FAQ

Machine-Animals

What is the theory of Descartes’ animal-machine? Descartes believed that animals have no mind and their movements are reduced to a set of purely…

Eudaemonism

What is eudaemonism? Eudaemonism (Greek eudemonia, happy) is a branch of moral philosophy that promotes happiness as the supreme goal of the human existence….

Epicureanism and Stoicism

There are many differences (moral conception of man, ontology, metaphysics, …) between Epicureanism and Stoicism, two of the most known philosophy schools: – Epicureanism advocates a minimum happiness, but a philosophy of the will. –…

Cartesianism

Cartesianism means the philosophy of Descartes and his followers. Spinoza, Malebranche and Leibniz are the main representatives of Cartesianism after Descartes. Leibniz developed the…

Catharsis

In Greek catharsis means purification. Catharsis is the state created by the art and which, as its name suggests, purifies the soul of his…

Body-subject

The concept of body-subject is the term used by philosophers to describe the human body, as opposed to just body material. German in particular,…

Egotism

Egotism is a concept coined by Stendhal to describe the analysis performed by someone on itself in order to “refine his feelings to better…

Cynicism

Cynicism is a school of Greek philosophers, founded by a disciple of Socrates, Antisthenes. Diogenes the Dog is the most important thinker of this…

Being for-itself / in-itself

The terms in-itself and for-itself were created by Sartre in Being and Nothingness. They together form the ontology of Sartre’s theory of reality in Being and Nothingness. The in-itself is the world of physical things (a paper cutter, an…

Plato’s Theory of Knowledge

The theory of reminiscence is expressed by Plato in the Meno, book on virtue. For Plato, knowledge is to remember, remember. Search and learning are one and the same act. This theory is based on the assumption of the…

Herd Behavior

The herd instinct is defined as the obedience of the individual to the mass, blindly and without reflection. Nietzsche sharply criticized the herd instinct in the modern civilization : “Morality is the herd instinct” (The Gay Science)…

Noble Savage – Rousseau

Rousseau is often credited with the authorship of this myth, which was developed in his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Men and…

Is Socrates a Sophist?

No. Socrates spent his life fighting against the sophists (Gorgias, Protagoras in particular). Socrates criticizes sophists including use of demagogy, while he does not reason byargument. The Sophists seek only defeat in the verbal jousting, Socrates only seeks the truth.

Idealism and empiricism

What is the difference between idealism and empiricism in philosophy? Idealism (Kant, Descartes, Plato, …) thinks that knowledge comes from the subject. Empiricism (Hume) asserts that the truth comes from experience. Transcendental idealism (Kant, Husserl) is a…

Is philosophy a luxury?

Yes and no. Yes, because philosophizing on an empty stomach is not easy, it seems the prerogative of the people at home (hence the reputation of snobbery philosophers). No, because philosophy is to question the world. Now, what can be without it? Socrates also said: The…

Is Descartes a skeptic?

Yes and no. Yes, because Descartes doubts (Discorse on Method / Medidations) No, because Descartes’ doubt is provisional and voluntary (methodological doubt). The skeptical doubt is permanent.

Is Humanism a philosophical school ?

Yes. Humanism was born during the Renaissance (Montaigne, Erasmus, Rabelais, orhave are the illustrious fathers). This philosophical movement continues until the 20th century (think of Sartre and the title of his famous lecture: Existentialism is a Humanism)

When was philosophy born?

The birth of philosophy, in its oral tradition, did not leave a trace enough to be dated. For the written tradition, the philosophy goes back to Homer, the first book of humanity.