philosophy

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg – Master of Aphorism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799) On July 1, 1742, German scientist, satirist and Anglophile Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was born. He is remembered best for his posthumously published notebooks, which he himself called Sudelbücher, a description modeled on the English bookkeeping term “scrapbooks”, and his aphorisms. A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out. We have no words for speaking of wisdom to…
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Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia, PhD

Elena Cornaro Piscopia (1646 – 1684) On June 25, 1678, Venetian philosopher of noble descent Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Elena Cornaro Piscopia‘s intellectual ability was noticed early, wherefore the local priest encouraged her family to enable Piscopia a formal education. She was then taught Latin, Greek, and Arabic starting at the age of seven. Later on, she also began learning mathematics, philosophy, theology,…
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Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

Pierre de Coubertin and the Idea of the Olympic Games

Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) On June 23, 1894, French educator and historian Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Because of his initiative he is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games, the first one organized in Greece only two years later in 1896. The Olympic Games have a long tradition dating back to ancient Greece, where the games were both, a religious and an athletic festival held every four…
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Wilhelm von Humboldt and Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt and Prussia’s Education System

Wilhelm von Humboldt(1767 – 1835) On June 22, 1767, Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt was born. He was a Prussian philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Prussian education…
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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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