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The Characteristics of Modern Philosophy

Philosophical trends have emerged over the centuries, but the characteristics of each one are very different. Enlightenment, humanism, and positivism are common examples. Ultimately, each one has its own distinctive qualities. These traits are important to understand, as they determine what philosophy is all about. Let’s explore each one in turn. Which is most appealing to you? Here are some examples:


The enlightenment was a period of intellectual ferment in which the focus of philosophical inquiry shifted from the transcendent domain of God and nature to human existence itself. While Copernicus’ cosmology placed the sun at the center of the cosmos, the Enlightenment saw the human being as the center of consciousness. The Enlightenment also emphasized science and the study of humanity.

The political theories of the Enlightenment are a key part of the evolution of modern philosophy. While the liberal model is more characteristic of the Enlightenment, Rousseau’s political theory presents a revived classical model within the context of Enlightenment values. It asks many enduring questions about the modern state. However, it is not entirely clear which of these models is more suited to the modern state.

John Locke was a philosopher and physician. He influenced the development of modern liberal political theory. His Second Treatise of Government was a direct response to Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha (1680), a book that defended absolute kingship. In contrast, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government asserts natural freedom and equality for human beings. In addition, Locke’s work was much closer to Filmer’s cosmology than Spinoza’s.

The philosophy of the Enlightenment has been called the Age of Reason. The emphasis on the faculty of reason is characterized by suspicion and hostility towards established authority. The Age of Reason often demonstrates opposition to established religion. It emphasizes critical thinking and rejects the traditional religious beliefs of the West. In addition, Enlightenment philosophy emphasizes the role of imagination in generating associations. It also encourages self-directed thinking and opposes established faith.


The doctrine of humanism is metaphysical in nature. Humanism considers all forms of the supernatural as myths. Humanism views nature as the totality of being, consisting of matter and energy. Humanism rejects all forms of transcendental justification and dependence on religious texts. Rather, it encourages respect for individuality and human rights. However, humanism is not an alternative to religion.

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The Renaissance period saw the emergence of humanism, an intellectual movement that focused on the study of human nature and the classical world. It originated in Italy during the 14th century, where the Renaissance humanist movement spread throughout Europe. Its most prominent features include the emphasis on the dignity of the human person, the value of active life in the world, and the freedom of man. Modern philosophy is a product of these principles.

Early modern philosophers were inspired by ancient philosophy and sought to recreate it. They read ancient works and embraced an eloquent conception of philosophy. Ancient philosophers, however, understood philosophy as a process of self-transformation that helped shape a person’s way of life. Modern philosophers, however, have a different view. Many believe that the purpose of philosophy is to improve human life.

As early as the fifth century BC, humanism was common among the Greeks and Romans, but it was not widespread until the Renaissance. The Greek and Roman schools provided the basis for humanist thought. Renaissance humanists also admired pagan writings and classical authors, which tended to have a radical tone. They saw these texts as models for correct method and an attempt to understand perceived experience.


The French philosopher Auguste Comte is credited with introducing positivism into the modern philosophical tradition. In 1844, he published A General View of Positivism, a work which was translated into English in 1865. He considered sense experience to be a fundamental element in understanding human behavior. It is important to note that Comte was not the first philosopher to employ positivism, as his philosophy was heavily influenced by the British and French Enlightenment.

Contemporary positivists assign varying meanings to a broad spectrum of philosophical positions and practices. In fact, positivism has a negative connotation in some circles, especially outside the United States. As a result, this bibliography includes one or two critical pieces on the particular theme of the section, as well as seminal works that criticize positivism. However, a few critical pieces are essential for understanding the modern philosophy movement.

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A common theme of positivist philosophy is the belief in the infinity of nature and history. In addition, it advocates a universally beneficial form of government. Positivism also rejects much of the classical metaphysics, and claims that science is the ultimate authority. As such, positivism argues that humans, nature, and the universe are one and the same. It is the basis for much of contemporary philosophy.

Since its inception, positivism has been a prominent theme in western thought. It was first articulated by Auguste Comte in the early nineteenth century, and its branches were later spread to the sciences, including economics, psychology, and historiography. However, its popularity has decreased over the past century, due to criticisms from reductionism, scientism, and overgeneralization.


Idealism is a kind of metaphysical worldview. Its roots are in the assumptions that there are dynamic processes that operate in the self-constitution and object-constitution of things. Consequently, idealism is often characterized by an aversion to the notion of objectivity and object-constitution. Its critics have noted that the term “idealism” has become a common idiom and has become synonymous with the philosophy of science.

Idealism is a fundamental philosophical approach that emphasizes the existence of a more significant entity in the universe. According to this view, the world is a unified whole and consists of both material objects and spiritual persons. But idealism is not necessarily a desirable approach. Some philosophers find it difficult to define the true nature of reality. However, some philosophers reject it and believe that it is a myth that is created by the devil.

While idealism is found in various philosophical positions, it is most prominent in metaphysical teachings. Wolff claims that the idealists were representative of metaphysical monism, but that would be an oversimplification. While Descartes is arguably the most outspoken metaphysical dualist, it is not necessary to attribute idealistic tendencies to the Frenchman. Spinoza, for example, was a radical monist.

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Hegel’s idealist position has its roots in Hegel’s Science of Logic. Hegel’s proposal is based on the unity/identity structure of the world. According to Hegel, real knowledge can only be realized when a subject establishes a relation between real items that are structurally identical. Therefore, a true knowledge differs from false or defective knowledge and cannot be obtained without thinking.


Many aspects of self-confidence are shaped by social comparison processes. Specifically, the vicarious source of confidence information is believed to be weaker than actual performance accomplishments. However, the vicarious source of confidence information influences self-confidence despite their lack of influence. Consequently, the less experience individuals have with performance situations, the more likely they are to rely on vicarious sources of confidence information.

There is considerable research that has examined the relation between self-confidence and performance. Although correlational results do not prove a causal relationship, they show a generally positive correlation between self-confidence and performance. For example, Feltz (1988b) found a moderate relationship between self-confidence and performance in sport. It is unclear whether such a relationship exists. But one thing is clear: a strong connection between self-confidence and performance is the key to achieving one’s personal and professional goals.

However, in many areas of life, there are contradictory views of the role of self-confidence. Although there is no universally accepted definition of self-confidence, many psychologists and philosophers have explored its relation to behavior. For example, Bandura (1977) believed that the relationship between self-confidence and performance was temporally recursive. This is because the cumulative effect of one’s effort can change one’s self-confidence expectations. Furthermore, the relationship between self-confidence and thought patterns has been stressed in Bandura’s theories.

The self-efficacy theory was originally developed within social cognitive theory. Bandura hypothesized that self-confidence influences behavior in situations where people have sufficient incentives and the requisite skills. Self-efficacy theory has been extended to various areas, such as career choice, health and exercise behavior, and motor performance. But the theory was originally developed to explain different results of anxiety treatments. In recent years, it has gained acceptance as an effective mechanism to explain different outcomes.