Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy is philosophy developed in the modern era and associated with modernity. It is not a specific doctrine or school (and thus should not be confused with Modernism), although there are certain assumptions common to much of it, which helps to distinguish it from earlier philosophy.[1]

The 17th and early 20th centuries roughly mark the beginning and the end of modern philosophy. How much of the Renaissance should be included is a matter for dispute; likewise modernity may or may not have ended in the twentieth century and been replaced by postmodernity. How one decides these questions will determine the scope of one's use of "modern philosophy."

Modern Western philosophy

Franciscus Suarez, S.I. (1548-1617)
Francisco Suárez, known as the bridge figure between the scholastic and modern philosophy[2]

How much of Renaissance intellectual history is part of modern philosophy is disputed:[3] the Early Renaissance is often considered less modern and more medieval compared to the later High Renaissance. By the 17th and 18th centuries the major figures in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaphysics were roughly divided into two main groups. The "Rationalists," mostly in France and Germany, argued all knowledge must begin from certain "innate ideas" in the mind. Major rationalists were Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, and Nicolas Malebranche. The "Empiricists," by contrast, held that knowledge must begin with sensory experience. Major figures in this line of thought are John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume (These are retrospective categories, for which Kant is largely responsible). Ethics and political philosophy are usually not subsumed under these categories, though all these philosophers worked in ethics, in their own distinctive styles. Other important figures in political philosophy include Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant set forth a groundbreaking philosophical system which claimed to bring unity to rationalism and empiricism. Whether or not he was right, he did not entirely succeed in ending philosophical dispute. Kant sparked a storm of philosophical work in Germany in the early nineteenth century, beginning with German idealism. The characteristic theme of idealism was that the world and the mind equally must be understood according to the same categories; it culminated in the work of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who among many other things said that "The real is rational; the rational is real."

Hegel's work was carried in many directions by his followers and critics. Karl Marx appropriated both Hegel's philosophy of history and the empirical ethics dominant in Britain, transforming Hegel's ideas into a strictly materialist form, setting the grounds for the development of a science of society. Søren Kierkegaard, in contrast, dismissed all systematic philosophy as an inadequate guide to life and meaning. For Kierkegaard, life is meant to be lived, not a mystery to be solved. Arthur Schopenhauer took idealism to the conclusion that the world was nothing but the futile endless interplay of images and desires, and advocated atheism and pessimism. Schopenhauer's ideas were taken up and transformed by Nietzsche, who seized upon their various dismissals of the world to proclaim "God is dead" and to reject all systematic philosophy and all striving for a fixed truth transcending the individual. Nietzsche found in this not grounds for pessimism, but the possibility of a new kind of freedom.

19th-century British philosophy came increasingly to be dominated by strands of neo-Hegelian thought, and as a reaction against this, figures such as Bertrand Russell and George Edward Moore began moving in the direction of analytic philosophy, which was essentially an updating of traditional empiricism to accommodate the new developments in logic of the German mathematician Gottlob Frege.

Renaissance philosophy

Renaissance humanism emphasized the value of human beings (see Oration on the Dignity of Man) and opposed dogma and scholasticism. This new interest in human activities led to the development of political science with The Prince of Niccolò Macchiavelli. Humanists differed from Medieval scholars also because they saw the natural world as mathematically ordered and pluralistic, instead of thinking of it in terms of purposes and goals. Renaissance philosophy is perhaps best explained by two propositions made by Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks:

  • All of our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions
  • There is no certainty where one can neither apply any of the mathematical sciences nor any of those which are based upon the mathematical sciences.

In a similar way, Galieo based his scientific method on experiments but also developed mathematical methods for application to problems in physics. These two ways to conceive human knowledge formed the background for the principle of Empiricism and Rationalism respectively.[4]

Renaissance philosophers


Modern philosophy traditionally begins with René Descartes and his dictum "I think, therefore I am". In the early seventeenth century the bulk of philosophy was dominated by Scholasticism, written by theologians and drawing upon Plato, Aristotle, and early Church writings. Descartes argued that many predominant Scholastic metaphysical doctrines were meaningless or false. In short, he proposed to begin philosophy from scratch. In his most important work, Meditations on First Philosophy, he attempts just this, over six brief essays. He tries to set aside as much as he possibly can of all his beliefs, to determine what if anything he knows for certain. He finds that he can doubt nearly everything: the reality of physical objects, God, his memories, history, science, even mathematics, but he cannot doubt that he is, in fact, doubting. He knows what he is thinking about, even if it is not true, and he knows that he is there thinking about it. From this basis he builds his knowledge back up again. He finds that some of the ideas he has could not have originated from him alone, but only from God; he proves that God exists. He then demonstrates that God would not allow him to be systematically deceived about everything; in essence, he vindicates ordinary methods of science and reasoning, as fallible but not false.



Empiricism is a theory of knowledge which opposes other theories of knowledge, such as rationalism, idealism and historicism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes (only or primarily) via sensory experience as opposed to rationalism, which asserts that knowledge comes (also) from pure thinking. Both empiricism and rationalism are individualist theories of knowledge, whereas historicism is a social epistemology. While historicism also acknowledges the role of experience, it differs from empiricism by assuming that sensory data cannot be understood without considering the historical and cultural circumstances in which observations are made. Empiricism should not be mixed up with empirical research because different epistemologies should be considered competing views on how best to do studies, and there is near consensus among researchers that studies should be empirical. Today empiricism should therefore be understood as one among competing ideals of getting knowledge or how to do studies. As such empiricism is first and foremost characterized by the ideal to let observational data "speak for themselves", while the competing views are opposed to this ideal. The term empiricism should thus not just be understood in relation to how this term has been used in the history of philosophy. It should also be constructed in a way which makes it possible to distinguish empiricism among other epistemological positions in contemporary science and scholarship. In other words: Empiricism as a concept has to be constructed along with other concepts, which together make it possible to make important discriminations between different ideals underlying contemporary science.

Empiricism is one of several competing views that predominate in the study of human knowledge, known as epistemology. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or tradition[5] in contrast to, for example, rationalism which relies upon reason and can incorporate innate knowledge.


Political philosophy

Political philosophy is the study of such topics as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown—if ever. In a vernacular sense, the term "political philosophy" often refers to a general view, or specific ethic, political belief or attitude, about politics that does not necessarily belong to the technical discipline of philosophy.[6]

By country


Idealism refers to the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally a construct of the mind or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society.[7] As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit.[8] Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind. An extreme version of this idealism can exist in the philosophical notion of solipsism.

Idealist philosophers


Existentialism is generally considered to be the philosophical and cultural movement which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual. Building on that, existentialists hold that moral thinking and scientific thinking together do not suffice to understand human existence, and, therefore, a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to understand human existence.[9][10][11]

Existential philosophers


Phenomenology is the study of the structure of experience. It is a broad philosophical movement founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl, expanded upon by a circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany. The philosophy then spread to France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's early work.[12]

Phenomenological philosophers


Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice. Important positions characteristic of pragmatism include instrumentalism, radical empiricism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, and fallibilism. There is general consensus among pragmatists that philosophy should take the methods and insights of modern science into account.[13] Charles Sanders Peirce (and his pragmatic maxim) deserves most of the credit for pragmatism,[14] along with later twentieth century contributors William James and John Dewey.[13]

Pragmatist philosophers

Analytic philosophy

Analytic philosophy came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. In the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand, the overwhelming majority of university philosophy departments identify themselves as "analytic" departments.[15] The term generally refers to a broad philosophical tradition[16][17] characterized by an emphasis on clarity and argument (often achieved via modern formal logic and analysis of language) and a respect for the natural sciences.[18][19][20]

Analytic philosophers

Modern Asian philosophy

Various philosophical movements in Asia arose in the modern period including:


  1. ^ Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann (2008). From Plato to Derrida. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-158591-6.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 44 n. 2.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann (2008). From Plato to Derrida. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-158591-6.
  6. ^ Hampton, Jean (1997). Political philosophy. p. xiii. ISBN 9780813308586. Charles Blattberg, who defines politics as "responding to conflict with dialogue," suggests that political philosophies offer philosophical accounts of that dialogue. See his "Political Philosophies and Political Ideologies". SSRN 1755117. in Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009.
  7. ^ Macionis, John J. (2012). Sociology 14th Edition. Boston: Pearson. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-205-11671-3.
  8. ^ Daniel Sommer Robinson, "Idealism", Encyclopædia Britannica,
  9. ^ Mullarkey, John, and Beth Lord (eds.). The Continuum Companion to Continental Philosophy. London, 2009, p. 309
  10. ^ Stewart, Jon. Kierkegaard and Existentialism. Farnham, England, 2010, p. ix
  11. ^ Crowell, Steven (October 2010). "Existentialism". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  12. ^ Zahavi, Dan (2003), Husserl's Phenomenology, Stanford: Stanford University Press
  13. ^ a b Biesta, G.J.J. & Burbules, N. (2003). Pragmatism and educational research. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
  14. ^ Susan Haack; Robert Edwin Lane (11 April 2006). Pragmatism, old & new: selected writings. Prometheus Books. pp. 18–67. ISBN 978-1-59102-359-3. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Without exception, the best philosophy departments in the United States are dominated by analytic philosophy, and among the leading philosophers in the United States, all but a tiny handful would be classified as analytic philosophers. Practitioners of types of philosophizing that are not in the analytic tradition—such as phenomenology, classical pragmatism, existentialism, or Marxism—feel it necessary to define their position in relation to analytic philosophy." John Searle (2003) Contemporary Philosophy in the United States in N. Bunnin and E.P. Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2nd ed., (Blackwell, 2003), p. 1.
  16. ^ See, e.g., Avrum Stroll, Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2000), p. 5: "[I]t is difficult to give a precise definition of 'analytic philosophy' since it is not so much a specific doctrine as a loose concatenation of approaches to problems." Also, see ibid., p. 7: "I think Sluga is right in saying 'it may be hopeless to try to determine the essence of analytic philosophy.' Nearly every proposed definition has been challenged by some scholar. [...] [W]e are dealing with a family resemblance concept."
  17. ^ See Hans-Johann Glock, What Is Analytic Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 205: "The answer to the title question, then, is that analytic philosophy is a tradition held together both by ties of mutual influence and by family resemblances."
  18. ^ Brian Leiter (2006) webpage “Analytic” and “Continental” Philosophy. Quote on the definition: "'Analytic' philosophy today names a style of doing philosophy, not a philosophical program or a set of substantive views. Analytic philosophers, crudely speaking, aim for argumentative clarity and precision; draw freely on the tools of logic; and often identify, professionally and intellectually, more closely with the sciences and mathematics, than with the humanities."
  19. ^ H. Glock, "Was Wittgenstein an Analytic Philosopher?", Metaphilosophy, 35:4 (2004), pp. 419–444.
  20. ^ Colin McGinn, The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey through Twentieth-Century Philosophy (HarperCollins, 2002), p. xi.: "analytical philosophy [is] too narrow a label, since [it] is not generally a matter of taking a word or concept and analyzing it (whatever exactly that might be). [...] This tradition emphasizes clarity, rigor, argument, theory, truth. It is not a tradition that aims primarily for inspiration or consolation or ideology. Nor is it particularly concerned with 'philosophy of life,' though parts of it are. This kind of philosophy is more like science than religion, more like mathematics than poetry – though it is neither science nor mathematics."

External links

17th-century philosophy

17th century philosophy is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the medieval approach, especially scholasticism. It succeeded the Renaissance and preceded the Age of Enlightenment. It is often considered to be part of early modern philosophy.

19th-century philosophy

In the 19th century, the philosophies of the Enlightenment began to have a dramatic effect, the landmark works of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau influencing new generations of thinkers. In the late 18th century a movement known as Romanticism began; it validated strong emotion as an authentic not of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe. Key ideas that sparked changes in philosophy were the fast progress of science; evolution, as postulated by Vanini, Diderot, Lord Monboddo, Erasmus Darwin, Lamarck, Goethe, and Charles Darwin; and what might now be called emergent order, such as the free market of Adam Smith within nation states. Pressures for egalitarianism, and more rapid change culminated in a period of revolution and turbulence that would see philosophy change as well.

A History of Western Philosophy

A History of Western Philosophy is a 1945 book by philosopher Bertrand Russell. A survey of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the early 20th century, it was criticised for Russell's over-generalization and omissions, particularly from the post-Cartesian period, but nevertheless became a popular and commercial success, and has remained in print from its first publication. When Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, A History of Western Philosophy was cited as one of the books that won him the award. Its success provided Russell with financial security for the last part of his life.

Accident (philosophy)

An accident, in philosophy, is an attribute that may or may not belong to a subject, without affecting its essence.Aristotle made a distinction between the essential and accidental properties of a thing. Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic theologians have employed the Aristotelian concepts of substance and accident in articulating the theology of the Eucharist, particularly the transubstantiation of bread and wine into body and blood. In this example, the bread and wine are considered accidents, since at transubstantiation, they become incidental to the essential substance of body and blood.

In modern philosophy, an accident (or accidental property) is the union of two concepts: property and contingency. Non-essentialism argues that every property is an accident. Modal necessitarianism argues that all properties are essential and no property is an accident.


In metaphysics, conceptualism is a theory that explains universality of particulars as conceptualized frameworks situated within the thinking mind. Intermediate between nominalism and realism, the conceptualist view approaches the metaphysical concept of universals from a perspective that denies their presence in particulars outside the mind's perception of them. Conceptualism is anti-realist about abstract objects, just like immanent realism is (their difference being that immanent realism does not deny the mind-independence of universals, like conceptualism does).

Early modern philosophy

Early modern philosophy (also classical modern philosophy) is a period in the history of philosophy at the beginning or overlapping with the period known as modern philosophy.

Index of modern philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in modern philosophy.

1649 in philosophy

1658 in philosophy

17th century philosophy

A Few Words on Non-Intervention

A General View of Positivism

A Letter Concerning Toleration

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

A System of Logic

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

A Vindication of Natural Society

Adam Müller

Adam Smith

Adam Weishaupt

Age of Enlightenment

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

Alexander Pfänder

Aloys Hirt

American Enlightenment

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals


Anarchism and anarcho-capitalism

Anarchism in Korea

Anarchism in Russia

Anarchism in Spain

Anarchism in Sweden

Anarchism in the United States

Anarchism in Turkey

Anarchism in Ukraine

Anarchism in Vietnam

Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas

Anarchist Manifesto


Anioł Dowgird

Answering the Question: What Is Enlightenment?

Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury


Antoine Arnauld

Anton Kržan

Arnold Geulincx

Arnold Toynbee

Art manifesto

Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer's aesthetics

Auberon Herbert

Auguste Comte

Augustus De Morgan



Benjamin Constant

Bernard Bolzano

Bête machine

Beyond Good and Evil

Black Panther Party

Blaise Pascal

Borden Parker Bowne


Bronisław Trentowski

Cartesian doubt

Charles Batteux

Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu

Charles Fourier

Charles Graves (bishop)

Charles Sanders Peirce


Christian Discourses

Christoph von Sigwart

Class consciousness

Classical Realism



Commodity fetishism


Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

Cornelis Willem Opzoomer

Criticisms of electoralism

Critique of Judgement

Critique of Practical Reason

Critique of Pure Reason

Cultural hegemony

Dai Zhen

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler

David Hume

David Ricardo

David Strauss

Dharmarāja Adhvarin


Dialectical materialism

Die Anarchisten

Direct action

Disquisitions relating to Matter and Spirit

Edifying Discourses in Diverse Spirits

Edward Abramowski

Edward Dembowski

Egoist anarchism


Émile Pouget

Ernst Mach

Ernst Schröder

Fear and Trembling

Feliks Jaroński

For Self-Examination

Francesco Saverio Merlino

Francis Bacon

Francis Hutcheson (philosopher)

Franciszek Krupiński

Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher

Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Groos

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Theodor Vischer

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

General will

Geohumoral theory

Georg Friedrich Meier

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

George Berkeley

George Boole

Giorgio Vasari

Gottfried Leibniz

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals

Hannah Arendt

Harriet Taylor Mill

Hayashi Hōkō

Hayashi Razan

Hayashi Ryūkō


Heimin Shimbun

Henri Bergson

Henry David Thoreau

Henry Home, Lord Kames

Herbert Spencer

Hirata Atsutane

Historical materialism

Hosoi Heishu

Hoter ben Shlomo

Howard Williams (humanitarian)

Hugo Grotius

Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose

Immanuel Kant

Individualist anarchism

Isaak Iselin

Itō Jinsai

Jakob Friedrich Fries

James Guillaume

Jan Wacław Machajski

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean le Rond d'Alembert

Jena romantics

Jens Kraft

Jeremy Bentham

Jewish Communist Labour Party (Poalei Zion)

Jewish Communist Party (Poalei Zion)

Jewish Communist Union (Poalei Zion)

Johann Christian Lossius

Johann Friedrich Flatt

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Johann Heinrich Lambert

Johann Joachim Lange

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johannes Bredenburg

Johannes Phocylides Holwarda

John Austin (legal philosopher)

John Calvin

John Dewey

John Locke

John Stuart Mill

Józef Gołuchowski

Judah Leon Abravanel

Judge for Yourselves!

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

Kaibara Ekken

Karl Heinrich Heydenreich

Karl Marx

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Karl Wilhelm Ramler

Kitaro Nishida

Krastyo Krastev

Krystyn Lach Szyrma

Lazarus Geiger

Lectures on Aesthetics

Léon Dumont

Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever

Lettre sur les aveugles à l'usage de ceux qui voient

Levi Hedge

Leviathan (book)

Lex, Rex

Libertarian Marxism

Libertarian socialism

List of communist ideologies

Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach

Ludwig Tieck

Luo Rufang

Man a Machine

Martin Luther

Marx's theory of alienation

Marx's theory of human nature

Marxist feminism

Marxist humanism

Marxist philosophy

Mary Wollstonecraft

Max Weber

Meditations on First Philosophy

Meinong's jungle

Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism

Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science

Metaphysics of Morals

Methodios Anthrakites

Michael Gottlieb Birckner

Michael Hissmann

Michał Wiszniewski

Michel Henry

Mikhail Bakunin

Miura Baien

Modern philosophy

Moses Mendelssohn

Motoori Norinaga

Muhammad Iqbal

Mulla Sadra

Muro Kyūsō

New England Transcendentalists

Nicholas Leonicus Thomaeus

Nicolas Malebranche

Nicolaus Hieronymus Gundling

Nietzsche's views on women

Nietzsche and Philosophy

Nikolai Putyatin



Novum Organum

Observations on Man

Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

Ogyū Sorai

On Liberty

On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates

On the Genealogy of Morality

Oration on the Dignity of Man

Outline of anarchism

Paul Rée

Philosophical Fragments

Philosophical Inquiries into the Essence of Human Freedom

Philosophy of Max Stirner

Philosophy of Spinoza

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre Cally

Pierre Gassendi

Pierre Nicole

Poale Zion

Political Justice

Political philosophy of Immanuel Kant

Port-Royal Logic

Practice in Christianity


Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics


Property is theft!

Randall Swingler

Rate of exploitation

Reification (Marxism)

Relations of production

Relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner

René Descartes

Repetition (Kierkegaard)

Revolutionary Left (disambiguation)

Richard Sault

Robert Leslie Ellis

Roger Fry

Rudolf Seydel

Rudolph Goclenius

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Schopenhauer's criticism of the proofs of the parallel postulate

Science of Logic

Scottish School of Common Sense

Sebastian Petrycy

Seo Gyeong-deok

Simion Bărnuțiu

Sir William Hamilton, 9th Baronet

Social ecology


Søren Kierkegaard

Spinoza: Practical Philosophy

Stages on Life's Way

Statism and Anarchy

Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta

Structural Marxism

Sturm und Drang

Suzuki Shōsan

Tan Sitong

The Art of Being Right

The Blood of Others

The Book on Adler

The Communist Manifesto

The Concept of Anxiety

The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress

The Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity Illustrated

The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures

The Foundations of Arithmetic

The Law of Peoples

The Methods of Ethics

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God

The Phenomenology of Spirit

The Point of View of My Work as an Author

The Sickness Unto Death

The Soul of Man under Socialism

The Subjection of Women

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Paine

Thomas Robert Malthus

Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces

Three Critics of the Enlightenment

Toju Nakae


Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven

Utilitarianism (book)

Vasily Jakovlevich Zinger

Victor d'Hupay


Walter Goodnow Everett

War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization

What Is Property?

Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder

Wilhelm Windelband

Wilhelm Wundt

William Blackstone

William Godwin

William Graham Sumner

William Manderstown

William Whewell

Works of Love

Writing Sampler

Yamaga Sokō

Yamazaki Ansai

Yi I

Inductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence for the truth of the conclusion; this is in contrast to deductive reasoning. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument may be probable, based upon the evidence given.Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as the derivation of general principles from specific observations, though there are many inductive arguments that do not have that form.

Jena Romanticism

Jena Romanticism (German: Jenaer Romantik; also the Jena Romantics or Early Romanticism (Frühromantik)) is the first phase of Romanticism in German literature represented by the work of a group centred in Jena from about 1798 to 1804. The movement is considered to have contributed to the development of German idealism in late modern philosophy.

Joxe Azurmendi

Joxe Azurmendi Otaegi (born 19 March 1941) is a Basque writer, philosopher, essayist and poet. He has published numerous articles and books on ethics, politics, the philosophy of language, technique, Basque literature and philosophy in general.He is member of Jakin and the director of Jakin irakurgaiak, a publishing house which has published over 40 books under his management. He also collaborated with the Klasikoak publishing firm in the Basque translations of various philosophical works and was one of the founders of Udako Euskal Unibertsitatea (The Basque Summer University). He is currently a Professor of Modern Philosophy and a lecturer at Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (The University of the Basque Country). In 2010 he was awarded the title "honorary academic" by Euskaltzaindia (The Basque Language Academy).Azurmendi is an intellectual who studies the problem more than the solution. Azurmendi's essays cover modern European topics in great depth and knowledge. He has incorporated the philosophy and thinking of European thinkers, especially German ones. He often adopts a polemic tone.Joxe Azurmendi is, in the opinion of many, one of the most prolific and erudite thinkers in the Basque Country.

Monad (philosophy)

Monad (from Greek μονάς monas, "singularity" in turn from μόνος monos, "alone") refers, in cosmogony, to the Supreme Being, divinity or the totality of all things. The concept was reportedly conceived by the Pythagoreans and may refer variously to a single source acting alone, or to an indivisible origin, or to both. The concept was later adopted by other philosophers, such as Leibniz, who referred to the monad as an elementary particle. It had a geometric counterpart, which was debated and discussed contemporaneously by the same groups of people.


Newtonianism is a philosophical and scientific doctrine inspired by the beliefs and methods of natural philosopher Isaac Newton. While Newton's influential contributions were primarily in physics and mathematics, his broad conception of the universe as being governed by rational and understandable laws laid the foundation for many strands of Enlightenment thought. Newtonianism became an influential intellectual program that applied Newton's principles in many avenues of inquiry, laying the groundwork for modern science (both the natural and social sciences), in addition to influencing philosophy, political thought and theology.

Object (philosophy)

An object is a technical term in modern philosophy often used in contrast to the term subject. A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed. For modern philosophers like Descartes, consciousness is a state of cognition that includes the subject—which can never be doubted as only it can be the one who doubts—and some object(S) that may be considered as not having real or full existence or value independent of the subject who observes it. Metaphysical frameworks also differ in whether they consider objects existing independently of their properties and, if so, in what way.The pragmatist Charles S. Peirce defines the broad notion of an object as anything that we can think or talk about. In a general sense it is any entity: the pyramids, Alpha Centauri, the number seven, a disbelief in predestination or the fear of cats. In a strict sense it refers to any definite being.

A related notion is objecthood. Objecthood is the state of being an object. One approach to defining it is in terms of objects' properties and relations. Descriptions of all bodies, minds, and persons must be in terms of their properties and relations. The philosophical question of the nature of objecthood concerns how objects are related to their properties and relations. For example, it seems that the only way to describe an apple is by describing its properties and how it is related to other things. Its properties may include its redness, its size, and its composition, while its relations may include "on the table", "in the room" and "being bigger than other apples".

The notion of an object must address two problems: the change problems and the problems of substances. Two leading theories about objecthood are substance theory, wherein substances (objects) are distinct from their properties, and bundle theory, wherein objects are no more than bundles of their properties.

Philosophical realism

In metaphysics, realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.

Realism can be applied to many philosophically interesting objects and phenomena: other minds, the past or the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the physical world, and thought.

Realism can also be a view about the nature of reality in general, where it claims that the world exists independent of the mind, as opposed to non-realist views (like some forms of skepticism and solipsism, which question our ability to assert the world is independent of our mind). Philosophers who profess realism often claim that truth consists in a correspondence between cognitive representations and reality.Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality but that the accuracy and fullness of understanding can be improved. In some contexts, realism is contrasted with idealism. Today it is more usually contrasted with anti-realism, for example in the philosophy of science.

The oldest use of the term "realism" appears in medieval scholastic interpretations and adaptations of ancient Greek philosophy.


Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?Historically, "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy, medicine, and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize. In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics.

Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics ("concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being"), epistemology (about the "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity"), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic and philosophy of science.

Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern philosophy is a philosophical movement that arose in the second half of the 20th century as a critical response to assumptions allegedly present in modernist philosophical ideas regarding culture, identity, history, or language that were developed during the 18th-century Enlightenment. Postmodernist thinkers developed concepts like difference, repetition, trace, and hyperreality to subvert "grand narratives", univocity of being, and epistemic certainty. Postmodern philosophy questions the importance of power relationships, personalization, and discourse in the "construction" of truth and world views. Many postmodernists appear to deny that an objective reality exists, and appear to deny that there are objective moral values.Jean-François Lyotard defined philosophical postmodernism in The Postmodern Condition, writing "Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards meta narratives...." where what he means by metanarrative is something like a unified, complete, universal, and epistemically certain story about everything that is. Postmodernists reject metanarratives because they reject the concept of truth that metanarratives presuppose. Postmodernist philosophers in general argue that truth is always contingent on historical and social context rather than being absolute and universal and that truth is always partial and "at issue" rather than being complete and certain.Postmodern philosophy is often particularly skeptical about simple binary oppositions characteristic of structuralism, emphasizing the problem of the philosopher cleanly distinguishing knowledge from ignorance, social progress from reversion, dominance from submission, good from bad, and presence from absence. But, for the same reasons, postmodern philosophy should often be particularly skeptical about the complex spectral characteristics of things, emphasizing the problem of the philosopher again cleanly distinguishing concepts, for a concept must be understood in the context of its opposite, such as existence and nothingness, normality and abnormality, speech and writing, and the like.Postmodern philosophy also has strong relations with the substantial literature of critical theory.

Renaissance philosophy

The designation "Renaissance philosophy" is used by scholars of intellectual history to refer to the thought of the period running in Europe roughly between 1355 and 1650 (the dates shift forward for central and northern Europe and for areas such as Spanish America, India, Japan, and China under European influence). It therefore overlaps both with late medieval philosophy, which in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was influenced by notable figures such as Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and Marsilius of Padua, and early modern philosophy, which conventionally starts with René Descartes and his publication of the Discourse on Method in 1637. Philosophers usually divide the period less finely, jumping from medieval to early modern philosophy, on the assumption that no radical shifts in perspective took place in the centuries immediately before Descartes. Intellectual historians, however, take into considerations factors such as sources, approaches, audience, language, and literary genres in addition to ideas. This article reviews both the changes in context and content of Renaissance philosophy and its remarkable continuities with the past.

Transcendence (philosophy)

In philosophy, transcendence conveys the basic ground concept from the word's literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond, albeit with varying connotations in its different historical and cultural stages. It includes philosophies, systems, and approaches that describe the fundamental structures of being, not as an ontology (theory of being), but as the framework of emergence and validation of knowledge of being. "Transcendental" is a word derived from the scholastic, designating the extra-categorical attributes of beings.

Western philosophy

Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales (c. 624 – c. 546 BC) and Pythagoras (c. 570 BC – c. 495 BC), and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom" (φιλεῖν philein, "to love" and σοφία sophia, "wisdom").

The scope of philosophy in the ancient understanding, and the writings of (at least some of) the ancient philosophers, were 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 (Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics).

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