|Pre-Socratic · Ancient|
Medieval · Renaissance
17th · 18th · 19th · 20th century
Postmodern · Contemporary
Western philosophy is a term that refers to philosophical thinking in the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies. The Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously but expounding knowledge developed earlier This page lists some links to ancient philosophy. In Western philosophy, the spread of Christianity through the Roman Empire marked the end of Hellenistic Medieval philosophy is the Philosophy of Europe and the Middle East in the era now known as Medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from Renaissance philosophy was the period of the History of philosophy in Europe that falls roughly between the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment 17th century philosophy in the Western world is generally regarded as being the start of Modern philosophy, and a departure from the medieval approach The Age of Enlightenment or The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a phase in Western philosophy and cultural life centered upon the eighteenth century In the 18th century the philosophies of The Enlightenment began to have a dramatic effect the landmark works of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques See also [[Analytic philosophy]] and [[Continental philosophy]] The 20th century brought with it upheavals that produced a series of conflicting developments within Philosophy Postmodern philosophy' is a philosophical direction which is critical of the foundational assumptions and structures of philosophy See also [[Analytic philosophy]] and [[Continental philosophy]] Contemporary philosophy is the period in the history of philosophy that began at the end of the nineteenth Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Asia, including Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Persian Babylonian literature is one of the world's oldest Drawing on the traditions of Sumerian literature, the Babylonians compiled a vast textual tradition of mythological The term Indian philosophy (Sanskrit Darshanas) may refer to any of several traditions of philosophical thought that originated in the Indian subcontinent Iranian philosophy or Persian philosophy can be traced back as far as to Old Iranian philosophical traditions and thoughts which originated in ancient Indo-Iranian Chinese philosophy is Philosophy written in the Chinese tradition of thought There has been a continuous history of Philosophy in Korea, that goes back more than two thousand years Philosophy of religion is a branch of Philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion including arguments over the nature and existence of God religious Christian philosophy is a term to describe the fusion of various fields of Philosophy with the theological doctrines of Christianity. Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between Philosophy ( Reason) and the religious teachings Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Asia, including Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Persian The origin of the idea of "Western philosophy" occurred in modern times, and is a very general term to categorize large amounts of philosophers and philosophical works over thousands of years, over a wide area of geopolitical boundaries, historic trade routes, and travel routes.
Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western civilization, beginning with Greek philosophy in ancient Greece, and eventually covering a large area of the globe, including North America and Australia. Western culture (sometimes equated with Western Civilization) are terms which are used to refer to Cultures of European origin Ancient Greek philosophy focused on the role of Reason and Inquiry. The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. There is some debate of whether to include areas such as Northern Africa, some parts of the Middle East, Russia, and so on. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending The word philosophy itself originated in ancient Greece: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom" (philein = "to love" + sophia = wisdom, in the sense of knowledge and the courage to act accordingly). Knowledge is defined ( Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education the theoretical or practical understanding The ancient Greek word for wisdom was probably related to ideas about universal knowledge claims in mathematics, astronomy, natural philosophy, music, and many other subjects as indicated by Plato's and Aristotle's works, along with many other ancient and medieval philosophers. Wisdom is a concept of personal gaining of Knowledge, Understanding, Experience, discretion and intuitive understanding, along with a capacity In philosophy universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to Relativism. Knowledge is defined ( Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education the theoretical or practical understanding Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Astronomy (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον "star" and nomos (νόμος "law" is the scientific study For the current in the 19th century German idealism see Naturphilosophie Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Philosophy is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence knowledge truth beauty justice validity mind and language
Usually the onset of "Western philosophy" is marked by a development not of method or technology, but rather one of intention. "Western Philosophy" is defined by its goal to develop a holistic vision of the cosmos. The onset of this quest for the working model of the universe is what defined the Greeks against their Babylonian predecessors who invented a lot of the astronomical techniques the Greeks ended up using or whose records Greek ideas were based on. Their intentions, not their science or methods which in many ways excelled early Greek technology and methods, keep the Babylonians from being considered part of the "Western Science" movement.
In contemporary terms, Western Philosophy refers to the two main traditions of contemporary philosophy: Analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy. Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe
Western philosophy has had a strong influence on, and has been greatly influenced by, Western religion, science, and politics, and the philosophies of the Abrahamic religions (Jewish philosophy, Christian philosophy, and Islamic philosophy). A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions Jewish philosophy refers to the conjunction between serious study of philosophy and Jewish theology Christian philosophy is a term to describe the fusion of various fields of Philosophy with the theological doctrines of Christianity. Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between Philosophy ( Reason) and the religious teachings The central concepts of Western religion, science and politics can be thought of as elements or branches of Western philosophy. To some of the ancient Greeks, these fields were often one and the same. Thus, philosophy is an expansive and ambiguous concept. Today, however, what generally distinguishes philosophy from other Western disciplines is the notion that philosophy is a more fundamental, classical, and universal form of thought than the other disciplines which sprouted from it.
The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras (see Diogenes Laertius: "De vita et moribus philosophorum", I, 12; Cicero: "Tusculanae disputationes", V, 8-9). "Pythagoras of Samos" redirects here For the Samian statuary of the same name see Pythagoras (sculptor. Diogenes Laërtius ( Greek:, Diogénes Laértios) the biographer of the Greek Philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname Marcus Tullius Cicero ( Classical Latin ˈkikeroː usually ˈsɪsərəʊ in English January 3, 106 BC &ndash December 7, 43 BC was a Roman The ascription is based on a passage in a lost work of Herakleides Pontikos, a disciple of Aristotle. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. It is considered to be part of the widespread legends of Pythagoras of this time. The term "philosophy" was made famous by Plato's and Aristotle's large volume of written works that survived for over two thousand years. Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.
"Philosopher" replaced the word "sophist" (from sophoi), which was used to describe "wise men," teachers of rhetoric, who were important in Athenian democracy. Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice Athenian democracy developed in the Greek City-state of Athens Some of the most famous sophists were what we would now call philosophers, but Plato's dialogues often used the two terms to contrast those who are devoted to seeking wisdom (philosophers) from those who arrogantly and falsely claim to have it (sophists). Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece Socrates (at least, as portrayed by Plato) frequently characterized the sophists as incompetents or charlatans, who hid their ignorance behind word play and flattery, and so convinced others of what was baseless or untrue. SOCRATES is the European Community action programme in the field of Education. Moreover, the sophists were paid for their explorations. To this day, "sophist" is often used as a derogatory term for one who merely persuades rather than reasons.
The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, and the writings of (at least some of) the ancient philosophers, was all intellectual endeavors. This included the problems of philosophy as they are understood today; but it also included many other disciplines, such as pure mathematics and natural sciences such as physics, astronomy, and biology. Broadly speaking pure mathematics is Mathematics motivated entirely for reasons other than application In Science, the term natural science refers to a naturalistic approach to the study of the Universe, which is understood as obeying rules or law of Physics (Greek Physis - φύσις in everyday terms is the Science of Matter and its motion. Astronomy (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον "star" and nomos (νόμος "law" is the scientific study Foundations of modern biology There are five unifying principles (Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics; and as late as the 17th century, these fields were still referred to as branches of "natural philosophy"). Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Over time, academic specialization and the rapid technical advance of the special sciences led to the development of distinct disciplines for these sciences, and their separation from philosophy: mathematics became a specialized science in the ancient world, and "natural philosophy" developed into the disciplines of the natural sciences over the course of the scientific revolution. Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and The period which many historians of science call the Scientific Revolution can be roughly dated as having begun in 1543 the year in which Nicolaus Copernicus published Today, philosophical questions are usually explicitly distinguished from the questions of the special sciences, and characterized by the fact that (unlike those of the sciences) they are the sort of questions which are foundational and abstract in nature, and which are not amenable to being answered by experimental means. --> Abstraction is the process or result of generalization by reducing the information In scientific inquiry an experiment ( Latin: Ex- periri, "to try out" is a method of investigating particular types of research questions or
Western philosophers have often divided into several major branches based on the questions typically addressed by people working in different parts of the field. In the ancient world, the most influential division of the subject was the Stoics' division of philosophy into Logic, Ethics, and Physics (conceived as the study of the nature of the world, and including both natural science and metaphysics). Stoicism, a school of Hellenistic philosophy, was founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early third century BC Logic is the study of the principles of valid demonstration and Inference. Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life In Science, the term natural science refers to a naturalistic approach to the study of the Universe, which is understood as obeying rules or law of Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science In contemporary philosophy, specialties within the field are more commonly divided into metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics (which together comprise axiology). Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, "knowledge" + λόγος, " Logos " or theory of knowledge Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called Axiology (from Greek grc ἀξιᾱ axiā, "value worth" and grc -λογία -logia) is the study of quality or value Logic is sometimes included as another main branch of philosophy, sometimes as a separate science which philosophers often happen to work on, and sometimes just as a characteristically philosophical method applying to all branches of philosophy.
Within these broad branches there are now numerous sub-disciplines of philosophy. At the broadest level there is the division between Analytic and Continental Philosophy. For Continental Philosophy subdividing philosophy between "experts" is problematic for the very nature of the unifying task of philosophy itself, however, for most of Analytic Philosophy further divisions simplify the task for philosophers in each area. Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century
The interest in particular sub-disciplines waxes and wanes over time; sometimes sub-disciplines become particularly hot topics and can occupy so much space in the literature that they almost seem like major branches in their own right. (Over the past 40 years or so philosophy of mind — which is, strictly speaking, mainly a sub-discipline of metaphysics — has taken on this position within Analytic philosophy, and has attracted so much attention that some suggest philosophy of mind as the paradigm for what contemporary Analytic philosophers do. Philosophy of mind is the branch of Philosophy that studies the nature of the Mind, Mental events Mental functions mental properties Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century )
Some of the many sub-disciplines within philosophy include:
Originally the term "philosophy" was applied to all intellectual endeavours. Aristotle studied what would now be called biology, meteorology, physics, and cosmology, alongside his metaphysics and ethics. Even in the eighteenth century physics and chemistry were still classified as "natural philosophy", that is, the philosophical study of nature. Today these latter subjects are popularly referred to as sciences, and as separate from philosophy. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding But the distinction is not clear; some philosophers still contend that science retains an unbroken --and unbreakable -- link to philosophy.
More recently, psychology, economics, sociology, and linguistics were once the domain of philosophers insofar as they were studied at all, but now have only a weaker connection with the field. In the late twentieth century cognitive science and artificial intelligence could be seen as being forged in part out of "philosophy of mind. "
Philosophy is done primarily through reflection. Human self-reflection is the capacity of Humans to exercise Introspection and the willingness to learn more about our fundamental nature Purpose and It does not tend to rely on experiment. In scientific inquiry an experiment ( Latin: Ex- periri, "to try out" is a method of investigating particular types of research questions or However, in some ways philosophy is close to science in its character and method; some Analytic philosophers have suggested that the method of philosophical analysis allows philosophers to emulate the methods of natural science; Quine holds that philosist in any more than clarifying the arguments and claims of other sciences. Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25 1908 Akron, Ohio &ndash December 25 2000 (known to intimates as "Van" This suggests that philosophy might be the study of meaning and reasoning generally; but some still would claim either that this is not a science, or that if it is it ought not to be pursued by philosophers.
All these views have something in common: whatever philosophy essentially is or is concerned with, it tends on the whole to proceed more "abstractly" than most (or most other) natural sciences. It does not depend as much on experience and experiment, and does not contribute as directly to technology. It clearly would be a mistake to identify philosophy with any one natural science; whether it can be identified with science very broadly construed is still an open question.
This is an active discipline pursued by both trained philosophers and scientists. Philosophers often refer to, and interpret, experimental work of various kinds (as in philosophy of physics and philosophy of psychology). But this is not surprising: such branches of philosophy aim at philosophical understanding of experimental work. It is not the philosophers in their capacity as philosophers, who perform the experiments and formulate the scientific theories under study. Philosophy of science should not be confused with science it studies any more than biology should be confused with plants and animals.
Like philosophy, most religious studies are not experimental. Parts of theology, including questions about the existence and nature of gods, clearly overlap with philosophy of religion. Philosophy of religion is a branch of Philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion including arguments over the nature and existence of God religious Aristotle considered theology a branch of metaphysics, the central field of philosophy, and most philosophers prior to the twentieth century have devoted significant effort to theological questions. Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science So the two are not unrelated. But other part of religious studies, such as the comparison of different world religions, can be easily distinguished from philosophy in just the way that any other social science can be distinguished from philosophy. These are closer to history and sociology, and involve specific observations of particular phenomena, here particular religious practices.
The Empiricist tradition in modern philosophy often held that religious questions are beyond the scope of human knowledge, and many have claimed that religious language is literally meaningless: there are not even questions to be answered. In Philosophy, empiricism is a theory of Knowledge which asserts that knowledge arises from Experience. Some philosophers have felt that these difficulties in evidence were irrelevant, and have argued for, against, or just about religious beliefs on moral or other grounds. Nonetheless, in the main stream of twentieth century philosophy there are very few philosophers who give serious consideration to religious questions.
Mathematics uses very specific, rigorous methods of proof that philosophers sometimes (only rarely) try to emulate. Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Most philosophy is written in ordinary prose, and while it strives to be precise it does not usually attain anything like mathematical clarity. As a result, mathematicians hardly ever disagree about results, while philosophers of course do disagree about their results, as well as their methods. Philosophical method (or philosophical methodology) is the study of how to do Philosophy.
The philosophy of mathematics is a branch of philosophy of science; but in many ways mathematics has a special relationship to philosophy. The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of Philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions foundations and implications of Mathematics. Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions foundations and implications of Science. This is because the study of logic is a central branch of philosophy, and mathematics is a paradigm example of logic. Logic is the study of the principles of valid demonstration and Inference. In the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries logic made great advances, and mathematics has been proven to be reducible to logic (at least, to first-order logic with some set theory). The use of formal, mathematical logic in philosophy now resembles the use of math in science, although it is not as frequent.