An open educational and open-ended resource for whomever is interested in philosophical thinking. In this scholarly handbook you find two kinds of chapters. First, there are chapters that provide a broad introduction into a specific philosophical subdiscipline, such as political philosophy, epistemology or metaphysics. As this collection covers most of the sub-disciplines currently taught at Western philosophy departments, you can legitimately claim that you have been introduced to Western ‘philosophy’ as a whole, understood rather canonically, after having read the entire handbook. Second, there are chapters that introduce slightly more specific topics or philosophical approaches.
The open-ended nature of this handbook, means that new chapters will be added in the future. We hope that philosophy will change and grow with time to become more diverse and inclusive and that this handbook will do so as well. We think of philosophy and its evolution as an organic process, as a tree that branches out in many different directions, adding new directions as it goes along. In this handbook, we organize the wide variety of topics that philosophers discuss into four main branches, which represent important subject areas that philosophers have covered.