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An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

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  • 07/12/16--11:51: Reid: Theory of Action
  • Thomas Reid: Theory of Action Thomas Reid (1710-1796) made important contributions to the fields of epistemology and mind, and was the founder of common sense philosophy. However, he also offered key arguments and observations concerning human agency and morality. Reid carefully criticized the views of his contemporaries, and defended an account of human freedom in which … Continue reading Reid: Theory of Action

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  • 07/27/16--11:17: Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition. Here, there is often an explicit preference for the life of reason and rational thought. We … Continue reading Ancient Greek Philosophy

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  • 08/06/16--16:50: Parmenides
  • Parmenides of Elea (Late 6th cn.—Mid 5th cn. B.C.E.) Parmenides of Elea was a Presocratic Greek philosopher. As the first philosopher to inquire into the nature of existence itself, he is incontrovertibly credited as the “Father of Metaphysics.” As the first to employ deductive, a priori arguments to justify his claims, he competes with Aristotle … Continue reading Parmenides

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  • 08/06/16--22:43: Erasmus, Desiderius
  • Desiderius Erasmus (1468?—1536) Desiderius Erasmus was one of the leading activists and thinkers of the European Renaissance. His main activity was to write letters to the leading statesmen, humanists, printers, and theologians of the first three and a half decades of the sixteenth century. Erasmus was an indefatigable correspondent, controversialist, self-publicist, satirist, translator, commentator, editor, … Continue reading Erasmus, Desiderius

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  • 09/02/16--19:32: Tu Weiming
  • Tu Weiming (1940—) Tu Weiming (pinyin: Du Weiming) is one of the most famous Chinese Confucian thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries. As a prominent member of the third generation of “New Confucians,” Tu stressed the significance of religiosity within Confucianism. Inspired by his teacher Mou Zongsan as well as his decades of study … Continue reading Tu Weiming

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  • 10/14/16--21:45: Stoicism
  • Stoicism Stoicism originated as a Hellenistic philosophy, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium (modern day Cyprus), c. 300 B.C.E. It was influenced by Socrates and the Cynics, and it engaged in vigorous debates with the Skeptics, the Academics, and the Epicureans. It moved to Rome where it flourished during the period of the Empire, … Continue reading Stoicism

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  • 12/11/16--15:44: Geulincx, Arnold
  • Arnold Geulincx (1624—1669) Arnold (or Arnout) Geulincx was an early-modern Flemish philosopher who initially taught at Leuven (Louvain) University, but fled the Catholic Low Countries when he was fired there in 1658. He settled at Leiden, in the Protestant North, where he worked under the patronage of the Cartesian Calvinist theologian Abraham Heidanus (1597-1678), and … Continue reading Geulincx, Arnold

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  • 06/11/16--17:51: Habermas, Jürgen
  • Jürgen Habermas (1929—) Jürgen Habermas produced a large body of work over more than five decades. His early work was devoted to the public sphere, to modernization, and to critiques of trends in philosophy and politics. He then slowly began to articulate theories of rationality, meaning, and truth. His two-volume Theory of Communicative Action in … Continue reading Habermas, Jürgen

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  • 02/13/17--22:46: Geulincx, Arnold
  • Arnold Geulincx (1624—1669) Arnold (or Arnout) Geulincx was an early-modern Flemish philosopher who initially taught at Leuven (Louvain) University, but fled the Catholic Low Countries when he was fired there in 1658. He settled at Leiden, in the Protestant North, where he worked under the patronage of the Cartesian Calvinist theologian Abraham Heidanus (1597-1678), and … Continue reading Geulincx, Arnold

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  • 02/14/17--17:19: Scotus: Knowledge of God
  • Scotus: Knowledge of God Any discussion of John Duns Scotus (1266—1308) on our knowledge of God has to be a discussion of Scotus’s thesis that we have concepts univocal to God and creatures. By this, Scotus means that someone’s idea can equally represent both God and other types of things. This is striking even to … Continue reading Scotus: Knowledge of God

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  • 02/14/17--23:52: Thomas Aquinas
  • Thomas Aquinas (1224/6—1274) St. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican priest and Scriptural theologian. He took seriously the medieval maxim that “grace perfects and builds on nature; it does not set it aside or destroy it.” Therefore, insofar as Thomas thinks about philosophy as the discipline that investigates what we can know naturally about God and … Continue reading Thomas Aquinas

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  • 06/10/17--12:54: Rand, Ayn
  • Ayn Rand (1905—1982) Ayn Rand was a major intellectual of the twentieth century. Born in Russia in 1905 and educated there, she immigrated to the United States after graduating from university. Upon becoming proficient in English and establishing herself as a writer of fiction, she became well-known as a passionate advocate of a philosophy she … Continue reading Rand, Ayn

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