27 votes
Accepted

Did the Ancient Greek Philosophers actually believe in their Gods and Myths?

'The ancient Greek philosophers' is rather a wide reference class. We don't really know enough about the historical Socrates to be sure about his views on the traditional gods. Plato In the Republic ...
  • 34.6k
20 votes
Accepted

What was Cantor's philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

Here is Cantor in his own words (from his influential 1887 letter to Weierstrass): "I begin from the supposition of a linear magnitude ζ which is so small that its product by n , ζ · n, for every ...
  • 41.2k
20 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

I will enlarge upon Nuclear Wang's reply by turning the question around a bit, as follows. When did natural philosophers (also known as scientists) decide that philosophy was not useful, and why? I ...
20 votes
Accepted

Why did the mid-19th century and earlier thinkers fixate on one-place predicates?

Because there was a calculus for one-place predicates, Aristotle's syllogistic, roughly equivalent to monadic predicate calculus. Aristotle does discuss "relatives" in Categories, which ...
  • 41.2k
19 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't philosophy of philosophy exist?

It exists. It is called meta-philosophy. It includes topics such as the definition and scope of philosophy, the methods of philosophy, and the role of philosophers.
18 votes

Why are western Philosophers not fair to Indian philosophers?

I am of Indian ancestry but 3rd generation in America. I have been exposed to both East and Western philosophy/science in my family life but exposed to Western science due to my graduate school ...
  • 574
17 votes

In what way(s) does popular New Atheism fail to be philosophical?

Is it that New Atheism isn't philosophy? Yes -- it is not a philosophy; wikipedia describes it as "a social and political movement" first associated with Sam Harris, an American writer who holds a B....
17 votes

What did Socrates teach which lead to his conviction that he spoiled youth and taught other Gods?

There is a non-philosophical component to this which I think the other answers touched on, but did not quite get to. The years leading up to Socrates' trial were hard on Athens. Athens had just lost ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Was Jesus a philosopher?

Peter Kreeft has written a book on this very topic. Would He give a lecture at Harvard, or engage in a long Socratic dialog in Plato's Academy, or write a critique of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason? ...
16 votes
Accepted

What did Nietzsche and Marx think of each other?

Nietzsche mocked German idealists at length, but I think calling him a materialist is a bridge too far, same as for all his anti-Christianity it is not clear that he was an atheist. He inherited his ...
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15 votes
Accepted

What is the philosophical ground for distinguishing logic and mathematics?

Let me give you a historical background first. Until the end of 19th century logic was almost exclusively associated with Aristotelian logic, the syllogistic. This logic did not have quantifiers, or ...
  • 41.2k
14 votes

Why did Karl Popper criticize Karl Marx's ideas?

Popper objected to Marxism because Marxism is historicist: Marxism claims that it can predict the future course of history. When I discuss Marxism below, I'm discussing what Popper said about Marxism ...
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14 votes

Does philosophy progress?

It would help to divide up philosophy into some component parts. Logic has certainly made a great deal of progress. Frege's logic is a huge step forward from everything that had gone before and ...
  • 16.1k
14 votes

What is the origin of the truth table in logic?

You can see: Irving Anellis, The Genesis of the Truth-Table Device (2004) as well as: Irving Anellis, Peirce's Truth-functional Analysis and the Origin of the Truth Table (2012). Before Bertrand ...
14 votes

Did Logical Positivism fail because it simply denied human emotion?

Logical positivism does not deny human emotion. It simply reassigns its role. Ethical, aesthetic or religious judgements, for example, fulfil the role of expressing or eliciting emotion - and not, ...
  • 34.6k
14 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

Philosophy became more limited in scope during the 19th century. In the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophy encompassed all forms of knowledge, but specialized subfields of physics, medicine, ...
14 votes

When did philosophers decide philosophy was not useful, and why?

In the old joke, a college president complains to his physics professors that they are always asking for expensive equipment. All the mathematics teachers need is pencil, paper, a wastebasket, he says,...
12 votes
Accepted

Who is Plato and Socrates' God?

Whether Plato's character of Socrates or Plato himself believed in a God or many Gods is not perfectly clear. Additionally, we can't ascribe any sort of belief to the historical Socrates; we just don'...
  • 2,790
11 votes
Accepted

What reasons are there for believing in Monism?

Monism does not necessarily posit that there is one thing that is the whole so much as everything is really one kind of thing. Just to give one quick example to show it's less crazy than you think in ...
  • 24.1k
11 votes

What was Cantor's philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

The concept of infinitesimal small and infinitely large numbers has been been formalized by the mathematical domain of non-standard analysis. The field of rationals (QQ,+,*) embedds into the ring (...
  • 20.6k
11 votes
Accepted

What does Whitehead mean by calling science anti-rational?

To answer this, its helpful to have some background on Whitehead's understanding of rationalism. In Process and Reality (42) Whitehead defines rationalism as the hope that we can create a general ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Did Plato believe in reincarnation?

Yes, and the Phaedo and the Republic (to cite just two texts) provide evidence for this. Phaedo Running through the dialogue has been the thought that soul and body are sharply distinct and ...
  • 34.6k
11 votes
Accepted

What do they call philosophers in China?

The introduction to Jeniffer Liu's 2016 thesis The Problem of Philosophy in Classical Chinese Thought goes in depth into the genesis of Chinese terms associated with philosophy, and shades of meaning ...
  • 41.2k
11 votes

Is the notion of "Complex System" a philosophy of science? Is it the opposite of Reductionism? Is it related to Holism?

Short Answer Complex systems is a mathematical approach to studying certain objects of science, and is neither a science, nor a philosophy, but an approach that might be considered a combination of ...
  • 11.5k
11 votes

Is the notion of "Complex System" a philosophy of science? Is it the opposite of Reductionism? Is it related to Holism?

A system is a complex system if its characteristic properties cannot be investigated by studying its components in isolation. A typical example of a complex system is the weather: One cannot study the ...
  • 20.6k
10 votes
Accepted

How old are philosophical questions?

How old are philosophical questions? Verification of any answer presupposes the existence of written texts. It is plausible that these questions have been posed much earlier, but about the time before ...
  • 20.6k

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