Thanx to Stalin, Anon. Nietzsche, Hank Purcell Jr. Such a spectacle ought to offend nearly everyone.
A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks Random Quote of the Day: The explanations are necessarily simplistic and lacking in detail, though, and the links should be followed for more information. Thales of Miletus is usually considered the first proper philosopher, although he was just as concerned with natural philosophy what we now call science as with philosophy as we know it.
Thales and most of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers i. They were Materialists they believed that all things are composed of material and nothing else and were mainly concerned with trying to establish the single underlying substance the world is made up of a kind of Monismwithout resorting to supernatural or mythological explanations.
For instance, Thales thought the whole universe was composed of different forms of water; Anaximenes concluded it was made of air; Heraclitus thought it was fire; and Anaximander some unexplainable substance usually translated as "the infinite" or "the boundless".
Another issue the Pre-Socratics wrestled with was the so-called problem of change, how things appear to change from one form to another. At the extremes, Heraclitus believed in an on-going process of perpetual change, a constant interplay of opposites; Parmenideson the other hand, using a complicated deductive argument, denied that there was any such thing as change at all, and argued that everything that exists is permanent, indestructible and unchanging.
This might sound like an unlikely proposition, but Parmenides 's challenge was well-argued and was important in encouraging other philosophers to come up with convincing counter-arguments.
Zeno of Elea was a student of Parmenidesand is best known for his famous paradoxes of motion the best known of which is that of the Achilles and the Harewhich helped to lay the foundations for the study of Logic. However, Zeno 's underlying intention was really to show, like Parmenides before him, that all belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion.
Although these ideas might seem to us rather simplistic and unconvincing today, we should bear in mind that, at this time, there was really no scientific knowledge whatsoever, and even the commonest of phenomena e. Their attempts were therefore important first steps in the development of philosophical thought.
They also set the stage for two other important Pre-Socratic philosophers: Empedocleswho combined their ideas into the theory of the four classical elements earth, air, fire and waterwhich became the standard dogma for much of the next two thousand years; and Democrituswho developed the extremely influential idea of Atomism that all of reality is actually composed of tiny, indivisible and indestructible building blocks known as atoms, which form different combinations and shapes within the surrounding void.
Another early and very influential Greek philosopher was Pythagoraswho led a rather bizarre religious sect and essentially believed that all of reality was governed by numbers, and that its essence could be encountered through the study of mathematics.
Unlike most of the Pre-Socratic philosophers before him, Socrates was more concerned with how people should behave, and so was perhaps the first major philosopher of Ethics. He developed a system of critical reasoning in order to work out how to live properly and to tell the difference between right and wrong.
His system, sometimes referred to as the Socratic Method, was to break problems down into a series of questions, the answers to which would gradually distill a solution. Although he was careful to claim not to have all the answers himself, his constant questioning made him many enemies among the authorities of Athens who eventually had him put to death.
Socrates himself never wrote anything down, and what we know of his views comes from the "Dialogues" of his student Platoperhaps the best known, most widely studied and most influential philosopher of all time.
In his writings, Plato blended EthicsMetaphysicsPolitical Philosophy and Epistemology the theory of knowledge and how we can acquire it into an interconnected and systematic philosophy.Abstract: We're living in yesterday's future, and it's nothing like the speculations of our authors and film/TV benjaminpohle.com a working science fiction novelist, I take a professional interest in how we get predictions about the future wrong, and why, so that I can avoid repeating the same mistakes.
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Political Philosophy: Steering the Middle Course Words Jun 25th, 6 Pages Political philosophy is not a simple set of doctrines or theories; rather it is a way of life. Political Philosophy: Steering the Middle Course Essay - Political philosophy is not a simple set of doctrines or theories; rather it is a way of life.
The political philosopher’s life is a constant struggle between the political and the philosophical. This essay bridges the two wings of Popper's thinking, political philosophy and philosophy of science, thus steering a middle course between the two major receptions.
The thunder-and-lightning example seems like a bad comparison for this kind of situation, in that the false claim is (1) easily observable to be untrue, and (2) utterly useless to the society that propagates it.