philosophy

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith(1723 – 1790) On June 16, 1723 (June 5 according to the old Julian calendar), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy Adam Smith was born. He is one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) Adam Smith studied Latin,…
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Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

Yamamoto Tsunetomo and the Way of the Samurai

On June 12, 1659 (other sources report June 11, 1659 – according to the Julian calendar July 13), Japanese Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo was born. He is best known for the publication of his compiled commentaries and aphorisms about the life of the Samurai under the title of Hagakure, a word that can be translated as either In the shadow the Leaves or The Hidden Leaves. Above all, the Way of the Samurai…
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Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalism Movement

Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalism Movement

On May 25, 1803, American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was born, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. He disseminated his philosophical thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures. Ralph Waldo Emerson enrolled at Harvard College at the age of 14 and throughout his…
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Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

On May 10, 1521, German humanist and satirist Sebastian Brant passed away. He is best known for his book of satire entitled ‘Das Narrenschiff” (The Ship of Fools) published in 1494 in Basel, Switzerland. It is most likely that you might have never heard of Brant nor of his famous book. Anyway, if you continue reading, you won’t regret… Sebastian Brant was born in Strasbourg in 1457. The exact date is unknown as…
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Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

On March 8, 1931, media theorist, author, and cultural critic Neil Postman was born. He is best known for his works criticizing the increase of the role of technology in every human’s life not seeing the dangerous side effects. Neil Postman spent almost all of his lifetime in New York City and graduated at the State University of New York, receiving a master’s degree in 1955. A few years later, he began teaching at…
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Man is Man’s Wolf – Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan

Man is Man’s Wolf – Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), Portrait by John Michael Wright On December 4, 1679, Thomas Hobbes passed away. The philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment and the political theorist of the Absolutism is probably best known for his 1651 book Leviathan that established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. Thomas Hobbes was born in Wiltshire, England in politically difficult times, because of the invasion of the Spanish…
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Voltaire – Libertarian and Philosopher

Voltaire – Libertarian and Philosopher

Voltaire (1694 – 1778) On November 21, 1694, François-Marie Arouet was born, known by his nom de plume Voltaire, French philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment, re-known by his wits, prolific writer of novels, poems, essays, and letters, and dear friend of Prussian king Frederick the Great. Voltaire was born in Paris to a son of a lawyer and began studying first Latin and Greek and later on Italian and Spanish. The…
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Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert  and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert (1717 – 1783) On November 16, 1717, French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert was born. He was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the famous Encyclopédie, edited between 1751 and 1772. D’Alembert was born in Paris and entered the famous ‘Collége Mazarin’ at the age of 12, where he studied law, as well as philosophy and arts. His educators noticed d’Alembert’s talent and…
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