Talk:Western philosophy

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Talk:Philosophy/Archive 1 Talk:Philosophy/Archive 2 See note below about page histories.==etymology== "The word philosophy itself originated in ancient Greece and was not considered as Western: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom" (philein = "to love" + sophia = wisdom, in the sense of knowledge and the courage to act accordingly)." Why was philosophy not originally considered as Western? I can't really follow this. Maybe the person thought about Diogenes Laertius' obscure remarks about the origins of philosophy. If philosophy is a Greek word and if the ancient Greek city-state culture are considered to be part of the west (which it in fact do) then the word philosophy is considered to be western. Another thing is the addition of "and the courage to act accordingly" what does that mean. I think the person must have thought about Plato's portrayal of Socrates, but is this Socratic courage a vital aspect of philosophy? (talk) 10:17, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

A matter of esthetics[edit]

Is it only me, or does this sentence:reacting to a tragedy "philosophically" commonly means abstaining from(..) sound as ugly as I think? How about: reacting to a tragedy "in a philosophical way" commonly means(...) instead? It's just that the first one, which is still present in the article, brings up Michael Palin's (from Monty Python) voice repeating "phillo-sophi-cally" in my head.. - 08:44, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Sure, go ahead and change it! Adam Conover 19:51, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)

WikiProject Philosophy[edit]

I have started WikiProject Philosophy, an attempt to coordinate the efforts of philosophically-inclined contributors. If you are so inclined, please consider dropping by the project page, or visit the talk page to share your thoughts. Adam Conover 19:51, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)Why would someone watch such a ridiculous and disgustingly barbaric show?

I'll certainly drop by. Question for this article. Why is 2/3 of the article "Philosophy contrasted with other disciplines"? This is akin to creating an entry to physics where 2/3 of the article is "Physics contrasted with other disciplines". Why is there no mention, at all, of commensurability either? Surely there should be at least a small commensurability section of some sort to provide a proper comparative philosophy framework. An entire entry on "Western Philosophy" without any note of comparative philosophy OR commensurability? *cringe* Maxxx12345 (talk) 12:40, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Origins of "philosophy"[edit]

In fact the term "philosophy" was not in use long before Plato.

I removed this sentence because its meaning is unclear, and I do not know which meaning is the correct one. Does it means that the word originated with Plato? That it appeared just before his work? Is the word "not" simply a mistake? Adam Conover 17:37, May 12, 2004 (UTC)

Any Wikipedia Sentence that starts with in fact… is almost certainly wrong. Banno 20:42, May 12, 2004 (UTC)
all generalisations are inaccurate (including yours and this one):o) --(talk)BozMo 11:43, 13 May 2004 (UTC)
You are right, of course. In fact, all sentences in the Wikipedia that start with 'in fact' are certainly wrong. Banno 08:22, May 14, 2004 (UTC)

More seriously, can we have a note that the phrase "doctorate of philosophy" has nothing to do with philosophy and is just historical usage? --(talk)BozMo 10:23, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Someone needs to fix this entry: (Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics; and as late america, inaccurate, and not well known before the 1800s that specific geographical and political differences would be hard to measure. Few had access to precise maps and even fewer had access to accurate descriptions of who lived in far away lands. Western philence the term "Western philosophy" is at times unhelpful and vague... Rncooper (talk) 21:15, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Philosophy is Western Philosophy?[edit]

Quote: This article deals primarily with the Western philosophic tradition; for more information on Eastern philosophies, see Eastern philosophy. This is typically what shows a problem in Wikipedia : it is mostly oriented on the West (and even on English-speaking countries). I know that it's mostly fed by people from there and that it explains why western topics are more developed, but this sentence explicitly claims that "philosophy" is a western topic, what is annoying me (and is false). Would remove the sentence or move the article to something like "Western philosophy"... (As it is now, I understand that Western philosophy is the mother and Eastern the daughter, yet it may be historically the opposite if the elder Indian philosophy is to be considered) gbog 11:43, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, it doesn't explicitly claim that "philosophy" is a "Western" topic; on the contrary, it implicitly associates philosophy as such (i.e., the unmarked form) with Western philosophy. There's probably too much material to justify integration of the Eastern and Western articles, but moving the bulk of the philosophy page to "Western Philosophy" and making "Philosophy" a disambiguation page would be a reasonable solution. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 17:55, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
This discussion is vital for philosophy, but this page perhaps not the best place to conduct it. - 18:09, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Wait, which discussion, and which page? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 18:19, May 28, 2004 (UTC)
I just read fully the first parts of the article and quickly the rest. It seems to me that relatively few changes and additions would make the begining of the article really general (I mean including Eastern philosophy). Adding a little bit more about political thought, government, wisdom, and "how to be happy in this cruel world" could do the job. Then, the second part of the article (after "Western and Eastern Philosophy" paragraph) could be moved to a dedicated "Western Philosophy" article. What do you think ? gbog 04:41, 29 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's so simple. First off, the whole article is written with a clearly western slant, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to really counter that slant. Second, as it stands the flag early in the article on this being about "western" philosophy is useful because not only is the content in philosophy itself western-slanted, the links to the subdivisions of philosophy, which are the most structurally important parts of the page, mostly deal with the western versions of disciplines that, properly speaking, should encompass eastern philosophy as well, but which would take considerable time investment and expertise to integrate. I think the simpler solution, at least for the short term, is to make "philosophy" a disambiguation page. We can work toward re-integration at a later date. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 05:01, May 29, 2004 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I don't share your opinion on this. Rather, I think it's precisely as simple as Gbog suggests. It seems to me that the "clear western slant" is easy to correct through use of both Eastern and Western examples, and by eliminating the offending passage mentioned by Gbog (which I've just done). Everything besides that on the page seems to appeal to the philosophical categorization scheme, to which many eastern philosophies (all of the one's I've encountered, anyway) can fit into. Separate pages on Eastern and Western philosophical traditions can be and are used to go more in depth with each. Lucidish 22:16, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I think the criticism that this page has a "Western slant" assumes (incorrectly) that the page equates "Western philsophy" with "philosophy" in general. Part of this may result from the fact that the discussion does not limit itself to explaining what is meant by the term "Western philosophy," and digresses into general discussions of what philosophy is. I agree that these should be moved to a separate article. The term "Western philosophy" was not adopted in order to propagate a Western-centric view of philosophy. To the contrary, philsophers in the West had this Western-centric view for centuries--really, until the twentieth century, in fact. During this time, what we call "Western philosophy" today was simply called "philosophy." The term "Western philosophy" was coined to qualify the term "philosophy" and recognize that there are some equally-valid non-Western philosophical traditions that were being marginalized. Of course, philosophy departments in American and European univerisities still focus mostly on "Western" philosophical thinking, but the recognition that this isn't the only type of philosophy is a progressive view, not a parochial one.

Page moved.[edit]

Hello, I have moved the content of this page to Western Philosophy. Western philosophy (with a small p) should also lead to the latter page. This page is serving as a disamb. page for the moment, but please feel free to expand on it from a non-axial point of view. -- Simonides 23:36, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. But I think that much of what was written - what's now in "Western Philosophy" - can be salvaged, overhauled, and put into this wiki. Then "The History of Western Philosophy" can take the place of the wiki that's currently called "Western Philosophy".
Lucidish 23:41, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly support the move; material can certainly be reintegrated, but a fresh start will provide the opporunity to re-integrate conscientiously and be a little less distracted by the urge to compromise with the past. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 00:29, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I just split up the articles, with Western-centric stuff in Western Philosophy and generalized philosophy stuff in the general philosophy page. Not exactly a start-from-scratch approach, but...
Lucidish 17:13, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Maybe this is a stupid question, but why is existential philosophy not treated? Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Jaspers, etc.., weren't entirely unimportant I guess Hippocrates — Preceding undated comment added 19:38, 6 December 2004 (UTC)

The core of philosophy is being confidence. Questions ask should not be vague with the word of maybe. They are known as a phylosopher if they have the strength in mind, theory, spiritually, physically and the physolophy is been shared with the world as a widespread legends. As you know the introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras (see Diogenes Laertius: "De vita et moribus philosophorum", I, 12; Cicero: "Tusculanae disputationes", V, 8-9). The ascription is based on a passage in a lost work of Herakleides Pontikos, a disciple of Aristotle. It is considered to be part of the widespread legends of Pythagoras of this time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:06, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Comment moved to correct place. Graham87 03:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Page Inaccurate[edit]

This page inaccurately describes the term "Western philosophy." The introductory sentence suggests that the term "Western philosophy" implies that the user believes that there is a set of fundamental unifying principles that permeates "Western" philosophical discourse. This is not correct. The term "Western philosophy" is used in contradistinction to "Eastern philosophy" in order to recognize that most academic thinking in Western "philosophy" departments are focused almost exclusively on philosophical writings in Europe, America, Western Asia, and (to some extent) the Middle East. Contrary to the comment above that having a "Western philsophy" article is somehow depricating to "Eastern" philosophy.

Additionally, the suggestion that the articles on Eastern and Western philosophy, respectively, be merged would be contrary to the NPOV rules. In fact, the terms "Western philsophy" and "Eastern philosophy" are used to distinguish different subparts of "general" philosophy. To not recognize and describe the use of those terms simply because one doesn't like them would turn the encyclopedia into a philosophical tract.

"Western philosophy" implies no such valuation, or belief state in unifying principles, in regards to philosophy. Nor is the classification deprecating to "Eastern" philosophy. It's a standard classification within comparative philosophy, western and eastern, and used by such preeminent sources as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maxxx12345 (talkcontribs) 12:25, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Scare quotes[edit]

Why are Western and Occidental in quotation marks as part of a definition for Western philosophy? This is especially puzzling since Eastern and Oriental appear in the same sentence, and are not in quotation marks.

Am I missing a use/mention distinction, where philosophical thinking somehow occurs in the words “Western” and “Occidental” and not what they refer to? If so, then for consistency’s sake the title should be changed to “western” philosophy. If not, who is being quoted? What is the source (or sources) for the quotations “Western” and “Occidental”? If you can’t find anyone else in particular, I would be honored if the quote were attributed to me. I use the words “Western” and “Occidental” often, and I’m not quoting anyone when I use them.


Wat duz it have to do with this makes no sense! But then again back when I leanrt that stuff I never litened or did any work! RealG187 16:41, 10 January 2007 (UTC) Megalopsychia 04:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The first paragraph under the "Mathematics" section is simply horrid. Philosophers aren't emulating mathematicians when providing proofs, and in fact analytic philosophy is commonly written with such rigor. This half of the entry appears to be an opinion that is not particularly informed regarding the subject matter. Even just the approach of comparing philosophy to mathematics, with a conclusion that philosophy (analytic philosophy at that) is inferior and lacks rigor really has no place in the entry. This is besides the earlier mentioned problems: this approach doesn't belong, and even if it did, this was a horrid attempt. This second paragraph is certainly appropriate, and should really be expanded into greater detail. This is particularly so considering the importance of subject in regards to western philosophy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maxxx12345 (talkcontribs) 12:31, 6 January 2015 (UTC)


No mention of predicate logic!--Philogo 00:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I added some distinction to "Western Philosophy". I feel it required not only locational and chronological distinction. But also a philosophical distinction from the predecessors of "Western Philosophy". —Preceding unsigned comment added by MadMaxBeyondThunderdome (talkcontribs) 07:22, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Cool, I added a heading to your comment and placed it at the end as is the convention with comments on Wikipedia. I don't know much about the topic ... I'm just trying to sort out the mess of page histories. Graham87 03:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


The article philosophy was previously moved to this page. I have split the page history so the article and this talk page contain only the history of the article western philosophy. Some of the discussion above was moved from talk:Philosophy during the move - It can be found in its original form at the beginning of Talk:Philosophy/Archive 2. Graham87 03:52, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Opening doesn't make sense[edit]

"Historically, the term was recently invented to refer to... " That sentence in the opening doesn't make any sense. I am not sure what the authors are getting at there... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Making a small edit dropping the 'term was recently invented' phrase.Maxxx12345 (talk) 12:18, 6 January 2015 (UTC)


The following sentence appears in the origins section:

(Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics; and as late america, inaccurate, and not well known before the 1800s that specific geographical and political differences would be hard to measure. Few had access to precise maps and even fewer had access to accurate descriptions of who lived in far away lands.

Clearly something has been erroneously added or deleted as it makes no sense and there is no closing bracket. Can anyone help? Whitenoiseuk (talk) 22:47, 13 June 2010 (UTC)


Just a general reminder to add citations to your edits. Though content is king this site is vacuous without proper citation. This page is particularly in need of citation because so much of philosophy, even descriptions of philosophy in general, are so contentions. Thanks for your time. -- Sardonac —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:01, 1 February 2011 (UTC)