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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33
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17answers
32k views

What are some good introductions to philosophy?

I've been searching the questions posed here, and don't seem to find one that gives the answers I am looking for. I've proposed to start a list on meta but no one proposed anything, so I feel I must ...
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What are the historic stances on the epistemological status of mathematics?

I know that Plato and Kant thought it was synthetic a priori (although Plato would not have phrased it in that way). What other major thinkers have weighed in on this issue, on both sides of both the ...
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What is the philosophical ground for distinguishing logic and mathematics?

I was wondering why the field of mathematics and that of logic are perceived as two distinct fields. Although could be pleased with the intuition that logic is rather meta-mathematics, still would ...
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Why is Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy dismissed by academics?

This is a question in response to this other one that I asked. I didn't really get a satisfactory answer, mostly because it seems like Rand's work is largely ignored by academics. The highest voted ...
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9answers
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Is science just a more refined and effective method of philosophy?

I'm a word geek and it came upon me to look up the word philosophy tonight: philosophy - the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. The thing that ...
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6answers
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Have professional philosophers contributed to other fields in the last 20 years?

Here are some quotes from Scott Aaronson's interview: progress in math and science — think of natural selection, Godel’s and Turing’s theorems, relativity and quantum mechanics — has repeatedly ...
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6answers
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What is the relationship between philosophy and science?

While philosophy and science as held as separate disciplines (and often taught in completely different colleges within a university [i.e. College of Liberal Arts vs. College of Science]), it is ...
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1answer
484 views

What did Wittgenstein (mean to) achieve in the Tractatus?

I read the Tractatus about a decade ago, and was impressed, both by it and I suppose myself! But suddenly I'm seriously wondering what the book has or could achieve. Not so much how it changed ...
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10answers
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Does philosophy progress?

The question of progress is occasionally raised with regard to variety of fields - natural science, social science, art, and so on. But, can we at all have reasonable criteria by which to determine or ...
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Is it thought that analytic philosophy is in decline after the linguistic turn?

I would like to know from someone who has closely followed contemporary analytic philosophy if this idea has any currency. So by "is it thought" I mean is it a general trend or mood. The reason for ...
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3answers
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Can all mathematical reasoning be translated into traditional logic?

Can all mathematical reasoning be translated into traditional (Aristotelian, syllogistic) logic? It would seem not ∵ one cannot syllogistically establish the validity of the reasoning in the ...
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3answers
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What happens to a philosophical question when it is solved for good?

I was reading the introduction to a general philosophy text book, and it mentioned at some point that philosophy was like science in that concrete results are established and philosophers are able to ...
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6answers
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What are the major branches of philosophy?

What are the major branches of philosophy? (For instance, as a first-order approximation, mathematics can be sub-divided into three main categories at the first level: Analysis, Algebra, and Geometry....
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Did Russell understand Gödel's incompleteness theorems?

Russell was active in philosophy (although no longer in math) for many years after the Gödel's 1931 publication. Gödel's paper were not obscure, and Russell would have been aware of their effect on ...
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What are the philosophical implications of category theory?

I have heard about topoi being the ideal entities to use for foundations of mathematics (since we are able to reasonably interpret our theories in them), so I imagine there might possibly be some ...
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What is the origin of the Continental vs. Analytic divide?

There's been much ado about the divisiveness between Heidegger and Husserl fans on the one side, with Frege and Russell stalwarts on the other. I'm mostly amused by accounts of name-calling between ...
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Why did Gödel believe that there was a conspiracy to suppress Leibniz's works?

It is known that Gödel was obsessed with Leibniz, and apparently he even believed that their was a worldwide conspiracy among academics to suppress Leibniz's works. Does anyone know where this came ...
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2answers
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Is Philosophy the source of all other fields of study?

[CONTEXT] I started a self-education plan to learn computer science from foundations. then, I found my self in need to learn electrical engineering, after that I understant that I should learn Physics ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
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How did first-order logic come to be the dominant formal logic?

Early formal systems like Frege's Begriffsschrift or the Peano's work on the axiomatization of the natural numbers used axiom system with an underlying second-order predicate logic (from today's point ...
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7answers
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What did David Hume mean when he said that "reason is a slave to the passions"?

I don't understand the meaning of this oft-quoted quotation of Hume's in On Reason, namely his saying that "reason is a slave to the passions." What exactly does he mean by that ? Is it simply that ...
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8answers
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Why are western Philosophers not fair to Indian philosophers?

I have been browsing these philosophical pages on web for some time. Can someone explain this taboo regarding Indian philosophy when ever it comes in discussion.
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7answers
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Did the Ancient Greek Philosophers actually believe in their Gods and Myths?

Is there any historical proof that shows what attitude the Ancient Greeks, specially the philosophers, had towards their Gods?
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Why did the mid-19th century and earlier thinkers fixate on one-place predicates?

A book I'm reading mentions the following: A major barrier to the development of first-order logic had been the concentration on one-place predicates to the exclusion of many-place relational ...
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11answers
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Is there any philosophical idea that radically changed the world in the twentieth century?

Is there any new, i.e., conceived in the last century, philosophical idea that radically changed the world in the twentieth century? I know it's kinda hard to come up with a precise and definitive ...
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5answers
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What was Cantor's philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

I have begun inquiring recently into mathematical aspects of Georg Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers and sets, which he developed between the years of 1874 and 1897. Throughout his theory, Cantor ...
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1answer
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Should Wittgenstein be given some credit for Godel's incompleteness theorem?

Is there a connection between Wittgenstein's argument against the "Theory of Types" and the proof of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem? Being only semi-knowledgeable, I will draw the connection of which ...
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6answers
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Was Socrates a fictional character invented by Plato?

I have read a lot of websites that suggest Socrates was a fictional character created by Plato (albeit without the citation of any corroborating evidence), but I have also read the opposite (and by "...
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Are all philosophers subject to a variation of the Socrates problem?

Obviously, the specific problem of knowing who Socrates was and what he taught is wholly unique to the man. However, reading books and articles about philosophers and philosophy, I'm struck by the ...
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What are some good books about the history of philosophy in the 20th century?

I just read "The History of Western Philosophy" and liked it very much. I would like to now read a history that covers the span after Russell wrote the book, from 1940-present. Can anyone recommend a ...
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What was the impact of the discovery of non-euclidean geometry on Kantian thought?

This is mainly a historical question. In Gary Hatfields introduction to Kants Prologomena, he says: After the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry, Kant’s claims for the synthetic a priori status of ...
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2answers
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Was Aristotle an Empiricist?

When I was taught about Aristotle and Plato, the picture I got was very much like this image from a Raphael fresco: Usually Plato is said to be pointing to the heavens, which represent abstract Forms,...
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3answers
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What is the difference between western and other philosophies?

Is western philosophy simply based on scientific knowledge. Is is only about scientific or Academia knowledge? Why is it called western? Because it has its roots in ancient Greece where western ...
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2answers
726 views

Why should we listen to Michel Foucault if he based his arguments on biased historical claims?

I have only recently heard about philosophical ideas of Michel Foucault from a friend of mine. His claims, those concerning madness for example, sound iconoclastic to me. After looking up some ...
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2answers
396 views

How does Kant rule out permanent soul in his argument for the existence of external world?

I have been studying Stephan Körner's intro to Kant's philosophy. I'm not sure if in the following excerpt I make sense of the reasoning quoted from Kant. In fact, I wonder how the permanence must be ...
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1answer
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Philosophy is the mother of all science [closed]

Prologue Running google search: "philosophy is the mother of all science" at the time of this post yields about 114,000 results, and while this Quora post: Is philosophy the "queen of ...
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4answers
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Can there be an infinite regress of Creators?

One of the replies to the argument from first cause for the universe being created by God is that there is no apriori reason against there simply being an infinite number of causes, or an infinite ...
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1answer
299 views

What happened to rhetoric as a branch of philosophy?

Long long ago, rhetoric was a branch of philosophy. As far as I can tell, nowadays there is no philosophical work in the domain of persuasion and argumentation; this is now done in the public-...
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3answers
250 views

Recently created philosophical ideas

I've been reading about a lot of different types of philosophies, religions, ways of thinking etc. I was wondering what are the most recently created philosophical ways of looking at the universe? ...
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1answer
356 views

What were the most significant historical influences of continental philosophy?

"Continental philosophy includes the following movements: German idealism, phenomenology, existentialism (and its antecedents, such as the thought of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche), hermeneutics, ...
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7answers
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Why has the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley fallen out of favor in academic philosophy?

I studied George Berkeley as an undergraduate, and though I absolutely loved his work and his philosophy, many of my peers, and even some of my professors, found his philosophy wholly unappealing, ...
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4answers
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Which philosophers have done most to bridge the analytic/continental divide?

I am interested to find out work done in this direction by prominent philosophers in each tradition. My paradigm cases would be Richard Rorty on the analytic side and Alain Badiou on the continental ...
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2answers
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Is there a parallel between Hegelian "essence" and Kantian "concept"?

I think I've found a paralelism between these two notions, at least to some extent. For Kant defines (in Logic, I, I, §1, also translated) concept as "an universal representation" Every ...
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3answers
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What is postmodernism? [closed]

Postmodernism has always seemed to have a very fuzzy definition to me. It tends to be defined in terms of what it's not, or what it criticizes; for example, it "aims to show that every 'text' is ...
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5answers
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Are there any recognized modern eastern or Asian philosophers out there? Is eastern philosophy taken seriously in the 21st century?

Philosophy has roots in both the eastern and the western world. Undoubtedly, there is a big difference between the two. Eastern traditions are more prescriptive and religious and less formal. Western ...
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7answers
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Are there any books about postmodernism being like sophism?

I still find myself relatively often surprised by how much of the spectrum of philosophic thought was already covered at the times of ancient Greece or ancient China (think Axial Age or think ...
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2answers
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Are infinitesimals in the Newton and Leibniz calculus potential or actual?

Was reading a bit about history of calculus and its philosophy and stumbled into source of confusion: were infinitesimals in seventeenth century calculus assumed to be actual or potential? Was there ...
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4answers
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How inaccurate is Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy?

I finished reading A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell a while ago. Not being an expert by any stretch I thought it was very good (informative, accessible, enjoyable etc..). But I have ...
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7answers
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What did Socrates teach which lead to his conviction that he spoiled youth and taught other Gods?

Socrates was finally sentenced to death because his judges declared that he spoiled youth by his teachings and that he learned other Gods. But what precisely did he teach?
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9answers
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Who was the earliest known philosopher?

Who was the earliest known philosopher? Is it Confucius or Thales they were both around same time.