Aristotle was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy", his writings cover many subjects – including physics, zoology, logic, aesthetics, theatre, rhetoric, linguistics, economics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry; as a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece, his father, died when Aristotle was a child, he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven.
Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication; the fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, following Plato's death, Aristotle developed an increased interest in natural sciences and adopted the position of immanent realism. Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century.
His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic continued well into the 19th century He influenced Islamic thought during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as "The Philosopher", his ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics, such as in the thinking of Alasdair MacIntyre and Philippa Foot. In general, the details of Aristotle's life are not well-established; the biographies written in ancient times are speculative and historians only agree on a few salient points. Aristotle, whose name means "the best purpose" in Ancient Greek, was born in 384 BC in Stagira, about 55 km east of modern-day Thessaloniki.
His father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. Both of Aristotle's parents died when he was about thirteen, Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. Although little information about Aristotle's childhood has survived, he spent some time within the Macedonian palace, making his first connections with the Macedonian monarchy. At the age of seventeen or eighteen, Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy, he remained there for nearly twenty years before leaving Athens in 348/47 BC. The traditional story about his departure records that he was disappointed with the Academy's direction after control passed to Plato's nephew Speusippus, although it is possible that he feared the anti-Macedonian sentiments in Athens at that time and left before Plato died. Aristotle accompanied Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. After the death of Hermias, Aristotle travelled with his pupil Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island and its sheltered lagoon.
While in Lesbos, Aristotle married Hermias's adoptive daughter or niece. She bore him a daughter, whom they named Pythias. In 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander. Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon. During Aristotle's time in the Macedonian court, he gave lessons not only to Alexander, but to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest and Aristotle's own attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be "a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants". By 335 BC, Aristotle had returned to Athens. Aristotle conducted courses at the school for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died and Aristotle became involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus.
According to the Suda, he had an erômenos, Palaephatus of Abydus. This period in Athens, between 335 and 323 BC, is when Aristotle is believed to have composed many of his works, he wrote many dialogues. Those works that have survived are in treatise form and were not
Benjamin Jowett was renowned as an influential tutor and administrative reformer in the University of Oxford, a theologian and translator of Plato and Thucydides. He was Master of Oxford. Jowett was born in Peckham and grew up in Camberwell, the third of nine children, his father was a furrier from a Yorkshire family that, for three generations, had been supporters of the Evangelical movement in the Church of England. His mother was a Langhorne, related to the poet and translator of Plutarch. At twelve, Jowett was placed on the foundation of St Paul's School where he soon gained a reputation as a precocious classical scholar. Aged eighteen he was awarded an open scholarship to Balliol College, where he remained for the rest of his life, he went up in 1836, was recognized as one of the leading Oxford dons of his generation, made a Fellow while still an undergraduate in 1838. This was at the height of the Oxford Tractarian movement: through the friendship of W. G. Ward he was drawn for a time in the direction of High Anglicanism.
The controversy caused Jowett to withdraw from High Table at college to lodgings in Broad Street. As early as 1839, Stanley had joined with Archibald Campbell Tait, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, in advocating certain university reforms. From 1846 onwards, Jowett threw himself into this movement, which in 1848 became general amongst the younger and more thoughtful fellows, until it took effect in the commission of 1850 and the act of 1854. Jowett concentrated on theology: he spent the summers of 1845 and 1846 in Germany with Stanley, became an eager student of German criticism and speculation, his views became more than radical, they were heretical, which curtailed prospects for advancement within the walls of the conformity of Anglican Oxford. Amongst the writings of that period he was most impressed by those of F. C. Baur, but he never ceased to exercise an independent judgment, his work on St Paul, which appeared in 1855, was the result of much original reflection and inquiry. Jowett found a friend and correspondent in Florence Nightingale, but whether there was any romantic attachment is unclear.
It has been suggested that he belatedly proposed marriage, but was rejected, lived the latter part of his life in regret that never knew matrimonial bliss. Jowett's didactic and pedagogic nature tended him towards instruction of her complicated character accusing her of exaggeration, an emotional intensity occasioned by hysteria, he was a father figure, paternalistic towards a conservative woman, self-censoring and strict in her conduct. Another educational reform, the opening of the Indian Civil Service to competition, took place at the same time, Jowett was one of the commission, he had two brothers and Alfred who had served and died in India, he never ceased to take a deep and practical interest in Indian affairs. After the Second Royal Commission in May 1859 he called Philomela'the Governess of Governors of India' for her robust dealings with the poor conditions in Calcutta "the natives themselves...educated to cleanliness & health by the enforcement of sanitary regulations in the large towns."
When an old man he visited Claydons, where Margaret Verney donated him a print portrait of Florence which he bequested in his will to Somerville College. A. Sorabji, an Indian writer, was a student barrister at Somerville College in 1890s, when the Master of Balliol, pointing to the picture declared her love for him: the story was never confirmed. In another story Margot Tennant wife of Henry Asquith, befriended Jowett, only to learn that he had had a "violent...very violent" relationship with Nightingale. Jowett could be somewhat chaotic in his recollections. Jowett was appointed to the Regius Professorship of Greek in autumn 1855, he had been a tutor of Balliol and a clergyman since 1842 and had devoted himself to the work of tuition: his pupils became his friends for life. He taught them to know themselves; this made him a reputation as "the great tutor". A great disappointment, his repulse for the mastership of Balliol in 1854, appears to have roused him into the completion of his book on The Epistles of St Paul.
This work, described by one of his friends as "a miracle of boldness", is full of originality and suggestiveness, but its publication awakened against him a storm of theological opposition from the Orthodox Evangelicals, which followed him more or less through life. Instead of yielding to this, he joined with Henry Bristow Wilson and Rowland Williams, attacked, in the production of the volume known as Essays and Reviews; this gave rise to a strong outbreak of criticism. Jowett's loyalty to those who were prosecuted on this account was no less characteristic than his persistent silence while the augmentation of his salary as Greek professor was withheld; this persecution was continued until 1865, when E. A. Freeman and Charles Elton discovered by historical research that a breach of the conditions of the professorship had occurred, Christ Church, raised the endowment from £40 a year to £500. Jowett was one of the recipients of Nightingale's three volume work Suggestions for Thought for proof-reading and criticism.
In the third volume of Essays and Reviews he contributed On the Interpretation of Scripture in which he attempted to reconcile her assertion that religio
Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. Physical space is conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime; the concept of space is considered to be of fundamental importance to an understanding of the physical universe. However, disagreement continues between philosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework. Debates concerning the nature and the mode of existence of space date back to antiquity. Many of these classical philosophical questions were discussed in the Renaissance and reformulated in the 17th century during the early development of classical mechanics. In Isaac Newton's view, space was absolute—in the sense that it existed permanently and independently of whether there was any matter in the space. Other natural philosophers, notably Gottfried Leibniz, thought instead that space was in fact a collection of relations between objects, given by their distance and direction from one another.
In the 18th century, the philosopher and theologian George Berkeley attempted to refute the "visibility of spatial depth" in his Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision. The metaphysician Immanuel Kant said that the concepts of space and time are not empirical ones derived from experiences of the outside world—they are elements of an given systematic framework that humans possess and use to structure all experiences. Kant referred to the experience of "space" in his Critique of Pure Reason as being a subjective "pure a priori form of intuition". In the 19th and 20th centuries mathematicians began to examine geometries that are non-Euclidean, in which space is conceived as curved, rather than flat. According to Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, space around gravitational fields deviates from Euclidean space. Experimental tests of general relativity have confirmed that non-Euclidean geometries provide a better model for the shape of space. Galilean and Cartesian theories about space and motion are at the foundation of the Scientific Revolution, understood to have culminated with the publication of Newton's Principia in 1687.
Newton's theories about space and time helped. While his theory of space is considered the most influential in Physics, it emerged from his predecessors' ideas about the same; as one of the pioneers of modern science, Galilei revised the established Aristotelian and Ptolemaic ideas about a geocentric cosmos. He backed the Copernican theory that the universe was heliocentric, with a stationary sun at the center and the planets—including the Earth—revolving around the sun. If the Earth moved, the Aristotelian belief that its natural tendency was to remain at rest was in question. Galilei wanted to prove instead that the sun moved around its axis, that motion was as natural to an object as the state of rest. In other words, for Galilei, celestial bodies, including the Earth, were inclined to move in circles; this view displaced another Aristotelian idea—that all objects gravitated towards their designated natural place-of-belonging. Descartes set out to replace the Aristotelian worldview with a theory about space and motion as determined by natural laws.
In other words, he sought a metaphysical foundation or a mechanical explanation for his theories about matter and motion. Cartesian space was Euclidean in structure—infinite and flat, it was defined as that. The Cartesian notion of space is linked to his theories about the nature of the body and matter, he is famously known for his "cogito ergo sum", or the idea that we can only be certain of the fact that we can doubt, therefore think and therefore exist. His theories belong to the rationalist tradition, which attributes knowledge about the world to our ability to think rather than to our experiences, as the empiricists believe, he posited a clear distinction between the body and mind, referred to as the Cartesian dualism. Following Galilei and Descartes, during the seventeenth century the philosophy of space and time revolved around the ideas of Gottfried Leibniz, a German philosopher–mathematician, Isaac Newton, who set out two opposing theories of what space is. Rather than being an entity that independently exists over and above other matter, Leibniz held that space is no more than the collection of spatial relations between objects in the world: "space is that which results from places taken together".
Unoccupied regions are those that could have objects in them, thus spatial relations with other places. For Leibniz space was an idealised abstraction from the relations between individual entities or their possible locations and therefore could not be continuous but must be discrete. Space could be thought of in a similar way to the relations between family members. Although people in the family are related to one another, the relations do not exist independently of the people. Leibniz argued that space could not exist independently of objects in the world because that implies a difference between two universes alike except for the location of the material world in
Modern philosophy is philosophy developed in the modern era and associated with modernity. It is not a specific doctrine or school, although there are certain assumptions common to much of it, which helps to distinguish it from earlier philosophy; the 17th and early 20th centuries mark the beginning and the end of modern philosophy. How much of the Renaissance should be included is a matter for dispute. How one decides these questions will determine the scope of one's use of "modern philosophy." How much of Renaissance intellectual history is part of modern philosophy is disputed: the Early Renaissance is considered less modern and more medieval compared to the High Renaissance. By the 17th and 18th centuries the major figures in philosophy of mind and metaphysics were divided into two main groups; the "Rationalists," in France and Germany, argued all knowledge must begin from certain "innate ideas" in the mind. Major rationalists were Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, Nicolas Malebranche.
The "Empiricists," by contrast, held. Major figures in this line of thought are John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume. Ethics and political philosophy are not subsumed under these categories, though all these philosophers worked in ethics, in their own distinctive styles. Other important figures in political philosophy include Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant set forth a groundbreaking philosophical system which claimed to bring unity to rationalism and empiricism. Whether or not he was right, he did not succeed in ending philosophical dispute. Kant sparked a storm of philosophical work in Germany in the early nineteenth century, beginning with German idealism; the characteristic theme of idealism was that the world and the mind must be understood according to the same categories. Hegel's work was carried in many directions by his critics. Karl Marx appropriated both Hegel's philosophy of history and the empirical ethics dominant in Britain, transforming Hegel's ideas into a materialist form, setting the grounds for the development of a science of society.
Søren Kierkegaard, in contrast, dismissed all systematic philosophy as an inadequate guide to life and meaning. For Kierkegaard, life is meant to be lived, not a mystery to be solved. Arthur Schopenhauer took idealism to the conclusion that the world was nothing but the futile endless interplay of images and desires, advocated atheism and pessimism. Schopenhauer's ideas were taken up and transformed by Nietzsche, who seized upon their various dismissals of the world to proclaim "God is dead" and to reject all systematic philosophy and all striving for a fixed truth transcending the individual. Nietzsche found in this not the possibility of a new kind of freedom. 19th-century British philosophy came to be dominated by strands of neo-Hegelian thought, as a reaction against this, figures such as Bertrand Russell and George Edward Moore began moving in the direction of analytic philosophy, an updating of traditional empiricism to accommodate the new developments in logic of the German mathematician Gottlob Frege.
Renaissance humanism opposed dogma and scholasticism. This new interest in human activities led to the development of political science with The Prince of Niccolò Macchiavelli. Humanists differed from Medieval scholars because they saw the natural world as mathematically ordered and pluralistic, instead of thinking of it in terms of purposes and goals. Renaissance philosophy is best explained by two propositions made by Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks: All of our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions There is no certainty where one can neither apply any of the mathematical sciences nor any of those which are based upon the mathematical sciences. In a similar way, Galieo based his scientific method on experiments but developed mathematical methods for application to problems in physics; these two ways to conceive human knowledge formed the background for the principle of Empiricism and Rationalism respectively. Pico della Mirandola Nicolas of Cusa Giordano Bruno Galileo Galilei Niccolò Macchiavelli Michel de Montaigne Francisco Suárez Modern philosophy traditionally begins with René Descartes and his dictum "I think, therefore I am".
In the early seventeenth century the bulk of philosophy was dominated by Scholasticism, written by theologians and drawing upon Plato and early Church writings. Descartes argued that many predominant Scholastic metaphysical doctrines were false. In short, he proposed to begin philosophy from scratch. In his most important work, Meditations on First Philosophy, he attempts just this, over six brief essays, he tries to set aside as much as he can of all his beliefs, to determine what if anything he knows for certain. He finds that he can doubt nearly everything: the reality of physical objects, his memories, science mathematics, but he cannot doubt that he is, in fact, doubting, he knows what he is thinking about if it is not true, he knows that he is there thinking about it. From this basis he builds his knowledge back up again, he finds that some of the ideas he has could not have
A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term. Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions and extensional definitions. Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, thus require multiple definitions. In mathematics, a definition is used to give a precise meaning to a new term, instead of describing a pre-existing term. Definitions and axioms are the basis. In modern usage, a definition is something expressed in words, that attaches a meaning to a word or group of words; the word or group of words, to be defined is called the definiendum, the word, group of words, or action that defines it is called the definiens. In the definition "An elephant is a large gray animal native to Asia and Africa", the word "elephant" is the definiendum, everything after the word "is" is the definiens; the definiens is not the meaning of the word defined, but is instead something that conveys the same meaning as that word.
There are many sub-types of definitions specific to a given field of knowledge or study. These include, among many others, lexical definitions, or the common dictionary definitions of words in a language. An intensional definition called a connotative definition, specifies the necessary and sufficient conditions for a thing being a member of a specific set. Any definition that attempts to set out the essence of something, such as that by genus and differentia, is an intensional definition. An extensional definition called a denotative definition, of a concept or term specifies its extension, it is a list naming every object, a member of a specific set. Thus, the "seven deadly sins" can be defined intensionally as those singled out by Pope Gregory I as destructive of the life of grace and charity within a person, thus creating the threat of eternal damnation. An extensional definition would be the list of wrath, sloth, lust and gluttony. In contrast, while an intensional definition of "Prime Minister" might be "the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system", an extensional definition is not possible since it is not known who future prime ministers will be.
A genus–differentia definition is a type of intensional definition that takes a large category and narrows it down to a smaller category by a distinguishing characteristic. More formally, a genus-differentia definition consists of: a genus: An existing definition that serves as a portion of the new definition; the differentia: The portion of the new definition, not provided by the genus. For example, consider the following genus-differentia definitions: a triangle: A plane figure that has three straight bounding sides. A quadrilateral: A plane figure that has four straight bounding sides; those definitions can be expressed as two differentiae. It is possible to have two different genus-differentia definitions that describe the same term when the term describes the overlap of two large categories. For instance, both of these genus-differentia definitions of "square" are acceptable: a square: a rectangle, a rhombus. A square: a rhombus, a rectangle. Thus, a "square" is a member of both the genus "rectangle" and the genus "rhombus".
One important form of the extensional definition is ostensive definition. This gives the meaning of a term by pointing, in the case of an individual, to the thing itself, or in the case of a class, to examples of the right kind. So one can explain; the process of ostensive definition itself was critically appraised by Ludwig Wittgenstein. An enumerative definition of a concept or term is an extensional definition that gives an explicit and exhaustive listing of all the objects that fall under the concept or term in question. Enumerative definitions are only possible for finite sets and only practical for small sets. Divisio and partitio are classical terms for definitions. A partitio is an intensional definition. A divisio is not an extensional definition, but an exhaustive list of subsets of a set, in the sense that every member of the "divided" set is a member of one of the subsets. An extreme form of divisio lists all sets; the difference between this and an extensional definition is that extensional definitions list members, not subsets.
In classical thought, a definition was taken to be a statement of the essence of a thing. Aristotle had it that an object's essential attributes form its "essential nature", that a definition of the object must include these essential attributes; the idea that a definition should state the essence of a thing led to the distinction between nominal and real essence, originating with Aristotle. In
Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. By laying the groundwork for the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. Along with René Descartes, Spinoza was a leading philosophical figure of the Dutch Golden Age. Spinoza's given name, which means "Blessed", varies among different languages. In Hebrew, it is written ברוך שפינוזה, his Portuguese name is d'Espinosa. In his Latin works, he used Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza. Spinoza was raised in a Portuguese-Jewish community in Amsterdam, he developed controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine. Jewish religious authorities issued a herem against him, causing him to be shunned by Jewish society at age 23, his books were later put on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books. Spinoza lived an outwardly simple life as an optical lens grinder, collaborating on microscope and telescope lens designs with Constantijn and Christiaan Huygens.
He turned down rewards and honours including prestigious teaching positions. He died at the age of 44 in 1677 from a lung illness tuberculosis or silicosis exacerbated by the inhalation of fine glass dust while grinding lenses, he is buried in the churchyard of the Christian Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. Spinoza's magnum opus, the Ethics, was published posthumously in the year of his death; the work opposed Descartes' philosophy of mind–body dualism, earned Spinoza recognition as one of Western philosophy's most important thinkers. In it, "Spinoza wrote the last indisputable Latin masterpiece, one in which the refined conceptions of medieval philosophy are turned against themselves and destroyed entirely". Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, "The fact is that Spinoza is made a testing-point in modern philosophy, so that it may be said: You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all." His philosophical accomplishments and moral character prompted Gilles Deleuze to name him "the'prince' of philosophers."
Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent and were a part of the community of Portuguese Jews that had settled in the city of Amsterdam in the wake of the Portuguese Inquisition, which had resulted in forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian Peninsula. Attracted by the Decree of Toleration issued in 1579 by the Union of Utrecht, Portuguese converts to Catholicism first sailed to Amsterdam in 1593 and promptly reconverted to Judaism. In 1598, permission was granted to build a synagogue, in 1615 an ordinance for the admission and government of the Jews was passed; as a community of exiles, the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam were proud of their identity. Although the Portuguese name "de Espinosa" or "Espinosa," spelled with a "z," can be confused with the Spanish "de Espinoza" or "Espinoza," there is no evidence in Spinoza's genealogy that his family came from Espinosa de los Monteros, near Burgos, or from Espinosa de Cerrato, near Palencia, both in Northern Castile, Spain.
Still, this was a common Portuguese conversos family name. Spinoza's father was born a century after the forced conversions in the small Portuguese city of Vidigueira, near Beja in Alentejo; when Spinoza's father Miguel was still a child, Spinoza's grandfather, Isaac de Spinoza, from Lisbon, took his family to Nantes in France. They were expelled in 1615 and moved to Rotterdam, where Isaac died in 1627. Spinoza's father and his uncle Manuel moved to Amsterdam where they resumed the practice of Judaism. Miguel was a successful merchant and became a warden of the synagogue and of the Amsterdam Jewish school, he buried three of his six children died before reaching adulthood. Amsterdam and Rotterdam operated as important cosmopolitan centres where merchant ships from many parts of the world brought people of various customs and beliefs; this flourishing commercial activity encouraged a culture tolerant of the play of new ideas, to a considerable degree sheltered from the censorious hand of ecclesiastical authority.
Not by chance were the philosophical works of both Descartes and Spinoza developed in the cultural and intellectual background of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. Spinoza may have had access to a circle of friends who were unconventional in terms of social tradition, including members of the Collegiants. One of the people he knew was a brilliant Danish student in Leiden. Benedito de Espinoza was born on 24 November 1632 in the Jodenbuurt in Netherlands, he was the second son of Miguel de Espinoza, a successful, although not wealthy, Portuguese Sephardic Jewish merchant in Amsterdam. His mother, Ana Débora, Miguel's second wife, died. Spinoza's mother tongue was Portuguese, although he knew Hebrew, Dutch French, Latin. Although he wrote in Latin, Spinoza learned the language only late in his youth. Spinoza had a traditional Jewish upbringing, attending the Keter Torah yeshiva of the Amsterdam Talmud Torah congregation headed by the learned and traditional senior Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira.
His teachers included the less traditional Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel, "a man of wide learning and secular interests, a friend of Vossius and Rembrandt". While pre