Life Is Flux: Heraclitus, Ancient Greek Presocratic Philosopher

Heraclitus maintained that the very nature of life is flux, is change, and that to resist this change was to resist the essence of our existence. Introduction Heraclitus of Ephesus (l. c. 500 BCE) is probably best known for his oft-misquoted assertion, “You cannot step twice into the same river” (first mis-quoted by Plato in his[…]

Pre-Socratic Philosophers in Ancient Greece

There are over 90 Pre-Socratic philosophers, all of whom contributed something to world knowledge. Introduction The Pre-Socratic Philosophers are defined as the Greek thinkers who developed independent and original schools of thought from the time of Thales of Miletus (l. c. 546 BCE) to that of Socrates of Athens (470/469-399 BCE). They are known as[…]

Philosophical Influences on Contemporary Chinese Law

One must study Chinese Law within the context of Chinese social, cultural, political, and legal history. By Weng LiAssistant Professor, Department of LawHangzhou University Introduction Those unfamiliar with China’s legal system frequently raise two questions: whether “Chinese law” is a meaningful concept[1] and whether there is value in discussing the philosophical influences on China’s legal[…]

Ancient Chinese Philosophy

Confucianism, Taoism, and Legalism would ultimately absorb other concepts and condemn previous schools of thought. Introduction The term Ancient Chinese Philosophy is generally understood to refer to the belief systems developed by various philosophers during the era known as the Hundred Schools of Thought (also The Contention of the Hundred Schools of Thought) when these[…]

What Primary School Children Can Teach Academic Philosophers

Department for Communities/flickr/Creative Commons By Dr. Peter Worley / 03.03.2016 CEO, The Philosophy Foundation President, SOPHIA Visiting Research Associate, King’s College London ‘Would anyone like to travel through time?’ I ask my audience. More than half raise their hands. Using a random-selection app on my phone I pick a ‘time traveller’. I explain that she[…]

A History of Mindfulness

Buddhist Man Meditating / Photo by Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons ‘Mindfulness’ has become a household word, standing for inner peace, wellbeing, and cutting-edge healthcare. For four years, I researched how it’s become such a compelling force in Western culture. By Dr. Matt Drage / 02.22.2018 Researcher in Mindfulness and Meditation as Biomedical Inrtervention Introduction “Well I think[…]

Listen and Learn: The Language of Science and Skepticism

Making sure what’s intended is what’s heard can be more difficult than it seems. Melvin Gaal (mindsharing.eu) A lot of problems are caused by an incorrect or incomplete understanding of terms we use regularly. By Peter Ellerton / 08.25.2012 Lecturer in Critical Thinking The University of Queensland As scientists, one of our responsibilities should be[…]

Elements of Environmental Ethics in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Athens city walls / Photo by GreeceGuy, Wikimedia Commons Critically examining elements of both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmentalism in ancient Greek thinking. By Dr. Munamato Chemhuru Professor of Philosophy University of Johannesburg Abstract In this article, I consider how ancient Greek philosophical thinking might be approached differently if the environmental ethical import that is salient in[…]

Xenophon’s Virtue Personified

Exploring Xenophon’s ideas of virtue in leadership, excellence, and happiness. By Dr. Nili Alon Amit / 12.31.2016 Humanities Department Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts Some elements in man’s nature make for friendship. […] For thanks to their virtue (διὰ γὰρ τὴν ἀρετήν) these prize the untroubled security of moderate possessions above sovereignty won by[…]

It Is Wrong – ALWAYS – to Believe Anything Without Evidence

If I believe it is raining outside… The Umbrella (1883) by Marie Bashkirtseff. Courtesy the State Russian Museum/Wikipedia ‘It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.’ By Francisco Mejia Uribe / 11.05.2018 You have probably never heard of William Kingdon Clifford. He is not in the pantheon of great philosophers – perhaps because his[…]

Henry David Thoreau: Founding Father of American Libertarian Thought

This  great writer, great naturalist, and great advocate of self-reliant individualism was also one of the founding fathers of American libertarian thought. By Jeff Riggenbach / 07.15.2010 Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, a small country town about 20 miles northwest of Boston. Nancy Rosenblum of the[…]

Political Psychology in Plato’s ‘Alcibiades I’

Socrates teaching Alcibiades, by François-André Vincent, 1776 /  Musée Fabre, Wikimedia Commons Would a more powerful Socrates have been able to procure Alcibiades’ ultimate allegiance? By Dr. José Daniel Parra Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Humanities Instituto Universitario de Cultura Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona Abstract The following essay presents a close reading of the Platonic[…]

Immanuel Kant: The Duties of the Categorical Imperative

Kant accepted the basic proposition that a theory of duties—a set of rules telling us what we’re obligated to do in any particular situation—was the right approach to ethical problems. By Dr. James Brussea Professor of Philosophy Pace University Introduction German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) accepted the basic proposition that a theory of duties—a set[…]

The Age of Enlightenment: An Intellectual Movement of Reason

The Scholar with His Student, Anonymous Flemish painter (circle of Gerard Thomas and Balthasar van den Bossche) / Wikimedia Commons The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion, which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of reality. Edited by[…]

Objective Truth in Bernstein’s ‘Pragmatic Turn’

Page 789, Munsey’s Magazine, 1909: story “The higher pragmatism” Extract of illus from scan. Author O. Henry, illustrator Gordon Hope Grant / Wikimedia Commons Pragmatism originated as a method for clarifying the conceptual meaning or content of any term or idea. By Dr. James R. O’Shea / 12.29.2011 Professor of Philosophy University College Dublin In[…]

Religion is about Emotion Regulation, and It’s Very Good At It

Photo by Ted Spiegel/National Geographic/Getty Emotional therapy is the animating heart of religion combing social bonding surrounded by shared totems. By Dr. Stephen T. Asma / 09.25.2018 Professor of Philosophy Columbia College Chicago Religion does not help us to explain nature. It did what it could in pre-scientific times, but that job was properly unseated[…]

How a Huguenot Philosopher Realized that Atheists Could Be Virtuous

Comet critique; the case for moral atheists. The Great Comet of 1577 by Jiri Daschitzsky. / Wikimedia Commons For centuries in the West, the idea of a morally good atheist struck people as contradictory. By Dr. Michael W. Hickson / 09.18.2018 Assistant Professor of Philosophy Trent University For centuries in the West, the idea of[…]

Aristotle’s Theory of Aging

Drunken Old Woman. Late 3rd century BCE. Hellenistic Sculpture / Photo by Evergreen State College, Creative Commons Remarkably little attention has been paid to Aristotle’s theory of aging, or gerontology. By Adam Woodcox PhD Student in Philosophy Rotman Institute of Philosophy University of Western Ontario Introduction Aristotle was the originator of the scientific study of[…]

‘Know Thyself’ and 147 Other Apophthegmata from Ancient Delphi

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi / Photo by tamara semina, Wikimedia Commons The fact that the great majority of maxims on the list can still serve us today is itself worth further reflection. By Dr. Charlie Huenemann / 09.07.2018 Professor of Philosophy Utah State University We all know the most famous bit of ancient advice inscribed[…]

Knowledge, Art, and Education in Plato’s Republic

Plato surrounded by students in his Academy in Athens. Mosaic (detail) from the Villa of T. Siminius Stephanus, Pompeii, 1st century B.C. Roman National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Inv. No. 124545. Source: Wikimedia Commons Investigating the relationship between art, education, and politics in Plato’s Republic and how gnoseological assumptions can clear tensions in this relationship   By[…]

Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau on Government

The Storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789, by Jean-Pierre Houël / Bibliothèque nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons Starting in the 1600s, European philosophers began debating the question of who should govern a nation. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.07.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Starting in the 1600s, European philosophers began debating the question of[…]

Thoreau and Thoreauvian Thought in ‘The Simpsons’

His radical non-conformist and individualistic life-style and his writings were considered eccentric, unrealistic and unproductive in a society that valued success, materialism, and expansion. By Dr. Günter Beck Historian, American Studies University of Augsberg Introduction Henry David Thoreau did for a long time not rank among the important figures in American intellectual life – neither[…]