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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Is anyone interested in creating a group for outsider philosophy?

Wittgenstein, Whitehead, Stiegler and Pierce were (are for Stiegler) outsider philosophers. It would be fun to quest for the outsiders who will have an impact down the road.
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Who said 'You can't step into the same river once'?

Heraclitus traditionally said 'You can't step into the same river twice' Who, in response, said 'You can't step in the same river once'? I would like to attribute it to Parmenides or one the ...
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philosophers of the egoism

some time ago I heard about a sentence that struck my mind. It was a philosopher quote, like... the world would be a better place if everybody used to be more egoist I am looking for the ...
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317 views

Is Sam Harris's view of morality innovating? What philosophers innovated specifics on morality?

Sam Harris in his book, The moral landscape (2010), has certainly ignited discussions on morality, but did Sam Harris create his view or popularize someone else's? side== I am also curious if anyone ...
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55 views

Are beautiful things difficult?

As you may already know, the dialogue Hippias Major ends with the following asseveration by Socrates: So, I think, Hippias, that I have been benefited by conversation with both of you, for I think ...
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Is self-interest ethical even when it means not helping others?

I'm having trouble reconciling common sense self-interest with the mainstream systems in ethics. Say I'm taking a life-changing exam, and I've studied and am super prepared; yet, the guy behind me ...
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39 views

Reductionism about universals

David Armstrong's theory of universals is sparse: it's "mass", "electric charge", etc. that are true universals, not e.g. "redness". In pre-modern times this might be vaguely comparable to the ...
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Are moral values invention or discovery?

Is there any actual karma or reward and punishment based on good or bad deeds , or everything order, society is an human invention?
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Hierocles and Pythagorean Library

In Pythagorean Library, a complete collection of the surviving fragments from the Pythagoreans, the initials fragments are those that belong to Hierocles, and in several of them, between parenthesis — ...
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Jarrett’s Argument against an intuitive interpretation of P4, Part I of Spinoza’s Ethics

On first sight, an intuitive way of understanding proposition 4, part I, of Spinoza’s Ethics, is the following: For all x and for all y, if not x=y, then either (there is a z and a z' such that z ...
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This question is about materialism

Are there any Western philosophers whose thoughts are equivalent to early materialist schools of Indian philosophy carvakas or Lokatyas , Ajivikas ?
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What percentage of extant Greek texts from Antiquity constitute philosophy?

I recently asked on Literature Stack Exchange, What percentage of clay tablets found in Mesopotamia contain literature? and was only able to define an upper limit 4% literature in the overall corpus ...
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Metaphysicist or Metaphysician?

As a physicist who takes an interest in metaphysics, I was shocked to learn that practitioners of metaphysics call themselves metaphysicians. Why not metaphysicists? My first thought was that unlike ...
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Does the frequent study of the history of philosophy cause us to lose critical thinking? [closed]

Does the long and frequent study of the history of philosophy cause us to lose critical thinking and philosophical insight into the issues and, as Descartes puts it, "contaminate ourselves with past ...
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What does it mean when Hobbes says “round quadrangle” signifies nothing?

When Hobbes claims that “round quadrangle” (Leviathan, ch.IV) signifies nothing, what does that mean and why does it signify nothing?
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What did Hegel mean by 'world spirit'.? [duplicate]

I looked in the Hegelian dictionary and got more confused.
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Does Existence Belong to the Nature of Substance?

In Proposition 7, Part I of the Ethics Spinoza claims: Existence belongs to the nature of substance. This means that substance exists necessarily or, to put it even simpler, that each substance ...
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Prop. 2, Part I of Spinozas “Ethics”

Spinoza's proof for Proposition 2 of part I of the Ethics, "Two substances whose attributes are different have nothing in common", is confusing. This is the proof: 1, prop 2, demo - Also evident ...
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Is trans-humanism a philosophical approach towards technology, or is it sort of science fiction?

I've heard about the idea that in the not that far future technology would enable humans to become immortal or live for many hundreds of years. This idea sounded to me quite fictional - but then I ran ...
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Are there Identity Conditions for Spinoza's modes?

A common interpretation of the relation of Substance to it's modes in Spinozas states that modes are properties of the Substance [1]. Let's assume this for now: Modes are properties of Substance. I ...
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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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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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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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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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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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256 views

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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296 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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161 views

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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98 views

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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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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