If we were to compare philosophers of all time, we would have to start with Plato and Augustine. This way, we could see how they differed from each other, and which philosophers had the greatest influence on the modern age. Similarly, we could also compare philosophers of the past to those of the present. For example, we would want to know how Augustine viewed the world versus how David Brooks views it.
The works of Plato can be divided into three periods: the early period, the middle period, and the later period. In the early period, most of Plato’s dialogues feature Socrates, who plays the role of a dutiful student, and the early works use the Socratic Method to explore concepts and knowledge. A good example of this is the Apology, which starts in dramatic form and then proceeds to Socrates’ narration of the dialogue with the sophist.
The first book that features a philosophy of the ancient Greeks, “The Republic,” is by Plato, who lived between 428 and 347 BCE. In this volume, Rossano renames the author of the original Plato as Paulo Aristocles. The book is heavily annotated and uses creative license in the author’s name. His other recent books include “Seeking Perfection,” “Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved” and “Praxicity” among others.
The meno dialogue explains the principle of recollection in the context of ethics. Socrates, for example, argued that nobody does anything wrong on purpose, and that the only way to do something good is to know what is good. Socrates then proves this proposition in the Meno dialogue, in which he elicits a fact about geometrical construction from a slave boy who lacks education. This passage leads Socrates to conclude that knowledge must exist in a form eternal in order to be accessible.
Augustine’s philosophy drew on both Greek and Christian revelation. Augustine’s uniqueness lies in his synthesis of classical Greek and Christian thought and the development of an egocentred philosophy. In doing so, he foreshadowed the earliest modern thought, including Descartes’ famous cogito ergo sum. Two of Augustine’s most famous works are his Confessionum libri tredecim, a dialogue between himself and the philosopher Reason, which is sometimes referred to as a first-person perspective.
Augustine was born in Milan in 354 and became a publicly-paid professor of rhetoric in the city. He was also an official panegyrist at the Imperial court. In the following years, his life was filled with ups and downs. In 373, he became a “hearer” of Manicheism, a dualistic religion of Persian origin. Despite being persecuted for being a heretic, Augustine’s conversion lasted for nine years. His adherence to Manicheism strained his middle-class parents financially and left him with a crowded schedule. He also had several affairs, including a long-term affair with a woman who wasn’t married.
Augustine’s view on the will is often considered a major influence on the philosophy of mind. His concept of will is central to his account of evil and sin. He embraced the Manichean dualist solution, which compromised God’s omnipotence. Neoplatonic philosophy, on the other hand, rejected the existence of an evil substance and endorsed the idea that will and intention are inseparably related.
Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian-born philosopher and author. He writes on a variety of subjects, including psychoanalysis, politics, and popular culture. His work has garnered wide attention from the intellectual left of Western countries. He is considered one of the most influential public intellectuals of the late 20th century. Here are some reasons why. Listed below are some of Zizek’s best-known works.
Slavoj Zizek’s prolific output is truly mind-boggling. He has written over a wide variety of topics and has achieved celebrity status. Zizek has earned the title “Elvis of cultural theory” and is considered one of the most influential thinkers of our time. Zizek’s books and lectures have garnered millions of views and are available on YouTube and at numerous bookstores. Zizek has also been known to support Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organization and the Palestinian cause.
Slavoj Zizek has a reputation as a radical Marxist and has written extensively on society, psychology, and culture. He is a prolific contributor to Big Think. He has also written about animal rights and euthanasia, and his anti-euthanasia views have led to numerous protests over the years. Zizek has even produced Big Think videos to explain his philosophy. He has also been an influential contributor to the Matrix movies.
Cornel West is a professor at the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. He teaches philosophy on a variety of subjects. Formerly a professor of practice of public philosophy at Harvard University, West earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in philosophy from Princeton University. Currently, West focuses on politics. His work has been featured in films like “The Matrix.”
Before joining the Princeton faculty, Cornel first taught at Union Theological Seminary. He taught both classical and contemporary philosophy. Later, he taught at Yale Divinity School and returned to Union Theological Seminary in 1987. He served as the director of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, and he also taught philosophy and religion at a number of universities. He received the Nobel Prize in 2004 for his work.
So who is the modern time philosopher? One of the most prominent philosophers of our time is Soren Kierkegaard. He’s often considered the father of postmodern philosophy, as he’s the originator of existentialism. He is ranked at number 15 on Leiter’s list. Another philosopher of the modern time is Cornel West, who is a contemporary Marxist and a leading figure in the field of social philosophy.
Another modern-time philosopher is John McDowell, who belongs to a tradition of anti-philosophers, those who seek to solve philosophical problems by not addressing them at all. McDowell, who teaches philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, has an extraordinary philosophical repertoire. He embraces ideas from Kant to Wittgenstein to Sellars. In addition, he holds a pragmatism that says theories have practical applications.
Another contemporary of Descartes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, made comparisons between Descartes’s ideas and the ideas of long-forgotten thinkers. Kant didn’t consider Descartes’ “Meditations” to be worth attention. He also criticized Descartes’s concept of omnipotence, and was a critic of Descartes’s “Semantics.”
Marx, the founder of Marxism, is the most important political and social philosopher of our time. Though his impact cannot be measured, his work has influenced many other philosophers. Leiter ranked him 14th among modern philosophers. Others like Nietzsche and Hegel highly regarded Baruch Spinoza. Both of them thought that the first human being was not made of clay but evolved from lower forms of life. Finally, Freud said that reason was a puppet of unconscious urges and blind passions.
David Hume, a famous Scottish philosopher, made his philosophical discovery at the age of 18. Although he did not explain the scene in which he made his discovery, many commentators have speculated about its nature. One popular interpretation suggests that Hume had read and written about Francis Hutcheson’s moral sense theory. After this discovery, Hume devoted the next decade to analyzing and refining it.
The three branches of Hume’s logic are called the Critical Phase, the Constructive Phase, and the Habit or Custom. The Critical Phase is a division of causation into two realms, or parts, the Relations of Ideas and Matters of Fact. The former represents the universal bonds of ideas while the latter is dependent on the observer. These three branches of logic lead to Hume’s theory of causal inference.