great philosophies

Great Philosophies 🤔💭

Great Philosophies List 💭🤔

ADDucation’s list of great philosophies is a good starting point from which you can explore all the great philosophers.

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Great Philosophies Content / Principles of the Philosophy Famous Proponents 🤔
Atheism Denying the existence of God. One of the great philosophies widely known and followed. Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell.
Constructivism Man doesn’t have the ability to recognize an objective reality. He “designs” his own reality in the mind. Distinguished between radical constructivism and Erlanger constructivism. Ernst von Glasersfeld, Heinz von Foerster and Paul Lorenzen.
Determinism All actions are predetermined. Free will does not exist. Albert Einstein, Max Planck, David Hume and John Locke.
Dialectic Art of reasoning with thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Heraclitus, Socrates.
Dogmatism Stating views as facts without critical examination. Blaise Pascal.
Dualism The world is dominated by opposites, good and evil, God and the devil, mind and matter etc. Karl Popper, John Eccles, René Descartes, Leibniz and Thomas Henry Huxley.
Enlightenment Philosophy placing reason and individualism rather than superstition in the center. John Locke, Max Horkheimer, Adorno and Voltaire.
Existentialism Rejection of objective values, focus on fear, freedom, death, disgust and other human experiences. Karl Jaspers, Søren Kierkegaard, Jean Paul Sartre, Hannah Arendt and Henri Bergson.
Humanism Viewpoint placing humanity at center of all searches for meaning. Thomas More, Petrus Ramus, Johannes Reuchlin and Lorenzo Valla.
  • Idealism proposes ideas are universal and eternal. Physical objects are subject to change by the forces of nature
  • Reality is an extension of what the mind projects into the world
  • Reality can be mental or spiritual. The material world is an outward manifestation of reality
  • Reality is eternal and unchanging. The material world is mortal and changes
  • The soul is immortal and true. The human body is mortal so false
Plato, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Schelling and Hölderlin, Hegel.
Liberalism Individual freedom of mind and person through the elimination of violence and constraints. John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, Karl Popper, Humboldt and Milton Friedman.
Logical empiricism Experiential philosophy that renounces metaphysical elements. Moritz Schlick, Ludwig Wittgenstein and George Berkeley.
Materialism Only the existence of matter is recognized. The independent existence of spirit is denied. Ludwig Feuerbach.
Monism Opposite of dualism and pluralism. All processes and things in the world are based on a single cause or substance and not e.g. mind and matter. Thales of Miletus, Thomas Hobbes, Paul Thiry d’ Holbach and Offray de La Mettrie.
Naturalism There are various disciplines of naturalism. Some common core tenants:
  • The universe was neither created nor designed
  • The material world is the only reality and governed by a system of natural laws
  • Life is a random natural process, including the origin of life itself
  • Evolution, by imperfect natural selection, explains the diversity of life on earth, culture and the rise and fall of civilisations
  • Man is a creation of the material world can only follow natural laws
  • Humans have a material brain. Ideas, emotions, theories, morals, values, beauty etc are constructs of our conscious mind and do not exist separately in the material world
  • Deities, souls, spirits and supernatural events cannot be explained by natural laws so they cannot exist
  • All humans are mortal and nothing survives the death of our brain
Democritus, Thales, Anaxagoras and later Charles Darwin, Marx, Feuerbach and Wilfrid Sellars.
Optimism Belief in the victory of good in life is one of the most popular philosophies. This world is the best of all possible worlds. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
Pantheism God is the totality of all things. He is nature and the universe at the same time and subject to the laws of nature. There is no such thing as an omnipotent God. One of the great philosophies which is also a religion. Coined by Joseph Raphson in 1697, John Toland and Baruch Spinoza.
Pessimism Belief in the victory of evil in life. This world is the worst of all possible worlds. Arthur Schopenhauer.
Positivism All knowledge is based on perception. Metaphysics is impossible. Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Pragmatism Method of testing truths with the practical consequences of an action. Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey.
Pre-Socratic The belief in myths and gods is replaced by mathematics and the laws of natural science. The so-called “Seven Sages of Greece” are considered the founders. Thales of Miletus, Pittacus, Bias, Solon, Cleobulus, Myson and Chilo of Sparta.
Rationalism Results can only be obtained by thinking, reasoning and experience. Blaise Pascal and Karl Popper.
Realism Reality which can only be recognized through recognition. One of the great philosophies. Bertrand Russell, Alfred Whitehead, Descartes and Spinoza.
Relativism The Absolute doesn’t exist. Relativism denies claims to objectivity and asserts facts in any particular domain are relative to the observers perspective or context in which they are assessed.
Scholasticism Medieval method of proof – allegations are broken down into pro / contra, considered and then “logically” chosen for their accuracy. Abelard, Aegidius of Rome, Roger Bacon, Adelard of Bath and John Salisbury.
Sensualism All knowledge derives from sensations and sense perceptions. George Berkeley.
Skepticism is the opposite of dogmatism. Doubt is the principle of thought. There is no truth and no reality. Phyrrhon of Elis and Sextus Empiricus.
Solipsism Only the existence of ones own, thinking Self is real, all things are consciousness. The outside world is just a dream. Max Stirner.
Sophism Sophism comes from the Greek “sophos” meaning “wise”. Man stands in the foreground. He is the measure of all things. Sophists sought answers to the question: are values predetermined or man-made standards? Protagoras, Prodicus, Thrasymachus, Gorgias, Lycophron, Callicles, Cratylus, Hippias of Elis and Antiphon.
Spiritualism All existence is rooted in the spiritual. One of the great philosophies which is also a religion. Thomas Müntzer.
Stoicism Mindset similar to religion. With self-control, serenity and tranquility one attains knowledge and wisdom. Faith in physics, logic and reason (ethics). Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes of Assos, Diogenes, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.
Subjectivism Belief that all knowing is only of importance for the knower. René Descartes.
Transcendentalism Examines the possibilities and limits of human knowledge. Immanuel Kant.
Universalism Metaphysically, what is true in the universe is always true everywhere. Plato, Aristotle and Hegel.
Voluntarism Metaphysically the will is the cause of all things. Ferdinand Tönnies and Paul Barth.

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