The word philosophy (of the old Greek φιλοσοφία , composed of φίλειν , “to like” and σοφία , “wisdom, the knowledge”, i.e. literally “the love of wisdom”) indicates a thousand-year-old activity whose definition is however rather difficult: one can present philosophy like an adding up knowledge, a reflection aiming at a total interpretation of the world and human existence, or like a questioning. Various goals could be to him allotted, of research of the Vérité, the well, or the Beau, with that of the direction of the life, and happiness, but more largely, the constant research of the reflection. To reflect, think, confront its opinions with those of third people. One can also see in philosophy a creation, analyzes or meditation on concepts. The conflicts on what philosophy is are multiple, but as it quickly is noted, to try to define philosophy and its scope of application, it is often already to philosophize. It should be noted that everyone is a potential philosopher: no need to be called Plato or Aristote, only account love of the reflection, the handing-over in question, and the questioning.
With the difference of the Social sciences, Natural science, and formal Sciences to which it is and was closely bound, philosophy does not have objects of clean study. It has however a predilection for certain fields the such Logique, the ethical , the Métaphysique, the political Philosophie and the Théorie of knowledge. Other disciplines united more recently with these fundamental branches of philosophy, like the Philosophie of sciences, still called epistemology, the Philosophie of the spirit, the philosophical Anthropologie, the Esthétique, the Philosophie of the right or the Philosophie of the language.
“Philosophy” comes from the Greek philosophy-sophia whom one generally translates by “love of wisdom”. The sophia is indeed associated with the concept of wisdom. In the Apology for Socrate for example, Socrate affirms to tend towards the sophia without having it. It is question there of knowing, but this knowledge indicates the conscience that Socrate of its own ignorance and its desire has to reach wisdom. Socrat is endowed with sophia insofar as it knows that it does not know anything, which thus constitutes a form of wisdom. The philosopher appears thus in a posture of search for wisdom without necessarily claiming to be able indeed to reach it.
The current translation of “philosophy” by “love of wisdom” does not give however an account of the Polysémie of sophia in Greek. It should not either be confused with phronésis , prudence. Jean-Joel Duhot explains indeed why “all the Helléniste S know that sophia indicates the skill, know-how, knowledge, in the broad sense, and that the sophos , in parallel, is the skilful man, that which can there be caught, but also the scientist”.
To define philosophy?
Contemporary philosophy, resulting from a multiple tradition, arises in varied forms: tradition hermeneutics and postkantienne in Germany, analytical Philosophy in the anglophone countries and most of Europe, phenomenologic tradition in continental Europe. Some strongly call into question the philosophical tradition and its presupposed such feminist Philosophie, the Déconstruction of Derrida or Heidegger. These currents form as many practices different and divergent opinions on nature from philosophy, which prohibit to give an acceptable single definition by all. If there are several philosophical traditions today, none can claim to only summarize the philosophical activity with it, nor to describe the philosophical activity in a consensual way.
The difficulties of defining philosophy are moreover of epistemological nature , because it is difficult to rigorously delimit methods, topics and objects of philosophy. Historically, it indeed could take as a starting point other disciplines (mathematics, even of positive sciences). However, it forever succeeded in developing a method or a whole of methods which would have succeeded with s´imposer among the philosophers (as the experimental method is imposed in physics and chemistry for example). Moreover amalgams between philosophy and other disciplines moreover being supported by a tradition of philosophers to the very diverse interests. Thus Aristote will have been as well logician, as philosopher or naturalist. To determine the philosopher by his social function is thus not easy. The majority of the activities formerly pertaining to the discipline became autonomous today (psychology, natural science, etc), and the clean share of philosophy was reduced.
But it is also delicate to determine the gasoline of philosophy, either because its statute in the company is itself difficult to encircle, or that it was brought back to other apparently close disciplines. As of Antiquity, for example, Socrate was confused in the Clouds of Aristophane with the Sophists, that Plato however presents to us like his adversaries in his dialogs. And even without falling into any pathos from the misunderstood philosopher by his contemporaries, it is clear that one can wonder which is its function in the company. As a theoretical discipline, its interest seems limited because it is without practical range and scientific bases. As a research of wisdom, she addresses herself to the individual more than at the community.
Methods of philosophy
One can in a first approach, to delimit ex negativo a certain number of methods and principles Heuristique S which characterize philosophy at least partly.
Negative delimitations of the method of philosophy
On the one hand philosophy does not resort to the experimental method. Philosophy, indeed, unlike physics, of chemistry or biology, forever really integrated the process of experimentation in its Heuristic tools . This is obvious for the ancient and medieval philosophy which did not know the experimentation. Even the large philosophers who illustrated themselves as scientists (Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz to quote only them) always distinguished their work in the scientific discipline and the philosophical field. Certain philosophers like Kant or Wittgenstein saw even in the absence of experimentation in philosophy an essential epistemological characteristic of this discipline and refused any confusion with the applied sciences.
In addition philosophy is not, essentially, a science resting on the empirical observation with the difference of sociology or political sciences for example. It should not naturally be believed that philosophy can be unaware of the empirical data most obvious. But traditionally philosophy does not want to be limited to a simple catalog of facts, but undertakes a true work of theorization even of speculation. Thus, for example, even if a Aristote collected the constitutions of the Greek cities of the time, he wanted in the Policy and in the Éthique in Nicomaque to analyze the structures of the city from a theoretical point of view.
Lastly, philosophy, unlike mathematics or of formal logic, never decided to work only by means of formal symbols, although Leibniz could dream to solve the philosophical problems by means of a universal logical calculation. And if contemporary analytical philosophy is unthinkable without mathematical logic, it uses the natural language still massively.
Characteristics of the method of philosophy
In spite of the difficulties which this company comprises, it is possible to distinguish certain great positive characteristics from the philosophical method. Philosophy is included/understood like a work Critique. It is one of its most current definitions. This criticism is however never purely and simply negative. The purpose of it is to create new certainty and to correct them false, the illusions and errors of the common direction or philosophy itself. Socrate, for example, questioned its contemporaries and the Sophists in order to show them their contradictions and their incapacity to justify what seemed obvious to them. Descartes is at the time modern the best representing this design of philosophy, because, according to him, only a radical and general doubt could be the base of a perfectly rigorous and indubitable thought.
Philosophy is often characterized like a work on the concepts and concepts, a work of creation of concepts making it possible to include/understand reality, to distinguish the objects from/to each other and from the Analyze R, but also a work of analysis of the concepts and their ambiguities. She very early recognized the problems raised by ambiguities of the language. Nowadays analytical philosophy gives it also a great place to this problem.
Moreover with the difference of the Science S, the delimitation of the method S and the field of philosophy belongs to philosophy itself. Each thinker must indicate which problems it wishes to light, and which will be the method most adapted to solve these problems. It should indeed well be seen that there are a major unity of the philosophical problems and philosophical method. One thus should not see the instability of the methods and the philosophical topics like a weakness of the discipline, but rather like a feature characteristic of its nature. Thus, philosophy is a kind of return critical, knowledge on itself, or more precisely a rational criticism of all the knowledge (Opinion S, Croyance S, art, reflections scientific, etc), including philosophical - since to reflect on the role of philosophy is to start a philosophical reflection.
Lastly, philosophy is a deductive and rational discipline. It is not simple Intuition or subjective impression, but remains inseparable from the will to show by arguments and deductions what it advances: it is will of rationality. It is even the rupture of the Présocratiques with the mythological thought which is regarded traditionally as the point marking of the birth of philosophy. This concern of showing and of delivering an argumentation is found during all the history of philosophy. That one thinks of the eristic discussions during the Antiquité, with the interest which the philosophers carry to logic since Aristote, but also, with the Middle Ages, the concern of giving to philosophy the conclusive rigor mathematics (as at Descartes or Spinoza) or to the importance which the analytical Philosophie nowadays grants to the rigor and argumentative clearness. In spite of this major tendency, contemporary philosophy saw developing a radical criticism of the reason, that it is at Nietzsche, Heidegger, or Adorno: rationality even thus was put in debate by philosophy.
The method is a whole of regulations relating to the optimal course of an activity. The latter can be is a rather complex collective practice, like the management of the political community (" method démocratique"), that is to say the resolution of a specific theoretical problem (“diagonal Méthode of Cantor”, [[method of the semantic tables]”). The concept of method is historically related to the problem of the acquisition of the certainty in the field Cognitif. For Socrate, the activity which aims at knowledge, like any other art is obliged to conform to certain rules. In the Platonic dialogs, Socrate seems fully conscious of the report/ratio which exists between the validity of a knowledge and the method of its acquisition: it is besides there the gasoline of any position which recognizes with the method a prevalent importance. The Maieutic of Socrate as well as the dialectical method in the various presentations which one can give starting from the Platonic dialogs is procedures aiming at avoiding the error in the analysis of the concepts, and particularly the form of error which lies in the tacit or unconscious acceptance of the prejudices and of presupposed
Philosophy like lifestyle
Philosophy was included/understood very early like a manner of living and not only like one theoretical reflection. Known as differently: to be Philosophical, it is also to live and act in a certain way and to not only confront itself with abstract questions. The etymology of the term “philosophy” indicates well that the philosopher is that which tends towards the wisdom, which seeks to live as it is necessary and more particularly which seeks happiness. Heard philosophy as lifestyle stresses the application in its own life of the results of the philosophical reflection. The idea that philosophy is a manner of living as could lead certain philosophers to imagine as, for this reason, they were to guide the others and to help them to carry out their existences correctly. Philosophy, of personal ethics, could be made even political collective project. These “collective” ambitions of philosophy take various forms. A true community of life could constitute itself around a philosopher. This partly explains the birth in the Antiquity of philosophical schools (around Épicure, of Plato or Aristote for example). Since the présocratiques ones and especially starting from Socrate, a whole tradition defended this design of philosophy like a lifestyle. Let us quote inter alia the Stoïciens, Plato, Aristote, Épicure, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Sartre or Russell.
But the latter are far from excluding the idea that the philosopher is interested in theoretical problems. “Wisdom”, or more exactly the “sophia”, than wants to have the philosopher is also a knowledge and a knowledge. The philosopher, in the line of the tradition founded by Socrate, knows how it must live; he can justify his choices and his lifestyle. Socrat for example, in the dialogs presocratic of Plato, requires his interlocutors whom they are capable to give the “Logos” of their their choice and value judgment, i.e. to justify them rationally. This requirement of rationality can bring to even give bases authentically scientific to philosophy.
Of course the definition of philosophy as lifestyle cannot claim to be sufficient to define philosophy as a whole. Many philosophers included/understood philosophy like a professional work and not like a lifestyle: it is the case in a clear way in the university world and of research nowadays.
Philosophy and company
With the wire of time the relationship between the company and the philosophers could vary enormously but in a general way one can determine three types of reports/ratios. On the one hand the relationship between the company and the philosophers is sometimes characterized by a violent attitude of rejection, because it is current that philosophy is dissociated. Being wary with respect to the traditions, critical towards any form of prejudices, philosophy did not fail to know more or less hard clashes with the company. Some dates symbolic systems are to be retained:
- In 432 before J.C. : Anaxagore is driven out of Athens under the blow of a charge of Athéisme.
- In 399 before J.C. : Socrate is condemned to died under the chiefs of accusation of corruption of manners of the youth and of impiété
- 1188-1189: the sultan Abû Yûsuf Yaqûb Al-Mansûr makes prohibit philosophy, the studies and the books with the Morocco and in Spain. Averroès and its work is aimed.
- on February 17th, 1600: Giordano Bruno is torture victim on roughing-hew it for his rejection of the Transsubstantiation, of the trinity, its Blasphème against the Christ, her negation of the virginity of Marie.
- on February 7th, 1752: In France, the Encyclopédie of Diderot is censured, because it blamed the ideological bases of the company of the time.
- on May 16th, 1849: Karl Marx is expelled of Cologne after the German Revolution of 1848 for seditious articles.
But in addition, paradoxically, philosophy also succeeded in being institutionalized. The existence of universities where she is taught, philosophical companies érudites (like Kant-Gesellschaft), or of prestigious contest as the aggregation in France prove it clearly. The leaders can then take council near the philosophers and take as a starting point philosophical principles the such enlightened despots of the 18th century.
Lastly, philosophy can consider that it must develop a political project theoretically that either philosophers (as at Plato), or the chief of a State (according to Machiavel), or the masses themselves (Marx) should set up. The most traditional example of the political ambitions of philosophy remains naturally Plato and his famous République , in which it outlines true a political Utopie breaking radically with the traditional modes of thought and action. In another context, Russell and Sartre held philosophy for inseparable from the political commitment.
Philosophy and history of philosophyIf philosophy has a long story, it is advisable to distinguish the practice from the philosophy of the simple study of the last doctrines. Sometimes attenuated, even unobtrusive, this distinction is however crucial. Many thinkers invite some with former philosophies to support them, to be inspired, or to criticize them: there is a call with the history and a common cultural bottom, but that does not make philosophy a historical discipline. The philosophical practice not being only a glose on the philosophy of the previous times, it should be distinguished from the Histoire of philosophy.
the history of philosophy consists in trying to rebuild, understand, interpret, even to criticize, the positions and theses of thinkers like Plato, Thomas d' Aquin, Hegel, etc It less acts to evaluate the philosophical relevance or the current interest of these philosophers that of knowing what they really said, and to put in perspective their thoughts in their contexts of appearance. This work of study also concerns philosophical currents (ancient skepticism, the Néokantisme), or questions discussed during the history (the dualism of the heart and the body, the quarrel of the universals) also belong they to the history of philosophy.
The purpose of philosophy , taken as activity, is to study and answer questions concerned with a problem, a field or connects philosophy. It goes without saying that this practice constantly brings to refer to the former philosophers, but the report/ratio with the history is here different from that which the historian of philosophy would have. In such a case, the philosopher does not aim at knowing what so-and-so thought, he seeks to reinstate this thought in his personal argumentation, he instrumentalise preceding philosophies to justify his thought and to reveal his own point of view. The gasoline of this practice is to answer problems, with questions, by using if need be the history of philosophy. We will turn initially to this approach of philosophy before delivering a talk of the history of philosophy.
Branches of philosophy
Philosophy is far from being a field of knowledge delimited well with the direction where the problems with which she confronts herself are of an extreme variety. She studies many objects, unquestionable close, this is why its subdivision in various branches is problematic and raises of the arbitrary one. Moreover, so of the whole pieces of philosophy appeared at the 20th century, certain fields were detached very clearly from philosophy at the time modern. Physics, for example, was regarded as pertaining to philosophy until the 18th century. But, the detachment is not always also Net, thus the Political science, considered as an old branch of philosophy become autonomous, maintains a permanent dialog with the political philosophy (which thus did not die). In the same way, the biology, which was blocked a long time by its membership of philosophy with the theses finalists, mechanists, and vitalistic, returns by an hidden door. Indeed, at the dawn of the 21e century the development of the Biotechnologies has as a corollary the appearance of a new field of philosophical study: the Bioethics.
In spite of these difficulties, the following branches are distinguished today because each one has a clean object delimited good which it subjects to specific questionings (and in particular those indicated here):
- the Metaphysical and are its various branches (“there immaterial realities? ”, “God does there exist? ”, “is the heart immortal? incorporeal? ”)
- the ontology, attached or not to metaphysics according to the interpreters (“what the being? ”, “Why is there to be it rather than anything? ”)
- the Philosophie of the religion, partially attached to metaphysics since it tries to define the divine one and raises the question of the existence of God, that it doubles of an interrogation on the nature of crowned in general. is
- the Morale (“Which the end of the human actions? ”, “the good and are the evil universal values making it possible to define this end? ”)
- the ethical : practical and normative discipline allowing to define the best led for each situation.
- the political Philosophy (“from where can come legitimacy from the capacity? ”, “which is the best political regime? ” “Can morals and must it guide the political action? ”)
- are the Philosophie of the right (“which the relations between Droit and Justice? ”, “how are born the legal standards? ”, “according to which criteria should they be judged? ”)
- the Gnoséologie or Theory of knowledge (“From which comes knowledge? ” “What the truth? ”)
- the Esthetic (“What the beautiful one? ”, “What art? ”)
- are the Philosophie of the spirit (“Which the relations between body and spirit? ” “How does cognition function? ”)
- the Philosophie of logic
- the Philosophie of the action (“is Freedom illusory? ”)
- the Philosophie of the history (“the history governed by laws, a need, or is it the absurd fruit of the contingency? ”) is
- the Philosophie of the language (“Which the origin of the language? ” “In what the language is it distinguished from other communication systems? ” “Which relations maintain language and thought? ”)
- the epistemology which is literally a speech on the Connaissance (or on science in a meaning restricted rather current) and joined in this direction the Gnoséologie or Théorie of knowledge, while also referring to the Méthodologie and philosophies of the language and the action.
It should be noted that the majority of the great philosophical thoughts overflow of their original field, and try to bring answers to several philosophical problems.
History of Western philosophy
See also: History of philosophy
See also: ancient Philosophy
Greek philosophy knew three large periods:
- the presocratic period , which indicates the thoughts preceding that by Socrate. The présocratiques ones are regarded as the founders of the Western philosophical tradition;
- the traditional Greek period (5th century), which starts with Socrate with Athens and continues with Plato, Diogène and Aristote. (5th century) is also the century of the Sophistique represented by Gorgias and Protagoras inter alia;
- After the conquests of Alexandre Large the, the hellenistic period: Épicure, the stoical ones or the skeptics who are the most important thinkers of this time.
Is Greek philosophy characterized by the fact that it is dominated by the ethical , by the question “how of living well? ” and more particularly by that of the Virtue and the Happiness. The importance of this topic appears obvious with the reading of the dialogs of Plato, of the texts of Aristote, the Stoïciens or Épicure. The consequence of this tendency is that philosophy was included/understood like a way of living and not only as one theoretical speech (even if this last could not be been unaware of naturally) what is particularly striking at a Socrate, a Diogène or at the stoical .
Two other large fields of research of thinkers ancient are on the one hand Cosmology and physics (what one named a long time natural philosophy), on the other hand the Théorie of knowledge sometimes related to the Logique. Thus, the fundamental question which occupied the presocratic philosophers was the question of the principle of any thing. Through a mixture of empirical observations and speculations, they tried to include/understand nature and its phenomena. Thus the first known philosopher, Thalès, held water for the principle of any thing. Plato in the Timée (of which the influence was paramount during the history of philosophy) also seeks him to explain the birth of the world, and imagines a Démiurge which would have created our universe. Lastly, Physics of Aristote, just like the Letter in Hérodote of Épicure or stoical physics show the lively interest of old for the knowledge of nature (φυσις).
The Theory of knowledge and the Logique were they also essential for the philosophers of Antiquity. The sophists often defend a thesis which one can describe as relativist because it amounts denying the existence of an objective and universally valid knowledge. “Nothing is true in (in oneself). For each one the thing appears, such as it appears, according to the circumstances and the environment”. Such is the direction of the famous formula: the man is the measurement of any thing. Plato, after Socrate which affirmed the existence of an objective science of the values and standards morals, develops a theory of the knowledge clarified in the Republic and the Théétète . Plato indeed makes the distinction between the simple empirical opinion or doxa and without base and the true philosophical knowledge, which can be acquired only by one long course of training of mathematics, dialectical and what is called Theory of the Ideas. Épicure, as for him, develops a whole theory empirist of knowledge in order to determine the criteria which a knowledge must fill to be true. Lastly, as well Aristote as the stoical founded a formal logic, in the form, respectively, of the Syllogistique and a Logique of the proposals.
The medieval philosophy of Occident and the Close East result from the same current. They are the Moslem and Christian thinkers, then between Moslems themselves, which by seeking convincing arguments will call upon ancient philosophy. From the Middle East, mainly Moslem, will be born several method and schools of thought which will be taken again later in Occident, whereas the Moslem companies end up choking the original ideas born during this period.
It is while seeking to refine the doctrines of Islam and to interpret correctly the Hadith S, while extrapolating on the religious questions which had not been explicitly solved in Coran, that is born the method of the Ijtihad. With it the first philosophical and theological debates in Islam open, in particular between the partisans of the free will or Qadar (of Arabic: will qadara , which has the capacity), and the Djabarites (of djabar force, constraint), in favor of the Fatalisme.
The Théologie in Islam must answer interrogations concerning the Théodicée, the eschatology, the Anthropologie, the negative Théologie and the compared Religion. Several philosophical currents exist out of ground of Islam:
- the hellenistic philosophy of Islam (Falsafa);
- dialectical theology (Kalâm);
- the Sufism, esoteric theory of Islam;
- the literalistic schools (Atharisme as for the madhhab Hanbalisme).
The Madhhab motazilite was born from an opposition to the traditional sights of the Moslems in favor of the Califat. Then, being interested in the attacks which Islam on behalf of the not-Moslems underwent, these Motazilistes quickly became obsessed by the debate with other theologies and currents of thought inside Islam itself.
The caliph Al-Mamun makes motazilism the official doctrines in 827 and creates the Maison of wisdom in 832. Very quickly, Greek philosophy is introduced into the Persan and Arab intellectual mediums. The peripatetic École starts to have representatives among them: it was the case of Al-Kindi, of Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenne), and of Ibn Rushd (Averroès).
Those which sought by a philosophical demonstration to consolidate and show the cogency of their religious faith were recruited by Hunayn ibn Ishaq, a Arab Christian who directs the Maison of wisdom in the 870. They collected, translated and synthesized all that the genius of the other cultures Greek, Indian, Iranian could produce before undertaking the comments on these works. It is this work which forms the bases of the Moslem philosophy of. Those which will use this methodology known as Ilm - Al-Kalâm based on the Greek Dialectique will be called mutakalamin . In answer to the Motazilisme, Abu Al-Hassan Al-Ash' ari, initially a motazilist himself, develops Kalâm and founds the school of thought acharite which is based on this methodology. Thus the kalâm and the falsafa will influence several Madhhab S.
Under the Abbasid caliphate of the S, a certain number of thinkers and scientists, and among them of many Moslems non-sunnites or of the not-Moslems, play a part in the transmission in the Occident of the knowledge Greek, Indian, and other preislamic wisdoms, mésopotamiennes and Iranian women. Three speculative thinkers, both Persan Al-Farabi and Avicenne, and the Arab Al-Kindi, combine the Aristotélisme and the Néoplatonisme with other currents in Islam. They were regarded by much as deviating compared to religious orthodoxy, and some judged them even like philosophers not-Moslems.
The ismaélien S are not with the variation of the influence of philosophy Néoplatonicienne and several thinkers collaborate to produce with Basra an encyclopedia: the Ikhwan Al-Safa.
The 12th century sees the apotheosis of pure philosophy and the decline of Kalâm. This supreme exaltation of philosophy must be allotted, to a large extent with Persan Al-Ghazali and the Jew Juda Halevi. By emitting criticisms, they produced by reaction a current favorable to philosophy by a making and calling into question of the concepts their theories more logical and clearer. Ibn Bajjah and Averroès produced most beautiful works of the Islamic thought. Averroès closes the debate by its work of a great boldness. The fury of the Orthodoxes is indeed such as the debate is not possible any more. The orthodoxe ones are caught some without distinction with all the philosophers and make burn the books. The debate will continue, but in occident, via the Jews.
See also: medieval Philosophy
Often caricatured and décriée, the medieval Philosophie extends over the vast period which separates late ancient philosophy from modern philosophy. Well far from summarizing itself with the negative image which the Scolastique has today, it presents a whole variety of thinkers of appreciably different inspirations.
On the one hand the Middle Ages are one of the most fertile periods with regard to logic. Certain logical laws were known as of the Middle Ages (for example Pierre of Spain knew already what one will call later the law of Morgan) before being then forgotten. It is especially the philosophy of the logic which experienced a significant development. The medieval thinkers concentrated more particularly on famous Querelles of the universals, of which the starting point was a questioning of the Théorie of the Platonic Ideas. It was animated inter alia by Abélard, Albert Large the and Guillaume d' Ockham.
In addition the Middle Ages were also an age of redécouverte of ancient philosophy as from the 11th century. The translation in Latin of the corpus aristotelician will modify then largely gives it, and will contribute to reaffirm Aristote like one of the most influential philosophers of the history. But this redécouverte will not be possible that via the Arab philosophers and often by indirect translations of the Greek into Arabic and Arabic into Latin. The tradition of comment of the texts is also very present: the comment of the Sentences of Pierre Lombard will be for a long time a canonical exercise of the time. As for the comments of Aristote per saint Thomas d' Aquin, they will make authority a long time and will constitute a model of the genre.
Lastly, medieval philosophy is very related to the Eglise, and the philosophical reflections often have a religious bottom more or less prégnant. The philosophers of the Middle Ages, which had received all a formation in Théologie, based themselves on the biblical texts and often tried to reconcile the lesson of the Bible with the writings of the ancient philosophers. This reconciliation took the form of a subordination of philosophy to theology, or rather of a complementarity, the revealed Truths of the Écritures taking precedence over the “natural light” of the Raison, one never not going against the other.
See also: Jewish Philosophy
Two reactions took place at the Jews vis-a-vis Greek philosophy: whereas the Jews remained in Judaea rebelled against the hellenisation, others settled out of Greek ground, in Alexandria, and produced thinkers who, the following the example of Philon, did not hesitate to confront the two languages.
Typical representative of the hellenized Judaism of Alexandria, Philon probably does not speak Hebrew. He dreams to reconcile religion and philosophy, revelation and reason: philosophy is the means of defending and of justifying the revealed truths of the Judaism. Those for him are fixed and determined, and philosophy makes it possible to approach some.
The Bible is for him a work of religious legislation strewn with lessons of ethics, Moïse a precursor of Solon or Lycurgue, the biblical commands inculcate in the man the bases Stoïcisme, and grant its rate/rhythm to the cosmic and universal rates/rhythms. The Shabbat aims at abolishing any social barrier, the casheroute to teach moderation and frugality.
One needed the expansion of the world of Islam so that philosophy returns to strike in force with the doors of the Jewish world. It had from now on very an other face:
- on a side, the Mutazilites were made a tool of it in order to rationally study the crowned Texts;
- on other side, the Néoplatonisme had been adapted then adopted: the emanationnism, the infinite perfection of the One, the rise of heart etc are topics very close to the religious beliefs, making it possible to test itself at the same time with the rational speculation and the mystical speculation .
One of the most outstanding thinkers of the Judaism, Juda Halevi, rose then to fight philosophy. However, Juda Halevi did not cease “being driven in the mental universe of its adversaries” to counter them, whereas its contemporary, Abraham ibn Dawd Halevi tried to introduce his contemporaries with the ideas Aristote.
The aristotelism found its representative in the giant of Jewish philosophy, Moïse Maïmonide. It changed the field of view of the Judaism literally. It was the “Eagle of the Synagog”, which wrote the Comment on Mishna and the Mishné Torah, the “Prince of the Doctors” and especially one of the largest scholars than knew the Judaism. Author of the Guide of Stray the of which the goal is to solve the difficulty which arises to the spirit of a Juif believing, jointly nourished philosophical realities . Maïmonide succeeded in explaining the biblical Anthropomorphisme S , releasing the spiritual significance hidden behind the literal significances and showing that the spiritual one was the sphere of the divine one.
Medieval philosophy in Occident is characterized by the meeting of Christianity and philosophy Medieval philosophy is a Christian philosophy, at the same time in its intention and by its representatives who all are almost of the Clercs. A constant fundamental topic is starting from there too the relationship between the faith and the reason. But this does not mean only the thought appears from now on according to a dogmatic unit. The conflict of the philosophical directions between them on the one hand and the judgments of theses by the ecclesiastical authorities on the other hand, show well that the thought is spread on very autonomous and divergent ways.
In spite of its great diversity and its long period of development, it however appears a certain unit in the presentation of the philosophical questions: discussion of the authors of the past, confrontation with the Holy Scriptures and texts of the Fathers of the Church, in order to examine all the facets of the same problem, whose at the end the author proposed the resolution. The first period coincides with Antiquity: Patristics (approximately IIe-VIIe S) is characterized by the efforts of the Pères of the Church (shepherds) to build the Christian doctrines using ancient philosophy, and to insure it thus at the same time against paganism and the Gnose. the representative of Christian philosophy most important and having had the most influence in antiquity is Aurelien Augustin (holy Augustin). Its work, influenced by the neoplatonism, is one of the independent sources of the medieval thought. After the end of Antiquity (the date symbolic system of 529 ap J.C, marks the closing of the Platonic accademy ordered by Justinien), the forwarded texts are, lasting of the centuries, preserved and recopied in the monasteries; however, the philosophical thought loses its autonomy and its own force.
The period which opens as from the 9th century is generally called the Scholastic. The name of Scholastics (scola=école) indicate those which deal scolairement with sciences; and particularly the professors who work in the schools of the dioceses or the court founded by Charlemagne and later, in the Universities. But with the Scholastic term, it is before a a whole method which is evoked. The questions are examined and solved rationally according to for and against. What characterizes the Scholastic, it is a return to the old texts, their critical analysis and their message.
The Universities, founded starting from XIIe S, become the center of the intellectual life. The development of the knowledge in 4 following fundamental Faculties: Philosophy (Septem artes liberal), Theology, Right, and Medicine. The “Disputationes” which takes place in the Universities followed the strict diagram of the method scholastic. At the end, its formal sclerosis, was the starting point of the criticism which was carried out with the Rebirth against this form of philosophy. The ancient sources to which the Scholastic waters itself are above all; Saint Augustin; the tradition neoplatonician (with here the writings of an unknown author which names Denys Aréopagite); Boece which transmits logic aristotelician; later the whole of the texts of Aristote.
The following periods are distinguished: During the first scholastic (XIe XIIe) the development begins from the method properly scholastic. At this time the quarrel of the UNIVERSALS is propagated which is also the topic of the next century. The question is to know if, to all the universal determinations (kinds and species for example the man) corresponds a reality independent of the thought, or if they exist only in the thought in oneself. The influence of the Arab world is very important for the future development of philosophy In years 800-1200, the Islamic culture allowed the transmission of philosophy and science Greek. It is in this manner that most of writings than that had the Christian Middle Ages became accessible. It was the case of complete works of Aristote.
The new reception of Aristote impregnates the image of the high scholastic (approximately XIIe XIIIe). No thinker arrives to a complete knowledge of the principles of Aristote. It on this point that are opposed the thought franciscaine, is directed towards Augustinisme, and the thought aristotelician of the Dominican ones. Thomas d' Aquin took again the vast systematic company aiming to the union of the aristotelism and the Christian thought The paradoxical character of certain lesson of Aristote with the Christian dogma led, on behalf of the Church, to a temporary prohibition of certain writings and to the condannation of a series of philosophical theses. With Main Eckhart, the tradition of the medieval mystic arrived to his apogee; it is of the way towards interior contemplation and the union with the divine one.
The more remote representatives are Henri Suses, Jean Tauler and Jean Gerson In the late scholastic (XIVe) imposes itself with Guillaume d' Ockham, the criticism of the systems metaphysics of the old schools (via antiqua). The new way (via moderna called also nominalism) goes hand in hand with a blooming of the natural science (Nicolas d' Oresme, Jean Buridan) (Atlas of philosophy, Livre pocket).
By “modern philosophy”, it is necessary to hear the philosophy which extends on what the historians call the modern history (1492-1789).
It is, on the one hand, the heiress of the ancient thought in many points. Spinoza, Descartes, Leibniz or Hume (to quote only them) is far from to have broken any bond with the philosophy of Old. They knew them perfectly and in particular borrowed their vocabulary to them. But in addition, the Modern ones often included their own work as an improvement of what the philosophers of Antiquity had already achieved, which sometimes led them to be opposed to the latter.
This attempt “to improve” ancient philosophy clearly appears in the political Philosophie, one of the great characteristics of modern philosophy being indeed to have renewed this one. Machiavel or Hobbes has both wanted to found the political Philosophie like science, by clearly separating it from ethics (whereas the latter and the policy was inseparable among three large thinkers from Antiquity who were Socrate, Plato and Aristote). Moreover, as well Spinoza and Hobbes that Machiavel sought to base political philosophy on the study of the man such as it are - and not of what it should be as the Old ones did it.
But modern philosophy, with the direction where delimited we it, also includes/understands, as of the end of the 17th century, the philosophy of the Lumières and the Libéralisme: Locke, Rousseau, Diderot, Voltaire inter alia. The word “ philosopher ” takes there the new direction of “member of the philosophical Parti” as takes shape a political philosophy which privileges the Démocratie, the Tolérance and the Souveraineté of the people, which it is in the Traité théologico-policy of Spinoza, the social Contract of Rousseau or in the two treaties of the civil government of Locke.
The other great characteristic of modern philosophy is the importance that science plays there, even if it should be noticed that the philosophy of the 17th century rather privileges mathematics and physics (mechanist), whereas the philosophers of the 18th century turn more to biology. The thinkers indeed often carried out a career of scientist, or in any case nourished an lively interest for science. Leibniz and Descartes, in particular, was large scientists, just as one century later Diderot developed reflections announcing the transformism. From the point of view of the method, philosophy is inspired then either by mathematics (such Descartes and Spinoza), or of physics (Hobbes); or it tries to found a method applicable to all the fields of knowledge: philosophy, physics, mathematics, etc, for example for Leibniz. The method of philosophy is thus inspired often by that by sciences or mathematics.
Lastly, with regard to the Theory of knowledge, it is traditional to distinguish two large currents: the Rationalism (with Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza) and the Empiricism (Hume and Locke). In a very diagrammatic way, the rationalists affirm the existence of a knowledge independent of the experiment, purely intellectual, universally valid and indubitable. The empirists, them, affirm that any knowledge proceeds of the induction and of the significant experiment. In fact often also skeptics (for example Hume) affirm that it does not exist any universally valid knowledge, but only of the judgments born of induction and that the experiment will be able to refute.
Emmanuel Kant defends an original position in this discussion. He affirms indeed at the same time the need for the experiment but also for the concepts and the forms of the sensitivity a priori for the constitution of knowledge. Its thesis thus combines at the same time empiricism and rationalism. Kant, which denies with the difference of the rationalists the possibility of a knowledge not resting on the experiment, distinguishes thereafter the things in oneself (known without the recourse of the empirie) and the things for us (such as we know them). The first are unknowable for us: God, freedom and the heart.
See also: contemporary Philosophy
The 19th century
The philosophy of the 19th century is divided into directions so different that they are not let bring back to only one and single concept. It includes/understands romantic philosophy, the German Idéalisme, the Positivisme, the socialist thought and materialist of Marx, Feuerbach or Proudhon, the Pragmatisme like many thinkers difficult to classify such Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard or more recently Leon Chestov.
Part of philosophy and especially of German philosophy is included/understood like critical but such a constructive dialog with the Kantian thought: it was the case of the German Idéalisme, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. The goal acknowledged being to begin again what seemed most interesting in the philosophy of Kant and to disencumber it what seemed to be remainders of an exceeded metaphysics.
The philosophical currents marked by empiricism took another direction as the positivism of Auguste Count which wanted to exceed the metaphysical thought only by means of empirical sciences i.e. without resorting to the metaphysics explanations. In England Bentham and Mill developed the Utilitarisme which subjected the economy and ethics to a rigorous principle of comparison of the advantages and disadvantages and which with the idea of a wellbeing for all (the principle of “greater happiness with the greatest number”) played a fundamental role.
The economy and political philosophy were marked by Karl Marx, Engels and Proudhon. The two first wanted to deeply modify the living conditions of the workmen by an upheaval of the economic and political structures of their time that the philosophers had as a task to conceptualize.
It is on the other hand difficult to classify a whole series of philosophers such Arthur Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche. Schopenhauer proposed the power and the domination of the will on the reason while taking as a starting point the Upanishads, principles philosophical constituting to some extent the Indian thought of the Veda, then sails about it in certain European universities. Its pessimistic vision of the world, deeply marked by the experiment of the suffering, testifies to a vedic influence and Buddhist idea to Nirvāna. Friedrich Nietzsche which just like Schopenhauer attached a great importance to arts, designated itself as a immoralist. For him the values of traditional Christian morals were the expression of weakness and a declining thought. It analyzed the ideas of Nihilisme, the Surhomme and eternal return of the repetition without end of the history. Kierkegaard was in many points a precursor of the Existentialisme. It defended an impregnated philosophy of religion and representing a radical Individualisme which says how one must behave as a singular individual in the various concrete situations.
The 20th century
The philosophy of the 20th century is also characterized it by a great richness of doctrines. The analytical Philosophy which draws its roots in Germany with Frege and in the United Kingdom with Russell and Whitehead, and in Poland with the École of Lvov-Warsaw (Alfred Tarski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Stanisław Leśniewski, Jan Łukasiewicz) especially dominated the anglophone countries and part of Europe (especially Austria, Germany and Poland). It is characterized by an important use of the Logique mathematics and more generally by very an great attention paid to the language like source of illusions, of Paralogisme S. It led to an overall resumption of many traditional philosophical problems such nature of the spirit and its report/ratio with the body (see Philosophie of the spirit), the problems relating to the nature of the action (see Philosophie of the action), the gasoline and the function of the natural and formal language (cf the Philosophie of the language and the Philosophie of logic). Its most important representatives are Russell, Frege, Whitehead, Wittgenstein, Tarski, Leśniewski, Łukasiewicz, Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Donald Davidson, Anthony Kenny, John Langshaw Austin, Searle, Gilbert Ryle, Jaakko Hintikka.
The other great philosophical tradition is the Phénoménologie of Husserl whose successors are Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Roman Ingarden, Edith Stein, Jan Patočka, Paul Ricœur or Emmanuel Levinas. For Edmund Husserl, phenomenology is the science of the Phénomène S, i.e. the science of the lived in opposition to the objects of the outside world. It will thus have as an aim knowledge for topic (Husserl), imagination (Sartre), perception (Merleau-Ponty), the human existence (Heidegger), the will (Paul Ricœur). Moreover, it is a aprioric science, or eidetic , namely a science which describes the abstract gasolines of lived.
The beginning of the 20th century also marks the beginning of the Psychanalyse (with Sigmund Freud) which will clear up many things on the design of the thought .
Philosophy poststructuralist and the Déconstruction rest as for them on the questioning of the concept of subject (Michel Foucault) or of direction (Jacques Derrida) and its replacement by the concepts of structure, of unconscious (Jacques Lacan), of dissemination of the direction (Derrida).
The political Philosophie at the 20th century is characterized on the one hand by the interest which it carried to the totalitarian phenomena that it either from the rather critical point of view or from the especially critical point of view, on the other hand by the examination and the discussion of the Théories of the social contract with in particular the Théorie of justice of John Rawls (1971) which was abundantly commented on.
History of Asian philosophies
See also: Indian Philosophy
One defines classically two kinds of Indian philosophies : philosophies astika , which follow the Veda (Hindouisme…) and philosophies nastika which are the Jaïnisme, the Bouddhisme and the Chârvâka , which reject them. For these last, one will refer to the articles which relate to them.
The various schools astika
The school of Nyâya (in Sanskrit न्याय, nyāya) of philosophical speculation is based on a text called Nyâya Sûtra. It was composed by Gautama Aksapada (not to be confused with Siddhârtha Gautama , the founder of the Bouddhisme), towards or fifth century BC. The important contribution brought by this school is its methodology. It is based on a system of logic which was adopted later by the majority of the other Indian schools (orthodoxe or not), in the same manner that one can say that the Western science, religion and philosophy are mainly based on logic aristotelician.
The system of Vaiçeshika (in Sanskrit वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika), founded by wise the Kanada, postulates an atomic pluralism. According to the precepts of this school of thought, all the objects of the physical universe, the material substances, are reducible with a certain number of atoms, except the five immaterial substances: time, space, the ether ( âkâsha ) the spirit and the heart. The atoms constitutive of the material substances are the atoms of fire, ground, air and water.
The Sâmkhya (in Sanskrit सांख्य, sāṃkhya) is generally regarded as oldest of the Indian philosophical systems, it would have been founded at seventh century BC by Kapila, or three centuries earlier, according to A. Daniélou. It acts, historically, of the first known description of the complete model of the universe, at the same time scientific and transcendent. Its philosophy regards the universe as being composed of three eternal realities: the principle of space ( âkâsha ), the principle of the intelligence ( purusha ) and the principle of nature ( prakriti ).
The school of Uttara Mimamsa ( new research ), generally known under the name of Védanta (in Sanskrit वेदअन्त, vedânta), concentrates on the philosophical lesson of the Upanishad rather than on the ritualistic injunctions of Brâhmanas. But there is more than one hundred Upanishads which does not form a unified system. Their systematization was undertaken by Badarayana, in a work called Vedânta Sûtra.
The obscure way in which the aphorisms of the texts of Vedânta are written leaves the open large door for a multitude of interpretations. That involved a proliferation of the schools of Vedânta. Each one of these last interpreted with its way the texts and produced its own series of under-comments - while claiming to be only faithful to the original.
The Buddhism is one of the great systems of Eastern thought and action, born in India at sixth century BC. It is founded on the Three Jewels : the Buddhists state to take refuge in the Bouddha, the founder of Buddhism, in the Dharma, the doctrines of the Buddha, and in the Sangha, the community of the followers.
In the beginning, Buddhism is not really a philosophy or a religion, but a “lesson of things” (Dhamma in Pali, Dharma in Sanskrit), this term indicating at the same time reality, its law, and its talk. Moreover when one speaks about dharmas one indicates various particular natural laws.
The Dharma, or the teaching of the Buddha
See also: Buddhist Philosophy
The Four noble truths which are at the origin of Buddhism are: the truth of the Suffering or the inherent Dissatisfaction, the truth of the origin of the suffering generated by the Desire and the Attachment, the truth of the possibility of the suspension of the suffering by the detachment, inter alia, and finally the truth of the driving way to the suspension of the suffering , which is the center gate Noble eightfold path.
However this lesson traditional, and of range spiritual rather than philosophical, is only the starting point of what will become a rich person plurality of philosophical and religious traditions. After all Buddhism “had conquered” all Asia, of Japan to Afghanistan, integrating and/or adapting to these various cultures. In philosophy particularly, all the spectrum of the positions and possible options has, at one moment or the other, be the object of developments and debates. He thus knew his “realism”, his “atomism”, his “nominalism”, etc
Hindouisme, from which Buddhism is resulting, presents to him also such a variety. Pareillement, and following the example Western Scholastic, any philosophy lies within the scope of the religion. More precisely, Buddhist philosophies never lose sight of the fact the soteriologic concerns .
At the end of this historical process, there does not remain any more that two philosophical universities, particularly in Buddhism known as of the Mahāyāna, they are the Cittamatra, spirit only , and the Madhyamaka, way of the medium.
The first is a Idéalisme, or same a rational Solipsisme: All the Phénomène S are only facts of Conscience, and the conscience is only reality, the world and the individuals while being projection. The conscience which creates the world is ultimate the Nature-of-Buddha, gasoline of all.
The second university, Madhyamaka, wants to be more completed: In its layer unfathomable nature, its transcendence, the Nature-of-Buddha could not be apprehended, and only valid philosophy could be only radically negative. Nāgārjuna, the great figure of this school summarizes its position in its famous tétralemme:
- One cannot affirm: “there exists quelquechose”
- One cannot affirm: “there exists nothing”
- One cannot affirm: “there exists quelquechose and there exists nothing”
- One cannot affirm: “there exists neither quelquechose, nor nothing”
Nāgārjuna expresses it also this way in Madhyamakakārika: " Where that it is, whatever they are, neither of oneself neither of others, neither of neither other, nor independently of the one and other, the things are never produites"
This philosophy constitutes the consequent and radical result of the doctrines of the Vacuité.
See also: Vacuity, Madhyamaka, Cittamatra
See also: Chinese Philosophy
See also: Confucianism
The Confucianisme is the current main thing of Chinese philosophy and knew only rare settings with the variation. Any education was based above all on the books forming “Canon Confucianist”: whose Shi Jing or Book of the Poems , Yi Jing or Book of the Changes , the Yearly Lu , Talks with Confucius and deliver it Mencius . Almost all the erudite production in China can be interpreted like a succession of comments on these works venerated as being the gasoline of the Chinese spirit. Almost all the movements of thought Confucianist arised like having joined again with the true thought of the Wise one. Between the “realistic ones” like Xun Zi and the partisans of sound during “idealist” Mencius, later between Wang Yangming and Zhu Xi, from the tendencies emerged and discussed thought of the Master, enriching philosophy by new concepts and new interpretations. It is the line of Mencius which Zhu Xi will privilege and its comments will be those considered as orthodoxe, i.e. like references, by the imperial inspectors of the dynasties Ming and Qing (the last).
See also: Taoism
Taoism, a religion, a philosophy?
The term “taoism” recovers texts, authors, beliefs and practices, and even of the historical phenomena which could claim from/to each other, distributed over 2.500 years of history.
The category “Taoism” was born under the dynasty Han (200 av. J. - C. - 200), well after the drafting of the first texts, the need to classify the funds of the princely and imperial libraries. Dào jiā 道家 or dào jiào 道教, “school taoist”, distinguishes at the time one of the philosophical schools of the period of the Kingdoms combatants (500 av. J. - C. --220 av. J. - C.). School is here to hear in its Greek direction, even Pythagoricien, of a community of thought also devoting itself to a philosophical life; not to see there that a intellectual current is a modern anachronism. But this school was undoubtedly only virtual, because its authors, insofar as they really existed, did not know each other inevitably, and certain texts are allotted to various schools according to the catalogs.
During the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-265), the terms dào jiā 道家 and dào jiào 道教 diverge, the first indicating philosophy and the second the religion. Because the category quickly included beliefs and religious practices of various origin, as evokes it Isabelle Robinet in Histoire of the taoism: origins at the 14th century : “… the taoism forever be a unified religion and constantly was a combination of lesson based on various original revelations it can be seized only in its concrete demonstrations”.
Is the taoism a philosophy or a religion? Both, can one say. Are evoked the ancient designs Zhuangzi ( Tchouang Tseu ) and CAD De Jing ( CAT You King ), because these texts continue to inspire to the Chinese thought, as well as the occident, with topics like CAD, the criticism of the dualistic thought, the technique, morals; in a praise of nature and freedom. One will find also a talk on the practical taoists, concentrated on the the Middle Ages Chinese (six dynasties, 200-400). The period makes it possible to reveal techniques Mystique S, medical ideas, a Alchimie, Rite S collectives. Their development started well before and continued then, but this moment makes it possible to offer of it a richer table, and more attested. It results from it a panorama broad, founded on recent texts and comments, so that each one can be made its idea of the taoism as that was done in the past, but by privileging the most significant sources, most evocative.
|Random links:||Paul Barred | Canton of Rennes-Center-West | Antoine Magnol | London Symphony Orchestrated, vol. 2 | François Broussais|