What Is the Difference Between Philosophy and Metaphysics?


Jane Flores

Philosophy and metaphysics are two terms that are often used interchangeably but they actually refer to distinct fields of study. While both of them deal with abstract concepts and ideas, there are significant differences between the two.


Philosophy is a broad field of inquiry that seeks to understand the fundamental nature of reality, existence, and knowledge. It is concerned with asking questions about the nature of things, such as “What is the meaning of life?” and “What is the good life?”

Branches of Philosophy: Philosophy can be divided into several branches such as metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, and more.


Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of reality beyond what is physical or observable. It seeks to understand the fundamental nature of things like existence, causality, time and space.

Key Questions: Metaphysics addresses some key questions like:

  • What is real?
  • What exists beyond what we can observe?
  • What is cause and effect?
  • What is time?
  • What is space?

Differences Between Philosophy and Metaphysics

While philosophy deals with a broad range of topics including metaphysics, there are some key differences between these two fields:

  • Semantic Differences: Philosophy deals with all types of questions while Metaphysics specifically deals with abstract concepts.
  • Purpose: The purpose behind each field also differs. Philosophy aims to explore all aspects of human thought and life while the purpose of metaphysics is to understand the nature of reality beyond what is physical or observable.
  • Focus: Philosophy focuses on understanding human existence while Metaphysics focuses on understanding the nature of reality beyond human existence.


In conclusion, philosophy and metaphysics are two different fields of study that deal with abstract concepts, ideas, and questions. While there are overlaps in both fields, they differ in terms of their focus, purpose, and scope. Knowing the difference between these two disciplines can help individuals better understand what each field entails and how they relate to one another.