great philosophies

Great Philosophies

Great Philosophies List

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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 Regards spirit, reason and consciousness as realities. 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 All phenomena can be explained by natural causes. Charles Darwin, Marx, Feuerbach and Wilfrid Sellars.
Optimism Belief in the victory of good in life. 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. Bertrand Russell, Alfred Whitehead, Descartes and Spinoza.
Relativism The Absolute doesn’t exist.
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 (also known as Pyrrhonism) 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.
Sophists 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, 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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