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Philosophy

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For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation).

Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom"[1][1][2][2][3][4]) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[5][6] The term was probably coined by the pre-Socratic thinker Pythagoras.[7][8] Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and the systematic presentation of big ideas.[9][10]

Philosophers are known to ask highly abstract and theoretical questions: is it possible to know anything and to prove it?[11][12][13] What is most real? However, philosophers also pose questions that are more practical: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if you can get away with it)?[14] Do humans have free will or not?[15] Should actions evaluated by their consequences or by the agents' intentions?[16] Philosophers investigate questions closely related to other pursuits, such as art, science, and politics: is beauty objective or subjective?[17][18] Are there many scientific methods or just one?[19] Is creating a political utopia a hopeful dream or foolish fantasy?[20][21]

Historically, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge.[22][23] Terms like "natural philosophy" encompassed disciplines today associated with sciences like astronomy, medicine, and physics.[24] For example, Newton's (1687) "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" is now classified as a book of physics. However, in the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities influenced many arts, sciences, and philosophies to become more professionalized and specialized.[25][26] Some traditional branches of philosophy split off to become new disciplines, as occurred with psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics.

Introduction

Philosophy and culture

In this broadest sense, all cultures have a "philosophy" or wisdom tradition. All times and peoples, whether prehistoric, medieval, or modern; Eastern, Western, religious or secular — have had their own unique schools of philosophy, arrived at through both inheritance and through independent discovery.

Therefore, the history of philosophy is inseparable from global history. Karl Jaspers termed the intense period of philosophical development beginning around the 7th century and concluding around the 3rd century BCE an Axial Age in human thought. Philosophy or wisdom arises simultaneously with science, mathematics, mythology, art, religion, and political society. For more information on non-western philosophy organized by the chronological periods of each region, see:

Eastern philosophy

Main article: Eastern philosophy

In the West, the term Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of "the East", namely Asia, including China, India, Japan, Persia and the general area. The term ignores the fact that these countries do not belong to a single culture. Ancient eastern philosophy developed mainly in India and China.

Confucius, illustrated in Myths & Legends of China, 1922, by E.T.C. Werner.

Western and eastern philosophy

Main article: Western philosophy

Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Pythagoras distinguished himself from other "wise ones" by calling himself a mere lover of wisdom, suggesting that he was not wise.[8] Socrates used this title and insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom.[27] Socrate's student Plato is often credited as the founder of Western philosophy. The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said of Plato: "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do not mean the systematic scheme of thought which scholars have doubtfully extracted from his writings. I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them."[28]

Philosophy and progress

Because many philosophical debates begun in ancient times are still debated today, some (such as Colin McGinn) to think that there has been no philosophical progress.[29] David Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science,[30] while Talbot Brewer argues that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity.[31]


Sub-fields

Philosophy has been subdivided in various ways. For example, one widely used traditional division included three major branches:[2]

  1. Natural philosophy ("physics") was the study of the the physical world (physis, lit: nature);
  2. Moral philosophy ("ethics") was the study of goodness, right and wrong, justice, and virtue (ethos, lit: custom);
  3. Metaphysical philosophy ("logos") was the study of existence, causation, God, logic, forms, and other abstract objects ("meta-physika" lit: "what comes after physics").[32]

These traditional branches, while not obsolete, are no longer used by most professional academics. Rather, contemporary academics tend divide the branches of philosophy by research topic, by historical period, or by philosophical tradition and thinker:

  1. Major topical branches include epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics, etc.[33][34]
  2. Historical periods include ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary, etc.[35]
  3. Philosophical traditions or schools of thought include analytic philosophy, phenomenology, Platonism, Confucianism, Taoism, etc.

These divisions are neither exhaustive, nor mutually exclusive. (A philosopher might specialize in Kantian epistemology, or Platonic aesthetics, or modern political philosophy.) Furthermore, these philosophical inquiries sometimes overlap with other inquiries such as science, religion, or mathematics.[36]

Some of the major sub-fields of philosophy are considered individually below.

Epistemology

Main article: Epistemology

Epistemology is the study of knowledge (Greek: episteme).[37] Epistemologists also ask: What is truth? Is knowledge justified true belief? Are any beliefs justified? Various kinds of putative knowledge include propositional knowledge (knowledge that something is the case), know-how (knowledge of how to do something), and acquaintance (familiarity with someone or something). Epistemologists examine some or all of these and ask whether knowledge is really possible.

Skepticism is the view that all or much of our putative knowledge is not really knowledge, but mere belief or falsehood. Skeptics argue that genuine, reliable knowledge about reality is completely impossible, or that such knowledge is to some degree difficult and rare. Important skeptics include Gorgias and (arguably) Friedrich Nietzsche.

If knowledge is possible, how is it best acquired? Are beliefs justified on the basis of perception, reason, or something else? Major epistemological positions include rationalism, empiricism, idealism, and mysticism.

  • Rationalists, argue that reliable knowledge can come from reason and rational reflection, even apart from sensory experience or divine revelation. Important rationalists include Plato and Descartes.
  • Empiricists by contrast, argue that knowledge comes only or primarily or initially from sense-perception and ordinary experience. Examples include Aristotle, John Locke andDavid Hume.
  • Idealists argue that knowledge is not merely the discovery of reality as it is "in itself"; rather that knowledge is partly or wholly a construction of the knower. Important idealists include Immanuel Kant.
  • Mystics argue that some knowledge comes directly from altered states of consciousness (such as those produced by psychedelic drugs) or from mysterious planes of existence, such as supernatural or religious experiences. Examples include Teresa of Avila, and William James.

Logic

Main article: Logic

Logic is the study of reasoning and argument. An argument is "a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition." The connected series of statements are called "premises", and the proposition being established is called the conclusion. For example:

  1. All humans are mortal. (premise)
  2. Socrates is a human. (premise)
  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (conclusion)

In ordinary discourse, the conclusion of an argument may be signified by words like 'therefore', 'hence', 'ergo' and so on. Most people can successful infer that Socrates is mortal if they know that all humans are mortal and that Socrates is a human.

Good arguments are called "sound", which means the premises are true and the inference is "valid". An argument is valid if its conclusion necessarily follows from its premises. So, an argument is sound if its conclusion necessarily follows from its premises and its premises are true. Bad arguments are called "unsound". But correct reasoning only occurs when the premises of an argument are true, and the terms unambiguous, and the inference valid. Incorrect reasoning occurs when either the premises of an argument are false, or the terms are unclear, or the inference invalid, or any combination of these. Various types of faulty reasoning are called fallacies.

In classical Aristotelian logic, arguments are expressed in a natural language and may be classified as either deductive or inductive (or possibly abductive). Inductive reasoning makes conclusions or generalizations based on probabilistic reasoning. For example, if "90% of humans are right-handed" and "Joe is human" then "Joe is probably right-handed". In modern logics, arguments can be expressed in symbols. Propositional logic uses premises that are propositions, which are declarations that are either true or false, while predicate logic uses more complex premises called formulae that contain variables. Fields in logic include mathematical logic, philosophical logic, Modal logic, computational logic, and non-classical logics.

Because sound reasoning is an essential element of all sciences,[38] social sciences, and humanities disciplines, logic is classified as a formal science.

Metaphysics

Main article: Metaphysics

Metaphysics is the study of the most general features of reality, such as existence, time, the relationship between mind and body, objects and their properties, wholes and their parts, events, processes, and causation. Traditional branches of metaphysics include cosmology, the study of the world in its entirety, and ontology, the study of being. Within metaphysics itself there are a wide range of differing philosophical theories. Idealism, for example, is the belief that reality is mentally constructed or otherwise immaterial while realism holds that reality, or at least some part of it, exists independently of the mind. Subjective idealism describes objects as no more than collections or "bundles" of sense data in the perceiver. The 18th-century philosopher George Berkeley contended that existence is fundamentally tied to perception with the phrase Esse est aut percipi aut percipere or "To be is to be perceived or to perceive".[39] In addition to the aforementioned views, however, there is also an ontological dichotomy within metaphysics between the concepts of particulars and universals. Particulars are those objects that are said to exist in space and time, as opposed to abstract objects, such as numbers. Universals are properties held by multiple particulars, such as redness or a gender. The type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of serious debate within metaphysical philosophy. Realism is the philosophical position that universals do in fact exist, while nominalism is the negation, or denial of universals, abstract objects, or both.[40] Conceptualism holds that universals exist, but only within the mind's perception.[41] The question of whether or not existence is a predicate has been discussed since the Early Modern period. Essence is the set of attributes that make an object what it fundamentally is and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the substance has contingently, without which the substance can still retain its identity.

Ethics

Main article: Ethics

Ethics, or "moral philosophy," is the branch of axiology that studies good and bad, right and wrong.

The primary investigation of ethics or morality is the best way to live. The main branches of ethics are normative ethics, meta-ethics, and applied ethics.

  • Normative ethics is about the principles of right and wrong. Major normative theories include deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics, hedonism, anarchism, postmodernism, among others.
  • Meta-ethics concerns the nature of ethical thought, such as the origins of the evaluative terms like 'good', whether there are any true evaluative judgments, and how such truths could be known. Major meta-ethical positions include moral anti-realism, moral realism, and constructivism.
  • Applied ethics is about the application of principles to particular situations or acts, such as whether abortion, or nuclear proliferation, or theft are wrong. Applied ethical subdisciplines include bioethics, business ethics, machine ethics, and others.

A secondary investigation within ethics is whether any ethical questions can be answered. Moral nihilism, for example, is the denial that anything is moral or immoral. Moral relativism is a family of views that right and wrong are not universal but relative, either to cultures, ideologies, individuals, or something else.

Political Philosophy

Main article: Political philosophy

Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals (or families and clans) to communities including the state. It includes questions about justice, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen. Politics and ethics are traditionally inter-linked subjects, as both discuss the question of what is good and how people should live.

From ancient times, and well beyond them, the roots of justification for political authority were inescapably tied to outlooks on human nature. In The Republic, Plato presented the argument that the ideal society would be run by a council of philosopher-kings, since those best at philosophy are best able to realize the good. Even Plato, however, required philosophers to make their way in the world for many years before beginning their rule at the age of fifty. For Aristotle, humans are political animals (i.e. social animals), and governments are set up to pursue good for the community. Aristotle reasoned that, since the state (polis) was the highest form of community, it has the purpose of pursuing the highest good. Aristotle viewed political power as the result of natural inequalities in skill and virtue. Because of these differences, he favored an aristocracy of the able and virtuous. For Aristotle, the person cannot be complete unless he or she lives in a community. His The Nicomachean Ethics and The Politics are meant to be read in that order. The first book addresses virtues (or "excellences") in the person as a citizen; the second addresses the proper form of government to ensure that citizens will be virtuous, and therefore complete. Both books deal with the essential role of justice in civic life.

Nicolas of Cusa rekindled Platonic thought in the early 15th century. He promoted democracy in Medieval Europe, both in his writings and in his organization of the Council of Florence. Unlike Aristotle and the Hobbesian tradition to follow, Cusa saw human beings as equal and divine (that is, made in God's image), so democracy would be the only just form of government. Cusa's views are credited by some as sparking the Italian Renaissance, which gave rise to the notion of "Nation-States".

Later, Niccolò Machiavelli rejected the views of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas as unrealistic. The ideal sovereign is not the embodiment of the moral virtues; rather the sovereign does whatever is successful and necessary, rather than what is morally praiseworthy. Thomas Hobbes also contested many elements of Aristotle's views. For Hobbes, human nature is essentially anti-social: people are essentially egoistic, and this egoism makes life difficult in the natural state of things. Moreover, Hobbes argued, though people may have natural inequalities, these are trivial, since no particular talents or virtues that people may have will make them safe from harm inflicted by others. For these reasons, Hobbes concluded that the state arises from a common agreement to raise the community out of the state of nature. This can only be done by the establishment of a sovereign, in which (or whom) is vested complete control over the community, and is able to inspire awe and terror in its subjects.[42]

Many in the Enlightenment were unsatisfied with existing doctrines in political philosophy, which seemed to marginalize or neglect the possibility of a democratic state. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was among those who attempted to overturn these doctrines: he responded to Hobbes by claiming that a human is by nature a kind of "noble savage", and that society and social contracts corrupt this nature. Another critic was John Locke. In Second Treatise on Government he agreed with Hobbes that the nation-state was an efficient tool for raising humanity out of a deplorable state, but he argued that the sovereign might become an abominable institution compared to the relatively benign unmodulated state of nature.[43] Following the doctrine of the fact-value distinction, due in part to the influence of David Hume and his student Adam Smith, appeals to human nature for political justification were weakened. Nevertheless, many political philosophers, especially moral realists, still make use of some essential human nature as a basis for their arguments.

Marxism is derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Their idea that capitalism is based on exploitation of workers and causes alienation of people from their human nature, the historical materialism, their view of social classes, etc., have influenced many fields of study, such as sociology, economics, and politics. Marxism inspired the Marxist school of communism, which brought a huge impact on the history of the 20th century.

Aesthetics

Main article: Aesthetics

Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, enjoyment, sensory-emotional values, perception, and matters of taste and sentiment. It is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty.[44][45] It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.[46] More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature."[47][48] More specific aesthetic theory, often with practical implications, relating to a particular branch of the arts is divided into areas of aesthetics such as art theory, literary theory, film theory and music theory. An example from art theory is aesthetic theory as a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement: such as the Cubist aesthetic.[49]

Specialized branches

When philosophers ask general and fundamental questions about a specific topic (such as history, language, or religion) the resulting inquiry may become a specialized branch of philosophy.

  • Philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history.
  • Philosophy of language explores the nature, the origins, and the use of language.
  • Philosophy of law (often called jurisprudence) explores the varying theories explaining the nature and the interpretations of law.
  • Philosophy of education analyzes the definition and content of education, as well as the goals and challenges of educators.
  • Philosophy of mind explores the nature of the mind, and its relationship to the body, and is typified by disputes between dualism and materialism. In recent years there has been increasing similarity between this branch of philosophy and cognitive science.
  • Philosophy of religion explores questions that often arise in connection with one or several religions, including the soul, the afterlife, God, religious experiences, analysis of religious vocabulary and texts, and the relationship of religion and science.
  • Philosophy of science explores the foundations, methods, history, implications, and purpose of science.
  • Philosophy of biology is a subfield of philosophy of science and deals specifically with the metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues in the biomedical and life sciences.
  • Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics.
  • Feminist philosophy explores questions surrounding gender, sexuality, and the body including the nature of feminism itself as a social and philosophical movement.
  • Philosophy of film analyzes films and filmmakers for their philosophical content and style explores film (images, cinema, etc.) as a medium for philosophical reflection and expression.
  • Philosophy of sport analyzes activities such as sports, games, and other forms of play as sociological and uniquely human activities.
  • Philosophy of human nature analyzes the unique characteristics of human beings, such as rationality, politics, and culture.
  • Metaphilosophy explores the aims of philosophy, its boundaries, and its methods.

Many academic disciplines have also generated philosophical inquiry. The relationship between between "X" and the "philosophy of X" is debated. Richard Feynman argues that the philosophy of a topic is irrelevant to the primary study of a topic, saying that "philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds." Curtis White, by contrast, argues that philosophical tools are essential to humanities, sciences, and social sciences.[50]

General history

The history of philosophy is the compilation and study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time. Issues specifically related to history of philosophy might include (but are not limited to): How can changes in philosophy be accounted for historically? What drives the development of thought in its historical context? To what degree can philosophical texts from prior historical eras be understood even today? History of philosophy seeks to catalogue and classify such development. The goal is to understand the development of philosophical ideas through time.

Ancient philosophy

Main article: Ancient philosophy

In Western philosophy, the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire marked the ending of Hellenistic philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of Medieval philosophy, whereas in Eastern philosophy, the spread of Islam through the Arab Empire marked the end of Old Iranian philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of early Islamic philosophy. Genuinely philosophical thought, depending upon original individual insights, arose in many cultures roughly contemporaneously. Karl Jaspers termed the intense period of philosophical development beginning around the 7th century and concluding around the 3rd century BCE an Axial Age in human thought.

Egypt and Babylon
Main article: African philosophy

There are authors who date the philosophical maxims of Ptahhotep before the 25th century. For instance, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Will Durant dates these writings as early as 2880 BCE within The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental History. Durant claims that Ptahhotep could be considered the very first philosopher in virtue of having the earliest and surviving fragments of moral philosophy (i.e., "The Maxims of Ptah-Hotep").[51] Ptahhotep's grandson, Ptahhotep Tshefi, is traditionally credited with being the author of the collection of wise sayings known as The Maxims of Ptahhotep,[52] whose opening lines attribute authorship to the vizier Ptahhotep: "Instruction of the Mayor of the city, the Vizier Ptahhotep, under the Majesty of King Isesi". The origins of Babylonian philosophy can be traced back to the wisdom of early Mesopotamia, which embodied certain philosophies of life, particularly ethics, in the forms of dialectic, dialogues, epic poetry, folklore, hymns, lyrics, prose, and proverbs. The reasoning and rationality of the Babylonians developed beyond empirical observation.[53] The Babylonian text Dialog of Pessimism contains similarities to the agnostic thought of the sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts, and the dialogues of Plato, as well as a precursor to the maieutic Socratic method of Socrates and Plato.[54] The Milesian philosopher Thales is also traditionally said to have studied philosophy in Mesopotamia.

Ancient Chinese
Confucius, illustrated in Myths & Legends of China, 1922, by E.T.C. Werner.
Main article: Chinese philosophy

Philosophy has had a tremendous effect on Chinese civilization, and throughout East Asia. The majority of Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought",[55] which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments.[55] It was during this era that the major philosophies of China, Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism, and Taoism, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians. Of the many philosophical schools of China, only Confucianism and Taoism existed after the Qin Dynasty suppressed any Chinese philosophy that was opposed to Legalism. Confucianism is humanistic,[56] philosophy that believes that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. Confucianism focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, the most basic of which are ren, yi, and li.[57] Ren is an obligation of altruism and humaneness for other individuals within a community, yi is the upholding of righteousness and the moral disposition to do good, and li is a system of norms and propriety that determines how a person should properly act within a community.[57]

Taoism focuses on establishing harmony with the Tao, which is origin of and the totality of everything that exists. The word "Tao" (or "Dao", depending on the romanization scheme) is usually translated as "way", "path" or "principle". Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos (天人相应); health and longevity; and wu wei, action through inaction. Harmony with the Universe, or the origin of it through the Tao, is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices.

Ancient Graeco-Roman
Plato (left) and Aristotle (right): detail from The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509

Ancient Graeco-Roman philosophy is a period of Western philosophy, starting in the 6th century [c. 585] BC to the 6th century AD. It is usually divided into three periods: the pre-Socratic period, the Ancient Classical Greek period of Plato and Aristotle, and the post-Aristotelian (or Hellenistic) period. A fourth period that is sometimes added includes the Neoplatonic and Christian philosophers of Late Antiquity. The most important of the ancient philosophers (in terms of subsequent influence) are Plato and Aristotle.[58] It was said in Roman Ancient history that Pythagoras was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[59] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy. Plato and Aristotle, the first Classical Greek philosophers, did refer critically to other simple "wise men", which were called in Greek "sophists," and which were common before Pythagoras' time. From their critique it appears that a distinction was then established in their own Classical period between the more elevated and pure "lovers of wisdom" (the true Philosophers), and these other earlier and more common traveling teachers, who often also earned money from their craft.

The main subjects of ancient philosophy are: understanding the fundamental causes and principles of the universe; explaining it in an economical way; the epistemological problem of reconciling the diversity and change of the natural universe, with the possibility of obtaining fixed and certain knowledge about it; questions about things that cannot be perceived by the senses, such as numbers, elements, universals, and gods. Socrates is said to have been the initiator of more focused study upon the human things including the analysis of patterns of reasoning and argument and the nature of the good life and the importance of understanding and knowledge in order to pursue it; the explication of the concept of justice, and its relation to various political systems.[58] In this period the crucial features of the Western philosophical method were established: a critical approach to received or established views, and the appeal to reason and argumentation. This includes Socrates' dialectic method of inquiry, known as the Socratic method or method of "elenchus", which he largely applied to the examination of key moral concepts such as the Good and Justice. To solve a problem, it would be broken down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distill the answer a person would seek. The influence of this approach is most strongly felt today in the use of the scientific method, in which hypothesis is the first stage.

Ancient Indian
Main article: Indian philosophy

The term Indian philosophy (Sanskrit: Darshanas), refers to any of several schools of philosophical thought that originated in the Indian subcontinent, including Hindu philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and Jain philosophy. Having the same or rather intertwined origins, all of these philosophies have a common underlying themes of Dharma and Karma, and similarly attempt to explain the attainment of Moksha (liberation). They have been formalized and promulgated chiefly between 1000 BC to a few centuries AD.

India's philosophical tradition dates back to the composition of the Upanisads[60] in the later Vedic period (c. 1000-500 BCE). Subsequent schools (Skt: Darshanas) of Indian philosophy were identified as orthodox (Skt: astika) or non-orthodox (Skt: nastika), depending on whether or not they regarded the Vedas as an infallible source of knowledge.[61] In the history of the Indian subcontinent, following the establishment of a Vedic culture, the development of philosophical and religious thought over a period of two millennia gave rise to what came to be called the six schools of astika, or orthodox, Indian or Hindu philosophy. These schools have come to be synonymous with the greater religion of Hinduism, which was a development of the early Vedic religion. Schools of Hindu philosophy are Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva mimamsa and Vedanta. Other classifications also include Pashupata, Saiva, Raseśvara and Pāṇini Darśana with the other orthodox schools.[62] Jain philosophy revolves around the concept of ahimsā (non-violence). The major contribution of the Jain philosophy was the doctrine of Anekantavada (multiplicity of view points). According to the Jain epistemology, knowledge is of five kinds – sensory knowledge, scriptural knowledge, clairvoyance, telepathy, and omniscience.[63]

Buddhist philosophy and materialist (Cārvāka) philosophy rejected the idea of an eternal soul. Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years, especially between 500 BC to 200 AD. Some like the Jain, Buddhist, Shaiva and Vedanta schools survived, while others like Samkhya and Ajivika did not, either being assimilated or going extinct. The Sanskrit term for "philosopher" is dārśanika, one who is familiar with the systems of philosophy, or darśanas.[64]

Ancient Persian
Main article: Iranian philosophy

Persian philosophy can be traced back as far as Old Iranian philosophical traditions and thoughts, with their ancient Indo-Iranian roots. These were considerably influenced by Zarathustra's teachings. Throughout Iranian history and due to remarkable political and social influences such as the Macedonian, the Arab, and the Mongol invasions of Persia, a wide spectrum of schools of thought arose. These espoused a variety of views on philosophical questions, extending from Old Iranian and mainly Zoroastrianism-influenced traditions to schools appearing in the late pre-Islamic era, such as Manicheism and Mazdakism, as well as various post-Islamic schools. Iranian philosophy after Arab invasion of Persia is characterized by different interactions with the old Iranian philosophy, the Greek philosophy and with the development of Islamic philosophy. Illuminationism and the transcendent theosophy are regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia. Zoroastrianism has been identified as one of the key early events in the development of philosophy.[65]

5th–16th centuries

Medieval Europe
Main article: Medieval philosophy

Medieval philosophy is the philosophy of Western Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages, roughly extending from the Christianization of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance.[66] Medieval philosophy is defined partly by the rediscovery and further development of classical Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and partly by the need to address theological problems and to integrate the then widespread sacred doctrines of Abrahamic religion (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) with secular learning. The history of western European medieval philosophy is traditionally divided into two main periods: the period in the Latin West following the Early Middle Ages until the 12th century, when the works of Aristotle and Plato were preserved and cultivated; and the "golden age"[citation needed] of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries in the Latin West, which witnessed the culmination of the recovery of ancient philosophy, and significant developments in the field of philosophy of religion, logic and metaphysics.

The medieval era was disparagingly treated by the Renaissance humanists, who saw it as a barbaric "middle" period between the classical age of Greek and Roman culture, and the "rebirth" or renaissance of classical culture. Yet this period of nearly a thousand years was the longest period of philosophical development in Europe, and possibly the richest. Jorge Gracia has argued that "in intensity, sophistication, and achievement, the philosophical flowering in the thirteenth century could be rightly said to rival the golden age of Greek philosophy in the fourth century B.C."[67] Some problems discussed throughout this period are the relation of faith to reason, the existence and unity of God, the object of theology and metaphysics, the problems of knowledge, of universals, and of individuation.

Philosophers from the Middle Ages include the Christian philosophers Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Anselm, Gilbert of Poitiers, Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and Jean Buridan; the Jewish philosophers Maimonides and Gersonides; and the Muslim philosophers Alkindus, Alfarabi, Alhazen, Avicenna, Algazel, Avempace, Abubacer, Ibn Khaldūn, and Averroes. The medieval tradition of Scholasticism continued to flourish as late as the 17th century, in figures such as Francisco Suarez and John of St. Thomas. Aquinas, the father of Thomism, was immensely influential in Catholic Europe; he placed a great emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle's metaphysical and epistemological writing. His work was a significant departure from the Neoplatonic and Augustinian thinking that had dominated much of early Scholasticism.

Renaissance

The Renaissance ("rebirth") was a period of transition between the Middle Ages and modern thought,[68] in which the recovery of classical texts helped shift philosophical interests away from technical studies in logic, metaphysics, and theology towards eclectic inquiries into morality, philology, and mysticism.[69][70] The study of the classics and the humane arts generally, such as history and literature, enjoyed a scholarly interest hitherto unknown in Christendom, a tendency referred to as humanism.[71][72] Displacing the medieval interest in metaphysics and logic, the humanists followed Petrarch in making man and his virtues the focus of philosophy.[73][74]

The study of classical philosophy also developed in two new ways. On the one hand, the study of Aristotle was changed through the influence of Averroism. The disagreements between these Averroist Aristotelians, and more orthodox catholic Aristotelians such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas eventually contributed to the development of a "humanist Aristotelianism" developed in the Renaissance, as exemplified in the thought of Pietro Pomponazzi and Giacomo Zabarella. Secondly, as an alternative to Aristotle, the study of Plato and the Neoplatonists became common. This was assisted by the rediscovery of works which had not been well known previously in Western Europe. Notable Renaissance Platonists include Nicholas of Cusa, and later Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.[74]

The Renaissance also renewed interest in anti-Aristotelian theories of nature considered as an organic, living whole comprehensible independently of theology, as in the work of Nicholas of Cusa, Nicholas Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, Telesius, and Tommaso Campanella.[75] Such movements in natural philosophy dovetailed with a revival of interest in occultism, magic, hermeticism, and astrology, which were thought to yield hidden ways of knowing and mastering nature (e.g., in Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola).[76] These new movements in philosophy developed contemporaneously with larger religious and political transformations in Europe: the Reformation and the decline of feudalism. Though the theologians of the Protestant Reformation showed little direct interest in philosophy, their destruction of the traditional foundations of theological and intellectual authority harmonized with a revival of fideism and skepticism in thinkers such as Erasmus, Montaigne, and Francisco Sanches.[77][78][79] Meanwhile, the gradual centralization of political power in nation-states was echoed by the emergence of secular political philosophies, as in the works of Niccolò Machiavelli (often described as the first modern political thinker, or a key turning point towards modern political thinking[80]), Thomas More, Erasmus, Justus Lipsius, Jean Bodin, and Hugo Grotius.[81][82]

East Asia

Mid-Imperial Chinese philosophy is primarily defined by the development of Neo-Confucianism. During the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism from Nepal also became a prominent philosophical and religious discipline. (It should be noted that philosophy and religion were clearly distinguished in the West, whilst these concepts were more continuous in the East due to, for example, the philosophical concepts of Buddhism.)

Neo-Confucianism is a philosophical movement that advocated a more rationalist and secular form of Confucianism by rejecting superstitious and mystical elements of Daoism and Buddhism that had influenced Confucianism during and after the Han Dynasty.[83] Although the Neo-Confucianists were critical of Daoism and Buddhism,[84] the two did have an influence on the philosophy, and the Neo-Confucianists borrowed terms and concepts from both. However, unlike the Buddhists and Daoists, who saw metaphysics as a catalyst for spiritual development, religious enlightenment, and immortality, the Neo-Confucianists used metaphysics as a guide for developing a rationalist ethical philosophy.[85] Neo-Confucianism has its origins in the Tang Dynasty; the Confucianist scholars Han Yu and Li Ao are seen as forbears of the Neo-Confucianists of the Song Dynasty.[84] The Song Dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi is seen as the first true "pioneer" of Neo-Confucianism, using Daoist metaphysics as a framework for his ethical philosophy.[85] Elsewhere in East Asia, Japanese Philosophy began to develop as indigenous Shinto beliefs fused with Buddhism, Confucianism and other schools of Chinese philosophy and Indian philosophy. Similar to Japan, in Korean philosophy the emotional content of Shamanism was integrated into the Neo-Confucianism imported from China. Vietnamese philosophy was also influenced heavily by Confucianism in this period.[citation needed]

India
Main article: Indian philosophy

The period between 5th and 9th centuries CE was the most brilliant epoch in the development of Indian philosophy as Hindu and Buddhist philosophies flourished side by side.[86] Of these various schools of thought the non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta emerged as the most influential[87] and most dominant school of philosophy.[88] The major philosophers of this school were Gaudapada, Adi Shankara and Vidyaranya. Advaita Vedanta rejects theism and dualism by insisting that "Brahman [ultimate reality] is without parts or attributes...one without a second." Since Brahman has no properties, contains no internal diversity and is identical with the whole reality, it cannot be understood as God.[89] Brahman though being indescribable is at best described as Satchidananda (merging "Sat" + "Chit" + "Ananda", i.e., Existence, Consciousness and Bliss) by Shankara. Advaita ushered a new era in Indian philosophy and as a result, many new schools of thought arose in the medieval period. Some of them were Visishtadvaita (qualified monism), Dvaita (dualism), Dvaitadvaita (dualism-nondualism), Suddhadvaita (pure non-dualism), Achintya Bheda Abheda and Pratyabhijña (the recognitive school).

Middle East
Main article: Islamic philosophy

In early Islamic thought, which refers to philosophy during the "Islamic Golden Age", traditionally dated between the 8th and 12th centuries, two main currents may be distinguished. The first is Kalam, that mainly dealt with Islamic theological questions. These include the Mu'tazili and Ash'ari. The other is Falsafa, that was founded on interpretations of Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism. There were attempts by later philosopher-theologians at harmonizing both trends, notably by Ibn Sina (Avicenna) who founded the school of Avicennism, Ibn Rushd (Averroës) who founded the school of Averroism, and others such as Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) and Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī. Avicenna argued his "Floating Man" thought experiment concerning Self-awareness, in which a man prevented of sense experience by being blindfolded and free falling would still be aware of his existence.[90] In epistemology, Ibn Tufail wrote the novel Hayy ibn Yaqdhan and in response Ibn al-Nafis wrote the novel Theologus Autodidactus. Both were concerning autodidacticism as illuminated through the life of a feral child spontaneously generated in a cave on a desert island.

Mesoamerica
Main article: Aztec philosophy

Aztec philosophy was the school of philosophy developed by the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs had a well-developed school of philosophy, perhaps the most developed in the Americas and in many ways comparable to Greek philosophy, even amassing more texts than the ancient Greeks.[91] Aztec philosophy focused on dualism, monism, and aesthetics, and Aztec philosophers attempted to answer the main Aztec philosophical question of how to gain stability and balance in an ephemeral world. Aztec philosophy saw the concept of Ometeotl as a unity that underlies the universe. Ometeotl forms, shapes, and is all things. Even things in opposition—light and dark, life and death—were seen as expressions of the same unity, Ometeotl. The belief in a unity with dualistic expressions compares with similar dialectical monist ideas in both Western and Eastern philosophies.[92] Aztec priests had a panentheistic view of religion but the popular Aztec religion maintained polytheism. Priests saw the different gods as aspects of the singular and transcendent unity of teotl but the masses were allowed to practice polytheism without understanding the true, unified nature of the Aztec gods.[92]

Africa
Main article: Ethiopian philosophy

Ethiopian philosophy is the philosophical corpus of the territories of present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. Besides via oral tradition, it was preserved early on in written form through Ge'ez manuscripts. This philosophy occupies a unique position within African philosophy. The character of Ethiopian philosophy is determined by the particular conditions of evolution of the Ethiopian culture. Thus, Ethiopian philosophy arises from the confluence of Greek and Patristic philosophy with traditional Ethiopian modes of thought. Because of the early isolation from its sources of Abrahamic spirituality – Byzantium and Alexandria – Ethiopia received some of its philosophical heritage through Arabic versions. The sapiential literature developed under these circumstances is the result of a twofold effort of creative assimilation: on one side, of a tuning of Orthodoxy to traditional modes of thought (never eradicated), and vice versa, and, on the other side, of absorption of Greek pagan and early Patristic thought into this developing Ethiopian-Christian synthesis. As a consequence, the moral reflection of religious inspiration is prevalent, and the use of narrative, parable, apothegm and rich imagery is preferred to the use of abstract argument. This sapiential literature consists in translations and adaptations of some Greek texts, namely of the Physiolog (cca. 5th century A.D.), The Life and Maxims of Skendes (11th century A.D.) and The Book of the Wise Philosophers (1510/22). In the 17th century, the religious beliefs of Ethiopians were challenged by King Suseynos' adoption of Catholicism, and by a subsequent presence of Jesuit missionaries. The attempt to forcefully impose Catholicism upon his constituents during Suseynos' reign inspired further development of Ethiopian philosophy during the 17th century. Zera Yacob (1599–1692) is the most important exponent of this renaissance. His treatise Hatata (1667) is a work often included in the narrow canon of universal philosophy.

Early modern and modern philosophy

Chronologically, the early modern era of Western philosophy is usually identified with the 17th and 18th centuries, with the 18th century often being referred to as the Enlightenment.[93] Modern philosophy is distinguished from its predecessors by its increasing independence from traditional authorities such as the Church, academia, and Aristotelianism;[94][95] a new focus on the foundations of knowledge and metaphysical system-building;[96][97] and the emergence of modern physics out of natural philosophy.[98] Other central topics of philosophy in this period include the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, the implications of the new natural sciences for traditional theological topics such as free will and God, and the emergence of a secular basis for moral and political philosophy.[99] These trends first distinctively coalesce in Francis Bacon's call for a new, empirical program for expanding knowledge, and soon found massively influential form in the mechanical physics and rationalist metaphysics of René Descartes.[100]

Thomas Hobbes was the first to apply this methodology systematically to political philosophy and is the originator of modern political philosophy, including the modern theory of a "social contract".[101][102] The academic canon of early modern philosophy generally includes Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant,[103][104][105] though influential contributions to philosophy were made by many thinkers in this period, such as Galileo Galilei, Pierre Gassendi, Blaise Pascal, Nicolas Malebranche, Isaac Newton, Christian Wolff, Montesquieu, Pierre Bayle, Thomas Reid, Jean d'Alembert, and Adam Smith. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a seminal figure in initiating reaction against the Enlightenment. The approximate end of the early modern period is most often identified with Immanuel Kant's systematic attempt to limit metaphysics, justify scientific knowledge, and reconcile both of these with morality and freedom.[106][107][108]

19th-century philosophy

Later modern philosophy is usually considered to begin after the philosophy of Immanuel Kant at the beginning of the 19th century.[109] German philosophy exercised broad influence in this century, owing in part to the dominance of the German university system.[110] German idealists, such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, transformed the work of Kant by maintaining that the world is constituted by a rational or mind-like process, and as such is entirely knowable.[111] Arthur Schopenhauer's identification of this world-constituting process as an irrational will to live influenced later 19th- and early 20th-century thinking, such as the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. After Hegel's death in 1831, 19th-century philosophy largely turned against idealism in favor of varieties of philosophical naturalism, such as the positivism of Auguste Comte, the empiricism of John Stuart Mill, and the materialism of Karl Marx. Logic began a period of its most significant advances since the inception of the discipline, as increasing mathematical precision opened entire fields of inference to formalization in the work of George Boole and Gottlob Frege.[112] Other philosophers who initiated lines of thought that would continue to shape philosophy into the 20th century include:

20th-century and 21st-century philosophy

Within the last century, philosophy has increasingly become a professional discipline practiced within universities, like other academic disciplines. Accordingly, it has become less general and more specialized. In the view of one prominent recent historian: "Philosophy has become a highly organized discipline, done by specialists primarily for other specialists. The number of philosophers has exploded, the volume of publication has swelled, and the subfields of serious philosophical investigation have multiplied. Not only is the broad field of philosophy today far too vast to be embraced by one mind, something similar is true even of many highly specialized subfields."[113] Some philosophers argue that this professionalization has negatively affected the discipline.[114]

In the English-speaking world, analytic philosophy became the dominant school for much of the 20th century. In the first half of the century, it was a cohesive school, shaped strongly by logical positivism, united by the notion that philosophical problems could and should be solved by attention to logic and language. The pioneering work of Bertrand Russell was a model for the early development of analytic philosophy, moving from a rejection of the idealism dominant in late 19th-century British philosophy to an neo-Humean empiricism, strengthened by the conceptual resources of modern mathematical logic.[115][116][117] In the latter half of the 20th century, analytic philosophy diffused into a wide variety of disparate philosophical views, only loosely united by historical lines of influence and a self-identified commitment to clarity and rigor. The post-war transformation of the analytic program led in two broad directions: on one hand, an interest in ordinary language as a way of avoiding or redescribing traditional philosophical problems, and on the other, a more thoroughgoing naturalism that sought to dissolve the puzzles of modern philosophy via the results of the natural sciences (such as cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology). The shift in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, from a view congruent with logical positivism to a therapeutic dissolution of traditional philosophy as a linguistic misunderstanding of normal forms of life, was the most influential version of the first direction in analytic philosophy.[118][119] The later work of Russell and the philosophy of Willard Van Orman Quine are influential exemplars of the naturalist approach dominant in the second half of the 20th century.[120][121][122][123] But the diversity of analytic philosophy from the 1970s onward defies easy generalization: the naturalism of Quine and his epigoni was in some precincts superseded by a "new metaphysics" of possible worlds, as in the influential work of David Lewis.[124][125] Recently, the experimental philosophy movement has sought to reappraise philosophical problems through social science research techniques.

On continental Europe, no single school or temperament enjoyed dominance. The flight of the logical positivists from central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, however, diminished philosophical interest in natural science, and an emphasis on the humanities, broadly construed, figures prominently in what is usually called "continental philosophy". 20th-century movements such as phenomenology, existentialism, modern hermeneutics, critical theory, structuralism, and poststructuralism are included within this loose category. The founder of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, sought to study consciousness as experienced from a first-person perspective,[126][127] while Martin Heidegger drew on the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Husserl to propose an unconventional existential approach to ontology.[128][129] In the Arabic-speaking world, Arab nationalist philosophy became the dominant school of thought, involving philosophers such as Michel Aflaq, Zaki al-Arsuzi, Salah al-Din al-Bitar of Ba'athism and Sati' al-Husri.

Western history

"History of Western Philosophy" redirects here. For the book by Bertrand Russell, see A History of Western Philosophy.

Western philosophy has a long history, conventionally divided into four large eras - the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary. The Ancient era runs through the fall of Rome and includes the Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. The Medieval period runs until roughly the late 15th century and the Renaissance. The "Modern" is a word with more varied use, which includes everything from Post-Medieval through the specific period up to the 20th century. Contemporary philosophy encompasses the philosophical developments of the 20th century up to the present day.

Ancient philosophy

Further information: Ancient philosophy
Pre-Socratics
Ionia, source of early Greek philosophy, in western Asia Minor

Western Philosophy is generally said to begin in the Greek cities of western Asia Minor (Ionia) with Thales of Miletus, who was active around 585 B.C. and left us the opaque dictum, "all is water." His most noted students were respectively Anaximander (all is apeiron (roughly, the unlimited)) and Anaximenes of Miletus ("all is air").

Pythagoras, from the island of Samos off the coast of Ionia, later lived at Croton in southern Italy (Magna Graecia). Pythagoreans hold that "all is number," giving formal accounts in contrast to the previous material of the Ionians. They also believe in metempsychosis, the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.

Zeno's Paradox, Achilles and the Tortoise
Being and becoming

The first true philosophic dialectic occurs between the "becoming" of Heraclitus ("all is fire", "everything flows," all is chaotic and transitory) of Ephesus in Ionia and the "being" of Parmenides (all is One, change is impossible) of Elea in Magna Graecia. His student Zeno argued against motion with his famous paradoxes. Heraclitus also introduced the concept of logos.

Pluralism

Other thinkers and schools appeared throughout Greece over the next few centuries. Among the most important was the pluralism of Anaxagoras. In response to Parmenides on the impossibility of change, Anaxagoras described the world as a mixture of primary imperishable ingredients, where material variation was never caused by an absolute presence of a particular ingredient, but rather by its relative preponderance over the other ingredients; in his words, "each one is... most manifestly those things of which there are the most in it".[130] He introduced the concept of Nous (Mind) as an ordering force, which moved and separated out the original mixture, which was homogeneous, or nearly so.

The Four Elements

Empedocles also proposed powers called Love and Hate which would act as forces to bring about the mixture and separation of the elements, more discreet than in the mixture of Anaxagoras. Empedocles' philosophy is best known for being the originator of the cosmogenic theory of the four Classical elements. Empedocles is generally considered the last Greek philosopher to record his ideas in verse. Some of his work survives, more than in the case of any other Presocratic philosopher.

Democritus (laughing) & Herakleitos (crying) by van Haarlem
Atomism and Sophistry

There were also the Sophists, who became known, perhaps unjustly, for claiming that truth was no more than opinion and for teaching people to argue fallaciously to prove whatever conclusions they wished. Most famous them of was Protagoras who left us the dictum "man is the measure of all things." Another school was the atomists such as Leucippus and Democritus, wherein the world is a composite of innumerable interacting parts.

Athens

This whole philosophical movement gradually became more concentrated in Athens, which had become the dominant city-state in Greece. There is considerable discussion about why Athenian culture encouraged philosophy. It is known from Plato's writings that many sophists maintained schools of debate, were respected members of society, and were well paid by their students. Orators influenced Athenian history, possibly even causing its failure (See Battle of Lade). Another theory explains the birth of philosophical debate in Athens with the presence of a slave labor workforce which performed the necessary functions that would otherwise have consumed the time of the free male citizenry. Freed from working in the fields or other manual economic activities, they were able to participate in the assemblies of Athens and spend long periods in discussions on popular philosophical questions. Students of Sophists needed to acquire the skills of oration in order to influence the Athenian Assembly and thereby increase respect and wealth. In response, the subjects and methods of debate became highly developed by the Sophists.

Socrates
Bust of Socrates

The key figure in transforming Greek philosophy into a unified and continuous project - one still being pursued today - is Socrates, who studied under several Sophists. It is said that following a visit to the Oracle of Delphi he spent much of his life questioning anyone in Athens who would engage him, in order to disprove the oracular prophecy that there would be no man wiser than Socrates. Through these live dialogues, he examined common but critical concepts that lacked clear or concrete definitions, such as beauty and truth, and the virtues of piety, wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice. Socrates' awareness of his own ignorance allowed him to discover his errors as well as the errors of those who claimed knowledge based upon falsifiable or unclear precepts and beliefs. He wrote nothing, but inspired many disciples, including many sons of prominent Athenian citizens (including Plato), which led to his trial and execution in 399 B.C. on the charge that his philosophy and sophistry were undermining the youth, piety, and moral fiber of the city. He was offered a chance to flee from his fate but chose to remain in Athens, abide by his principles, and drink the poison hemlock.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Plato

Socrates' most important student was Plato, who founded the Academy of Athens and wrote a number of dialogues, which applied the Socratic method of inquiry to examine philosophical problems. Some central ideas of Plato's dialogues are the Theory of Forms, i.e., that the mind is imbued with an innate capacity to understand and contemplate concepts from a higher order preeminent world, concepts more real, permanent, and universal than or representative of the things of this world, which are only changing and temporal; the idea of the immortal soul being superior to the body; the idea of evil as simple ignorance of truth; that true knowledge leads to true virtue; that art is subordinate to moral purpose; and that the society of the city-state should be governed by a merit class of propertyless philosopher kings, with no permanent wives or paternity rights over their children, and be protected by an athletically gifted, honorable, duty bound military class. In the later dialogues Socrates figures less prominently, but Plato had previously woven his own thoughts into some of Socrates' words. Interestingly, in his most famous work, The Republic, Plato critiques democracy, condemns tyranny, and proposes a three tiered merit based structure of society, with workers, guardians and philosophers, in an equal relationship, where no innocents would ever be put to death again, citing the philosophers' relentless love of truth and knowledge of the forms or ideals, concern for general welfare and lack of propertied interest as causes for their being suited to govern.

Aristotle

Plato's most outstanding student was Aristotle, perhaps the first truly systematic philosopher. Aristotelian logic was the first type of logic to attempt to categorize every valid syllogism. A syllogism is a form of argument that is guaranteed to be accepted, because it is known (by all educated persons) to be valid. A crucial assumption in Aristotelian logic is that it has to be about real objects. Two of Aristotle's syllogisms are invalid to modern eyes. For example, "All A are B. All A are C. Therefore, some B are C." This syllogism fails if set A is empty, but there are real members of set B. In Aristotle's syllogistic logic you could say this, because his logic should only be used for things that really exist ("no empty classes").

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right)

The application of Aristotelian logic is preceded by having the student memorize a rather large set of syllogisms. The memorization proceeded from diagrams, or learning a key sentence, with the first letter of each word reminding the student of the names of the syllogisms. Each syllogism had a name, for example: modus ponens had the form of "If A is true, then B is true. A is true, therefore B is true." Most university students of logic memorized Aristotle's 19 syllogisms of two subjects, permitting them to validly connect a subject and object. A few logicians developed systems with three subjects, or described a way of elaborating the rules of three subjects.

Hellenistic

Other pupils of Socrates aside from Plato founded their own schools, such as Euclid of Megara. The Hellenistic period involves the Cyrenaics of Aristippus and Cynics of Antisthenes resolving themselves in the Epicurean and Stoic schools. Skepticism also belongs to this period.

Medieval philosophy

Further information: Medieval philosophy

The history of western medieval philosophy is generally divided into two periods, early medieval philosophy, which started with St. Augustine in the mid 4th century and lasted until the recovery in the 13th century West of a great bulk of Aristotle's works and their subsequent translation into Latin from the Arabic and Greek, and high medieval philosophy, which came about as a result of the recovery of Aristotle. This period, which lasted a mere century and a half compared to the nine centuries of the early period, came to a close around the time of William of Ockham in the middle of the 14th century. Western medieval philosophy was primarily concerned with implementing the Christian faith with philosophical reason, that is, "baptizing" reason. Early medieval philosophy was influenced by the likes of Stoicism, neo-Platonism, but, above all, the philosophy of Plato himself. The prominent figure of this period was St. Augustine who adopted Plato's thought and Christianized it in the 4th century and whose influence dominated medieval philosophy perhaps up to end of the era but was checked with the arrival of Aristotle's texts. Augustinianism was the preferred starting point for most philosophers (including the great St. Anselm of Canterbury) up until the 13th century. During the later years of the early medieval period and throughout the years of the high medieval period, there was a great emphasis on the nature of God and the application of Aristotle's logic and thought to every area of life. Attempts were made to reconcile these three things by means of scholasticism. One continuing interest in this time was to prove the existence of God, through logic alone, if possible. The point of this exercise was not so much to justify belief in God, since in the view of medieval Christianity this was self-evident, but to make classical philosophy, with its extra-biblical pagan origins, respectable in a Christian context.

Thomas Aquinas

One monumental effort to overcome mere logical argument at the beginning of the high medieval period was to follow Aristotelian demonstration by starting from effects and reasoning up to their causes. This took the form of the cosmological argument, conventionally attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas. The argument roughly is that everything that exists has a cause. But since there could not be an infinite chain of causes back into the past, there must have been an uncaused "first cause." This is God. Aquinas also adapted this argument to prove the goodness of God. Everything has some goodness, and the cause of each thing is better than the thing caused. Therefore, the first cause is the best possible thing. Similar arguments were used to prove God's power and uniqueness. Another important argument for proof of the existence of God was the ontological argument, advanced by St. Anselm. Basically, it says that God is that than which nothing greater can be thought. There is nothing that simply exists in the mind that can be said to be greater than something that enjoys existence in reality. Hence the greatest thing that the mind can conceive of must exist in reality. Therefore, God exists. This argument has been used in different forms by philosophers from Descartes forward. In addition to St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and St. Anselm, other important names from the medieval period include Blessed John Duns Scotus, St. Bonaventure, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, and Pierre Abélard. The definition of the word "philosophy" in English has changed over the centuries. In medieval times, any research outside the fields of theology or medicine was called "philosophy", hence the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is a scientific journal dating from 1665, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree covers a wide range of subjects, and the Cambridge Philosophical Society is actually concerned with what would now be called science and not modern philosophy.

Renaissance philosophy

Contemporary philosophical historiography emphasizes a great "gap" between Middle Ages and Modern thought. And often this "gap" is used as a mean to characterize the meaning of the word "modern" used in "modern philosophy". As a matter of fact, if in History Middle Ages are said to end symbolically with the Columbus' voyages (1492), periodisation in Philosophy is not necessarily reducible to the broader one. Between the development of High Scholasticism (13th and part of the 14th centuries) and the empiricists-rationalists disputes charactering modern philosophy (starting in the 17th century) several thinkers developed transitional systems of thought. One main focus was on emancipating from the supremacy of theology on the other branches of the humanities, including aesthetics, rhetorics and the beginning of natural observations. Along with the figurative arts, music, vernacular languages and literatures, and the Christian religion, philosophy was greatly renewed in what is usually referred to as the Renaissance. This cultural movement, spreading throughout Europe from Italy, influenced philosophy as much as architecture, the visual arts, and literature. Two circumstancial events promoted an emancipation of philosophy from the Catholic theology (which had dominated European thought throughout the Middle Ages): the concurrent Protestant Reformation, and the use of vernacular languages (Italian, English, French) instead of Latin in treatises and public discussions. If most medieval philosophers were priests and monks, early and late Renaissance philosophers were a more heterogeneous population, including rhetors, magicians and astrologues, early empirical scientists, poets, and philologists. If there was one common theme among these Renaissance thinkers it would have to be a concern for humanity (and the humanities) and the search for human specificity. The study of humanae litterae overcame that of divinae litterae, and opened the way for modern skepticism and science.

Santi di Tito - Niccolò Machiavelli's portrait

Many philosophers from the Renaissance are today read and remembered, even though often they are not often categorized into a single category. In particular, those Renaissance thinkers who were especially oriented towards empiricism and rationalism, are often seen as early (Galileo Galilei) or very early (Machiavelli) modern philosophers. On the other hand, those heavily influenced by esoteric traditions (like Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino and even Nicholas of Cusa and Giordano Bruno) are often seen as (very) late Medieval philosophers. This categorisation may however seem to interpret two centuries of philosophy on the basis of a contemporary discrimination ("esoteric"/"scientific"). A few thinkers who do not clearly fall into either of these categories are usually fully recognized as Renaissance philosophers, including Montaigne, Tommaso Campanella, Telesius, Erasmus, and Thomas More.

Modern philosophy

Main article: Modern philosophy
René Descartes

As with many periodizations, there are multiple current usages for the term "Modern Philosophy" that exist in practice. One - common - usage is to date modern philosophy from the "Age of Reason", where systematic philosophy became common, excluding Erasmus and Machiavelli (writing in the 15th century) as "modern philosophers", and traditionally considering Hobbes (writing in the 17th century) as the first truly "modern" philosopher. The grounding of philosophy in problems of knowledge, rather than problems of metaphysics, dominates the era, exemplified most perhaps in the philosophy of René Descartes[131]

Immanuel Kant

Another is to date it, the way the entire larger modern period is dated, from the Renaissance. There is also the lumpers/splitters problem, namely that some works split philosophy into more periods than others: one author might feel a strong need to differentiate between "The Age of Reason" or "Early Modern Philosophers" and "The Enlightenment"; another author might write from the perspective that 1600-1800 is essentially one continuous evolution, and therefore a single period. Wikipedia's philosophy section therefore hews more closely to centuries as a means of avoiding long discussions over periods, but it is important to note the variety of practice that occurs.

17th-century philosophy is dominated by the need to organize philosophy on rational, skeptical, logical and axiomatic grounds, such as the work of Descartes, Blaise Pascal, and Thomas Hobbes. This type of philosophy attempts to integrate religious belief into philosophical frameworks, and, often to combat atheism or other skeptical beliefs, by adopting the idea of material reality, and the dualism between spirit and material. The extension, and reaction, against this would be the monism of George Berkeley (idealism) and Benedict de Spinoza (dual aspect theory). It was during this time period that the empiricism was developed as an alternative to skepticism by John Locke, George Berkeley and others. It should be mentioned that John Locke and Thomas Hobbes developed their well known political philosophies during this time, as well.

The 18th-century philosophy article deals with the period often called the early part of "The Enlightenment" in the shorter form of the word, and centers on the rise of systematic empiricism, following after Sir Isaac Newton's natural philosophy. Thus the philosophes like Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu and the political philosophies embodied by and influencing the American Revolution and American Enlightenment, such as Beccaria, are part of The Enlightenment. Immanuel Kant perhaps is most prominent in the period, seeking a large, systematic reconciliation of rationalism and empiricism with claim that the mind structured experience. Kant took himself to have anointed a Copernican Revolution in philosophy. Other prominent philosophers of this time period were David Hume and Adam Smith, who, along with Francis Hutcheson and Thomas Reid, were the primary philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment; and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who were philosophers of the American Enlightenment. Edmund Burke was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment, namely Hume's skepticism and reliance on tradition and the passions, and while supporting the American Revolution based on the established rights of Englishmen, rejected the "natural rights" claims of the Enlightenment and vehemently rejected the Rationalism of the French Revolution (see Reflections on the Revolution in France). The 19th century took the radical notions of self-organization and intrinsic order from Goethe and Kantian metaphysics, and proceeded to produce a long elaboration on the tension between systematization and organic development. Foremost was the work of Hegel, whose Logic and Phenomenology of Spirit produced a "dialectical" framework for ordering of knowledge. The 19th century would also include Schopenhauer's affirmation of the will, drawing parallels to Eastern philosophy. Schopenhauer profoundly influenced Friedrich Nietzsche.

Hegel

Also in the 19th century, the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard took philosophy in a new direction by focusing less on abstract concepts and more on what it means to be an existing individual. His work provided impetus for many 20th century philosophical movements, including existentialism. As with the 18th century, it would be developments in science that would arise from, and then challenge, philosophy: most importantly the work of Charles Darwin, which was based on the idea of organic self-regulation found in philosophers such as Smith, but fundamentally challenged established conceptions.

Contemporary approaches

Further information: Contemporary philosophy

There are at least three major contemporary approaches to academic philosophy:[132] Analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and pragmatism. These three are not exhaustive, nor necessarily mutually exclusive.

The 20th century deals with the upheavals produced by a series of conflicts within philosophical discourse over the basis of knowledge, with classical certainties overthrown, and new social, economic, scientific and logical problems. 20th century philosophy was set for a series of attempts to reform and preserve, and to alter or abolish, older knowledge systems. Seminal figures include Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Edmund Husserl. Since the Second World War, contemporary philosophy has been divided mostly into analytic and continental traditions; the former carried in the English speaking world and the latter on the continent of Europe. The perceived conflict between continental and analytic schools of philosophy remains prominent, despite increasing skepticism regarding the distinction's usefulness. Knowledge and its basis has been a central concern, as seen from the work of Heidegger, Russell, G. E. Moore, Karl Popper, and Claude Lévi-Strauss.

The philosophy of the present century is difficult to clarify due to its immaturity. A number of surviving 20th century philosophers have established themselves as early voices of influence in the 21st. These include Noam Chomsky, Saul Kripke, and Jürgen Habermas. A variety of new topics have risen to the stage in analytic philosophy, orienting much of contemporary discourse in the field of ethics. New inquiries consider, for example, the ethical implications of new media and information exchange. Such developments have rekindled interest in the philosophy of technology and science. There has been increased enthusiasm for highly specialized areas in philosophy of science, such as in the Bayesian school of epistemology.

Gottlob Frege

Analytic

Main article: Analytic philosophy

The term analytic philosophy roughly designates a group of philosophical methods that stress detailed argumentation, attention to semantics, use of classical logic and non-classical logics and clarity of meaning above all other criteria. Some have held that philosophical problems arise through misuse of language or because of misunderstandings of the logic of our language, while some maintain that there are genuine philosophical problems and that philosophy is continuous with science. Michael Dummett in his Origins of Analytical Philosophy makes the case for counting Gottlob Frege's The Foundations of Arithmetic as the first analytic work, on the grounds that in that book Frege took the linguistic turn, analyzing philosophical problems through language. Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore are also often counted as founders of analytic philosophy, beginning with their rejection of British idealism, their defense of realism and the emphasis they laid on the legitimacy of analysis. Russell's classic works The Principles of Mathematics,[133]

On Denoting and Principia Mathematica with Alfred North Whitehead, aside from greatly promoting the use of mathematical logic in philosophy, set the ground for much of the research program in the early stages of the analytic tradition, emphasizing such problems as: the reference of proper names, whether 'existence' is a property, the nature of propositions, the analysis of definite descriptions, the discussions on the foundations of mathematics; as well as exploring issues of ontological commitment and even metaphysical problems regarding time, the nature of matter, mind, persistence and change, which Russell tackled often with the aid of mathematical logic. Russell and Moore's philosophy, in the beginning of the 20th century, developed as a critique of Hegel and his British followers in particular, and of grand systems of speculative philosophy in general, though by no means all analytic philosophers reject the philosophy of Hegel (see Charles Taylor) nor speculative philosophy. Some schools in the group include logical positivism, and ordinary language both markedly influenced by Russell and Wittgenstein's development of Logical Atomism the former positively and the latter negatively. In 1921, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who studied under Russell at Cambridge, published his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, which gave a rigidly "logical" account of linguistic and philosophical issues. At the time, he understood most of the problems of philosophy as mere puzzles of language, which could be solved by investigating and then minding the logical structure of language. Years later, he reversed a number of the positions he set out in the Tractatus, in for example his second major work, Philosophical Investigations (1953). Investigations was influential in the development of "ordinary language philosophy," which was promoted by Gilbert Ryle, J.L. Austin, and a few others.

In the United States, meanwhile, the philosophy of Quine was having a major influence, with the paper Two Dogmas of Empiricism. In that paper Quine criticizes the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements, arguing that a clear conception of analyticity is unattainable. He argued for holism, the thesis that language, including scientific language, is a set of interconnected sentences, none of which can be verified on its own, rather, the sentences in the language depend on each other for their meaning and truth conditions. A consequence of Quine's approach is that language as a whole has only a thin relation to experience. Some sentences that refer directly to experience might be modified by sense impressions, but as the whole of language is theory-laden, for the whole language to be modified, more than this is required. However, most of the linguistic structure can in principle be revised, even logic, in order to better model the world.

Notable students of Quine include Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett. The former devised a program for giving a semantics to natural language and thereby answer the philosophical conundrum "what is meaning?". A crucial part of the program was the use of Alfred Tarski's semantic theory of truth. Dummett, among others, argued that truth conditions should be dispensed with in the theory of meaning, and replaced by assertability conditions. Some propositions, on this view, are neither true nor false, and thus such a theory of meaning entails a rejection of the law of the excluded middle. This, for Dummett, entails antirealism, as Russell himself pointed out in his An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth.

By the 1970s there was a renewed interest in many traditional philosophical problems by the younger generations of analytic philosophers. David Lewis, Saul Kripke, Derek Parfit and others took an interest in traditional metaphysical problems, which they began exploring by the use of logic and philosophy of language. Among those problems some distinguished ones were: free will, essentialism, the nature of personal identity, identity over time, the nature of the mind, the nature of causal laws, space-time, the properties of material beings, modality, etc. In those universities where analytic philosophy has spread, these problems are still being discussed passionately. Analytic philosophers are also interested in the methodology of analytic philosophy itself, with Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford, publishing recently a book entitled The Philosophy of Philosophy. Some influential figures in contemporary analytic philosophy are: Timothy Williamson, David Lewis, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, Hilary Putnam, Michael Dummett, Peter van Inwagen, Saul Kripke and Patricia Churchland. Analytic philosophy has sometimes been accused of not contributing to the political debate or to traditional questions in aesthetics. However, with the appearance of A Theory of Justice by John Rawls and Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick, analytic political philosophy acquired respectability. Analytic philosophers have also shown depth in their investigations of aesthetics, with Roger Scruton, Nelson Goodman, Arthur Danto and others developing the subject to its current shape.

Frege

Arguably the biggest development was Frege's grounding of philosophy in logic rather than knowledge, a radical change from philosophy since Descartes.[131] Frege also helped with the likes of George Boole to overturn Aristotle's logic which had held sway for millennia.

Logicism

The Logicist project to ground mathematics in logic dominates the era, receiving a serious setback from Russell's Paradox, and perhaps defeated utterly by Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. .

Bertrand Russell

Russell, during his early career, along with his collaborator Alfred North Whitehead, much influenced by Frege, who developed predicate logic, which allowed a much greater range of sentences to be parsed into logical form than was possible using the ancient Aristotelian logic. Like Frege, Russell attempted to show that mathematics is reducible to logical fundamentals in The Principles of Mathematics (1903). Later, his book written with Whitehead, Principia Mathematica (1910–13), encouraged many philosophers to renew their interest with the development of symbolic logic. Additionally, Russell adopted Frege's predicate logic as his primary philosophical method, a method Russell thought could expose the underlying structure of philosophical problems. Russell sought to resolve various philosophical problems by applying such logical distinctions, most famously in his analysis of definite descriptions in "On Denoting."[134] The period is marked by the logical holism of Moore, Russell, early Wittgenstein, and Rudolf Carnap Inspired by developments of modern logic, the early Russell claimed that the problems of philosophy can be solved by showing the simple constituents of complex notions.[135] An important aspect of British idealism was logical holism—the opinion that the aspects of the world cannot be known wholly without also knowing the whole world. This is closely related to the opinion that relations between items are actually internal relations, that is, properties internal to the nature of those items. Russell, along with Wittgenstein, in response promulgated logical atomism and the doctrine of external relations—- the belief that the world consists of independent facts.[136]

"Psychologism"

Since its beginning, a basic principle of analytic philosophy has been conceptual clarity,[135] in the name of which Moore and Russell rejected Hegelianism, which they accused of obscurity.[137][138]

Ludwig Wittgenstein

In contrast to Husserl's 1891 book Philosophie der Arithmetik, which attempted to show that the concept of the cardinal number derived from psychical acts of grouping objects and counting them,[139] Frege sought to show that mathematics and logic have their own validity, independent of the judgments or mental states of individual mathematicians and logicians (which were the basis of arithmetic according to the "psychologism" of Husserl's Philosophie). Frege further developed his philosophy of logic and mathematics in The Foundations of Arithmetic and The Basic Laws of Arithmetic where he provided an alternative to psychological accounts of the concept of number. Husserl later gave devastating critiques of psychologism. Late 19th-century English philosophy was dominated by British idealism, as taught by philosophers like F. H. Bradley and Thomas Hill Green. It was with reference to this intellectual basis that the initiators of analytic philosophy, Moore and Russell, articulated early analytic philosophy.

Language

Though much alluded to in Frege, Wittgenstein saw all philosophical problems as problems of language. The early Wittgenstein and the logical positivists saw language as utterly reducible to logical terms, perhaps best exemplified in Russell's theory of definite descriptions. The later Wittgenstein, as well as the overthrow of the logical positivists by the likes of Quine, has led others to see language as a social phenomenon on the whole not reducible to simplest terms. These latter thinkers have been pejoratively dubbed "lotus eaters". The strongest support of the latter is probably found in the theory of implicature and in J. L. Austin's theory of performative utterance.

W. V. O. Quine

The issue of whether terms have meaning in virtue of the objects to which they refer has also led to much debate. Frege denied this, and much of Kripke's fame comes from disputing Frege on this. Kripke has made influential and original contributions to logic, especially modal logic. His work has profoundly influenced the analytic tradition, with his principal contribution being a semantics for modal logic, involving possible worlds as described in a system now called Kripke semantics.[140] David Lewis, a notable student of Quine, is probably best known for his controversial modal realist stance that possible worlds exist; our world but one among them. That is, when you say "It is possible you could jump over the moon" an actual world exists wherein you are jumping over the moon.

Continental

Continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20th-century philosophical traditions from mainland Europe. This sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century, who used it to refer to a range of thinkers and traditions outside the analytic movement. Continental philosophy includes the following movements: German idealism, phenomenology, existentialism (and its antecedents, such as the thought of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche), hermeneutics, structuralism, post-structuralism, French feminism, psychoanalytic theory, and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and related branches of Western Marxism.

Phenomenologically oriented metaphysics undergirded existentialism (Heidegger, Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus) and finally poststructuralism (Gilles Deleuze, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida). To show the general attitude of analytic philosophers to continental types, one can source Quine's claim that Derrida is a kind of "pseudophilosophy". Pragmatist Richard Rorty has argued that these and other schools of 20th century philosophy, including his own, share an opposition to classical dualism that is both anti-essentialist and anti-metaphysical.[141] The psychoanalytic work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, and others has also been influential in contemporary continental thought. Conversely, some philosophers have attempted to define and rehabilitate older traditions of philosophy. Most notably, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Alasdair MacIntyre have both, albeit in different ways, revived the tradition of Aristotelianism. In contemporary continental thought, a number of developments are taking place. The field of postcolonial theory, championed in the late 20th century by theorists such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi K. Bhabha has established itself as a major academic presence. The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek remains popular in both academic and popular demographics, synthesizing Lacanian, Hegelian, and Althusserian Marxist thought in discussions of popular culture and politics. Žižek is also involved with the contemporary thrust to step beyond postmodernism and the linguistic turn of the 20th century. Key contributors to this movement are the French Alain Badiou, and those classified under the blanket designation of speculative realism, including Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier. On the other hand, the American philosopher Judith Butler has strong support among many demographics in her close readings of language, gender, subjectivity, corporeality, kinship, war and non-violent ethics. As a result, she has received strong criticism from Žižek, Martha Nussbaum and radical Zionists.

German idealism

Main article: German idealism

Forms of idealism were prevalent in philosophy from the 18th century to the early 20th century. Transcendental idealism, advocated by Immanuel Kant, is the view that there are limits on what can be understood, since there is much that cannot be brought under the conditions of objective judgment. Kant wrote his Critique of Pure Reason (1781–1787) in an attempt to reconcile the conflicting approaches of rationalism and empiricism, and to establish a new groundwork for studying metaphysics. Kant's intention with this work was to look at what we know and then consider what must be true about it, as a logical consequence of the way we know it. One major theme was that there are fundamental features of reality that escape our direct knowledge because of the natural limits of the human faculties.[142] Although Kant held that objective knowledge of the world required the mind to impose a conceptual or categorical framework on the stream of pure sensory data—a framework including space and time themselves—he maintained that things-in-themselves existed independently of our perceptions and judgments; he was therefore not an idealist in any simple sense. Kant's account of things-in-themselves is both controversial and highly complex. Continuing his work, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling dispensed with belief in the independent existence of the world, and created a thoroughgoing idealist philosophy.

The most notable work of this German idealism was G. W. F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, of 1807. Hegel admitted his ideas were not new, but that all the previous philosophies had been incomplete. His goal was to correctly finish their job. Hegel asserts that the twin aims of philosophy are to account for the contradictions apparent in human experience (which arise, for instance, out of the supposed contradictions between "being" and "not being"), and also simultaneously to resolve and preserve these contradictions by showing their compatibility at a higher level of examination ("being" and "not being" are resolved with "becoming"). This program of acceptance and reconciliation of contradictions is known as the "Hegelian dialectic". Philosophers influenced by Hegel include Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, who coined the term projection as pertaining to our inability to recognize anything in the external world without projecting qualities of ourselves upon those things; Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels; and the British idealists, notably T. H. Green, J. M. E. McTaggart and F. H. Bradley. Few 20th-century philosophers have embraced idealism. However, quite a few have embraced Hegelian dialectic. Immanuel Kant's "Copernican Turn" also remains an important philosophical concept today.

Phenomenology

Edmund Husserl's phenomenology was an ambitious attempt to lay the foundations for an account of the structure of conscious experience in general.[143] An important part of Husserl's phenomenological project was to show that all conscious acts are directed at or about objective content, a feature that Husserl called intentionality.[144] In the first part of his two-volume work, the Logical Investigations (1901), Husserl launched an extended attack on psychologism. In the second part, he began to develop the technique of descriptive phenomenology, with the aim of showing how objective judgments are grounded in conscious experience—not, however, in the first-person experience of particular individuals, but in the properties essential to any experiences of the kind in question.[143] He also attempted to identify the essential properties of any act of meaning. He developed the method further in Ideas (1913) as transcendental phenomenology, proposing to ground actual experience, and thus all fields of human knowledge, in the structure of consciousness of an ideal, or transcendental, ego. Later, he attempted to reconcile his transcendental standpoint with an acknowledgement of the intersubjective life-world in which real individual subjects interact. Husserl published only a few works in his lifetime, which treat phenomenology mainly in abstract methodological terms; but he left an enormous quantity of unpublished concrete analyses. Husserl's work was immediately influential in Germany, with the foundation of phenomenological schools in Munich and Göttingen. Phenomenology later achieved international fame through the work of such philosophers as Martin Heidegger (formerly Husserl's research assistant), Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Through the work of Heidegger and Sartre, Husserl's focus on subjective experience influenced aspects of existentialism.

Existentialism

Main article: Existentialism

Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of late 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences,[145][146] shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual.[147] In existentialism, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.[148] Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience.[149][150]

Although they did not use the term, the 19th-century philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are widely regarded as the fathers of existentialism. Their influence, however, has extended beyond existentialist thought.[151][152][153] The main target of Kierkegaard's writings was the idealist philosophical system of Hegel which, he thought, ignored or excluded the inner subjective life of living human beings. Kierkegaard, conversely, held that "truth is subjectivity", arguing that what is most important to an actual human being are questions dealing with an individual's inner relationship to existence. In particular, Kierkegaard, a Christian, believed that the truth of religious faith was a subjective question, and one to be wrestled with passionately.[154][155] Although Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were among his influences, the extent to which the German philosopher Martin Heidegger should be considered an existentialist is debatable. In Being and Time he presented a method of rooting philosophical explanations in human existence (Dasein) to be analysed in terms of existential categories (existentiale); and this has led many commentators to treat him as an important figure in the existentialist movement. However, in The Letter on Humanism, Heidegger explicitly rejected the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre became the best-known proponent of existentialism, exploring it not only in theoretical works such as Being and Nothingness, but also in plays and novels. Sartre, along with Simone de Beauvoir, represented an avowedly atheistic branch of existentialism, which is now more closely associated with their ideas of nausea, contingency, bad faith, and the absurd than with Kierkegaard's spiritual angst. Nevertheless, the focus on the individual human being, responsible before the universe for the authenticity of his or her existence, is common to all these thinkers.

Structuralism and post-structuralism

Inaugurated by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, structuralism sought to clarify systems of signs through analyzing the discourses they both limit and make possible. Saussure conceived of the sign as being delimited by all the other signs in the system, and ideas as being incapable of existence prior to linguistic structure, which articulates thought. This led continental thought away from humanism, and toward what was termed the decentering of man: language is no longer spoken by man to express a true inner self, but language speaks man. Structuralism sought the province of a hard science, but its positivism soon came under fire by poststructuralism, a wide field of thinkers, some of whom were once themselves structuralists, but later came to criticize it. Structuralists believed they could analyze systems from an external, objective standing, for example, but the poststructuralists argued that this is incorrect, that one cannot transcend structures and thus analysis is itself determined by what it examines, while the distinction between the signifier and signified was treated as crystalline by structuralists, poststructuralists asserted that every attempt to grasp the signified results in more signifiers, so meaning is always in a state of being deferred, making an ultimate interpretation impossible. Structuralism came to dominate continental philosophy throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, encompassing thinkers as diverse as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes and Jacques Lacan. Post-structuralism came to predominate from the 1970s onwards, including thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and even Roland Barthes; it incorporated a critique of structuralism's limitations.

Pragmatism

Main articles: Pragmatism and Instrumentalism

Pragmatism was founded in the spirit of finding a scientific concept of truth that does not depend on personal insight (revelation) or reference to some metaphysical realm. The meaning or purport of a statement should be judged by the effect its acceptance would have on practice. Truth is that opinion which inquiry taken far enough would ultimately reach.[156] For Charles Sanders Peirce these were principles of the inquirer's self-regulation, implied by the idea and hope that inquiry is not generally fruitless. The details of how these principles should be interpreted have been subject to discussion since Peirce first conceived them. Peirce's maxim of pragmatism is as follows: "Consider what effects, which might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object."[157]

Like postmodern neo-pragmatist Richard Rorty, many are convinced that pragmatism asserts that the truth of beliefs does not consist in their correspondence with reality, but in their usefulness and efficacy.[158] The late 19th-century American philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce and William James were its co-founders, and it was later developed by John Dewey as instrumentalism. Since the usefulness of any belief at any time might be contingent on circumstance, Peirce and James conceptualised final truth as something only established by the future, final settlement of all opinion.[159] Critics have accused pragmatism falling victim to a simple fallacy: because something that is true proves useful, that usefulness is the basis for its truth.[160] Thinkers in the pragmatist tradition have included John Dewey, George Santayana, Quine and C. I. Lewis. Pragmatism has more recently been taken in new directions by Richard Rorty, John Lachs, Donald Davidson, Susan Haack, and Hilary Putnam.

Other approaches

Thomism

Main article: Thomism

Largely Aristotelian in its approach and content, Thomism is a philosophical tradition that follows the writings of Thomas Aquinas. His work has been read, studied, and disputed since the 13th century, especially by Roman Catholics. However, Aquinas has enjoyed a revived interest since the late 19th century, among both atheists (like Philippa Foot) and theists (like Elizabeth Anscombe).[161] Thomist philosophers tend to be rationalists in epistemology, as well as metaphysical realists, and virtue ethicists. Human beings are rational animals whose good can be known by reason and pursued by the will. With regard to the soul, Thomists (like Aristotle) argue that soul or psyche is real and immaterial but inseparable from matter in organisms. Soul is the form of the body. Thomists accept all four of Aristotle's causes as natural, including teleological or final causes. In this way, though Aquinas argued that whatever is in the intellect begins in the senses, natural teleology can be discerned with the senses and abstracted from nature through induction.[162]

Contemporary Thomism contains a diversity of philosophical styles, from Neo-Scholasticism to Existential Thomism.[163] The so-called new natural lawyers like Germain Grisez and Robert P. George have applied Thomistic legal principles to contemporary ethical debates, while cognitive neuroscientist Walter Freeman proposes that Thomism is the philosophical system explaining cognition that is most compatible with neurodynamics, in a 2008 article in the journal Mind and Matter entitled "Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention According to Aquinas." So-called Analytical Thomism of John Haldane and others encourages dialogue between analytic philosophy and broadly Aristotelian philosophy of mind, psychology, and hylomorphic metaphysics.[164] Other modern or contemporary Thomists include Eleonore Stump, Alasdair MacIntyre, and John Finnis.

Applied philosophy

The ideas conceived by a society have profound repercussions on what actions the society performs. As Richard Weaver has argued, "ideas have consequences". The study of philosophy yields applications such as those in ethicsapplied ethics in particular—and political philosophy. The political and economic philosophies of Confucius, Sun Zi, Chanakya, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Taimiyyah, Niccolò Machiavelli, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others—all of these have been used to shape and justify governments and their actions. In the field of philosophy of education, progressive education as championed by John Dewey has had a profound impact on educational practices in the United States in the 20th century. Descendants of this movement include the current efforts in philosophy for children, which are part of philosophy education. Carl von Clausewitz's political philosophy of war has had a profound effect on statecraft, international politics, and military strategy in the 20th century, especially in the years around World War II. Logic has become crucially important in mathematics, linguistics, psychology, computer science, and computer engineering.

Other important applications can be found in epistemology, which aid in understanding the requisites for knowledge, sound evidence, and justified belief (important in law, economics, decision theory, and a number of other disciplines). The philosophy of science discusses the underpinnings of the scientific method and has affected the nature of scientific investigation and argumentation. As such, philosophy has fundamental implications for science as a whole. For example, the strictly empirical approach of B. F. Skinner's behaviorism affected for decades the approach of the American psychological establishment. Deep ecology and animal rights examine the moral situation of humans as occupants of a world that has non-human occupants to consider also. Aesthetics can help to interpret discussions of music, literature, the plastic arts, and the whole artistic dimension of life. In general, the various philosophies strive to provide practical activities with a deeper understanding of the theoretical or conceptual underpinnings of their fields.

See also

Main article: Outline of philosophy

References

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  27. ^ "Plato's "Symposium"". www.perseus.tufts.edu. p. 201d and following. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  28. ^ Process and Reality p. 39
  29. ^ McGinn, Colin (8 December 1993). Problems in Philosophy: The Limits of Inquiry (1st ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781557864758. 
  30. ^ "Video & Audio: Why isn't there more progress in philosophy? - Metadata". www.sms.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  31. ^ Brewer, Talbot (11 June 2011). The Retrieval of Ethics (1st ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199692224. 
  32. ^ Kant, Immanuel (21 May 2012). Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107401068. Ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three branches of knowledge: natural science, ethics, and logic. 
  33. ^ "Undergraduate Program | Department of Philosophy | NYU". Philosophy.fas.nyu.edu. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "Aesthetics- definition". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  35. ^ Kenney, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy. Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-958988-3. 
  36. ^ Plantinga, Alvin (1 January 2014). Zalta, Edward N., ed. Religion and Science (Spring 2014 ed.). 
  37. ^ G & C. Merriam Co. (1913). Noah Porter, eds. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 ed.). G & C. Merriam Co. p. 501. Retrieved 13 May 2012. E*pis`te*mol"o*gy (?), n. [Gr. knowledge + -logy.] The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge. 
  38. ^ Carnap, Rudolf (1953). ""Inductive Logic and Science".". Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 80 (3): 189–97. doi:10.2307/20023651. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
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    "The word 'Nominalism', as used by contemporary philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition, is ambiguous. In one sense, its most traditional sense deriving from the Middle Ages, it implies the rejection of universals. In another, more modern but equally entrenched sense, it implies the rejection of abstract objects"

  41. ^ Strawson, P. F. "Conceptualism." Universals, concepts and qualities: new essays on the meaning of predicates. Ashgate Publishing, 2006.
  42. ^ Hobbes, Thomas (1985). Leviathan. Penguin Classics. 
  43. ^ Sigmund, Paul E. (2005). The Selected Political Writings of John Locke. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-96451-6. 
  44. ^ "Merriam-Webster.com". Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  45. ^ Definition 1 of aesthetics from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.
  46. ^ Zangwill, Nick. "Aesthetic Judgment", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 02-28-2003/10-22-2007. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  47. ^ Kelly (1998) p. ix
  48. ^ Review by Tom Riedel (Regis University)
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  50. ^ White, Curtis (5 August 2014). The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Melville House. ISBN 9781612193908. 
  51. ^ M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, p.61
  52. ^ Grimal, p.79
  53. ^ Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47.
  54. ^ Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47 [43].
  55. ^ a b Ebrey, Patricia (2010). The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. 
  56. ^ Juergensmeyer, Mark (2005). Religion in global civil society. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-518835-6. ...humanist philosophies such as Confucianism, which do not share a belief in divine law and do not exalt faithfulness to a higher law as a manifestation of divine will 
  57. ^ a b Craig 1998, p. 536.
  58. ^ a b Oxford Companion to Philosophy
  59. ^ Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 5.3.8–9 = Heraclides Ponticus fr. 88 Wehrli, Diogenes Laërtius 1.12, 8.8, Iamblichus VP 58. Burkert attempted to discredit this ancient tradition, but it has been defended by C.J. De Vogel, Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreanism (1966), pp. 97–102, and C. Riedweg, Pythagoras: His Life, Teaching, And Influence (2005), p. 92.
  60. ^ p 22, The Principal Upanisads, Harper Collins, 1994
  61. ^ Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, p. 259
  62. ^ Cowell, E.B.; Gough, A.E. (1882). Sarva-Darsana Sangraha of Madhava Acharya: Review of Different Systems of Hindu Philosophy. New Delhi: Indian Books Centre/Sri Satguru Publications. p. xii. ISBN 978-81-7030-875-1. 
  63. ^ Jain, Vijay K. (2011). Acharya Umasvami's Tattvarthsutra. p. 5. ISBN 9788190363921. Non-copyright 
  64. ^ Apte, p. 497.
  65. ^ Blackburn, Simon (1994). The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  66. ^ Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Volume II: From Augustine to Scotus (Burns & Oates, 1950), p. 1, dates medieval philosophy proper from the Carolingian Renaissance in the eighth century to the end of the fourteenth century, though he includes Augustine and the Patristic fathers as precursors. Desmond Henry, in Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan, 1967), vol. 5, pp. 252–257, starts with Augustine and ends with Nicholas of Oresme in the late fourteenth century. David Luscombe, Medieval Thought (Oxford University Press, 1997), dates medieval philosophy from the conversion of Constantine in 312 to the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s. Christopher Hughes, in A.C. Grayling (ed.), Philosophy 2: Further through the Subject (Oxford University Press, 1998), covers philosophers from Augustine to Ockham. Jorge J.E. Gracia, in Nicholas Bunnin and E.P. Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 2003), p. 620, identifies medieval philosophy as running from Augustine to John of St. Thomas in the seventeenth century. Anthony Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume II: Medieval Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2005), begins with Augustine and ends with the Lateran Council of 1512.
  67. ^ Gracia, p. 1
  68. ^ Charles Schmitt and Quentin Skinner (eds.), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 5, loosely define the period as extending "from the age of Ockham to the revisionary work of Bacon, Descartes and their contemporaries."
  69. ^ Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Volume III: From Ockham to Suarez (The Newman Press, 1953) p. 18: "When one looks at Renaissance philosophy … one is faced at first sight with a rather bewildering assortment of philosophies."
  70. ^ Brian Copenhaver and Charles Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 4: "one may identify the hallmark of Renaissance philosophy as an accelerated and enlarged interest, stimulated by newly available texts, in primary sources of Greek and Roman thought that were previously unknown or partially known or little read."
  71. ^ Jorge J.E. Gracia in Nicholas Bunnin and E.P. Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 2002), p. 621: "the humanists … restored man to the centre of attention and channeled their efforts to the recovery and transmission of classical learning, particularly in the philosophy of Plato."
  72. ^ Copleston, ibid.: "The bulk of Renaissance thinkers, scholars and scientists were, of course, Christians … but none the less the classical revival … helped to bring to the fore a conception of autonomous man or an idea of the development of the human personality, which, though generally Christian, was more 'naturalistic' and less ascetic than the mediaeval conception."
  73. ^ Charles B. Schmitt and Quentin Skinner (eds.), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, pp. 61 and 63: "From Petrarch the early humanists learnt their conviction that the revival of humanae literae was only the first step in a greater intellectual renewal" […] "the very conception of philosophy was changing because its chief object was now man—man was at centre of every inquiry".
  74. ^ a b Cassirer; Kristeller; Randall, eds. (1948). "Introduction". The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. University of Chicago Press. 
  75. ^ Copenhaver and Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy, pp. 285–328.
  76. ^ Pico Della Mirandola, Conclusiones philosophicae, cabalisticae et theologicae; Giordano Bruno, De Magia
  77. ^ Richard Popkin, The History of Scepticism from Savonarola to Bayle (Oxford University Press, 2003).
  78. ^ Copleston, pp. 228–229.
  79. ^ Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 8: "The Lutheran Reformation […] gave new impetus to the sceptical trend."
  80. ^ "Machiavelli appears as the first modern political thinker" Williams, Garrath. "Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. . "Machiavelli ought not really to be classified as either purely an "ancient" or a "modern," but instead deserves to be located in the interstices between the two." Nederman, Cary. "Niccolò Machiavelli". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 
  81. ^ Copenhaver and Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy, pp. 274–284.
  82. ^ Schmitt and Skinner, The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, pp. 430–452.
  83. ^ Blocker, H. Gene; Starling, Christopher L. (2001). Japanese Philosophy. SUNY Press. p. 64. 
  84. ^ a b Huang 1999, p. 5.
  85. ^ a b Chan 2002, p. 460.
  86. ^ Sharma, Peri Sarveswara (1980). Anthology of Kumārilabhaṭṭa's Works. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass. p. 5. 
  87. ^ "Consciousness in Advaita Vedānta ," By William M. Indich, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1995, ISBN 978-81-208-1251-2.
  88. ^ "Gandhi And Mahayana Buddhism". Class.uidaho.edu. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  89. ^ Wainwright, William, "Concepts of God", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  90. ^ "In Our Time: Existence". bbcnews.com. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  91. ^ Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. p, 121.
  92. ^ a b Maffie, James. "Aztec Philosophy." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005. [1]
  93. ^ Donald Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. xiii, defines its subject thus: "what has come to be known as "early modern philosophy"—roughly, philosophy spanning the period between the end of the sixteenth century and the end of the eighteenth century, or, in terms of figures, Montaigne through Kant." Steven Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy (Blackwell, 2002), p. 1, likewise identifies its subject as "the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries". Anthony Kenny, The Oxford History of Western Philosophy (Clarendon: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 107, introduces "early modern philosophy" as "the writings of the classical philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe".
  94. ^ Steven Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, pp. 1–2: "By the seventeenth century […] it had become more common to find original philosophical minds working outside the strictures of the university—i.e., ecclesiastic—framework. […] by the end of the eighteenth century, [philosophy] was a secular enterprise."
  95. ^ Anthony Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. xii: "To someone approaching the early modern period of philosophy from an ancient and medieval background the most striking feature of the age is the absence of Aristotle from the philosophic scene."
  96. ^ Donald Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 1: "epistemology assumes a new significance in the early modern period as philosophers strive to define the conditions and limits of human knowledge."
  97. ^ Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, p. 211: "The period between Descartes and Hegel was the great age of metaphysical system-building."
  98. ^ Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, pp. 179–180: "the seventeenth century saw the gradual separation of the old discipline of natural philosophy into the science of physics […] [b]y the nineteenth century physics was a fully mature empirical science, operating independently of philosophy."
  99. ^ Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, pp. 212–331.
  100. ^ Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, pp. 2–3: "Why should the early modern period in philosophy begin with Descartes and Bacon, for example, rather than with Erasmus and Montaigne? […] Suffice it to say that at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and especially with Bacon and Descartes, certain questions and concerns come to the fore—a variety of issues that motivated the inquiries and debates that would characterize much philosophical thinking for the next two centuries."
  101. ^ "Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  "Hobbes is the founding father of modern political philosophy. Directly or indirectly, he has set the terms of debate about the fundamentals of political life right into our own times."
  102. ^ "Contractarianism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. : "Contractarianism […] stems from the Hobbesian line of social contract thought"
  103. ^ Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 1: "Most often this [period] has been associated with the achievements of a handful of great thinkers: the so-called 'rationalists' (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) and 'empiricists' (Locke, Berkeley, Hume), whose inquiries culminate in Kant's 'Critical philosophy.' These canonical figures have been celebrated for the depth and rigor of their treatments of perennial philosophical questions..."
  104. ^ Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 2: "The study of early modern philosophy demands that we pay attention to a wide variety of questions and an expansive pantheon of thinkers: the traditional canonical figures (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), to be sure, but also a large 'supporting cast'..."
  105. ^ Bruce Kuklick, "Seven Thinkers and How They Grew: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz; Locke, Berkeley, Hume; Kant" in Rorty, Schneewind, and Skinner (eds.), Philosophy in History (Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 125: "Literary, philosophical, and historical studies often rely on a notion of what is canonical. In American philosophy scholars go from Jonathan Edwards to John Dewey; in American literature from James Fenimore Cooper to F. Scott Fitzgerald; in political theory from Plato to Hobbes and Locke […] The texts or authors who fill in the blanks from A to Z in these, and other intellectual traditions, constitute the canon, and there is an accompanying narrative that links text to text or author to author, a 'history of' American literature, economic thought, and so on. The most conventional of such histories are embodied in university courses and the textbooks that accompany them. This essay examines one such course, the History of Modern Philosophy, and the texts that helped to create it. If a philosopher in the United States were asked why the seven people in my title comprise Modern Philosophy, the initial response would be: they were the best, and there are historical and philosophical connections among them."
  106. ^ Rutherford, The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 1.
  107. ^ Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, p. xiii.
  108. ^ Nadler, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, p. 3.
  109. ^ Shand, John (ed.) Central Works of Philosophy, Vol.3 The Nineteenth Century (McGill-Queens, 2005)
  110. ^ Thomas Baldwin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 4: "by the 1870s Germany contained much of the best universities in the world. […] There were certainly more professors of philosophy in Germany in 1870 than anywhere else in the world, and perhaps more even than everywhere else put together."
  111. ^ Beiser, Frederick C. The Cambridge Companion to Hegel, (Cambridge, 1993).
  112. ^ Baldwin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945, p. 119: "within a hundred years of the first stirrings in the early nineteenth century [logic] had undergone the most fundamental transformation and substantial advance in its history."
  113. ^ Scott Soames, Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, vol. 2, p. 463.
  114. ^ "Socrates Tenured - Rowman & Littlefield International". www.rowmaninternational.com. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  115. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Bertrand Russell", 1 May 2003: "Russell is generally recognized as one of the founders of modern analytic philosophy. […] he is regularly credited with being one of the most important logicians of the twentieth century."
  116. ^ Paul Edwards (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol. 7 (Macmillan, 1967), p. 239: "Russell has exercised an influence on the course of Anglo-American philosophy in the twentieth century second to that of no other individual."
  117. ^ Thomas Baldwin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 376: "[…] the three greatest European philosophers of the twentieth century—Heidegger, Russell, and Wittgenstein."
  118. ^ Avrum Stroll, Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2000), p. 252: "More than any other analytic philosopher, [Wittgenstein] has changed the thinking of a whole generation."
  119. ^ "Wittgenstein, Ludwig" in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and regarded by some as the most important since Immanuel Kant."
  120. ^ Thomas Baldwin, Contemporary Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 90: "[Quine] has been, without question, the most influential American philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century."
  121. ^ Peter Hylton, "Quine", in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Quine's work has been extremely influential and has done much to shape the course of philosophy in the second-half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first."
  122. ^ Andrew Bailey, First Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality (Broadview Press, 2004), p. 274: "Willard Van Orman Quine (1908–2000) was uncontroversially one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century."
  123. ^ Anthony Kenny, Philosophy in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 64: "After Wittgenstein's death many people regarded W.V.O. Quine (1908–2000) as the doyen of Anglophone philosophy."
  124. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [2]: "David Lewis (1941–2001) was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. He made significant contributions to philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, decision theory, epistemology, meta-ethics and aesthetics. In most of these fields he is essential reading; in many of them he is among the most important figures of recent decades. And this list leaves out his two most significant contributions."
  125. ^ John Perry, Michael Bratman, John Martin Fischer (eds.), Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 4th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 302: "David Lewis (1941–2001) was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century."
  126. ^ "Edmund Husserl", in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Edmund Husserl was the principal founder of phenomenology—and thus one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century."
  127. ^ "Husserl, Edmund", in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "he is arguably one of the most important and influential philosophers of the twentieth century."
  128. ^ Raymond Geuss, in Thomas Baldwin (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 497: "Heidegger is by a wide margin the single most influential philosopher of the twentieth century."
  129. ^ "Heidegger, Martin", in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Martin Heidegger is widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century".
  130. ^ Anaxagoras. "Anaxagoras of Clazomenae". In Curd, Patricia. A Presocratics Reader. Hackett. ISBN 978-1-60384-305-8. B12 
  131. ^ a b Diane Collinson. Fifty Major Philosophers, A Reference Guide. p. 125. 
  132. ^ Nicholas Joll, http://www.iep.utm.edu/con-meta/
  133. ^ Russell, Bertrand (22 February 1999). "The Principles of Mathematics (1903)". Fair-use.org. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  134. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1905). "On Denoting". Mind 14: 473–93. 
  135. ^ a b Mautner, Thomas (editor) (2005) The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, entry for 'Analytic philosophy, pp.22–3
  136. ^ Baillie, James, "Introduction to Bertrand Russell" in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 1997), p. 25.
  137. ^ See for example Moore's A Defence of Common Sense and Russell's critique of the Doctrine of internal relations,
  138. ^ "Analytic philosophy opposed right from its beginning English neo-Hegelianism of Bradley's sort and similar ones. It did not only criticize the latter's denial of the existence of an external world (anyway an unjust criticism), but also the bombastic, obscure style of Hegel's writings." Jonkers, Peter (2003). "Perspectives on Twentieth Century Philosophy:A Reply to Tom Rockmore" (PDF). Ars Disputandi 3. ISSN 1566-5399. 
  139. ^ Willard, Dallas. "Husserl on a Logic that Failed". Philosophical Review 89 (1): 52–53. doi:10.2307/2184863. 
  140. ^ Jerry Fodor, "Water's water everywhere", London Review of Books, 21 October 2004
  141. ^ Rorty, Richard. Philosophy and Social Hope>. Penguin.1999: 47-48.
  142. ^ Kant, Immanuel (1990). Critique of Pure Reason. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-596-6. 
  143. ^ a b Woodruff Smith, David (2007). Husserl. Routledge. 
  144. ^ Dreyfus, Hubert (2006). A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism. Blackwell. 
  145. ^ John Macquarrie, Existentialism, New York (1972), pages 18–21.
  146. ^ Oxford Companion to Philosophy, ed. Ted Honderich, New York (1995), page 259.
  147. ^ John Macquarrie, Existentialism, New York (1972), pages 14–15.
  148. ^ Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism (McGraw-Hill, 1974, pages 1–2)
  149. ^ Ernst Breisach, Introduction to Modern Existentialism, New York (1962), page 5
  150. ^ Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism: From Dostoevesky to Sartre, New York (1956) page 12
  151. ^ Matustik, Martin J. (1995). Kierkegaard in Post/Modernity. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-20967-2. 
  152. ^ Solomon, Robert (2001). What Nietzsche Really Said. Schocken. ISBN 978-0-8052-1094-1. 
  153. ^ Religious thinkers were among those influenced by Kierkegaard. Christian existentialists include Gabriel Marcel, Nicholas Berdyaev, Miguel de Unamuno, and Karl Jaspers (although he preferred to speak of his "philosophical faith"). The Jewish philosophers Martin Buber and Lev Shestov have also been associated with existentialism.
  154. ^ Kierkegaard, Søren (1986). Fear and Trembling. Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0-14-044449-0. 
  155. ^ Kierkegaard, Søren (1992). Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02081-5. 
  156. ^ Peirce, C. S. (1878), "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", Popular Science Monthly, v. 12, 286–302. Reprinted often, including Collected Papers v. 5, paragraphs 388–410 and Essential Peirce v. 1, 124–41. See end of §II for the pragmatic maxim. See third and fourth paragraphs in §IV for the discoverability of truth and the real by sufficient investigation. Also see quotes from Peirce from across the years in the entries for "Truth" and "Pragmatism, Maxim of..." in the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms, Mats Bergman and Sami Paavola, editors, University of Helsinki.
  157. ^ Peirce on p. 293 of "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", Popular Science Monthly, v. 12, pp. 286–302. Reprinted widely, including Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (CP) v. 5, paragraphs 388–410.
  158. ^ Rorty, Richard (1982). The Consequences of Pragmatism. Minnesota: Minnesota University Press. p. xvi. 
  159. ^ Putnam, Hilary (1995). Pragmatism: An Open Question. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 8–12. 
  160. ^ Pratt, J. B. (1909). What is Pragmatism?. New York: Macmillan. p. 89. 
  161. ^ Kerr, Fergu. After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism. Blackwell. 
  162. ^ Aquinas, "De veritate, Q.2, art.3, answer 19".
  163. ^ Feser, Edward (2009). Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide. Oneworld. p. 216. ISBN 1-85168-690-8. 
  164. ^ Paterson & Pugh,. Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue. Ashgate. 

Further reading

General Introductions

Topical Introductions

Eastern

African

Islamic

Historical Introductions

Ancient

  • Knight, Kelvin. Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre. ISBN 978-0-7456-1977-4

Medieval

  • The Phenomenology Reader by Dermot Moran, Timothy Mooney
  • Kim, J. and Ernest Sosa, Ed. (1999). Metaphysics: An Anthology. Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
  • Husserl, Edmund and Donn Welton (1999). The Essential Husserl: Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology, Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21273-3

Modern

  • Existentialism: Basic Writings (Second Edition) by Charles Guignon, Derk Pereboom
  • Curley, Edwin, A Spinoza Reader, Princeton, 1994, ISBN 978-0-691-00067-1
  • Bullock, Alan, R. B. Woodings, and John Cumming, eds. The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thinkers, in series, Fontana Original[s]. Hammersmith, Eng.: Fontana Press, 1992, cop. 1983. xxv, 867 p. ISBN 978-0-00-636965-3
  • Scruton, Roger. A Short History of Modern Philosophy. ISBN 978-0-415-26763-2

Contemporary

Reference works

  • Leaman, Oliver; Parviz Morewedge (2000). Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, editor: Edward Craig. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22364-4. 
  • Chan, Wing-tsit (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01964-9. 
  • Huang, Siu-chi (1999). Essentials of Neo-Confucianism: Eight Major Philosophers of the Song and Ming Periods. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-26449-X. 
  • The Oxford Companion to Philosophy edited by Ted Honderich
  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy by Robert Audi
  • The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (10 vols.) edited by Edward Craig, Luciano Floridi (available online by subscription); or
  • The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy edited by Edward Craig (an abridgement)
  • Encyclopedia of Philosophy (8 vols.) edited by Paul Edwards; in 1996, a ninth supplemental volume appeared that updated the classic 1967 encyclopedia.
  • International Directory of Philosophy and Philosophers. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center.
  • Directory of American Philosophers. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center.
  • Routledge History of Philosophy (10 vols.) edited by John Marenbon
  • History of Philosophy (9 vols.) by Frederick Copleston
  • A History of Western Philosophy (5 vols.) by W. T. Jones
  • History of Italian Philosophy (2 vols.) by Eugenio Garin. Translated from Italian and Edited by Giorgio Pinton. Introduction by Leon Pompa.
  • Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophies (8 vols.), edited by Karl H. Potter et al. (first 6 volumes out of print)
  • Indian Philosophy (2 vols.) by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
  • A History of Indian Philosophy (5 vols.) by Surendranath Dasgupta
  • History of Chinese Philosophy (2 vols.) by Fung Yu-lan, Derk Bodde
  • Instructions for Practical Living and Other Neo-Confucian Writings by Wang Yang-ming by Chan, Wing-tsit
  • Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy edited by Antonio S. Cua
  • Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion by Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Kurt Friedrichs
  • Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy by Brian Carr, Indira Mahalingam
  • A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English by John A. Grimes
  • History of Islamic Philosophy edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Oliver Leaman
  • History of Jewish Philosophy edited by Daniel H. Frank, Oliver Leaman
  • A History of Russian Philosophy: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries by Valerii Aleksandrovich Kuvakin
  • Ayer, A.J. et al., Ed. (1994) A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. Blackwell Reference Oxford. Oxford, Basil Blackwell Ltd.
  • Blackburn, S., Ed. (1996)The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Mauter, T., Ed. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. London, Penguin Books.
  • Runes, D., Ed. (1942). The Dictionary of Philosophy. New York, The Philosophical Library, Inc.
  • Angeles, P.A., Ed. (1992). The Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy. New York, Harper Perennial.
  • Bunnin, N. et al., Ed. (1996) The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
  • Hoffman, Eric, Ed. (1997) Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center.
  • Popkin, R.H. (1999). The Columbia History of Western Philosophy. New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Bullock, Alan, and Oliver Stallybrass, jt. eds. The Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. xix, 684 p. N.B.: "First published in England under the title, The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought." ISBN 978-0-06-010578-5
  • Reese, W. L. Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1980. iv, 644 p. ISBN 978-0-391-00688-1

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