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Philosopher: A Kind of Life by Ted Honderich, Grote Professor. Emeritus, University College London, aims to give the reader a sense of the general and the.
Table of contents

This scathing critique of traditional morality would set the stage for some of Nietzsche's more profound ideals. He argues to do away with the moral proselytizing and non-life affirming useless moral actions and instead give a higher credence to things like the imagination, self-overcoming and the pursuit of excellence in the nobleness of mankind.

Beyond Good and Evil lays the framework for a new system of self-sufficiency for the higher types and does away with a universal system of morality. One of the greatest works of early 20th century philosophy, Bertrand Russell's book is an introduction to his line of thinking and to philosophy in general.

Russell was first and foremost an empiricist and that meant starting with the most fundamental question of them all: is there any kind of knowledge that is absolutely and irrevocably true. This was where the real work of philosophy began. Russell covers topics ranging from the ontology of reality, what matter really is, inductive reading and the limits of philosophical inquiry. Alan Watts , the great Buddhist sage had a whimsical and philosophical grasp on a number of subjects.

The Wisdom of Insecurity is more important than ever in today's fast-paced world, where the future is the constant worry and the connection with the present moment has been severed. Watts's main concept is one of mindfulness, rooted in the Eastern notions of being present in whatever one is doing at the time. Although this was written in , Alan Watts understood that much of human frustration and anxiety is due to our tendency to want to live for the future or in some other kind of abstraction without truly being in the now.

Watts posits that this problem stems from our self-induced neurosis, which he believed permeates all of our waking hours — as well as our incessant anxieties that muddle the whole purpose of being, which is just to be. David Hume's comprehensive book was an attempt to create a new philosophy based on an observationally motivated study of human nature. It an important text in 18th century philosophy.

The secret to a meaningful life is simpler than you think

Hume talks at length about cause and effect, human conflicts, and the many passions and freedoms that collide in a human society. Freud is ever the philosopher in this book. Civilization and its Discontents is an incredible summary on his views of culture from a psychoanalytic perspective. Written the decade before his death and published in , Freud extrapolates on his views about the broader question of humankind's place in the world, which he sees as a place of utter conflict between the individual and that of civilization's need for conformity.

Introduction: Aristotle's Definition of Happiness

Freud believes that civilization does not work for the individual. Man, is naturally an aggressive, egotistical beast that seeks its own way and that it is culture that subjects and represses this natural state. The result is guilt and a whole slew of other issues. Like the many philosophers that came before him, Schopenhauer was drawn to philosophize because of the inherent wonder and strangeness he saw in the world. Yet, he stated that this was not due to any benevolent or humanitarian impetus. No, he thought the world was a dreadful place:. Schopenhauer sought to lay bare the truth on the nature of the world, no matter how miserable it might be.

In doing so, he would provide consolation for those humans who dare listen. Schopenhauer truly believed that he had hit upon the truth of the world. Big Think Edge For You. Big Think Edge For Business. Preview an Edge video.

Plato -The Book of Life

Videos A mind-blowing explanation of the speed of light. Videos Youth brain: How does your office view aging? There are many ways to posit the fundamental nature of reality. After thousands of years, and an infinite amount of novel experiences, there are today many dueling schools of philosophical thought. A great philosophical background takes into account a number of metaphysical positions and ideas.

These 10 philosophy books all take on the questions of existence in a unique and varied manner. After all, Socrates once said: "The unexamined life is not worth living" These 10 Western philosophy books will give you a diverse and wide-ranging understanding of metaphysical principles, as well as new ways to look at, and govern, your own life and mind. People who constantly complain are harmful to your health.

After Socrates's death, Plato traveled for 12 years throughout the Mediterranean region, studying mathematics with the Pythagoreans in Italy, and geometry, geology, astronomy and religion in Egypt. During this time, or soon after, he began his extensive writing. There is some debate among scholars on the order of these writings, but most believe they fall into three distinct periods. The first, or early, period occurs during Plato's travels B.

The Apology of Socrates seems to have been written shortly after Socrates's death. In these dialogues, Plato attempts to convey Socrates's philosophy and teachings. In the second, or middle, period, Plato writes in his own voice on the central ideals of justice, courage, wisdom and moderation of the individual and society.

The Republic was written during this time with its exploration of just government ruled by philosopher kings. In the third, or late, period, Socrates is relegated to a minor role and Plato takes a closer look at his own early metaphysical ideas. He explores the role of art, including dance, music, drama and architecture, as well as ethics and morality. In his writings on the Theory of Forms, Plato suggests that the world of ideas is the only constant and that the perceived world through our senses is deceptive and changeable.

Sometime around B. It is believed the school was located at an enclosed park named for a legendary Athenian hero. The Academy operated until C.

Over its years of operation, the Academy's curriculum included astronomy, biology, mathematics, political theory and philosophy. Plato hoped the Academy would provide a place for future leaders to discover how to build a better government in the Greek city-states.

In B. Plato accepted, hoping the experience would produce a philosopher king.

PHILOSOPHY: Jacques Derrida

He had Dion exiled and Plato placed under "house arrest. One of his more promising students there was Aristotle, who would take his mentor's teachings in new directions. Plato's final years were spent at the Academy and with his writing.

The circumstances surrounding his death are clouded, though it is fairly certain that he died in Athens around B. Some scholars suggest that he died while attending a wedding, while others believe he died peacefully in his sleep. Plato's impact on philosophy and the nature of humans has had a lasting impact far beyond his homeland of Greece. His work covered a broad spectrum of interests and ideas: mathematics, science and nature, morals and political theory.

His beliefs on the importance of mathematics in education have proven to be essential for understanding the entire universe. His work on the use of reason to develop a more fair and just society that is focused on the equality of individuals established the foundation for modern democracy.

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Sign up for the Biography newsletters to receive stories daily and weekly about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher considered to be the main source of Western thought. He was condemned to death for his Socratic method of questioning.

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Philosopher A Kind Of Life

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, together with Socrates and Plato, laid much of the groundwork for western philosophy. Ancient Greek statesman Pericles, leader of Athens from — B. Euripides was one of the great Athenian playwrights and poets of ancient Greece, known for the many tragedies he wrote, including Medea and The Bacchae. The Greek poet Homer is credited with being the first to write down the epic stories of 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey,' and the impact of his tales continues to reverberate through Western culture.