Zeno of Elea ~490 – 430BC Influenced by: Parmenides Influenced: Plato, Aristotle The reason we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may hear more and speak less All things are parts of one single system, which is called Nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with Nature • Key personal characteristics: • All reports of the resistance against Elea say he was courageous even though stories are different, even whether he met his death or not Italy Ancient • Key Works & Ideas: • He said that reality was simple and unchanging • Famous for his paradoxes, many of which were discussed for centuries after his death • The arrow – if time is a series of points on a line and an arrow travels along that line, what can be said about its movement in an instant? It can’t move in an instant as an instant has no duration, therefore it must be at rest…so is it moving at all? • Achilles and the tortoise – Achilles gives the tortoise a 10 m start, by the time he reaches the 10 m, the tortoise will have moved on a little, by the time he reaches the second spot, the tortoise will have moved on, and so on infinitum. So Achilles can never catch the tortoise. • Life History • Very little known about him, only fragments of his work survive. Most of what is known is through Plato and Aristotle. • Visited Athens – Plato said he met Socrates but this is not thought to be true • When he returned home one report says he smuggled weapons to rebels who wanted to oppose the tyrant ruling Elea (where he was born) Summary: Was interested in time, motion, space and change which he said were all in the mind.
Pythagoras ~ 580 - 500 BC Influenced by: Anaximander, Thales Influenced: Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and later, Galileo The soul of man is divided into three parts, intelligence, reason, and passion. Intelligence and passion are possessed by other animals, but reason by man alone As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Greece Ancient • Key Works & Ideas: • Pythagoras's Theorem – formula to calculate the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle form the length of its sides, a2 + b2 = c2 • Helped show that music had a mathematical structure i.e. different length of strings produce notes with precise ratios that match intervals of the music scale • Is credited with discovering that the evening and morning star was the same heavenly body i.e. Venus • Life History • Fled Samos to live in Italy where he founded a religious sect with strict diet (vegetarian and no beans!) • No written works survive • Criticism • Many of his followers took the ideas of numbers explaining everything too far and developed a kind of numbers-mysticism that blocked the truth to many unexplained phenomenon at the time, such as the orbit of heavenly bodies. Summary: One of the earliest known Greek philosophers. Showed how reality could be explained by numbers such as in music, mathematics and science
Socrates ~ 470 – 399 BC Influenced by: Pythagoras Influenced: Plato (his student, who called him the best of all men I have ever known) and many that came after him I am the gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you (from Plato’s dialgoues) The only thing I know is that I don’t know anything Greece Ancient • Key personal characteristics: • Was thought to be good humoured with a passion for knowledge and drink • Loved a public debate • Loved challenging people on their ideas • Seemed more satisfied with the act of examining than the outcomes of the examination • Key Works & Ideas: • Would strike up a dialogue with someone and ask them questions such as ‘what is piety? what is justice? what is courage?’ and would then analyse their response. • Elenchus – his technique of raising a topic for discussion, challenging the responses of others until they contradicted themselves. Like a cross examination. Became known as the Socratic Method. • Debates never really concluded and Socrates views not clear. • He featured in Plato’s dialogues which are used as a key source of his ideas. 3 striking examples are Apology (Socrates response to his charge), Crito (Socrates ethical views discussed with his friend Crito)and Phaedo (an emotional account of his final hours) • One of his viewpoints that no-one does wrong voluntarily or deliberately became known as The Socratic Paradox. • Life History • Didn’t write things down, if he did, nothing survived • Father a sculptor, mother a mid-wife • Started life as a sculptor, fought in Athenian wars, took part in running the city • Tried and sentenced to death for ‘corrupting the youth’ and ‘not believing in the city Gods.’ • Could have fled but chose to die. After drinking the lethal poison hemlock he continued with a philosophical debate. • Died in poverty. • Criticism • Athenian authority critical of his continual questioning Summary: Established the importance of argumentation.
Plato ~427 – 347 BC Influenced by: Socrates (his teacher) Influenced: Aristotle (his student) There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers. • Key personal characteristics: • Almost all his writings in dialogue form • Paid homage to his mentor Socrates by writing him in to his philosophical dialogues where Socrates seldom met his match Greece Ancient • Key Works & Ideas: • Epistemology: We cannot have genuine knowledge of the temporary and changing world of our everyday lives e.g. When does green cease to be green (when in the dark, when faded? What makes a dog a dog? Is a bald dog that loses a leg and a tail still a dog?). We can have true beliefs which are useful to use. Genuiune knowledge is recollected from a previous incarnation which a teacher helps us remember. Said we forget knowledge during the trauma of birth. • Metaphysics: Theory of Ideal Forms – said there are unchanging, ideal entities of which other things are merely shadowy copies. I.e. there is an ideal colour green and an ideal dog • Politics: Republic - his greatest work. Main theme is that the ideal state is ruled over by a philosopher king as he would be most able to achieve true knowledge and wisdom. Did not believe in democracy, instead argued for an “aristocracy of merit,” that could be ruled by the best and the wisest people. • Thought that most ideas were innate • Platonic relationships are ones that are based on intellectual exchanges. • Menodeals with virtue and knowledge. • Used metaphor such as in Myth of the Cave. • Life History • Very little know about his life but his works remarkably well preserved. • ‘Plato’ a nickname meaning ‘the broad one’ a reference to his shoulders! • Real name was Aristolces. • From an aristocratic family. • ?father died when he was young • Left Greece for over 10 yrs when Socrates was executed. • When he returned he started a school called the Academy that stayed open for over 900 years. Closed by Roman Emperor Justinian for being pagan. • Some reports say Academy could have been his house where he took pupils (rather than a Uni.) Summary: Recognised as the father of Western Philosophy by some, his well preserved writing remain amongst the most interesting, rich, subtle, broad and beautiful in philosophy and will probably still be read in another 2,000 yrs.
Aristotle Influenced by: Plato (was Plato’s student), Pythagoras, Socrates 384 – 322 BC Influenced: everyone who came after him including Arab philosophers A likely possibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility. Come, let us get on with the inquiry. Greece Ancient • Life History • Father was court physician who died when Aristotle was young. • Was educated by a guardian who sent him to Athens to study. • Entered Plato’s Academy where he stayed for 20 years both as student and then as a teacher. • Left Athens when Plato died and travelled for a few years. Not known if he left through loyalty to Plato or in disgust for not being ask to run Academy. • While away from Athens he tutored a young boy who would later become Alexander the Great. • Later returned to start his own school called the Lyceum which , like Plato’s Academy taught using discussion instead of blind acceptance of teachers views. • Taught there for 13 years before returning to home town where he died the year after returning. • Key Works & Ideas: • Suggested that the pursuit of knowledge can be divided into 2 groups, Natural Philosophy (now called Science) and Metaphysics (now called philosophy) • Insisted on data collection and true experimentation – Empirical enquiry – as a kind of scientific method. • Examined hundreds of species of animals, designed classification system for animals that is similar to the one used today. • Thought observation and reason was important to find truth. • Famous works; Nichomachean Ethics (important treaty on morality), Politics (discussed the ideal state), Physics (matter, form, space, time.) • Doctrine of the Mean explained that things existed because they had a function. Mans function was to reason. A virtuous human is one that behaves well by avoiding excess and inappropriate moderation when responding to what comforts them. • Not a great deal of his work exists, possibly some draft lecture notes that many others have edited. • Formalized the rules of reasoning. • Devised 4 questions of nature: What is it made of? What is it? What brought it into being? What is it for? Summary: Worked in logic, poetry, metaphysics, politics, ethics, biology and psychology (memory & dreams). First to promote ‘scientific’ approach to finding new knowledge by using experimentation, observation and gathering data.
St Augustine 354 - 430 Influenced by: Plato Influenced: What is time? If no one asks me, I know: if they ask and I try to explain, I do not know. Key personal characteristics: Algeria Medieval • Life History • Early life as a scholar, his family making financial sacrifices to keep him at school. • Moved to Rome and then to Milan • Baptized in 387 • 391 became a priest • 396 became a Bishop of Hippo • Died in a seize of Hippo • Key Works & Ideas: • Man is corrupt through and through due to inheriting original sin and cannot complain if we go to eternal hell because we deserve it. Only a chosen few will go to heaven but no-one can do anything to earn a place in heaven. • Criticism • Russell notes that cruelty and superstition was at its greatest in the history of humanity and questions the influence of Augustine and his intellectual equals of the time Summary: Significant father of the Christian church, known as a theocrat
Roger Bacon 1214 - 1292 Influenced by: Aristotle, Augustine Influenced: experimental science …experimental science is the mistress of the speculative sciences, it alone gives us important truths…which those sciences can learn in no other way… • Key personal characteristics: • Believed in empirical science but was also swayed by myths, common tales about him tell of his magical powers. • Was very well read in Arab philosophy where he probably enhanced his knowledge of gunpowder and lenses England Medieval • Key Works & Ideas: • Was interested in discussing primary vision, perception, as a way of observing in order to gain knowledge. • Argued for the use of mathematics in science to give science clarity and because mathematics is innate – a priori knowledge – so can be used to build science understanding. • Was credited with inventing gunpowder and spectacles but may have simply expanded on Arabic knowledge and use of these. • Works include Opus Maius, Opus Minus Opus Tertius, Compedium of Philosophy. • Life History • Not much is known of early life, family was wealthy but lost land in war, was educated at Oxford then went to Paris to take a second degree and teach. • Taught Socrates when his work was banned. • On return to England joined the Franciscan monks where he interest in science grew. He taught there for a while but after a dispute was forbidden to publish his work and ended up under house arrest back in Paris. • Wrote while in Paris and was later allowed to return to Oxford. • Criticism • Franciscan order were upset at his attitude towards religion and some of his mythological beliefs such as the Philosophers Stone. Summary: First great Oxford philosopher. Probably could have been more influential if he hadn’t had personal issues with the church but certainly helped develop epistemological philosophy and empirical science.
William of Ockham 1285 - 1359 Influenced by: Aristotle Influenced: Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume Only individuals exist Key personal characteristics: England Medieval • Key Works & Ideas: • Ockham’s Razor is the idea that the simplest explanation for something is probably the most likely. • Promoted Nominalism, which denies the existence of universals. This means he believed that only individual things existed and that any groups they were put in was an abstract concept. For example, bananas and apples existed, but not fruit. ‘Fruit’ does not exist because ‘fruit’ is simply a name and has no real meaning. • Life History • Became a Franciscan monk before going to study at Oxford and Paris but failed to gain his qualifications to teach due to begin outspoken about the church. • A Franciscan minister who came to investigate his case and ended up sided with him. They escaped together to Pisa in Italy. • From here travelled to Munchen where he wrote philosophy and papers supporting the separation of the church and state. • Criticism • Was accused by church of ‘erroneous teaching’ and later disputed the church. • The realists said that universals are necessary to understand the world Summary:
i Niccolò Machiavelli 1469 - 1527 Influenced by: Aristotle Influenced: Hobbs Successful political leaders need to posses the strength of a lion and the cunning of a fox. ‘…a prince…cannot observe all those things that are good in men, being obliged, in order to maintain the state, to act against faith, against charity, against humanity…’ Key personal characteristics: Italy Early Modern • Life History • Little known of his early life • Well educated like his father who was a scholar • Political career involved a position of secretary to the council responsible for Florence’s military and diplomatic activities. • When leadership changed in Florence he was accused of plotting against it and tortured and put in jail. • When released he wrote The Prince, which was published 7 years after his death to popular acclaim. • Key Works & Ideas: • In The Prince he shows how leaders have to learn not to be good and put aside moral considerations to rule effectively. Did not believe in cruelty for cruelty sake though. • Wanted Italy united • If someone is said to be Machiavellian they would be thought to be lacking in moral sensibility and not suitable for a position of authority such as in Government. • Criticism • Was accused of being an amoralist with no concern as to whether leaders behave morally or not. Summary: Promoted the birth of Political Science by considering the efficiency of government.
Sir Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626 Influenced by: Plato Influenced: Hobbs, Hume, Locke Knowledge is power Science is for teams in laboratories, not individuals in armchairs • Key Works & Ideas: • Although he had a political career, philosophically he was mostly interested in science. • In the New Organon(unfinished) he published his ideas about how the process of science should build our knowledge by collecting data from experiments. He wrote about how to carry out correct scientific procedure. • He was an Empiricist that used Inductive Logic to build knowledge • His four idols were false notions or tendencies which distort the truth. Idols of the Tribe relate to the uncritical way way we accept information from our senses; Idols of the Den /Cave are the false notions particular to an individual and come from their education and upbringing; Idols of the Marketplace come from the misuse of language and social interaction; and Idols of the Theatre from the abuse of authority. • He spoke about a cooperative scientific research institution that lay foundation for the Royal Society that was established 100 years later. • Key personal characteristics: • Highly intelligent • Precocious • Ambitious England Modern • Life History • Youngest child in a powerful and well educated family. Both parents lives were independently linked to Royal circles • Educated at home until he entered Cambridge University at the age of 12. • When his father died when he was 18 he was forced to work and finished his legal studies before becoming a lawyer and then an MP at 23. Argued against the Queen Elizabeth’s tax policy so did not reach high office. • When James 1 came to the throne, he rose rapidly through the ranks to Lord Chancellor. • Spent his final years writing and conducting science experiments. • Died from bronchitis after stuffing a dead chicken with snow to try to preserve it. • Criticism • At 60 he was arrested for accepting bribes so was fined , imprisoned and banned from public office. Summary: An empiricist who introduced scientific method and inductive reasoning after rejecting earlier Greek models of scientific inquiry.
Thomas Hobbs 1588 - 1679 Influenced by: Aristotle, Machiavelli, Francis Bacon, Galileo Influenced: Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, Rawls We agree to be ruled over in return for protection against each other It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law. England Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • His masterwork Leviathnhas a very pessimistic view of human nature which he called the state of nature • In the State of Nature nothing curbs a persons absolute freedom – everyone has absolute liberty, therefore conflicts and crime are inevitable due to no desire to cooperate. People fear each other and there is no order, only chaos. It is not a state that once existed, but a constant state one needs to move away from • The Social Contract Theory of the State describes a situation where people give up absolute freedom of the State of Nature to be content with as much liberty as they would allow others to have towards them. Therefore those that want to avoid a State of Nature sign up for a social contract which transfers absolute freedom from the individual to a group that aims for security for all. • Was also interested in language and said that many problems of communication arose from the mis-use of language. • Key personal characteristics: • Seemed to have the habit of rubbing people up the wrong way by objecting to their idea and making false claims • Life History • Vicars son, educated at oxford. Travelled Europe with his pupil where he met Galileo and Descartes. • Worked with Francis Bacon and Charles 11 • Criticism • Locke warned of the choice of who wielded the power i.e. don’t defend your self from foxes with lions Summary: An Empiricist that used inductive logic and believed in social contracts. Has been called the father of modern analytical philosophy.
René Descartes 1596 - 1650 Influenced by: Plato, Aristotle, Ockham, Galileo Influenced: Everyone who came after him. Nowhere in the world was there any knowledge professed of the kind I had been encouraged to expect. I am thinking, therefore, I exist France Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • Meditations on First Philosophy describe his ideas on radical doubt with only one thing being certain – that is, because he is doubting everything he must exist . This led to his famous: Cogito ergo sum • Cartesian dualism established that the mind is different to the body, but could not provide a reasonable explanation as to how they might interact. • Thought that much knowledge (such as that of God) was innate • Published The World which was a scientific treatise on astronomy, geometry, mathematics, optics, meteorology • Four rules for rational enquiry; 1) accept nothing as true unless it is so clearly and distinctly presented there is no reason to doubt it, 2) break problems down into as many smaller problems as possible, 3) begin with what is most simply and easily understood and build on this to larger issues, 4) review entire chain of thinking so ensure nothing is omitted. • Key personal characteristics: • Was a mathematical prodigy • Was deeply concerned with the debate between the churc h and science over whether the Earth moved and what the planets were doing • Life History • Started studies in law but ended up in a Military career. • Spent most of his life in the Netherlands studying and writing philosophy. • In his mid-fifties was invited to Sweden by the Queen. He wasn’t there long before he died. Summary: A scientist and mathematician who described one of the most famous arguments in philosophy, that is our senses can be deceived to the point where we actually don’t know what is real or true.
Benedict/Baruch Spinoza 1632 - 1677 Influenced by: Influenced: Leibniz (also believed our ignorance of ultimate reality precludued us from seeing true evil) Men are deceived in they think themselves free, an opinion which consists only in this, that they are conscious of their actions and ignorant of the causes by which they are determined Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many. Netherlands Early Modern Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand. • Key Works & Ideas: • Ethicadescribes a reality that is conceived and controlled by one entity whether it be God or Nature that determines what happens so there is no free will. His belief in determinism was absolute as he says we are not aware we do not have free will even though we might be aware of what we are doing. • Built his theories in his work on Ethics by examining definitions. • Said we should strive to see reality from the perspective of eternity – this can be helpful when suffering i.e. to see our place in the whole and beyond our own misery. • There is no absolute good or bad. Behaviour is relative to the endeavors & conceptions of various individuals. If viewed from God’s perspective there is no evil in sin due to there being a total perspective which the individual does not have. • Believed human’s task was to see thing from the point of view of eternity so that we see our small place in a larger world and therefore free ourselves from our personal passions. • Said the miracles in the bible were natural phenomenon misunderstood by the books writers. • Key personal characteristics: • Reasonable and courteous • Life History • Was rejected from the orthodox Jewish community in Amsterdam for his writings. • Tutored influential men, worked a lens grinder. • Suffered from Tuberculosis. • Died calmly and without complaint. Criticism Ethics difficult to read. Russell suggests reading the comments in the margins are more informative to understanding his ideas. Summary: Ethica considered one of the greatest philosophical works. He made room for religious freedom. Was more famous when alive for his metaphysics than his ethics.
John Locke 1632 - 1704 Influenced by: Aristotle, Descartes Influenced: Hume, Berkeley, Kant Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip. New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain. Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. England Early Modern • Life History • Home schooled until he was 14 then went to Westminster University and then on to Oxford where he stayed for 30 years. • In 1667 moved to London where he first became physician to Lord Ashley and then general advisor. • As Ashley moved up in rank Locke took on more responsibility. Began writing political documents. • Fled to the court of James 2 in Holland when his patron Earl of Shaftesbury was tried of treason. Was 10 years in exile. • By the end of his life was back in the British courts writing on a broard range of topics from education, philosophy, politics, and religion. • Key Works & Ideas: • In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding he spoke against innate understanding saying that we are all blank slates (tabula rasa) which are then written on by experience. Said there was no evidence of innate ideas. • His idea of primary and secondary properties of objects states that the primary properties cannot be separated from the object, such as its state, figure, bulk, motion. Secondary properties are the ones that produce sensations such as taste, sound, smell, touch. i.e. the shape of a lemon tells us about the world, but not its taste. • States that ideas are simple and complex. Simple ideas cannot be broken down into other ideas and are a single conception in the mind. Complex ideas are composed of the shifting and sorting of simple ideas. • Criticism • Evolutionary psychology & sociobiology show that some behaviours/knowledge is innate (particularly those related to survival) Summary: An empiricist saying that all knowledge comes from experience and interactions with the world so that we are born with a mind that is a ‘blank slate’
George Berkeley 1685 - 1753 Influenced by: Locke Influenced: Hume Many things, for aught I know, may exist, whereof neither I nor any other man hath or can have any idea or notion whatsoever. Others indeed may talk, and write, and fight about liberty, and make an outward pretence to it; but the free-thinker alone is truly free. Key personal characteristics: Easy going and engaging personality Ireland/England Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • As an immaterialist /idealist he believed that we see is not the world itself but a representation of it • Put one hand in hot and the other in cold water and then both hands in luke warm water. It will seem hot to one hand and cold to the other but cannot be both. • He denied the existence of objects without human perception. Said that something still existed out of sight only because it was perceived by God. • His Principles of Human Knowledge presented many of his argument. • Distinguished between minds and ideas. • Said that all objects of human knowledge are ideas through immediate experience such as; taste of food, cool of ice, visual stimulus of trees out the window, or ideas we have of our emotional states through imagination and memory, such as the taste of a lemon can exist only by remembering it. • Life History • Born in Kilkenny and educated in Trinity College Dublin. • Was later welcomed into intellectual life in London. • Travelled around Europe later in life before returning to Ireland to become Dean of Derry. • Criticism: • Locke said that heat and cold are examples of secondary qualities which are mind-dependent and we should not ignore the primary qualities that exist outside the mind. • Most did not believe Berkeley’s idea that material objects only existed through our perception as the world goes on even when we take our eyes off it. Summary: An empiricist and immaterialist/idelaist who believed that things only existed through being perceived
David Hume 1711 - 1776 Influenced by: Locke, Berkely Influenced: Thomas Reid, Kant When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call 'thought • Life History • Born in Edinburgh into an influential family on both sides. • Studied at University of Edinburgh was pushed towards Law but loved philosophy, literature and history so took up self directed studies. • After a nervous breakdown worked as a clerk for a while before being dismissed and recommencing his studies. • Moved to France to write before returning to England. His writings were all ignored. • Returned to France as assistant to England’s ambassador and became a popular social figure. • The History of England was his most popular book in his day, many of his philosophical works published posthumously. Scotland Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • Rejects the idea of personal identity and believes that we change over time. Has no evidence that any part of our self endures in order to define who we are, even though we may have perceptions of enduring identity. • Didn’t believe in causal relationships, just because something happens 100 times doesn’t mean we should expect it to happen 101 times. • Many of his writings need to understand 3 distinctions; 1) impressions (something that happens in real time during an experience) and ideas, (copies of impressions in memory of them), 2) Simple ideas (can’t be broken down and formed from impressions) and complex ideas (made up of simple ideas and don’t necessarily need impressions ,3) Facts and Ideas. Ideas can come into being by thinking alone whereas facts need a truth from the world. From all this he concluded that reason has no hand in our beliefs of our self, the external world or inductive inference. • On causality - because we have only limited sense experience we need to employ causal thinking. When we read about things we can say the ‘report’ is caused by the thing we are reading about. • Criticism • People found him difficult to understand h. Mostly other philosophers read him during his life. Was read more after his death. Summary: Greatest and most radical of modern Empiricists.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712 - 1778 Influenced by: Hobbs Influenced: Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. Individual freedom is more important than state institutions • Life History • Born in Geneva. • Father was watchmaker, mother died when he was young. Was raised by his father until he was 10 when he was sent to a cousin due to his father fleeing at the threat of imprisonment after a fight. After 2 years went to live with an Uncle and then with Madame de Waren where he developed his thinking and a passion for music. • Moved to Paris in 1742 where he developed a reputation in intellectual circles and wrote. French Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • His most important work The Social Contract discusses how humans used to live peaceful solitary lives meeting their basic needs. When man decided to claim a piece of land as his own and enclose it, civilisation began. From this man had to justify and maintain his property which led to inequalities and moral depravity. • Once people start to live in social groups their individual needs and freedoms are blocked unless they represent themselves as part of the groups Sovereign Body. • His Discourse on the Science and Arts questioned whether their advancements had improved morals as the idea was that once we were comfortable through technology and the arts, we became decadent. • Criticism • People in a sovereign body do not necessarily put aside their personal interests for the common good as common good is not always their political interests i.e. Hitler/tyranny of the majority. • Was accused of being anti-enlightenment due to ideas in his Science and Arts discourse. (enlightenment says the best hope for humankind is the progress through science and arts out of superstition and myth. Summary: An Enlightenment thinker that inspired the French revolution
Immanuel Kant 1724 - 1804 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: German Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • In Critique of Pure Reason he distinguished between a noumenalworld of things themselves which we cannot know and a phenomenal world of appearances that we can know something about by sorting and organising to find meaning. Life History • Criticism: • Some philosophers find the idea of a noumenal world that is out of our reach disturbing. • Others point out that different minds will sort and organise the phenomenal world differently so the meaning Summary: Some consider him the greatest modern philosopher. Worked in ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, free will and causality
Georg Hegel 1770 - 1831 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Germany Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • In The Phenomenology of Spirit he attempts to map the unfolding of Being across history. • Described a system where a phenomenon (thesis) has a contradictory element (antithesis) that provides conflict and must be resolved by movement to a new system (synthesis). The new system becomes the thesis with its own antithesis and so the cycle continues. Life History Criticism Summary: considered the last of the great metaphysician
Mary Woolstonecraft 1759 - 1797 Influenced by: the enlightenment view Influenced: Key personal characteristics: England Early Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • Believed that the artificial distinctions of rank prevented the flourishing of human potential • In A Vindication of the Rights of Women she argued that the docile role women were forced into affected the men as much as the women. If they were educated like men Life History Criticism Summary: Considered the first feminist as she was a radical thinker and social reformer promoting the rights of women. Envisioned a new social order where person would be able to develop their own capabilities free from superstition and false authority.
John Stuart Mill 1806 - 1873 Influenced by: his wife Harriet (who shared his work) Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria Key Works & Ideas: • Life History • In the 1860s was briefly a member of parliament and was involved in many radical causes such as women’s rights. Criticism Summary: Famous first for his system of logic, then for moral philosophy then to politics
George Santayana 1863 - 1952 Influenced by: Aristotle, Spinoza Influenced: Beauty is an emotional element, a pleasure of ours, which nevertheless we regard as a quality of things Key personal characteristics: Spain Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • In The sense of Beauty (1896) he discusses why, when and how beauty appear, what conditions an object must fulfill to be beautiful, how our natures make us sensitive to beauty and how an object can capture our attention. Said that beauty is the pleasure of contemplating an object. • Advocated that beauty does not have a negative aspect • Was also a poet, novelist and literary critic. • Life History • Moved to the UA when he was 9 . • In 1912 resigned his Harvard professorship and lived in Europe, mostly in hotels in Rome. • Wrote and published only in English. • Criticism • By seeing beauty as an experience he takes focus off the object Summary: Rejected European idealism for a naturalistic view of the world and the place of humankind in it.
Karl Marx 1818 - 1883 Influenced by: Hegel Influenced: Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it Key personal characteristics: Germany Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • Believed that human nature naturally cooperates their labour for a common good. • Adopted Hegel’s theory of the process of historical development, but gave matter the main focus rather than spirit Life History Criticism Summary: Inspired socialist revolutions in Russia and China.
John Dewey 1859 - 1952 Influenced by: Influenced: Since education is not a means to living, but is identical with the operation of living a life which is fruitful…the only ultimate value which can be set up is just the process of living itself Key personal characteristics: USA Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • Advocates that truth is what works. People have socially sanctioned habit that allow them to live their lives. When habits break down (or new scientific data does not fit with scientific thinking) we have genuine doubt and have to reconcile the situation. We do this by isolating the significant problem, provide a number of hypotheses and then systematically test them. New beliefs must then be incorporated into the existing framework. All this requires sophisticated and flexible thought. Life History Criticism Summary: Empiricist. Very influential thinker who worked in pedagogy, philosophy of mind, epistemology, logic, philosophy of science, social and political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and religion. Represented a no-nonsense naturalism
Bertrand Russell 1872 - 1970 Influenced by: Influenced: Most men would rather die than think. Many do. Key personal characteristics: England Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • The Russell Paradox asks if the set of all sets which doesn’t include themselves as members, include itself as a member? E.g. Mayors can live in the towns they work in (set 1), or not (set 2). If the Mayors that don’t live in the town they work in live together in a town, where should their Mayor live? Life History Criticism Summary: Laid the foundations of modern logic. The most widely read British philosopher of the C20.
Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889 - 1951 Influenced by: Augustine, Leibniz, Kierkegaard, Frege &Bertrand Russell who mentored him at Cambridge Influenced: almost everyone that followed, particularly Popper ‘Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language’ Philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday that is, when we mistake nonsense for something meaningful • Key personal characteristics: • Analytical • Intense & demanding • Precise and exact Austria C20 • Key Works & Ideas: • TractatusLogicophilosophicus • Language is a determinate system that can be specified in precise logical terms • Picture Theory of Meaning states that we use words to represent reality • A name is a linguistic unit standing for a thing • For a while he thought it solved all the problems of philosophy • Philosophical Investigations • Language is a lived practice which can be employed in an almost limitless number of contexts for a variety of different purposes • Meaning is linked to the behaviour of language users and the context they use speech ie ‘I love you’ • We can use language to speculate, give orders, hypothesize, curse, story tell, joke tell, report. • Questioned the idea of the possibility of a private language that only one person could use. • Life History • Last of 8 children, extreme wealth as child, cultured home (Brahms visited), home schooled • Considered becoming a monk but went to engineering school in Berlin instead • Went on to study doctorate in Aeronautical engineering in UK • Went to Norway to stay in a remote cabin to write Tractatus • Enlisted in Army, ended up in POW camp in Italy where he pursued his interest in philosophy • Gave his sibling his fortune and became a primary school teacher, a gardner , a hospital porter, a lab technician • Went to Cambridge to further his study, became professor Criticism Summary: Interested in Maths, Language, Logic, Metaphysics, Epistemology. Believed that philosophical confusions resulted from the misuse of language so spent his time analysing language and its meaning. Not an academic – Russell called him a great intellect.
W.V.Quine 1889 - 1951 Influenced by: Rudolf Carnap (his mentor) Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria Key Works & Ideas: Life History Criticism Summary: took the view that philosophy sould be pursued as part of natural science
Richard Hare 1889 - 1951 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria Key Works & Ideas: Life History Criticism Summary:
Sir Peter Strawson 1919 - 2006 Influenced by: Kant Influenced: Wittgenstein Key personal characteristics: British Modern Key Works & Ideas: Life History Criticism Summary: Metaphysics questions
John Rawls 1921 - 2002 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria • Key Works & Ideas: • A Theory of Justice writetn in the 1970s was a careful elaboration of an original approach to the problem of accommodating egalitarianism and liberalism. Life History Criticism Summary:
Thomas Kuhn 1889 - 1951 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria Key Works & Ideas: Life History Criticism Summary: Capitalism definitionThe mind terrorism Capitalism as near to Total Paradigm Shift Asking for an economic definition of capitalism is like inviting a liar to get in the mood for lying.Capitalist = Economic. Even western people who disgust capitalism largely behave capitalist Slightly changed a famous remark of the existentialistSartre characterises the following article:Man is not the sum of what he sees, but the totality of what he does not yet see, of what he might see. The relativism in this remark is taken by me as trigger to show that capitalism is a perfect example of what was meant Kuhn as inventor of the words paradigm shift, because this Western Word view totally changed the also Western (Roman Catholic Christian) intelligence.The idea 'Capitalism' ventilated by the European Karl Marx prefers individualism above collectivism (using the dubious law of the fittest). Though the French thinker Louis Althusser (teacher of Michel Foucault) claimed that Marx was fundamentally misunderstood. Althusser was sure Karl Marx had constructed a revolutionary view of social change (a 'paradigm shift' or 'epistemological break'). Althusser believed that Marx's rejected the rational dualism subject-object, or body-spirit. That makes Marx's work ununderstandable for 'rational' scientists. Anyway the writings of Karl Marx have essentially different interpretations depending on the locally dominant paradigm (say Buddhism, Christianity or Islam). And all over the world it became a myth. Mind that the concept 'rationalism' originated in pre industrial France, and that the concept 'capitalism' comes from industrial England (the temporary home of the Austrian Marx).WHAT IF you're a native rural Chinese who meets this Western born fantasy, totally indoctrinated by 'rational' Maoism and still grounded in common sense Buddhism.The fact that Industrialism dominated and shaped present Europe, does in no way mean that this product of Roman Catholic ethics should be used worldwide.In most armies the common sense idea 'respect' is still valued, only not made into a real body-mind DECISIONS (intuition) like: "STOP, the killing must be over!" In power thinking Western armies are ABUSED by politicians for aiming at dominance of Capitalism. Politics should make ethics, not promote power thinking.Catholic Culture (however good meaning) didn't get succesful by peacefully integrating with others, but by dirty colonial wars inspirated by the egoism in industrialism. Steps I'll use the following steps:1. Getting started2. Continuous growth and Jumps3. Evolutionary Forces need cultural earthquakes to go from Stationary into Oscillating4. Half Frankenstein, half Mona Lisa4. Kuhn and Marcuse both made subcultures rumble5. Evolution can be seen as an endless sequence of oscillations ending in jumps6. Captains of Evolution7. The miscourse Rationalism: Western Truth shrank temporarily8. You get the Leaders that you deserve9. Karl Marx steered from plain Rationalism to Economic Rationalism10. Flash of an Eye11. Nobel Prize winning arrogant Inner Sea Captain versus modest Ocean Captain Getting started
Sir Karl Popper 1902 - 1994 Influenced by: Influenced: Key personal characteristics: Austria Key Works & Ideas: Life History Criticism Summary: argued that a good scientific theory is open to falsification and a good society, social institution or government is open to change by people
Peter Singer b1946 Influenced by: Influenced: The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval. Key personal characteristics: Australia Modern • Key Works & Ideas: • The Ethics of Food Life History Criticism Summary: Currently one of the worlds leading moral philosophers.