Existentialism is the philosophical study that begins with the human subject—not the thinking subject, but the acting, living human individual. It is associated with certain 19th and 20th-century European philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief in that beginning of philosophical thinking. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an meaningless or absurd world. Many existentialists have regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophies, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Søren Kierkegaard is considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher, though he did not use the term existentialism, he proposed that each individual—not society or religion—is responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, or "authentically".
Existentialism became popular in the years following World War II, thanks to Sartre who read Heidegger while in a POW camp, influenced many disciplines besides philosophy, including theology, art and psychology. The term "existentialism" was coined by the French Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the mid-1940s. At first, when Marcel applied the term to him at a colloquium in 1945, Jean-Paul Sartre rejected it. Sartre subsequently changed his mind and, on October 29, 1945, publicly adopted the existentialist label in a lecture to the Club Maintenant in Paris; the lecture was published as L'existentialisme est un humanisme, a short book that did much to popularize existentialist thought. Marcel came to reject the label himself in favour of the term Neo-Socratic, in honor of Kierkegaard's essay "On The Concept of Irony"; some scholars argue that the term should be used only to refer to the cultural movement in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s associated with the works of the philosophers Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus.
Other scholars extend the term to Kierkegaard, yet others extend it as far back as Socrates. However, the term is identified with the philosophical views of Sartre; the labels existentialism and existentialist are seen as historical conveniences in as far as they were first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. In fact, while existentialism is considered to have originated with Kierkegaard, the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre posits the idea that "what all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence", as scholar Frederick Copleston explains. According to philosopher Steven Crowell, defining existentialism has been difficult, he argues that it is better understood as a general approach used to reject certain systematic philosophies rather than as a systematic philosophy itself. Sartre himself, in a lecture delivered in 1945, described existentialism as "the attempt to draw all the consequences from a position of consistent atheism".
Although many outside Scandinavia consider the term existentialism to have originated from Kierkegaard himself, it is more that Kierkegaard adopted this term from the Norwegian poet and literary critic Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven. This assertion comes from two sources; the Norwegian philosopher Erik Lundestad refers to the Danish philosopher Fredrik Christian Sibbern. Sibbern is supposed to have had two conversations in 1841, the first with Welhaven and the second with Kierkegaard, it is in the first conversation that it is believed that Welhaven came up with "a word that he said covered a certain thinking, which had a close and positive attitude to life, a relationship he described as existential". This was brought to Kierkegaard by Sibbern; the second claim comes from the Norwegian historian Rune Slagstad, who claims to prove that Kierkegaard himself said the term "existential" was borrowed from the poet. He believes that it was Kierkegaard himself who said that "Hegelians do not study philosophy'existentially'.
Sartre argued that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings —rather than what labels, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit. The actual life of the individuals is what constitutes what could be called their "true essence" instead of there being an arbitrarily attributed essence others use to define them. Thus, human beings, through their own consciousness, create their own values and determine a meaning to their life. Although it was Sartre who explicitly coined the phrase, similar notions can be found in the thought of existentialist philosophers such as Heidegger, Kierkegaard: The subjective thinker’s form, the form of his communication, is his style, his form must be just as manifold as are the opposites. The systematic eins, drei is an abstract form that must run into trouble whenever it is to be applied to the concrete.
To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must be concretely dialectica
Continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20th-century philosophical traditions from mainland Europe. This sense of the term originated among English-speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century, who used it to refer to a range of thinkers and traditions outside the analytic movement. Continental philosophy includes German idealism, existentialism, structuralism, post-structuralism, French feminism, psychoanalytic theory, the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and related branches of Western Marxism, it is difficult to identify non-trivial claims that would be common to all the preceding philosophical movements. The term continental philosophy, like analytic philosophy, lacks clear definition and may mark a family resemblance across disparate philosophical views. Simon Glendinning has suggested that the term was more pejorative than descriptive, functioning as a label for types of western philosophy rejected or disliked by analytic philosophers. Nonetheless, Michael E. Rosen has ventured to identify common themes that characterize continental philosophy.
First, continental philosophers reject the view that the natural sciences are the only or most accurate way of understanding natural phenomena. This contrasts with many analytic philosophers who consider their inquiries as continuous with, or subordinate to, those of the natural sciences. Continental philosophers argue that science depends upon a "pre-theoretical substrate of experience" and that scientific methods are inadequate to understand such conditions of intelligibility. Second, continental philosophy considers these conditions of possible experience as variable: determined at least by factors such as context and time, culture, or history, thus continental philosophy tends toward historicism. Where analytic philosophy tends to treat philosophy in terms of discrete problems, capable of being analyzed apart from their historical origins, continental philosophy suggests that "philosophical argument cannot be divorced from the textual and contextual conditions of its historical emergence".
Third, continental philosophy holds that human agency can change these conditions of possible experience: "if human experience is a contingent creation it can be recreated in other ways". Thus continental philosophers tend to take a strong interest in the unity of theory and practice, see their philosophical inquiries as related to personal, moral, or political transformation; this tendency is clear in the Marxist tradition, but is central in existentialism and post-structuralism. A final characteristic trait of continental philosophy is an emphasis on metaphilosophy. In the wake of the development and success of the natural sciences, continental philosophers have sought to redefine the method and nature of philosophy. In some cases, this manifests as a renovation of the traditional view that philosophy is the first, foundational, a priori science. In other cases, it is held that philosophy investigates a domain, irreducibly cultural or practical, and some continental philosophers doubt whether any conception of philosophy can coherently achieve its stated goals.
The foregoing themes derive from a broadly Kantian thesis that knowledge and reality are bound and shaped by conditions best understood through philosophical reflection rather than empirical inquiry. The term continental philosophy, in the above sense, was first used by English-speaking philosophers to describe university courses in the 1970s, emerging as a collective name for the philosophies widespread in France and Germany, such as phenomenology, existentialism and post-structuralism. However, the term can be found at least as early as 1840, in John Stuart Mill's 1840 essay on Coleridge, where Mill contrasts the Kantian-influenced thought of "Continental philosophy" and "Continental philosophers" with the English empiricism of Bentham and the 18th century generally; this notion gained prominence in the early 20th century as figures such as Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore advanced a vision of philosophy allied with natural science, progressing through logical analysis; this tradition, which has come to be known broadly as "analytic philosophy", became dominant in Britain and the United States from 1930 onward.
Russell and Moore made a dismissal of Hegelianism and its philosophical relatives a distinctive part of their new movement. Commenting on the history of the distinction in 1945, Russell distinguished "two schools of philosophy, which may be broadly distinguished as the Continental and the British respectively", a division he saw as operative "from the time of Locke". Since the 1970s, many philosophers in the United States and Britain have taken interest in continental philosophers since Kant, the philosophical traditions in many European countries have incorporated many aspects of the "analytic" movement. Self-described analytic philosophy flourishes in France, including philosophers such as Jules Vuillemin, Vincent Descombes, Gilles Gaston Granger, François Recanati, Pascal Engel. Self-descr
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy, he became the youngest to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties, he lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900. Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, history, tragedy and science, his writing spans philosophical polemics, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism. He developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his work, he became preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with Nazism. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism and post-structuralism—as well as art, psychology and popular culture.
Born on 15 October 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. Nietzsche's Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, they had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; the family moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's maternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters. After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house, now Nietzsche-Haus, a museum and Nietzsche study centre. Nietzsche attended a boys' school and a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all of whom came from respected families. In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg; because his father had worked for the state the now-fatherless Nietzsche was offered a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized Schulpforta.
He transferred and studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He found time to work on poems and musical compositions. Nietzsche led a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg. At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important grounding in languages—Greek, Latin and French—so as to be able to read important primary sources, his end-of-semester exams in March 1864 showed a 1 in German. While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects, he became acquainted with the work of the almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composing an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality." The teacher who corrected the essay gave it a good mark but commented that Nietzsche should concern himself in the future with healthier, more lucid, more "German" writers. Additionally, he became acquainted with Ernst Ortlepp, an eccentric and drunken poet, found dead in a ditch weeks after meeting the young Nietzsche but who may have introduced Nietzsche to the music and writing of Rich
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, between possibility and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together mean "after or behind or among the natural", it has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics. Metaphysics studies questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are. Metaphysics seeks to answer, in an abstract and general manner, the questions: What is there? What is it like? Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence and their properties and time, cause and effect, possibility. Metaphysics study, conducted using deduction from that, known a priori. Like foundational mathematics, it tries to give a coherent account of the structure of the world, capable of explaining our everyday and scientific perception of the world, being free from contradictions.
In mathematics, there are many different ways. While metaphysics may, as a special case, study the entities postulated by fundamental science such as atoms and superstrings, its core topic is the set of categories such as object and causality which those scientific theories assume. For example: claiming that "electrons have charge" is a scientific theory. There are two broad stances about; the strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences. The weak, modern view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist inside the mind of an observer, so the subject becomes a form of introspection and conceptual analysis; some philosophers, notably Kant, discuss both of these "worlds" and what can be inferred about each one. Some philosophers, such as the logical positivists, many scientists, reject the strong view of metaphysics as meaningless and unverifiable. Others reply that this criticism applies to any type of knowledge, including hard science, which claims to describe anything other than the contents of human perception, thus that the world of perception is the objective world in some sense.
Metaphysics itself assumes that some stance has been taken on these questions and that it may proceed independently of the choice—the question of which stance to take belongs instead to another branch of philosophy, epistemology. Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as the core of metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, subdivided according to similarities and differences. Identity is a fundamental metaphysical issue. Metaphysicians investigating identity are tasked with the question of what it means for something to be identical to itself, or — more controversially — to something else. Issues of identity arise in the context of time: what does it mean for something to be itself across two moments in time? How do we account for this? Another question of identity arises when we ask what our criteria ought to be for determining identity?
And how does the reality of identity interface with linguistic expressions? The metaphysical positions one takes on identity have far-reaching implications on issues such as the mind-body problem, personal identity and law; the ancient Greeks took extreme positions on the nature of change. Parmenides denied change altogether, while Heraclitus argued that change was ubiquitous: "ou cannot step into the same river twice." Identity, sometimes called Numerical Identity, is the relation that a "thing" bears to itself, which no "thing" bears to anything other than itself. A modern philosopher who made a lasting impact on the philosophy of identity was Leibniz, whose Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals is still in wide use today, it states that if some object x is identical to some object y any property that x has, y will have as well. Put formally, it states ∀ x ∀ y However, it seems, that objects can change over time. If one were to look at a tree one day, the tree lost a leaf, it would seem that one could still be looking at that same tree.
Two rival theories to account for the relationship between change and identity are perdurantism, which treats the tree as a series of tree-stages, endurantism, which maintains that the organism—the same tree—is present at every stage in its history. Objects appear to us in space and time, while abstract entities such as classes, r
Jewish philosophy includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or in relation to the religion of Judaism. Until modern Haskalah and Jewish emancipation, Jewish philosophy was preoccupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism, thus organizing emergent ideas that are not Jewish into a uniquely Jewish scholastic framework and world-view. With their acceptance into modern society, Jews with secular educations embraced or developed new philosophies to meet the demands of the world in which they now found themselves. Medieval re-discovery of ancient Greek philosophy among the Geonim of 10th century Babylonian academies brought rationalist philosophy into Biblical-Talmudic Judaism; the philosophy was in competition with Kabbalah. Both schools would become part of classic Rabbinic literature, though the decline of scholastic rationalism coincided with historical events which drew Jews to the Kabbalistic approach. For Ashkenazi Jews and encounter with secular thought from the 18th century onwards altered how philosophy was viewed.
Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities had more ambivalent interaction with secular culture than in Western Europe. In the varied responses to modernity, Jewish philosophical ideas were developed across the range of emerging religious movements; these developments could be seen as either continuations of or breaks from the canon of Rabbinic philosophy of the Middle Ages, as well as the other historical dialectic aspects of Jewish thought, resulted in diverse contemporary Jewish attitudes to philosophical methods. Rabbinic literature sometimes views Abraham as a philosopher; some have suggested. A midrash describes how Abraham understood this world to have a creator and director by comparing this world to "a house with a light in it", what is now called the argument from design. Psalms contains invitations to admire the wisdom of God through his works. Ecclesiastes is considered to be the only genuine philosophical work in the Hebrew Bible. Philo attempted to fuse and harmonize Greek and Jewish philosophy through allegory, which he learned from Jewish exegesis and Stoicism.
Philo attempted to make his philosophy the means of defending and justifying Jewish religious truths. These truths he regarded as fixed and determinate, philosophy was used as an aid to truth, a means of arriving at it. To this end Philo chose from philosophical tenets of Greeks, refusing those that did not harmonize with Judaism such as Aristotle's doctrine of the eternity and indestructibility of the world. Dr. Bernard Revel, in dissertation on Karaite halakha, points to writings of a 10th-century Karaite, Jacob Qirqisani, who quotes Philo, illustrating how Karaites made use of Philo's works in development of Karaite Judaism. Philo's works became important to Medieval Christian scholars who leveraged the work of Karaites to lend credence to their claims that "these are the beliefs of Jews" - a technically correct, yet deceptive, attribution. With the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Second Temple Judaism was in disarray, but Jewish traditions were preserved thanks to the shrewd maneuvers of Johanan ben Zakai, who saved the Sanhedrin and moved it to Yavne.
Philosophical speculation was not a central part of Rabbinic Judaism, although some have seen the Mishnah as a philosophical work. Rabbi Akiva has been viewed as a philosophical figure: his statements include 1.) "How favored is man, for he was created after an image "for in an image, Elokim made man"", 2.) "Everything is foreseen. "The world is governed by mercy... but the divine decision is made by the preponderance of the good or bad in one's actions". After the Bar Kokhba revolt, Rabbinic scholars gathered in Tiberias and Safed to re-assemble and re-assess Judaism, its laws, liturgy and leadership structure. In 219 CE, the Sura Academy was founded by Abba Arika. For the next five centuries, Talmudic academies focused upon reconstituting Judaism and little, if any, philosophic investigation was pursued. Rabbinic Judaism had limited philosophical activity until it was challenged by Islam, Karaite Judaism, Christianity—with Tanach and Talmud, there was no need for a philosophic framework. From an economic viewpoint, Radhanite trade dominance was being usurped by coordinated Christian and Islamic forced-conversions, torture, compelling Jewish scholars to understand nascent economic threats.
These investigations triggered new ideas and intellectual exchange among Jewish and Islamic scholars in the areas of jurisprudence, astronomy and philosophy. Jewish scholars influenced Islamic scholars influenced Jewish scholars. Contemporary scholars continue to debate, Muslim and, Jew—some "Islamic scholars" were "Jewish scholars" prior to forced conversion to Islam, some Jewish scholars willingly converted to Islam, such as Abdullah ibn Salam, while others reverted to Judaism, still others and raised as Jews, were ambiguous in their religious beliefs such as ibn al-Rawandi, although they lived according to the customs of their neighbors. Around 700 CE, ʿAmr ibn ʿUbayd Abu ʿUthman al-Basri introduces two streams of thought that influence Jewish and Christian scholars: Qadariyah Bahshamiyya MuʿtazilaThe story of the Bahshamiyya Muʿtazila
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος, meaning "lover of wisdom"; the coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras. In the classical sense, a philosopher was someone who lived according to a certain way of life, focusing on resolving existential questions about the human condition, not someone who discourses upon theories or comments upon authors; these particular brands of philosophy are Hellenistic ones and those who most arduously commit themselves to this lifestyle may be considered philosophers. A philosopher is one who challenges what is thought to be common sense, doesn’t know when to stop asking questions, reexamines the old ways of thought. In a modern sense, a philosopher is an intellectual who has contributed in one or more branches of philosophy, such as aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, social theory, political philosophy. A philosopher may be one who worked in the humanities or other sciences which have since split from philosophy proper over the centuries, such as the arts, economics, psychology, anthropology and politics.
The separation of philosophy and science from theology began in Greece during the 6th century BC. Thales, an astronomer and mathematician, was considered by Aristotle to be the first philosopher of the Greek tradition. While Pythagoras coined the word, the first known elaboration on the topic was conducted by Plato. In his Symposium, he concludes. Therefore, the philosopher is one. Therefore, the philosopher in antiquity was one who lives in the constant pursuit of wisdom, living in accordance to that wisdom. Disagreements arose as to what living philosophically entailed; these disagreements gave rise to different Hellenistic schools of philosophy. In consequence, the ancient philosopher thought in a tradition; as the ancient world became schism by philosophical debate, the competition lay in living in a manner that would transform his whole way of living in the world. Among the last of these philosophers was Marcus Aurelius, regarded as a philosopher in the modern sense, but refused to call himself by such a title, since he had a duty to live as an emperor.
According to the Classicist Pierre Hadot, the modern conception of a philosopher and philosophy developed predominately through three changes: The first is the natural inclination of the philosophical mind. Philosophy is a tempting discipline which can carry away the individual in analyzing the universe and abstract theory; the second is the historical change through the Medieval era. With the rise of Christianity, the philosophical way of life was adopted by its theology. Thus, philosophy was divided between a way of life and the conceptual, logical and metaphysical materials to justify that way of life. Philosophy was the servant to theology; the third is the sociological need with the development of the university. The modern university requires professionals to teach. Maintaining itself requires teaching future professionals to replace the current faculty. Therefore, the discipline degrades into a technical language reserved for specialists eschewing its original conception as a way of life.
In the fourth century, the word philosopher began to designate a man or woman who led a monastic life. Gregory of Nyssa, for example, describes how his sister Macrina persuaded their mother to forsake "the distractions of material life" for a life of philosophy. During the Middle Ages, persons who engaged with alchemy was called a philosopher – thus, the Philosopher's Stone. Many philosophers still emerged from the Classical tradition, as saw their philosophy as a way of life. Among the most notable are René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Nicolas Malebranche, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. With the rise of the university, the modern conception of philosophy became more prominent. Many of the esteemed philosophers of the eighteenth century and onward have attended and developed their works in university. Early examples include: Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. After these individuals, the Classical conception had all but died with the exceptions of Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche.
The last considerable figure in philosophy to not have followed a strict and orthodox academic regime was Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the modern era, those attaining advanced degrees in philosophy choose to stay in careers within the educational system as part of the wider professionalisation process of the discipline in the 20th century. According to a 1993 study by the National Research Council, 77.1% of the 7,900 holders of a PhD in philosophy who responded were employed in educational institutions. Outside academia, philosophers may employ their writing and reasoning skills in other careers, such as medicine, business, free-lance writing and law; some known French social thinkers are Claude Henri Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim. British social thought, with thinkers such as Herbert Spencer, addressed questions and ideas relating to political economy and social evolution; the political ideals of John Ruskin were a precursor of social economy. Important German philosophers and social thinkers included Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Martin Heidegger.
Important Chinese philosophers and social thinke
Analytic philosophy is a style of philosophy that became dominant in the Western world at the beginning of the 20th century. The term can refer to one of several things: As a philosophical practice, it is characterized by an emphasis on argumentative clarity and precision making use of formal logic, conceptual analysis, and, to a lesser degree and the natural sciences; as a historical development, analytic philosophy refers to certain developments in early 20th-century philosophy that were the historical antecedents of the current practice. Central figures in this historical development are Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. E. Moore, Gottlob Frege, the logical positivists. In this more specific sense, analytic philosophy is identified with specific philosophical traits, such as: The logical-positivist principle that there are not any philosophical facts and that the object of philosophy is the logical clarification of thoughts; this may be contrasted with the traditional foundationalism, which considers philosophy to be a special science that investigates the fundamental reasons and principles of everything.
Many analytic philosophers have considered their inquiries as continuous with, or subordinate to, those of the natural sciences. This is an attitude that begins with John Locke, who described his work as that of an "underlabourer" to the achievements of natural scientists such as Newton. During the 20th century, the most influential advocate of the continuity of philosophy with science was Willard Van Orman Quine; the principle that the logical clarification of thoughts can be achieved only by analysis of the logical form of philosophical propositions. The logical form of a proposition is a way of representing it, to reduce it to simpler components if necessary, to display its similarity with all other propositions of the same type. However, analytic philosophers disagree about the correct logical form of ordinary language; the neglect of generalized philosophical systems in favour of more restricted inquiries stated rigorously, or ordinary language. According to a characteristic paragraph by Russell: Modern analytical empiricism differs from that of Locke and Hume by its incorporation of mathematics and its development of a powerful logical technique.
It is thus able, in regard to certain problems, to achieve definite answers, which have the quality of science rather than of philosophy. It has the advantage, in comparison with the philosophies of the system-builders, of being able to tackle its problems one at a time, instead of having to invent at one stroke a block theory of the whole universe, its methods, in this respect, resemble those of science. In the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia, the majority of university philosophy departments today identify themselves as "analytic" departments. Analytic philosophy is understood in contrast to other philosophical traditions, most notably continental philosophies such as existentialism and phenomenology, Thomism and Marxism. British idealism, as taught by philosophers such as F. H. Bradley and Thomas Hill Green, dominated English philosophy in the late 19th century. With reference to this intellectual basis the initiators of analytic philosophy, G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, articulated early analytic philosophy.
Since its beginning, a basic goal of analytic philosophy has been conceptual clarity, in the name of which Moore and Russell rejected Hegelianism for being obscure—see for example Moore's "A Defence of Common Sense" and Russell's critique of the doctrine of internal relations. Inspired by developments in modern logic, the early Russell claimed that the problems of philosophy can be solved by showing the simple constituents of complex notions. An important aspect of British idealism was logical holism—the opinion that there are aspects of the world that can be known only by knowing the whole world; this is related to the opinion that relations between items are internal relations, that is, properties of the nature of those items. Russell, along with Wittgenstein, in response promulgated logical atomism and the doctrine of external relations—the belief that the world consists of independent facts. Russell, during his early career, along with his collaborator Alfred North Whitehead, was much influenced by Gottlob Frege, who developed predicate logic, which allowed a much greater range of sentences to be parsed into logical form than was possible using the ancient Aristotelian logic.
Frege was influential as a philosopher of mathematics in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. In contrast to Edmund Husserl's 1891 book Philosophie der Arithmetik, which argued that the concept of the cardinal number derived from psychical acts of grouping objects and counting them, Frege argued that mathematics and logic have their own validity, independent of the judgments or mental states of individual mathematicians and logicians. Frege further developed his philosophy of logic and mathematics in The Foundations of Arithmetic and The Basic Laws of Arithmetic, where he provided an alternative to psychologistic accounts of the concept of number. Like Frege, Russell argued that mathematics is reducible to logical fundamentals in The Principles of Mathematics, his book written with Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, encouraged many philosophers to renew their interest in the