based on the design and application of the scientific method. That is, the knowledge that approaches the truth through observation , analysis, experimental reproduction and possible refutation.
  • Theological philosophical knowledge. What we understand today as " theology " also has its origins in the attempt to apply deductive reasoning to the existence of God and to the discovery of his nature.
  • Pure philosophical knowledge. Also called epistemology, it consists of the application of philosophy to human thought itself and to the generation of ideas and knowledge. It is a kind of "science of knowledge."

Examples of philosophical knowledge

Some examples of philosophical knowledge can be:

  • The syllogisms that Aristotle proposed as a mechanism to know when an argument is valid and when it is not.
  • The formulation of the current heliocentric model of the solar system by Nicol├ís Copernicus , contradicting what was affirmed centuries ago by Aristotle.
  • The proclamation of the death of God by Frederick Nietzsche in the 19th century.
  • The projections of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek on the future of the modern world of capitalism in the 21st century.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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