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The 5 Branches of Philosophy

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Healthcare is considered one of the backbones of our society and is integrated into every aspect of our lives. When talking about different areas healthcare, we can use philosophy to better understand the basic principles involved in healthcare. Philosophy can be divided into five different branches; metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and esthetics. These five branches show the different perspectives of healthcare to better understand how the related to one another. Philosophy and healthcare can be related using the example of female circumcision.

While female circumcision is a practice and ritual that is very common in many societies, it is viewed on the opposite spectrum here in the United States. The use of philosophy allows an individual to see female circumcision for what it is and from a more unbiased position. Metaphysics is the study of existence, and asks the question, “What is out there? ” There are probably many people in the United States that have not heard of female circumcision, and if it wasn’t for the recent media interest on the topic in the last few years I would be one of those people.

But it is out there, and the study of philosophy allows that to be known. If philosophy did not exist, there would be no known knowledge of other cultures and more ignorance would exist. By widening our existing knowledge and looking to different cultures, people are able to learn new things outside of the things that exist in their daily lives. Philosophy helps open peoples eyes to what is truly out there. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and asks the question, “How do I know about it? ” The knowledge of female circumcision exists because of the pure wonders of human nature.

Human beings are innately born with the need for knowledge and are interested in learning as much as they can. By looking out to different societies, new ways of doing things and cultures are found. Female circumcision is an example of such. People in our society were interested in obtaining knowledge from the world around us. This knowledge of female circumcision allows us to determine fact from fiction because we have multiple sources of information. Ethics is the study of actions, and asks the question, “What should I do?

” Ethics is the study of right and wrong within human endeavors, and is the way we sort out our values. Female circumcision is something that is not ethically acceptable in our society. However in many other societies it is an ethically acceptable norm. What is right to one person or society can be considered wrong to another. Ethics allows the differing cultures to have their own standards. I personally will never be able to understand the rationality behind female circumcision and that is because I have my own set of ethics. Politics is the study of force, and asks the question, “What actions are permissible?

” Female circumcision is not permissible in our society, and as previously mentioned there are many societies which it is permissible. Female circumcision is a ritual in some cultures, which all females much undergo as a societal norm. That norm is what differentiates our society from other societies. Our politics don’t allow for such a painful and cruel procedure to be done because of our views on healthcare and human ethics. The act of female circumcision allows the societies that practice it to differentiate themselves and to function properly.

Esthetics is the study of art, and asks the question, “What can life be like? ” Female circumcision is something that I can’t imagine ever happening in our country, but that is what makes our society different from other societies. Esthetics requires a person to look past what they are custom to and more towards what is possible. Female circumcision is something that is possible in this world, and whether or not it is something that is accepted in our society, it needs to be looked at as something that could be.

The way healthcare is practiced in the United States is very precise and there are certain things that must be followed. There is very little room for error or for personal ways of doing thing. This limited way of doing things keeps our society little sheltered from what is out there. Female circumcision is something that is out there though. And while it might not be okay in our culture it is accepted in many other cultures. Through the five branches of philosophy we are able to not only learn about different cultures but also come to understand them better.

Philosophy teaches us that every person and every culture has there own standards and practices. However no one should judge a different way of doing something because we do not fully understand the rationale behind it, as we are not in the same circumstances as those people. And although we do not fully understand customs such as female circumcision, at least we have the knowledge that it does exist and that life can be very different depending on what culture you were born into.

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