The problem of the beginning of philosophy is well known.   One must choose a preliminary approach and then forget the choice, refusing to acknowledge its contingency.  One then builds a massive edifice on the contingent axioms the approach chosen, a castle on a cloud - which makes the cloud invisible.   Any philosophical edifice, it seems, is doomed to be lacking in ‘firm foundation’ and self-deceiving in this way.

That is, any philosophical edifice that is attempting to provide a single, unified perspective.  But this is not the only option. To me it seems more honest to note that there are four possible approaches (what I call the Four Cardinals) and that each approach corresponds to a mode of will that is to some degree not accountable - or at least not consciously chosen.   The human being who chooses to philosophize will either focus on personal liberation from suffering (Ascesis, contact with God), precise and exhaustive accounting and symbolization of the world (Catharsis), the communication of something that has never been expressed but is prenumbrally available, so to speak, in the philosopher’s environment (Fervor) or to legislate for the world in a concrete way, perhaps creating an actual institution (Majesty).   These four types correspond to fundamental individual dispositions, created by some combination between natural inclination and particular experience of being initiated into society - a particular individual will always thirst for one of these four outcomes and will typically disdain the other three.   Human culture as a whole can be classified as the history of collective efforts at these four fundamental modes of will, respectively generating something along the lines of religion, science, art, and politics.

But, in my opinion, to stop here, with a taxonomy of modes of will, is not enough.  One then has to order  the approaches -  as an ascending path of liberation - and construct a provisional system that derives from all four.    This is why I have proposed the four arenas of philosophy: Axiology, Metaphysics, Cosmogony, Eschatology, which are bodies of theory derived respectively from the four Cardinals, in the order listed.  To be capable of Metaphysics, one must have already passed through Axiology; to be capable of Cosmogony, one must first pass through Metaphysics etc.   In essence, Axiology awakens me to the meaning and field of possibility of my own life, and an account of Metaphysics and Cosmogony make it possible to think clearly about the meaning and field of possibility for all of civilization, which is Eschatology.

Once the ascent to Eschatology has been completed, the work of art can begin, which has a narrative and representational aspect called Ark Work as well as a libidinal and intuitive aspect called Aesthethics.