44

The traditional branches of philosophy generally include Aesthetics Epistemology Ethics Logic Metaphysics / Ontology We can go ahead and add a few contemporary branches on to this (more examples could certainly be adduced): Philosophy of Science [referring to the hard sciences] (Mathematics, Technology, etc.) Philosophy of Politics [referring to the ...


41

Hume's quotation is from a famous passage discussing the "motivating influence of the will" in his Treatise on Human Nature and reads in full: Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them. (T 2.3.3 p. 415) The context is his discussion of what is sometimes called "moral ...


40

It's essentially impossible to offer definitive proof on the matter, but it's extremely unlikely that Socrates was merely a figment of Plato's imagination. The primary evidence in this regard is the fact that multiple independent sources make reference to him in various ways. For example, the philosopher Xenophon of Athens was a student and admirer of ...


32

Yeah, unfortunately a lot of people misquote Nietzsche. It's kind of a recurring joke among those who are familiar with his work. For example, the phrase "God is dead" is often taken completely out of context and used to justify things that Nietzsche himself never intended. In this specific example, Nietzsche is not at all  endorsing the statement that ...


32

"you'll be hard-pressed to find a serious philosopher who takes Ayn Rand seriously". Why is this the case? This is the case because Rand offered very few philosophical arguments. I actually do not know of any particular arguments she did offer, but I will assume that she at least attempted to offer some. Is her work lacking rigor? In the analytic ...


29

Ayn Rand isn't well liked because her work doesn't fit into the mold of what academia deems acceptable philosophy. This makes perfect sense when you understand that Ayn Rand's view of philosophy is different (she wasn't trying to meet the standards of academic philosophy). Rand views philosophy as an indispensable component of human life, while academics ...


28

The short answer (tl;dr) The relevant historical context to answer your question is the long quest of logic to provide foundations for all mathematics. Zermelo's axiomatic set theory displaced contenders like type theory and won the race early on, because logicians in this tradition developed metalogical tools (model theory, proof theory) to investigate ...


28

After a bit of searching, I found some promising leads (and quite a few consistent descriptions) which suggest that Russell thought Gödel's results were of cardinal importance, but misunderstood their implications. In particular, he thought that Gödel's result essentially entailed that Peano Arithmetic was inconsistent rather than incomplete; but ...


27

I think you may be mistaking the kind of critical questioning demanded by philosophy for a kind of cultural insensitivity. The two aren't the same--although of course some philosophers are culturally insensitive. Philosophy is about finding out the truth and philosophers use a variety of methods, methods from the natural and human sciences, as well as ...


24

'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 Plato removes from his educational curriculum all unseemly stories about the gods but my impression is that he does this, not because he believes in the gods ...


23

I believe that following list will cover the main areas of Philosophy: Metaphysics (Study of Existence - What's out there?) Epistemology (Study of Knowledge - How do I know about it?) Ethics (Study of Action - What should I do?) Politics (Study of Force - What actions are permissible?) Aesthetics (Study of Art - What can life be like?) Apparently ...


20

Speaking very generally, materialism has been waxing sharply, and idealism has been waning for a good long time. Berkeley studies have definitely suffered on account of this, but he would seem to be least among the "Idealist idols" also relegated to the "dustbin" of history by modern philosophy. In particular, a rancorous anti-Platonism has been one of the ...


20

There are a number of interlocking reasons. First, as you point out, she wrote fiction, not philosophical papers. Second, she did not appear to engage in any substantive way with the prior philosophical work done on the subjects that interested her. Her only connection to the philosophical tradition (writ large) is what we can charitably call a highly ...


20

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 finite whole number n however great is smaller than unity, and then prove, from the concept of a linear magnitude and with the help of certain propositions from ...


19

I'd go with Simon Blackburn's Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (Cambridge University Press 1999). Here's the blurb: This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them. Think ...


19

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

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 training. I identify far more with the Western approach culturally but I hope I can provide some insight. Cultural, academic, and scientific standards have shaped ...


17

First it must be said that hedonism in the modern sense was not the core of Epicurism: Epicurus used the word ἡδονή (hêdonê, "pleasure") in a less obvious sense. Epicureans strove after ataraxia, "unperturbedness" of the soul: a state of mind where neither pain nor pleasure affected the soul too much. This was the highest "pleasure". Mild pain and mild ...


17

Dawkins and Hitchens aren't particularly philosophically sophisticated. Dawkins often attacks straw man versions of theistic arguments. (Search on this site for some discussion why his understanding of Aquinas's arguments for the existence of God miss the mark.) Further, they utterly fail to take into account criticism of their own epistemology. One crucial ...


17

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 the Peloponnesian War against its long-time rival Sparta, and Sparta had installed the Thirty Tyrants. Though their rule only lasted 13 months, it was extremely ...


16

I'd say it started around the 1950 and got off the ground around 1980 ;) That is to say, the divide as been introduced as a fighting word from the beginning; it is more about asserting the divide than about giving an adequate picture of the philosophical landscape. And it is really not advisable to do proper history of philosophy by using fighting words! ...


16

Here is an example of philosophy helping a breakthrough in mathematics (in differential topology). The breakthrough happened last year, the philosophy that helped it come into existence happened 200 years ago, via a formalization suggested in the last two decades. A long-standing open problem in differential topology and in mathematical physics was the ...


16

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.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D in neuroscience but does not practice either professionally in the sense of having academic tenure. Harris's works appear to be ...


15

I think there's a simpler explanation for why Rand is generally ignored in academia. She loathes Kant (presumably would also Berkeley and the British Empiricists) and defines herself in perfect opposition to him. She refuses to even acknowledge the possibility that he might be right, and takes all of his questions to be ridiculous and evil pseudoquestions. ...


15

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? Obviously not. And everyone knows that. That is "trivially true." In another sense, Jesus was a philosopher, but this second sense is also trivial. ...


14

Bertrand Russel's paradox overturned the 19th century ideas of how to ground mathematics and set theory, arguably setting the stage for Godel's incompleteness theorem, and giving a very deep new appreciation for unknowability (both directly and thanks to Godel). I count these as both mathematical and philosophical ideas, given how important they are for ...


14

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 even propositional variables, in other words it was too weak to support even arithmetic, let alone the rest of mathematics (Chrysippus, an ancient Stoic, and ...


13

It’s ironic that Locke’s commonsense approach to philosophy should have influenced Berkeley to formulate a philosophical position that at first seems so much at variance with common sense. He became the object of severe criticism and ridicule for denying what seemed most obvious to anyone. Berkeley had set out to deny the existence of matter. Since the ...


13

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an extensive article on category theory and its philosophical implications. On the significance of the theory, it says that: Category theory challenges philosophers in two ways, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. On the one hand, it is certainly the task of philosophy to clarify the general ...


12

Yes, there is a connection, as you point out. In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein writes: 3.332 No proposition can say anything about itself, because the propositional sign cannot be contained in itself (that is the whole "theory of types"). Gödel, as you know, proceeded to do precisely that. Wittgenstein's argument against type theory is one of many ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible