Questions tagged [philosophy]

the use of reason in understanding such things like the nature of the real world and existence, the use and limits of knowledge, and the principles of moral judgment

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3 votes
1 answer
172 views

Who proclaimed separation of science from philosophy?

Historically (since 2500 years ago), philosophy - "love of wisdom" in Greek - encompassed all intellectual endeavors, and natural philosophy was seen as its part. However, these days the ...
user avatar
  • 25.6k
1 vote
1 answer
133 views

What were the neoplatonists' attitude towards Christianity (or religion in general)?

In the movie "Agora" an ultimatum is given to Hypatia, either she adopts Christianity or the prefect would not be able to protect her anymore. Hypatia chooses the latter and is subsequently ...
user avatar
  • 440
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where does Herodotus discuss judging the wisdom of decisions by the evidence at hand vs. the consequences?

Physicist/statistician Edwin T. Jaynes, in a broad overview of the history of ideas about reasoning amidst uncertainty (precursors to Bayesian inference), attributes an early articulation of an ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

What is Renaissance Humanism? [closed]

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the concept of Renaissance humanism. I've been reading about it for some time and I've found definitions, or explanations, varying in focus from it being a ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
118 views

Did Empedocles think that plants have sex?

I was reading the book Flora Unveiled: The Discovery and Denial of Sex in Plants by Lee Taiz and Lincoln Taiz published by Oxford. In Chapter 8, "Plant sex from Empedocles to Theophrastus", ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Are the sources in Flora Unveiled correct?

According to the book, Flora Unveiled: The Discovery and Denial of Sex in Plants by Lee Taiz and Lincoln Taiz published by Oxford, Chapter 8: Plant sex from Empedocles to Theophrastus (pg 213), the ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was the personal philosophy of Alexander the Great in his youth?

Long time ago I read a biography about Alexander the Great. It is so long ago that I cannot give references. It said that Alexander in his early youth followed a philosophy not uncommon in Greece ...
user avatar
  • 1,884
1 vote
0 answers
113 views

To what extent did the Jewish tradition of debate influence the development of Classical Liberalism in Europe?

Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
103 views

Is the rise and dominance of analytic philosophy around the world associated with the dominance of the British empire and the United States?

Analytic Philosophy largely originated from the Anglo-American tradition of philosophy. It is arguably the dominant type of philosophy practiced today in most major universities, even in non English-...
user avatar
  • 159
7 votes
1 answer
218 views

Did Averroes really try to bury light in an attempt to create gold, or was that invented by Victor Hugo?

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo relates a story that supposedly Averroes buried light in order to create gold from it, as, according to him, gold is light, but that it would not be for ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
208 views

Which philosopher said that taking notes is good?

He said something like, that this is a good way to learn, because writing it down in the own words helps one to understand it. I think it was Aristotle, but I dont know exactly any more.
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
216 views

How widely accepted are Tolstoy's views on history within the academic community?

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a historic fiction and part essay in which Tolstoy regularly expresses his views on how events happen. More specifically, Tolstoy says that the actions of great men such ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
14k views

What does Deng Xiaoping mean by "Hide your capacities, bide your time '?

I came across this interesting quote by Deng Xiaoping: Hide your capacities and bide your time however I didn't find much about this quote on the Internet explaining the exact context and meaning ...
user avatar
  • 328
0 votes
1 answer
217 views

If Nietzsche was against anti-semitism, how did he become an inspiration to Hitler? [closed]

I recently read that Nietzsche was against anti-semitism, though I understand that that doesn't exempt him from being anti-Judaism (though, I'm not entirely sure how one would distinguish the two). ...
user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
3 answers
684 views

What was the primary motivation for a historical figure like Xenophon to create an extensive collection of written material?

Xenophon of Athens created a large amount of written material even by today's standards. Did he create this work knowing it would be read by future generations, or was it for his own satisfaction? I ...
user avatar
  • 203
7 votes
1 answer
384 views

In Classical Athens, what did the portico of the archon basileus look like?

In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates and his titular interlocutor meet at the portico of the archon basileus - or chief archon. I've been looking for an image of the portico but had no luck so far, and am ...
user avatar
  • 687
2 votes
2 answers
316 views

When is the first recorded instance of someone dying for a principle?

When we think of martyrs, we often go back to the early Christians as the typical examples - dying for the idea that they should worship one God and no other. Another often quoted example is Socrates -...
user avatar
  • 137
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the source for this Leonardo Da Vinci quote?

"Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world."  Where exactly does this Leonardo Da Vinci quote come from? Was it part of a larger paragraph - if so ...
user avatar
  • 1,261
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why did Athenian philosophers praise Spartan culture and laws, which would preclude philosophers like themselves?

Laconophilia was near universal among the important Athenian philosophers: Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and his followers - all praised Spartan culture and its laws, even after Sparta fell from glory ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
126 views

Did "The Cosmic Race" inform "The Anthropophagic Manifesto"?

José Vasconcelos published The Cosmic Race in 1925. In his view Mexico could construct a new, better race from the diverse origins of its people. Oswald de Andrade published his Anthropophagic ...
user avatar
  • 27.3k
2 votes
0 answers
125 views

Do we have any information on what the homes of Aristotle or Plato would have looked like?

I wonder because of how influential and famous they were at their time, immediately following, and effectively forever after that (with the exception of Aristotle's slight dark age of having his ...
user avatar
  • 329
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

What was the name of this medieval philosophical idea?

I remember learning once years ago about a medieval philosophical idea (although I suspect it would be older) that the state of the King was reflected in his lands. A sickly or evil king would have ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
748 views

How was financial profit viewed in Medieval Europe?

What was the attitude of people in Medieval Europe towards earning money, making a profit etc. I know that in some places Jews were well established as merchants because, from the point of the view of ...
user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
640 views

How was Galileo's approach to mathematics different than Descartes's approach?

According to Galileo "the world is written in the language of mathematics," and a natural philosopher must learn to read it. How did this approach differ from Descartes' notion of a mathematical ...
user avatar
  • 21
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Zoroastrianism influence some Ancient Greek Philosophers?

Ancient Greek Philosophy, was never monolithic, that is to say, the diversity of thought represented in the Greek Philosophers is well documented and well chronicled. However, did the Persian ...
user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
191 views

Was Voltaire actually present at the British Raid on Lorient in 1746, which was attended by David Hume?

Voltaire wrote a satirical account of the raid at which Hume himself was personally in attendance with General St Clair. However, it is difficult to find out if Voltaire was actually an eyewitness ...
user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

When did people start saying about the US that "it's a free country"?

Confronted with lack of permission, Americans sometimes reflexively claim that "it's a free country". Obviously, the truth is more nuanced, with degrees of freedom, competing definitions of freedom, ...
user avatar
  • 27.3k
4 votes
4 answers
3k views

In what sense is Socrates considered as the father of Western philosophy?

Socrates is known as the father of western philosophy. But in what sense? Is it because there wasn't any other philosopher who preceded him? Or perhaps that their philosophies were completely ...
user avatar
  • 175
13 votes
4 answers
8k views

What is the name of the theory opposite to the Great Man theory?

The Great Man theory is a 19th-century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of "great men", or heroes; highly influential individuals. In nearly every lecture on ...
user avatar
  • 1,551
1 vote
1 answer
988 views

Did the people of the past consider plants alive? [closed]

Did the people of the past consider plants alive? If so, how did they come to the idea that plants have something in common with animals?
user avatar
  • 31.9k
4 votes
3 answers
474 views

Was there a "literate class" outside the Shi in Zhou-dynasty China?

According to wikipedia, during Zhou dynasty China's ... distinct class system, which lacked an organized clergy but saw the Shang Zi-clan yeomen become masters of ritual and ceremony known as Shi (...
user avatar
  • 4,683
4 votes
2 answers
353 views

How much of what we know about ancient philosophers comes from oral literature?

Have any orally-transmitted myths survived​ throughout the centuries in such a form that we could identify any of the ancient philosophers of Classical Greece and Rome in them? I'm interested in ...
user avatar
  • 1,551
2 votes
0 answers
848 views

Barbara, Celarent, Darii, et Ferio. Whom devised the vowel-consonant designations?

In the history of philosophy & logic there is a taxonomy of syllogisms designated by name. William of Sherwood and Peter of Spain write of a mnemonic to help medieval students of logic memorize ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
154 views

Do we know of any literature before Greek philosophy that discusses the properties of a living thing?

I have been reading up on the first written works of literature leading up to philosophy as we understand it today. I am having a hard time to establish a clear time-line which leads up to the ...
user avatar
  • 141
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

The allure of totalitarianism/ communism/ fascism [closed]

In the 1930s there was a rise of totalitarianism whether fascism or communism such as Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Stalin's Soviet Union What would've been the allure of totalitarianism ...
user avatar
  • 253
6 votes
4 answers
465 views

Was late-medieval French education recalcitrant to math?

The teaching of mathematics (as we understand the subject today) in France is said to result from Ramus. However, It was his predecessor Oronce Fine who convinced François 1 to include it at the ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which ancient text claims that everything has been said before?

Someone commented to me that there is an ancient text talking about how everything has been said before. There are of course more recents thoughts along this line, but to me it was very impressive to ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
382 views

What is the source for Diogenes' quote in Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy?

In The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton states that "When the son swore, Diogenes struck the father." Where did Burton get this from? I can find no earlier (i.e. Classical) reference to it, ...
user avatar
  • 7,690
-2 votes
2 answers
536 views

Are historians required to memorize or be knowledgeable of every significant event in history? [closed]

Undergraduate history students are usually required to complete different courses spanning from ancient Egypt to the Cold War. But given the vastness of history, it is impossible to memorize and keep ...
user avatar
  • 37
3 votes
1 answer
431 views

Did John Milton and Baruch Spinoza know of and/or about each other?

In these iTunes U lectures on Milton, John Rogers suggest that Milton was espousing "monism" in Paradise Lost; that the theology of Paradise Lost involved the ideas that the soul and body are one and ...
user avatar
  • 2,887
5 votes
2 answers
435 views

Why was 17th Century England a particularly supportive place for groundbreaking thought? [closed]

Issac Newton, John Lock, Robert Hooke, Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon...etc. Was 17th century England somehow more conducive to excellent new ideas or was it no more ...
user avatar
  • 2,887
5 votes
1 answer
631 views

What is the other ancient Indian magic trick described by Adi Shankaracharya?

It is well-known that the so-called Indian rope trick is alluded to by the ancient Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya in this section of his commentary on a Hindu scripture called the Mandukya ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
930 views

What made Cicero so fascinating to Petrarch?

Petrarch was apparently fascinated throughout his whole life by Cicero, in a way that his contemporaries apparently weren't. He even wrote letters to Cicero. But these letters don't mean much to me, ...
user avatar
  • 2,241
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Archimedes have any students?

We know that Archimedes learnt a lot from his father, Phidias (who was an astronomer) and most likely studied in Alexandria, alongside other great contemporaries such as Eratosthenes of Cyrene and ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
362 views

What exactly were the religious beliefs of Gemistus Plethon?

According to wikipedia: [Gemistus Plethon] was a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of ...
user avatar
  • 3,835
9 votes
1 answer
947 views

Why did Mozi's philosophy die out in China?

Today in my Social Studies class we learned about Mozi by reading the material he wrote in translation. According to my teacher, despite enormous initial influence Mohism, the philosophy developed by ...
user avatar
  • 486
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Visit of Greek philosophers to Rome in 155 BCE

In 155 BCE a delegation of three Greek philosophers arrived in Rome on a political mission (to negotiate the settlement of war fines). During their stay they succeeded in raising Greek philosophy to ...
user avatar
  • 14.2k
6 votes
1 answer
361 views

What was the impact of utilitarianism upon the development of psychiatric care in 18th-19th century England?

I'm interested in the impact of utilitarianism upon English psychiatric care by way of the philosophy's influence on social reformers. More tenuously, I want to know whether and in what ways ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
572 views

how did the Cynics of Greece and Rome eat

How did the Ancient Cynics like Diogenes eat during their time? I know they only believed in eating natural foods but don't know how they procured it. If they didn't believe in wealth, they could not ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
377 views

What broad changes to "world thought" happened in the 6th and 5th centuries BC? [closed]

The 6th and 5th centuries BC saw the appearance of a remarkable number of philosophers and thinkers all over Eurasia whose influence continues to this day: Socrates (470 - 399 BC), "father of Western ...
user avatar