Philosophical movement

A philosophical movement is either the appearance or increased popularity of a specific school of philosophy, or a fairly broad but identifiable sea-change in philosophical thought on a particular subject. Major philosophical movements are often characterized with reference to the nation, language, or historical era in which they arose.

Talk of a philosophical movement can often function as a shorthand for talk of the views of a great number of different philosophers (and others associated with philosophy, such as historians, artists, scientists and political figures). On the other hand, most philosophical movements in history consisted in a great number of individual thinkers who disagreed in various ways; it is often inaccurate and something of a caricature to treat any movement as consisting in followers of uniform opinion. More often the defining ideas of any philosophical movement are templates on which individual thinkers develop their own particular ideas.

In contrast to the idea of a philosophical movement, the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Romanticism are broader cultural "movements" that happened to be characterized by fairly distinctive philosophical concerns: although they are movements with philosophical cores, they extend beyond the field of philosophy into art and culture more broadly, hence are not specific enough to philosophy to be considered movements within it.

Like specific doctrines and theories, movements are often given names with "ism" suffixes. What makes a movement identifiable and interesting as distinct from a specific theory is simply that a movement consists in a large flourishing of intellectual work on one or more ideas, in a fairly specifiable time and place. Following is short list of major philosophical movements, in rough chronological order:

Ancient philosophical movements

Medieval philosophical movements

Modern philosophical movements

Contemporary philosophical movements

Movements in Eastern and African philosophies

See Eastern philosophy for a list of Asian philosophical movements. See African philosophy for a list of African philosophical movements.

Analytical Thomism

Analytical Thomism is a philosophical movement which promotes the interchange of ideas between the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas (including the philosophy carried on in relation to his thinking, called 'Thomism'), and modern analytic philosophy.

Scottish philosopher John Haldane first coined the term in the early 1990s and has since been one the movement's leading proponents. According to Haldane, "analytical Thomism involves the bringing into mutual relationship of the styles and preoccupations of recent English-speaking philosophy and the ideas and concerns shared by St Thomas and his followers" (Haldane 2004, xii).

Bracketing (phenomenology)

Bracketing (German: Einklammerung; also called phenomenological reduction) is a term in the philosophical movement of phenomenology describing an act of suspending judgment about the natural world to instead focus on analysis of experience.

British idealism

A species of absolute idealism, British idealism was a philosophical movement that was influential in Britain from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The leading figures in the movement were T. H. Green (1836–1882), F. H. Bradley (1846–1924), and Bernard Bosanquet (1848–1923). They were succeeded by the second generation of J. M. E. McTaggart (1866–1925), H. H. Joachim (1868–1938), J. H. Muirhead (1855–1940), and R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943). The last major figure in the tradition was G. R. G. Mure (1893–1979). Doctrines of early British idealism so provoked the young Cambridge philosophers G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell that they began a new philosophical tradition, analytic philosophy.

Christian existentialism

Christian existentialism is a theo-philosophical movement which takes an existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). The existential approach to Christian theology has a long and diverse history including Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal and Maritain.

Donglin movement

The Donglin movement (Chinese: 東林黨; pinyin: Dōnglíndǎng; Wade–Giles: Tung-lin-tang) was an ideological and philosophical movement of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties of China.

The movement was established in 1604, during the Wanli era of Ming, when Gu Xiancheng (1550–1612), a Grand Secretary, and Gao Panlong (高攀龍, 1562–1626), a scholar, restored the Donglin Academy in Wuxi with the financial backing of local gentry and officials.The motivation for restoring the Academy was concern about the state of the bureaucracy and its inability to bring about improvement. The movement represented a resort to moral Confucian traditions as a means of arriving at fresh moral evaluations. Thereafter the Academy became a centre of dissent for public affairs in the late Ming and early Qing periods. Many supporters of Donglin were found in the bureaucracy and it became deeply involved in factional politics. The movement got momentum when the Donglin Academy in Wuxi was joined by the academies of the nearby Wujin and Yixing. Donglin men carried on politics not only through bureaucratic maneuverings, but also through appeals to educated opinion through hard work at reputation construction and even through reports of dreams. Many of the academy's creators were among the mandarins who a few years previously had forced the Wanli Emperor to appoint his first-born son, Zhu Changluo (the future Taichang Emperor) as the heir to the throne, even though the emperor himself would rather have the throne go to Zhu Changxun (the emperor's son from his favorite concubine, Lady Zheng).During the reign of the Tianqi Emperor, Donglin opposition to the eunuch Wei Zhongxian resulted in the closure of the Academy in 1622 and the torture and execution of its head, Yang Lian, and five other members in 1624.

The accession of the Chongzhen Emperor restored the fortunes of the Donglin faction.

Later during Chongzhen's reign, Donglin partisans found themselves opposed to the Grand Secretary Wen Tiren, eventually arranging his dismissal in 1637.

The Donglin movement represented growth of the literati influence on the political life in late Imperial China. In this, it was inherited by the Suzhou-centered Fushe movement (復社) before the fall the Ming dynasty, and by the Changzhou School of Thought during the Qing. China's defeat in the Opium War (1839–42) served for revival of interest to the Donglin movement, as a prominent instance of literati solidarity.

Kitsch movement

Kitsch painting is an international movement of classical painters founded upon a 24 September 1998 speech and philosophy by the Norwegian artist, Odd Nerdrum, later clarified in his book On Kitsch with Jan-Ove Tuv and others. The movement incorporates the techniques of the Old Masters with narrative, romanticism, and emotionally charged imagery. The movement defines Kitsch as synonymous with the arts of ancient Rome or the techne of ancient Greece. Kitsch painters embrace kitsch as a positive term not in opposition to "art", but as its own independent superstructure. Kitsch painters assert that Kitsch is not an art movement, but a philosophical movement separate from art. The Kitsch movement has been considered an indirect criticism of the contemporary art world, but according to Nerdrum and many Kitsch painters, this is not their expressed intention.

Kyoto School

The Kyoto School (京都学派, Kyōto-gakuha) is the name given to the Japanese philosophical movement centered at Kyoto University that assimilated western philosophy and religious ideas and used them to reformulate religious and moral insights unique to the East Asian cultural tradition. However, it is also used to describe postwar scholars who have taught at the same university, been influenced by the foundational thinkers of Kyoto school philosophy, and who have developed distinctive theories of Japanese uniqueness. To disambiguate the term, therefore, thinkers and writers covered by this second sense appear under The Kyoto University Research Centre for the Cultural Sciences.

Beginning roughly in 1913 with Kitarō Nishida, it survived the serious controversy it garnered after World War II to develop into a well-known and active movement. However, it is not a "school" of philosophy in the traditional sense of the phrase, such as with the Frankfurt School or Plato's Academy. Instead, the group of academics gathered around Kyoto University as a de facto meeting place. Its founder, Nishida, steadfastly encouraged independent thinking.

According to James Heisig, the name "Kyoto School" was first used in 1932 by a student of Nishida and Hajime Tanabe. Jun Tosaka (1900–45) considered himself to be part of the 'Marxist left-wing' of the school. Afterwards, the media and academic institutions outside Japan began to use the term. By the 1970s it had become a universally accepted term.

Modern Greek literature

Modern Greek literature refers to literature written in common Modern Greek, emerging from the late Byzantine era in the 11th century AD. During this period, spoken Greek became more prevalent in the written tradition, as demotic Greek came to be used more and more over the Attic idiom and the katharevousa reforms.

The migration of Byzantine scholars and other émigrés from southern Italy and Byzantium during the decline of the Byzantine Empire (1203–1453) and mainly after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 until the 16th century, is considered by some scholars as key to the revival of Greek and Roman studies and subsequently in the development of the Renaissance humanism and science. These emigres were grammarians, humanists, poets, writers, printers, lecturers, musicians, astronomers, architects, academics, artists, scribes, philosophers, scientists, politicians and theologians. They brought to Western Europe the far greater preserved and accumulated knowledge of their own civilization.

The Cretan Renaissance poem Erotokritos is undoubtedly the masterpiece of this early period of modern Greek literature, and represents one of its supreme achievements. It is a verse romance written around 1600 by Vitsentzos Kornaros (1553–1613). The other major representative of the Cretan literature was Georgios Chortatzis and his most notable work was Erofili. Other plays include The Sacrifice of Abraham by Kornaros, Panoria and Katsourbos by Chortatzis, Fortounatos by Markos Antonios Foskolos, King Rodolinos by Andreas Troilos, Stathis (comedy) and Voskopoula by unknown artists.

Much later, Diafotismos was an ideological, philological, linguistic and philosophical movement among 18th century Greeks that translate the ideas and values of European Enlightenment into the Greek world. Adamantios Korais and Rigas Feraios are two of the most notable figures. In 1819, Korakistika, written by Iakovakis Rizos Neroulos, was a lampoon against the Greek intellectual Adamantios Korais and his linguistic views, who favoured the use of a more conservative form of the Greek language, closer to the ancient.

The years before the Greek Independence, the Ionian islands became the center of the Heptanese School (literature). Its main characteristics was the Italian influence, romanticism, nationalism and use of Demotic Greek. Notable representatives were Andreas Laskaratos, Antonios Matesis, Andreas Kalvos, Aristotelis Valaoritis and Dionysios Solomos.

After the independence the intellectual center was transferred in Athens. A major figure of this new era was Kostis Palamas, considered "national poet" of Greece. He was the central figure of the Greek literary generation of the 1880s and one of the cofounders of the so-called New Athenian School (or Palamian School). Its main characteristic was the use of Demotic Greek. He was also the writer of the Olympic Hymn.

Modern Greek literature is usually (but not exclusively) written in polytonic orthography, though the monotonic orthography was made official in 1981 by Andreas Papandreou government. Modern Greek literature is represented by many writers, poets and novelists. Major representatives are Angelos Sikelianos, Emmanuel Rhoides, Athanasios Christopoulos, Kostis Palamas, Penelope Delta, Yannis Ritsos, Alexandros Papadiamantis, Nikos Kazantzakis, Andreas Embeirikos, Kostas Karyotakis, Gregorios Xenopoulos, Constantine P. Cavafy, Demetrius Vikelas, Georgios Vizyinos, while George Seferis and Odysseas Elytis have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Other writers include Manolis Anagnostakis, Nicolas Calas, Georgios Drosinis, Kiki Dimoula, Maro Douka, Nikos Engonopoulos, Nikos Gatsos, Iakovos Kambanelis, Nikos Kavvadias, Andreas Karkavitsas, Kostas Krystallis, Dimitris Lyacos, Petros Markaris, Lorentzos Mavilis, Jean Moréas, Stratis Myrivilis, Zacharias Papantoniou, Dimitris Psathas, Ioannis Psycharis, Aristomenis Provelengios, Alexandros Rizos Rangavis, Vasilis Rotas, Miltos Sahtouris, Antonis Samarakis, Giannis Skarimpas, Dido Sotiriou, Georgios Souris, Alexandros Soutsos, Panagiotis Soutsos, Georgios Stratigis, Angelos Terzakis, Kostas Varnalis, Vassilis Vassilikos, Elias Venezis, Demetrios Bernardakis and Nikephoros Vrettakos.

Muscular Christianity

Muscular Christianity was a philosophical movement that originated in England in the mid-19th century, characterized by a belief in patriotic duty, the moral and physical beauty of athleticism, discipline, self-sacrifice, and manliness.

The movement came into vogue during the Victorian era as a method of building character in students at English public schools, and is most often associated with English author Thomas Hughes and his 1857 novel Tom Brown's School Days, as well as writers Charles Kingsley and Ralph Connor. American President Theodore Roosevelt was raised in a household that practiced Muscular Christianity. Roosevelt, Kingsley, and Hughes promoted physical strength and health as well as an active pursuit of Christian ideals in personal life and politics. Muscular Christianity has continued itself through organizations that combine physical and Christian spiritual development. It is influential within both Catholicism and Protestantism.


Neostoicism was a syncretic philosophical movement, founded by Flemish humanist Justus Lipsius, that attempted to combine the beliefs of Stoicism and Christianity. In his seminal period in the Northern Netherlands (Leiden, 1578–1591), Lipsius published two most significant works: De Constantia (1583) and Politica (1589).

Not to be confused with modern Stoicism, a similar movement in the early 21st century.

Postanalytic philosophy

Postanalytic philosophy describes a detachment from the mainstream philosophical movement of analytic philosophy, which is the predominant school of thought in English-speaking countries. Postanalytic philosophy derives mainly from contemporary American thought, especially from the works of philosophers Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, Hilary Putnam, W. V. O. Quine, and Stanley Cavell. The term is closely associated with the much broader movement of contemporary American pragmatism, which, loosely defined, advocates a detachment from the definition of 'objective truth' given by modern philosophers such as Descartes. Postanalytic philosophers emphasize the contingency of human thought, convention, utility, and social progress.

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.

Pragmatism (disambiguation)

Pragmatism is a philosophical movement.

Pragmatism or pragmatic may also refer to:

Pragmaticism, Charles Sanders Peirce's post-1905 branch of philosophy

Pragmatics, a subfield of linguistics and semiotics

Pragmatic ethics, a theory of normative philosophical ethics

Realpolitik, politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions

Praxis School

The Praxis school was a Marxist humanist philosophical movement, whose members were influenced by Western Marxism. It originated in Zagreb and Belgrade in the SFR Yugoslavia, during the 1960s.

Prominent figures among the school's founders include Gajo Petrović and Milan Kangrga of Zagreb and Mihailo Marković of Belgrade. From 1964 to 1974 they published the Marxist journal Praxis, which was renowned as one of the leading international journals in Marxist theory. The group also organized the widely popular Korčula Summer School in the island of Korčula.

Sex-positive movement

The sex-positive movement is a social movement and philosophical movement that promotes and embraces sexuality and sexual expression, with an emphasis on safe and consensual sex. Sex-positivity is "an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation." The sex-positive movement also advocates for comprehensive sex education and safe sex as part of its campaign." The movement generally makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference.

Southern Bivouac

Southern Bivouac was a magazine published by the Southern Historical Association of Louisville between 1882 and 1887. Written by several former Confederate army officers, it featured tales of many of exploits never before told by the men of the Southern army. Along with the Southern Historical Society Papers, it helped to mold the beginnings of the "Lost Cause" philosophical movement.

Theoretical philosophy

The division of philosophy into a practical and a theoretical discipline has its origin in Aristotle's moral philosophy and natural philosophy categories. In Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and United States courses in theoretical and practical philosophy are taught separately, and are separate degrees. Other countries may use a similar scheme—some Scottish universities, for example, divide philosophy into logic, metaphysics, and ethics—but in most universities around the world philosophy is taught as a single subject. There is also a unified philosophy subject in some Swedish universities, such as Södertörns Högskola.

Theoretical philosophy is sometimes confused with Analytic philosophy, but the latter is a philosophical movement, embracing certain ideas and methods but dealing with all philosophical subject matters, while the former is a way of sorting philosophical questions into two different categories in the context of a curriculum.


Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. It arose as a reaction, to protest against the general state of intellectualism and spirituality at the time. The doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School was of particular interest.

Transcendentalism emerged from "English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Johann Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Schleiermacher, the skepticism of David Hume", and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and German Idealism. Miller and Versluis regard Emanuel Swedenborg as a pervasive influence on transcendentalism. It was also strongly influenced by Hindu texts on philosophy of the mind and spirituality, especially the Upanishads.

A core belief of transcendentalism is in the inherent goodness of people and nature. Adherents believe that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual, and they have faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.

Transcendentalism emphasizes subjective intuition over objective empiricism. Adherents believe that individuals are capable of generating completely original insights with little attention and deference to past masters.

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