Philosophy is a belief (or
system of beliefs
) accepted as
by some group or
The rational investigation
about existence and
knowledge and ethics
Any personal belief
about how to live or
how to deal
is the study of general and fundamental problems
concerning matters such as existence
was the philosophical study of nature and the physical
universe that was dominant before the development of
. It is
considered to be the precursor of
stresses the reflective assessments and
critique of society and culture by applying
from the social
sciences and the humanities.
the branch of philosophy concerned with the
is either the appearance or increased
specific school of philosophy, or a fairly broad but identifiable
sea-change in philosophical thought on a particular subject. Major
philosophical movements are often characterized with reference to the
nation, language, or historical era in which they arose.
Doctor of Philosophy
is a type of doctorate degree awarded by universities in many countries.
Ph.D.s are awarded for a wide range of programs in the sciences (e.g.,
biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc.), engineering, and
humanities (e.g., history, literature, musicology, etc.), among others.
The Ph.D. is a terminal degree in many fields. The completion of a Ph.D.
is often a requirement for employment as a university professor,
researcher, or scientist in many fields.
Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford
University, Stanford, CA
Form of the Good
is the one that allows a philosopher-in-training to
advance to a philosopher-king. It cannot be clearly seen or explained, but
once it is recognized, it is the form that allows one to realize all the
other forms. Plato identifies that we should not “introduce every form of
difference and sameness in nature” instead we must focus on "the one form
of sameness and
difference that was relevant to the particular ways of
life themselves” which is the form of the Good. This form is the basis for
understanding all other forms, it is what allows us to understand
everything else. “sun is not sight” but it is “the cause of sight itself.”
As the sun is in the visible realm, the form of Good is in the
intelligible realm. It is “what gives truth to the things known and the
power to know to the knower”. It is not only the “cause of knowledge and
truth, it is also an object of knowledge”. Plato writes that the Form (or
Idea) of the Good is the ultimate object of knowledge, although it is not
knowledge itself, and from the Good, things that are just, gain their
usefulness and value. Humans are compelled to pursue the good, but no one
can hope to do this successfully without philosophical reasoning.
According to Plato, true knowledge is conversant, not about those material
objects and imperfect intelligences which we meet within our daily
interactions with all mankind, but rather it investigates the nature of
those purer and more perfect patterns which are the models after which all
created beings are formed. Plato supposes these perfect types to exist
from all eternity and calls them the Forms or Ideas. As these Forms cannot
be perceived by human senses, whatever knowledge we attain of the Forms
must be seen through the mind's eye (cf. Parmenides 132a), while ideas
derived from the concrete world of flux are ultimately unsatisfactory and
uncertain (see the Theaetetus). He maintains that degree of skepticism
which denies all permanent authority to the evidence of sense. In essence,
Plato suggests that justice, truth, equality, beauty, and many others
ultimately derive from the Form of the Good.
rejects the idea that the function of thought is
to describe, represent, or mirror
. Instead, pragmatists consider thought an instrument or tool
for prediction, problem solving and action. Pragmatists contend that most
philosophical topics—such as the nature of
—are all best viewed in
terms of their practical uses and successes. The philosophy of pragmatism
“emphasizes the practical application of ideas by acting on them to
actually test them in human experiences”. Pragmatism focuses on a
“changing universe rather than an unchanging one as the Idealists,
Realists and Thomists had claimed”.
Internalism and Externalism
are two opposing ways of
explaining various subjects in several areas of philosophy. These include
human motivation, knowledge, justification, meaning, and truth. The
distinction arises in many areas of debate with similar but distinct
meanings. Usually 'internalism' refers to the belief that an explanation
can be given of the given subject by pointing to things which are internal
to the person or their mind which is considering them. Conversely,
externalism holds that it is things about the world which motivate us,
justify our beliefs, determine meaning, etc.
Philosophy in some
ways is a beautiful and unique way of asking a question
sometimes a question about a question. Philosophy is a creative insight to
Philosophy offers unique concepts to self analyze oneself and
the world. Philosophy also
makes observations that are rarely ever made. Looking at things
in more then one way helps us to increase our
and also helps us to see the whole picture. The ability to
stand outside yourself
and see yourself as another person is
valuable to anyone who is seeking more awareness.
Have you asked all
Ontological reductionism: a belief that the whole of reality consists of a
minimal number of parts. Methodological reductionism: the scientific
attempt to provide explanation in terms of ever smaller entities. Theory
reductionism: the suggestion that a newer theory does not replace or
absorb the old, but reduces it to more basic terms
. Theory reduction
itself is divisible into three: translation, derivation and explanation.
the concept that points of view have no absolute
themselves, but rather only relative,
value according to
differences in perception and consideration. As moral relativism, the term
is often used in the context of moral principles
, where principles and
ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context.
It's All Relative
means that the
of something changes
depending on its context
Used to say that something can be thought of in opposite ways depending on
what one compares
by comparison; not
absolute or complete. Properly related in size or degree or other
measurable characteristics; usually followed by 'to'.
is predominantly a philosophy of personal
which is informed by its system
and its views
. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path
for humans is found in accepting
that which we have been given in life, by not allowing ourselves to be
or our fear
using our minds to
the world around us and to do our part in nature's plan,
and by working
and treating others in a
fair and just
manner. Stoicism teaches the development of
and fortitude as a means of
overcoming destructive emotions
flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD.
In Ancient Greece, the
were a category of teachers who specialized in using the
tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching aretê—excellence,
or virtue—predominantly to young statesmen and nobility.
Philosophy of Mind
is a branch of philosophy that studies
the nature of the mind
, mental events, mental functions, mental
, and their relationship to the physical body,
particularly the brain. The mind–body problem, i.e. the relationship of
the mind to the body, is commonly seen as one key issue in philosophy of
mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind
that do not involve its relation to the physical body, such as how
consciousness is possible and the nature of particular mental states.
individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. Examples of
qualia include the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived
redness of an evening sky. As qualitative characters of sensation, qualia
stand in contrast to "propositional attitudes".
is a mental state held by an agent toward a
proposition. Propositional attitudes are often
to be the
fundamental units of thought and their contents, being propositions, are
true or false. An agent can have different propositional attitudes toward
the same proposition (e.g., “S believes that her ice-cream is cold,” and
“S fears that her ice-cream is cold”).
the belief that free will and
are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe in both without
being logically inconsistent. Compatibilists believe freedom can be
present or absent in situations for reasons that have nothing to do with
metaphysics. They define free will as freedom to act according to one's
motives without arbitrary hindrance from other individuals or
is a school of social theory and philosophy
associated in part with the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe
University Frankfurt. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism,
their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social
Institute for Social Research
is a research organization for sociology
and continental philosophy, best known as the institutional home of the
Frankfurt School and critical theory.
refers to the general application of Marxist ideology
and/or Critical Theory to the social sciences.
Cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the
capitalist state. The need for popular workers' education to encourage
development of intellectuals from the working class. The distinction
between political society (the police, the army, legal system, etc.) which
dominates directly and coercively, and civil society (the family, the
education system, trade unions, etc.) where leadership is constituted
through ideology or by means of consent. "Absolute historicism". A
critique of economic determinism that opposes fatalistic interpretations
of Marxism. A critique of philosophical materialism.
is an approach to psychology that stated
the direct experience of the self, of pure self-awareness... – is true.
Spiritual goals of "self-realization" and the "interindividual
psychosynthesis" – of 'social integration...the harmonious integration of
the individual into ever larger groups up to the "one
is the study of subjective experience where
he experiencing subject can be considered to be the person or self, for
purposes of convenience.
is the philosophical study of the
is the belief that philosophical thinking
begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the
acting, feeling, living human individual.
goodness of people.
is a type of dualism most famously
defended by René Descartes, which states that there are two kinds of
foundation: mental and body
philosophy states that the mental can exist outside of the body, and the
body cannot think. Substance dualism is important historically for having
given rise to much thought regarding the famous mind–body problem.
Substance dualism is a philosophical position compatible with most
theologies which claim that immortal souls
occupy an independent "realm" of existence distinct from that of the
is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or
more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most
commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which
argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic
value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent
morality, and that accepted moral values are
abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological,
or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect,
not possible, or reality does not
Universality is the notion that universal facts can be
discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to
relativism. In certain religions, universalism is the quality ascribed to
an entity whose existence is consistent throughout the universe. This
article also discusses Kantian and Platonist notions of "universal", which
are considered by many to be separate notions.
is a system that is composed of non-physical objects, i.e. ideas or
concepts. In this context a system is taken to mean "an interrelated,
interworking set of objects".
is a general truth, principle, or astute
observation, and spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.
is the view that for any specific entity there
is a set of attributes which are necessary to its identity and function.
is a group of positions in the philosophy of
mind which argues that the conscious mind
not only the result of what is going on inside the nervous system (or the
brain), but also what occurs or exists outside the subject. It is
contrasted with internalism
which holds that the mind emerges from neural
activity alone. Externalism is a belief that the mind is not just the
brain or functions of the brain.
is the philosophical study of the
nature of being
, becoming, existence or
as well as the basic
categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of
the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology often deals
with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and
how such entities may be grouped, related within a
and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although
ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly theoretical, it also has
practical application in
and technology, such as ontology engineering.
is a meta-ethical view that claims that ethical
sentences do not express propositions but emotional attitudes
capacity of an actor to act in a given environment
. The capacity to
act does not at first imply a specific moral dimension to the ability to
make the choice to act, and moral agency is therefore a distinct concept.
In sociology, an agent is an individual engaging with the social
structure. Notably, though, the primacy of social structure vs. individual
capacity with regard to persons' actions is debated within sociology. This
debate concerns, at least partly, the level of reflexivity an agent may
possess. Agency may either be classified as unconscious, involuntary
behavior, or purposeful, goal directed activity (intentional action). An
agent typically has some sort of immediate awareness of their physical
activity and the goals that the activity is aimed at realizing. In ‘goal
directed action’ an agent implements a kind of direct control or guidance
over their own behavior.
is the attribute or set of attributes that make an
entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by
necessity, and without which it loses its identity.
is a philosophical concept defined as "the
power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things,
properties and states of affairs".
is the ability of a being or creature to
completely transform its physical form or shape. This is usually achieved
through an inherent ability of a mythological creature, divine
intervention, or the use of magic.
refers in cosmogony (creation theories) to the first being, divinity, or
of all beings
is translated as happiness or welfare; however, "human
flourishing" has been proposed as a more accurate translation.
Etymologically, it consists of the words "eu" ("good") and "daimōn"
("spirit"). It is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political
philosophy, along with the terms "aretē", most often translated as
"virtue" or "excellence", and "phronesis", often translated as "practical
or ethical wisdom
". In Aristotle's works, eudaimonia was (based on
older Greek tradition) used as the term for the highest human good, and so
it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political
philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how
it can be achieved.
The Extended Mind
is a seminal work in the field of extended
cognition. In this paper, Clark and Chalmers present the idea of active
externalism (similar to semantic or "content" externalism), in which
objects within the environment function as a part of the mind. They argue
that it is arbitrary to say that the mind is contained only within the
boundaries of the skull. The separation between the mind, the body, and
the environment is seen as an unprincipled distinction. Because external
objects play a significant role in aiding cognitive processes, the mind
and the environment act as a "coupled system". This coupled system can be
seen as a complete cognitive system of its own. In this manner, the mind
is extended into the external world. The main criterion that Clark and
Chalmers list for classifying the use of external objects during cognitive
tasks as a part of an extended cognitive system is that the external
objects must function with the same purpose as the internal processes. In
The Extended Mind, a thought experiment is presented to further illustrate
the environment's role in connection to the mind. The fictional characters
Otto and Inga are both travelling to a museum simultaneously.
- Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers, Department of
Philosophy, Washington University
originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held
by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably
influenced by mathematics and mysticism. Later revivals of Pythagorean
doctrines led to what is now called Neopythagoreanism or Neoplatonism.
Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Aristotle, and Plato,
and through them, all of Western philosophy.
is a theory that states that
comes only or primarily from sensory
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
is a work by
concerning the foundation of human
and understanding. It first appeared in 1689 (although dated 1690) with
the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane
describes the mind at birth as a blank slate (tabula rasa, although he did
not use those actual words) filled later through experience. The essay was
one of the principal sources of empiricism in modern philosophy, and
influenced many enlightenment philosophers, such as David Hume and George
Berkeley. Book I of the Essay is Locke's attempt to refute the rationalist
notion of innate ideas. Book II sets out Locke's theory of ideas,
including his distinction between passively acquired simple ideas, such as
"red," "sweet," "round," etc., and actively built complex ideas, such as
numbers, causes and effects,
abstract ideas, ideas of substances,
identity, and diversity. Locke also distinguishes between the truly
existing primary qualities of bodies, like shape, motion and the
arrangement of minute particles, and the secondary qualities that are
"powers to produce
various sensations in us" such as "red" and
"sweet." These secondary qualities, Locke claims, are dependent on the
primary qualities. He also offers a theory of personal identity, offering
a largely psychological criterion. Book III is concerned with language,
and Book IV with knowledge, including intuition, mathematics, moral
philosophy, natural philosophy ("science"), faith, and opinion.
is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind
is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that
knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world
and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a
metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the
world and other minds do not exist.Western
is a scholarly term for a wide range of loosely related
unconventional ideas and movements which have developed within Western
is a school of Ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics (Greek:
Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to
live in virtue
agreement with nature
reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by
living in a way which is natural for themselves, rejecting all
conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were
to lead a simple life free from all possessions.
is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories,
research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes
legitimate contributions to a field.
purports to be an account of a meeting between the two great philosophers
, and a young Socrates
occasion of the meeting was the reading by Zeno of his treatise defending
Parmenidean monism against those partisans of plurality who asserted that
Parmenides' supposition that there is a one gives rise to intolerable
absurdities and contradictions.
argues that non-physical (but substantial) forms
(or ideas) represent the most accurate reality.
sought to legitimize philosophical
discourse by placing it on a basis shared with empirical sciences' best
examples, such as Einstein's general theory of relativity. Its central
thesis was verificationism, a theory of knowledge which asserted that only
statements verifiable through empirical observation are cognitively
meaningful. Efforts to convert philosophy to this new scientific
philosophy were intended to prevent confusion rooted in unclear language
and unverifiable claims.
is an emerging field of
philosophical inquiry that makes use of
gathered through surveys which probe the intuitions of ordinary people—in
order to inform research on philosophical questions. This use of empirical
data is widely seen as opposed to a philosophical methodology that relies
mainly on a priori justification, sometimes called "armchair" philosophy,
by experimental philosophers. Experimental philosophy initially began by
focusing on philosophical questions related to intentional action, the
putative conflict between free will and determinism, and causal vs.
descriptive theories of linguistic reference. However, experimental
philosophy has continued to expand to new areas of research.
is a collection of
held by an
. It can be described as a set of conscious
ideas which make
up one's beliefs, goals, expectations, and motivations. An ideology is a
comprehensive normative vision that is followed by people, governments, or
other groups that is considered the correct way by the majority of the
population, as argued in several philosophical tendencies
is the group of philosophies which assert that
, or reality as we
can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise
immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a
the possibility of knowing
any mind-independent thing. In a sociological
sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and
values—shape society. As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further,
asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit. Idealism thus
that fail to ascribe priority to
the mind. Mannerisms
is what you think
you know about the world
based on your experiences and level of knowledge and information that you
have acquired in your lifetime up to the present moment. And since most
people don't have enough knowledge and information about themselves and
the world around them, that means almost everyone has an extremely narrow
point of view.
Is the Media
and other Organizations
the public in a negative sense?
Framing (social sciences)
comprises a set of concepts and theoretical
perspectives on how individuals, groups, and societies, organize,
perceive, and communicate about reality. Framing involves
of a social phenomenon – by mass media sources, political
or social movements, political leaders, or other actors and organizations.
Participation in a language
of the meanings attributed to words or
phrases. Politically, the language communities of advertising, religion,
and mass media are highly contested, whereas framing in less-sharply
defended language communities might evolve imperceptibly and organically
over cultural time frames, with fewer overt modes of disputation.
what a person believes as being of ultimate importance. It involves the
presuppositions and theories
upon which such a stance could be made, a
, and a
commitment to potentially working it out in one's life. It connotes an
integrated perspective on reality as a whole and how to assign valuations,
thus being a concept similar or equivalent to that of a worldview.
refers to a long lasting and stable set of memories that
summarize a person's beliefs, experiences and generalizations about the
self, in specific behavioral domains. A person may have a self-schema
based on any aspect of himself or herself as a person, including physical
characteristics, personality traits
and interests, as long as they consider that aspect of their self
important to their own self-definition
matter from a particular viewpoint
Something a little different from others of the same type. A
or significance of something.
is a branch of philosophy investigating the
fundamental nature of reality
. While various views and methods have been
called 'metaphysics' across history, this article approaches metaphysics
first from the perspective of contemporary analytical philosophy, and then
explores metaphysics in other traditions. In this vein, metaphysics seeks
to answer two basic questions: Ultimately, what is there? What is it like?
What do we know so far
is an ancient Chinese collection of anecdotes and
fables, one of the foundational texts of Daoism.
is a term in western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric,
and religion derived from a Greek word meaning "ground", "plea",
"opinion", "expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "reason",
"proportion", "discourse", but it became a technical term in
philosophy beginning with Heraclitus (c. 535–475 BCE), who used the term
for a principle of order and knowledge. Logos is the logic behind an
argument. Logos tries to persuade an audience using logical arguments and
supportive evidence. Logos is a persuasive technique often used in writing
is described as an emerging
in which the knowledge of individuals becomes
the primary focus for social structure, values, and beliefs. The concept
is put forward and explored by philosopher and media critic Pierre Lévy in
his 1997 book Collective
occurs, and more so, whether such
progress in philosophy is even possible. It has even been disputed, most
notably by Ludwig Wittgenstein, whether genuine philosophical problems
actually exist. The opposite has also been claimed, most notably by Karl
Popper, who held that such problems do exist, that they are solvable, and
that he had actually found definite solutions to some of them.
Philosophy of Science
is a branch of philosophy concerned
with the foundations, methods, and implications of
. The central questions of
this study concern what qualifies as science, the reliability of
scientific theories, and the ultimate purpose of science. This discipline
overlaps with metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, for example, when
it explores the relationship between science and truth.
Resources for Philosophy
American Philosophical Association
for Philosophy and Psychology
Think Outside the Box
Primacy of Consciousness
and the Matrix: Return to the Source
Philosophy and the Matrix
(youtube) "It's the question that
of the Last 10 Minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Blue Pill or Red Pill
What if Life was a Simulation
Allegory of the Cave
is the subjective appearance of a human while connected to
is one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Indian philosophy. It
represents the divergent philosophical views of more than 10 schools—all
developed on the basis of a common textual connection called the
Prasthanatrayi. The Prasthanatrayi is a collective term for the Principal
Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Vedanta does not
stand for one comprehensive or unifying doctrine. All Vedanta schools, in
their deliberations, concern themselves with the following three
categories but differ in their views regarding the conception of the
categories and the relations between them: Brahman – the ultimate
metaphysical reality, Atman / Jivatman – the individual soul or self, and
Prakriti – the empirical world, ever-changing physical universe, body and
matter. Over time, Vedanta adopted ideas from other orthodox (astika)
schools like Yoga and Nyaya, and, through this syncretism, became the most
prominent school of Hinduism. Many extant forms of Vaishnavism, Shaivism
and Shaktism have been significantly shaped and influenced by the
doctrines of different schools of Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta (IAST Advaita
Vedanta; Sanskrit:) espouses non-dualism and monism. Brahman is held to be
the sole unchanging metaphysical reality and identical to Atman. The
physical world, on the other hand, is always-changing empirical Maya. The
absolute and infinite Atman-Brahman is realized by a process of negating
everything relative, finite, empirical and changing. The school accepts no
duality, no limited individual souls (Atman / Jivatman), and no separate
unlimited cosmic soul. All souls and existence across space and time is
considered as the same oneness (i.e. monism). Spiritual liberation in
Advaita is the full comprehension and realization of oneness, that one's
unchanging Atman (soul) is the same as the Atman in everyone else, as well
as being identical to the nirguna Brahman.
collection of texts that contain some of the central philosophical
concepts of Hinduism, some of which are shared with Buddhism, Jainism and
Sikhism. The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain utterances (sruti)
concerning the nature of ultimate reality (brahman) and describing the
character of and path to human salvation (mok?a or mukti). The Upanishads
are commonly referred to as Vedanta, variously interpreted to mean either
the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" or "the object, the highest purpose
of the Veda". The concepts of Brahman (Ultimate Reality) and Atman (Soul,
Self) are central ideas in all the Upanishads, and "Know your Atman" their
thematic focus. The Upanishads are the foundation of Hindu philosophical
thought and its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are
widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishads are at the spiritual
core of Hindus.
is a thought experiment put forward by philosopher Robert
Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and
Utopia. It is one of the
best known attempts to refute ethical
and does so by imagining a choice between everyday reality and an
apparently preferable simulated reality
If the primary thesis of hedonism is that "pleasure is the good", then any
component of life that is not pleasurable does nothing directly to
increase one's well-being. This is a view held by many value theorists,
but most famously by some classical utilitarians. Nozick attacks the
thesis by means of a thought experiment. If he can show that there is
something other than pleasure that has value and thereby increases our
well-being, then hedonism is defeated.
. That there is no transcendent meaning to a
discipline other than the
literal content created by a practitioner. The philosophical
theory that formal (logical or
mathematical) statements have no meaning but that its symbols
(regarded as physical entities)
exhibit a form that has useful applications. The practice of scrupulous adherence to prescribed or external
forms. The doctrine that formal structure rather than content is
what should be represented. Religious formalism, an emphasis on
the ritual and observance of religion, rather than its meaning.
Can thoughts exist
If so, what words would you use to describe them?
Language and Thought
"Philosophy has no distinctive subject matter, and furnishes no novel facts but
only offers insights into relationships; it strives after that
systematic integration of knowledge that the sciences initially
promised but never managed to deliver"
ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira,
Chalkidice, on the northern periphery of Classical Greece. (384–322 BC, 62
years). At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy
in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC).
His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology,
metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric,
linguistics, politics and government – and constitute the first
comprehensive system of Western philosophy.
was a philosopher
in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first
institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely
considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy,
especially the Western tradition. Unlike nearly all of his philosophical
contemporaries, Plato's entire work is believed to have survived intact
for over 2,400 years. (423-348 BCE, 75 years).
Dialogues of Plato
was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher
credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic
figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially
the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his
contemporary Aristophanes. Plato's dialogues are among the most
comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, though it is
unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is "hidden behind his 'best
disciple', Plato". (470/469 – 399 BC).
was a semi-legendary author of the Iliad and the
Odyssey, two epic poems which are the central works of Greek literature.
Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most
widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central
coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. The modern scholarly consensus is
that these traditions do not have any historical value.
is the only book-length
philosophical work published by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig
Wittgenstein in his lifetime.
is a work by the philosopher
Ludwig Wittgenstein, first published, posthumously, in 1953, in which
Wittgenstein discusses numerous problems and puzzles in the fields of
semantics, logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of psychology,
philosophy of action, and philosophy of mind. He puts forth the view that
conceptual confusions surrounding language use are at the root of most
philosophical problems, contradicting or discarding much of what he argued
in his earlier work, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
Encyclopedia of Philosophy and its Authors
The World (Descartes)
is a book by
(1596–1650). Written between 1629 and 1633,
it contains a nearly complete version of his philosophy, from method, to
metaphysics, to physics and biology.
held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour and
argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human
knowledge is ultimately founded solely in Experience; Hume thus held that
genuine knowledge must either be directly traceable to objects perceived
in experience, or result from abstract reasoning about relations between
ideas which are derived from experience, calling the rest "nothing but
sophistry and illusion", a dichotomy later given the name Hume's fork. In
what is sometimes referred to as Hume's problem of induction, he argued
that inductive reasoning, and belief in causality, cannot, ultimately, be
justified rationally; our trust in causality and induction instead results
from custom and mental habit, and are attributable to only the experience
of "constant conjunction" rather than logic: for we can never, in
experience, perceive that one event causes another, but only that the two
are always conjoined, and to draw any inductive causal inferences from
past experience first requires the presupposition that the future will be
like the past, a presupposition which cannot be grounded in prior
experience without already being presupposed. Hume's anti-teleological
opposition to the argument for God's existence from design is generally
regarded as the most intellectually significant such attempt to rebut the
Teleological Argument prior to Darwin.
was an Italian writer, poet, journalist,
playwright and soldier during World War I.
was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded the
school of philosophy called Epicureanism.
was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle
Miguel de Cervantes
was a Spanish writer who is highly regarded as perhaps the greatest writer
in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists.
was a German philosopher.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and
lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse
dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism;
treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition,
numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and
nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist.
was a German poet, philosopher,
physician, historian, and playwright.
was a German poet, journalist, essayist, and
born in Paris in 1431 and disappeared from
view in 1463, is the best known French poet of the late Middle Ages. A
ne'er-do-well who was involved in criminal behavior and had multiple
encounters with law enforcement authorities, Villon wrote about some of
these experiences in his poems.
was a French playwright and actor who is considered
to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among
Molière's best known works are The Misanthrope, The School for Wives,
Tartuffe, The Miser, The Imaginary Invalid, and The Bourgeois Gentleman.
was a French dramatist, one of the three great
playwrights of 17th-century France (along with Molière and Corneille), and
an important literary figure in the Western tradition.
was a French tragedian. He is generally
considered one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists,
along with Molière and Jean Racine.
Michel de Montaigne
was one of the most significant
philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay
as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes
and autobiography with serious intellectual insight; his massive volume
Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written.
was the Hans Rausing Professor and Head of the
Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University,
and a fellow of King's College, until his unexpected death in November
2007. According to his obituary on the Cambridge web site, he was
"recognized as one of the leading philosophers of science and
epistemologists in the world."
What I Am -