Questions tagged [history-of-philosophy]

The history of philosophy is the 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?

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56 views

Before Gödel, was undecidability of axiomatic systems an issue at all?

Before Gödel, was the issue raised that there may be undecidable statements within axiomatic systems of thought? Gödel managed to answer affirmatively by proving that the assumption of the ...
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79 views

Are there historical connections between the concepts of apatheia/ataraxia and nirvana?

These concepts seem very similar to me: loosely speaking, it's all about how limiting our desires is good. Knowing that there was contact between ancient Greece and ancient India, could it be that one ...
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Spinoza's adequate knowledge: Can he avoid being called a dogmatist?

Within Spinoza's System (laid down in the Ethics), the difference of inadequate from adequate knowledge is crucial. Perhaps it is even the central cornerstone of his system, because adequate knowledge ...
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Which philosophers have left sucessful academic careers to pursue other work?

I'm looking for (names of) philosophers who had successful careers in academia but, for whatever set of reasons, chose to leave and pursue work outside of academia, even if only temporarily. For this ...
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Where in the Republic Plato says that disabled people should be put away in some mysterious places?

I'm looking for the quote/quotes in which Plato regards the disabled people as if they were "non-human." And - how did he justify his view?
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Aristotle's explanation of change

I am a bit confused as to how Aristotle accounts for change (accidental and substantial). I seem to understand the idea of a substance being the compound of material and form to some degree, but how ...
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6answers
84 views

Aside Nietzsche, who are some of other writers of aphorisms? [closed]

After reading Nietzsche, I got hooked on reading books full of aphorisms, especially when they touch a large number of topics. I am wondering if there's any other famous philosophers who like writing ...
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27 views

lacking subject

Does "a lacking subject" for Lacan, that is mentioned in the following texts, mean "an incomplete subject"? Context #1: According to Lacan, it is this misrecognition that dominates our relation ...
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181 views

25 years of philosophy precisely the ones between Kant and Hegel, philosophy of freedom?

Why were THE 25 years of philosophy precisely the ones between Kant and Hegel, per Dieter Henrich and older writings on them? And what does this have to do with Kant and Hegel being first and ...
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Sets of Five in Plato

Numbers are abundantly found in Plato's works but it seems (to me at least) that 5 plays a rather important role. The platonic solids are five, of course, even if they come rather later, the Timaeus ...
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In essence, is there any real distinction between Democritus' conventions and the materialist sensible world

Democritus, the atomist offered what appears to be a strikingly similar description of the 'real' structure of the world in his philosophy as composed of indestructible 'atoms'. Similarly his '...
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Was there a “mechanist” program of early rationalists, like Descartes and Leibniz?

Leibniz and Descartes are said to put forth "mechanist philosophies," but I am having trouble identifying what "mechanist" means. Does it involve their affinity to natural science and mathematics and ...
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Did Duns Scotus believe that the material was extended?

Duns Scotus links “immaterial” with “not [spatially] extended” (reminding us of Descartes): (b) Another way in which this knowledge could be immaterial would be that it is not extended in any way. ...
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Did any philosopher promote a “pure” pragmatic conception of truth?

William James often associated truth with usefulness (utility), but overall his conception of truth was not pure in this regard. It shares some elements of the correspondence and coherence theory. For ...
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294 views

Did medieval philosophers believe that Truth is causally active?

From the modern standpoint, truth is about propositions or beliefs. Getting true beliefs is not something that just comes to us by itself; evidence has to be gathered by us, we have to reason, ...
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How does philosophy generally determine if a contribution is original or not? [closed]

Philosophy, like other academic disciplines, is a continuous method of discussion, peer-review, and publication. How do philosophers, especially when appealing to historical writings and who often use ...
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Did Hegel provide any example of history repeating itself?

Did Hegel or Marx give any examples? Can anyone give a couple of instances? I can find no event repeating itself twice, just one drive, lust of power
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Why is the logical philosophy of the Berlin and Vienna circles generally seen as the same?

According to Wikipedia's entry on the Berlin Circle, the terms logical empiricism and logical positivism are largely used interchangably. To wit: The Berlin Circle had much in common with the ...
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Hume on Induction vs Education

Hume thinks that mental ideas are built upon repeated observations and habituation, namely by induction. As far as I know, the principal alternative to this view is given by Descartes, postulating ...
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Who was the first philosopher of property?

I assume that the idea of property already existed in ancient Greece, else there would be no slaves -- at least no privately owned slaves. Yes, I know that litte about the Greeks. Who was the first ...
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Continuing Political Philosophy Study

A little over a year ago, I took a political philosophy course, and am currently reviewing some notes and the texts. Keeping in mind that I have no other background in philosophy, I wondered if anyone ...
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Has any philosopher ever examined love?

I have studied the whole history of philosophy and never found any reference to love. Philosophers have debated on everything, even the angels dancing on a pin, is there really no attempt to define, ...
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142 views

Wittgenstein - self and ethics in the Tractatus

I think that I quite understand the relation between ontology and "logical syntax" of language as it is presented by Wittgenstein in Tractatus. He states that there are atomic entities, which are ...
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Leo Strauss' Critique of Modern Science

I recently read Leo Strauss's views on modern science, as expanded in Alan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind". In a (very small) nutshell, Strauss had the extraordinary idea that modern ...
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Whence does the standard of what is and is not Philosophy derive? [closed]

What, for instance, would be the key criteria for determining the status of a suspected Philosopher. For instance there seems an uncertainty as to whether Zizek is a philosopher, a cultural theorist ...
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Is the concept of Aporia the same as the Zen concept of A Beginners Mind?

Is the concept of Aporia the same as the zen concept of A Beginners Mind, or related to it, or a completely different concept?
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Is this difficulty in Popper's notion previously known, and is it Intelligible?

Popper, in his test theory, says that a hypothesis can not be in accord with all possible observable phenomena (I lack the exact formulation). There must be something observable that falsifies (or, ...
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Why does Heidegger say Biography is unimportant for Philosophy?

Why does Heidegger say that "regarding the personality of a philosopher, our only interest is that he was born at a certain time, that he worked, and that he died."?
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Does Darwin owe a debt to Hegel?

I just realized that Darwin's theory of evolution is very much historicist, and resembles Hegel's notion of an arc of history: evolution is progressive and moves with purpose in an almost dialectical ...
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Objective idealism and realism can be similar?

So, Hegel's objective idealism believes in manifestations of reason which is nothing but ideas. And which exists in this world is nothing but the ideas, everything is idea and idea is everything. ...
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326 views

Rationalism and Catholicism / Protestantism

How much more “incompatible” was rationalism with Catholicism compared to Protestant christianity? Of course everyone learned in high school that the enlightenment was in direct opposition to ...
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29 views

Why jain philosophy denies indeterminate stage of perception?

Ok ,so I'm reading now Indian philosophy and I found that Buddhism and many other Indian philosophy recognise both ' determinate and indeterminate stage of perception ' while jainas don't !
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What philosophical axes did 19th century mathematicians have to grind?

Tim Button's presentation of set theory motivates the subject by providing a history of 19th century mathematics where the notion of limit allowed definitions of the derivative and continuity. These ...
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92 views

Who first said that words express emotions, and do not describe objects?

I was reading a critique of Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', and in this criticism it is alleged that Dennett's conception of words as object descriptions is false. The suggestion ...
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259 views

Is philosophy a science and can it prove facts like science?

I would like to know whether philosophy can be treated as science since both science and philosophy search for truth, but philosophical theories, I think, are not provable. So my question is: ...
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35 views

Which books do you recommend for me?

I read a lot about philosophy but it’s so huge that I stand confused. I am not sure which branch of philosophy suits me. I request your help. I don’t believe in god or spirituality. I want to live ...
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335 views

Noam Chomsky vs 9/11 Truth movement. Is Noam's Logic legit?

When Noam Chomsky was asked about what he thought about the collapse of building 7 at the University of Florida in 2013, he replied that only a minuscule part of the scientific community backed up the ...
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133 views

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said death is not an event in one's life?

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said death is not an event in one's life? It's my understanding that death is not something that applies to the stipulated solipsistic self of his philosophy. ...
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60 views

Authors on Social Evolution, Personal Liberties and Corruption

Institutional corruption as been associated with excessive hedonism eg. libertinism. In history there have been recurring cycles in which economic depression has led to the uprising of authoritarian ...
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What are the main differences between Hume's Book I of the Treatise and the Enquiry?

It's known Hume's Treatise on human nature wasn't very successful when first released and then he reworked the Book 1 of it in An enquiry concerning human understanding, but where can we see a good ...
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Jon Burnett's statement about “religions of the oriental type” and Ancient Greece

I'm reading Bertrand Russel's The History of Western Philosophy, where he quotes Jon Burnett (in Early Greek Philosophy) as saying: It looked as if Greek religion were about to enter the same stage ...
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111 views

Authors who think Culture is power? [closed]

The USA is leading country in military expenditure in the world. To match what the USA spends you have to add up the budget of the next 11 countries on the list combined. ref here The USA is not ...
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Did Logical Positivism fail because it simply denied human emotion?

Did the denial of human emotion lead to the death of logical positivism?
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139 views

What if Euthyphro gave the opposite answer?

As part of a course I am taking, I was asked to continue the dialogue Euthyphro as if Euthyphro had given the opposite response to Plato's famous question: Is the pious loved by the gods because it ...
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62 views

Why is Plato's visible world said to be Heraclitean and Plato's intelligible world said to be Parmenidean?

I have been learning about Plato's Theory of Forms, and I have read that Plato's visible world is Heraclitean, and Plato's intelligible world is Parmenidean. I think I understand the parallel between ...
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151 views

I don't understand Parmenides's argument for why we can't think about what doesn't exist

I have been learning about Parmenides, and I don't think I am correctly understanding his argument for why we can't think/speak about things that don't exist. I tried to apply his logic to a ...
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115 views

Has no epistemologist noticed the problem with “truth” before Gettier?

According to Wikipedia (indeed not the most trustworthy source, but the SEP article also portraits it this way) the classic belief-justification-truth method of defining knowledge has only been ...
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173 views

Who first studied asymmetric relations qua relation?

Who first asymmetric relations qua relation, viz., the fact that A relates to B by some relation does not always/necessarily imply that B relates to A by the same relation. ?
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Who first studied “logical (ir)reversibility”?

Who first studied "logical (ir)reversibility" philosophically? By "logical (ir)reversibility" I mean questions like:Why is it easier to multiply large numbers than to factorize them? understand a ...
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What Leibniz should I read if I want to better understand Voltaire?

I keep hearing that Voltaire's Candide is written in response to the ideas of Leibniz. If I wanted to get a better understanding of Voltaire, which works by Leibniz would be most pertinent for me to ...