What Are the 4 Major Categories of Metaphysics?


Jane Flores

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of reality beyond physical perception. It tries to answer fundamental questions about existence, reality, and the nature of being.

Metaphysics is divided into four major categories: ontology, cosmology, epistemology, and axiology. Let’s delve deeper into each category.


Ontology is the study of the nature of being and existence. It examines what entities exist or can be said to exist and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

In other words, ontology asks questions like “What is the meaning of existence?” or “What exists in reality? “.


  • What is consciousness?
  • Is time real?
  • Do abstract objects exist?


Cosmology studies the origins and structure of the universe, including its physical laws and processes. It examines how the universe began, how it evolved over time, and what its ultimate fate will be.

Cosmology tries to answer questions like “How did the universe begin?” or “What is the nature of space-time? “.

  • What caused the Big Bang?
  • How does gravity work?
  • Is there life on other planets?


Epistemology deals with knowledge and belief. It examines how we acquire knowledge and how we can differentiate between true beliefs from false beliefs.

Epistemological questions include “What can we know for certain?” or “How do we distinguish between knowledge and opinion? “.

  • What is the nature of truth?
  • How do we know what we know?
  • Is knowledge possible?


Axiology deals with values and ethics. It examines what is considered good or bad and how we should act in certain situations.

Axiological questions include “What is the meaning of morality?” or “What is the basis for ethical judgments? “.

  • What is the nature of justice?
  • What is the meaning of happiness?
  • Is there a universal moral code?

In conclusion, metaphysics provides a framework for understanding reality beyond physical perception. The four major categories of metaphysics – ontology, cosmology, epistemology, and axiology – offer different perspectives on fundamental questions about existence, reality, and the nature of being. By exploring these categories, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.