Also found in: Thesaurus, Definition child rearing practices, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The study of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning.
A system of thought based on or involving such study: the philosophy of Hume. The study of the theoretical underpinnings of a particular field or discipline: the philosophy of history. Aristotle, especially an emphasis upon formal deductive logic, upon the concept that reality is a combination of form and matter, and upon investigation of the concrete and particular. Averroës, chiefly Aristotelianism tinged with Neoplatonism, asserting the unity of an active and divine intellect common to all while denying personal immortality. Jeremy Bentham that the morality of actions is estimated and determined by their utility and that pleasure and pain are both the ultimate Standard of right and wrong and the fundamental motives influencing human actions and wishes.
Henri Bergson, emphasizing time or duration as the central f act of experience and asserting the existence of the élan vital as an original life force governing all organic processes in a way that can be explained only by intuition, not by scientific analysis. George Berkeley denying the existence of the real world. Greek philosophy of the 4th century B. Epicurus, holding that the natural world is a series of fortuitous combinations of atoms, and that the highest good is f reedom from disturbance and pain. Fichte, German philosopher and social thinker, a precursor of socialism. Jews and the early Christians who claimed possession of superior spiritual knowledge, explained the creation of the world in an emanational manner, and condemned matter as evil.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his followers, characterized by the use of a special dialectic as an analytical and interpretive method. Thomas Hobbes, who maintained that an individual has the right to self-preservation and the pursuit of happiness. Gnostic orders of mankind, the material or fleshly, unsavable as sons of the devil. Aristotle that every physical object is composed of two principles, an unchanging prime matter and a form deprived of actuality with every substantial change of the object. Emmanuel Kant, asserting that the nature of the mind renders it unable to know reality immediately, that the mind interprets data presented to it as phenomena in space and time, and that the reason, in order to find a meaningful basis for experience or in order for ethical conduct to exist, may postulate things unknowable to it, as the existence of a soul. Roman Catholic casuists who maintained that any chance of liberty, however slight, should be foliowed. Absolute is within human reach, but through a higher religious consciousness rather than by logical processes.
Mo-Tze, Chinese sage of the 5th century B. Leibnizian doctrine of monads as unextended, indivisible, and indestructible entities that are the ultimate constituent of the universe and a microcosm of it. Giordano Bruno concerning monads as basic and irreducible metaphysical units that are psychically and spatially individuated. Also called natural realism, commonsense realism.
Alexandria in the 3rd century A. Platonic doctrine, Aristotelianism, and Oriental mysticism, with later influences from Christianity. Nietzsche, especially its emphasis on the will to power as the chief motivating force of both the individual and society. Cartesian philosophic doctrine that holds that mind and matter are incapable of affecting each other and that their reciprocal action must be owing to the intervention of God. Leibnizian doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds. 3rd-century Christian theologian Origen, especially an attempt to develop a Christian philosophy combining Platonism and the Scriptures.
Hegelian doctrine that logos or reason informs the absolute or absolute reality. Arthur Schopenhauer, who maintained that the ultimate reality of the universe is will. Aristotle and his school of philosophy. Edmund Husserl and his followers, especially the careful description of phenomena in all areas of experience. Plato and his followers, especially the doctrine that physical objects are imperfect and impermanent representations of unchanging ideas, and that knowledge is the mental apprehension of these ideas or universals.