philosophy

A Writer should not Allow Himself to be Turned into an Institution – Jean-Paul Sartre

A Writer should not Allow Himself to be Turned into an Institution – Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre was born on June 21, 1905 in Paris and has become one of the most influential French  philosophers, playwrights, novelists, screenwriters, political activists, biographers, and literary critics of his age. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy as well as Marxism. He also significantly  influenced other scientific disciplines such as sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and…
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It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

“It is not certain that everything is uncertain.” is one of the many profound insights that philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) published in his seminal work entiteled “Pensées” (Thoughts, published in 1669, after his death). He literally had versatile scientific interests, as he provided influential contributions in the field of mathematics, physics, engineering, as well as in religious philosophy. Blaise Pascal was a child prodigy educated by his father Étienne Pascal, a tax…
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Mikhail Bakunin – the Father of Anarchism

Mikhail Bakunin – the Father of Anarchism

On May 30, 1814 (julian calendar May 18), Russian revolutionary and philosopher Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was born. Although many scholars argue if he is the founder of anarchist theory in general, he was the leading theorist of collectivist anarchism. Mikhail Bakunin was born as the eldest son and third of eleven children of an aristocratic family in the small village of Prjamuchino, Tver Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Kuvshinovsky District, Tver…
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Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

Oswald Spengler and the Decline of the West

On May 29, 1880, German historian and philosopher Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler was born. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), published in 1918 and 1922, covering all of world history. He proposed a new theory, according to which the lifespan of civilizations is limited and ultimately they decay. Already in his early life Oswald Spengler was highly interested in historical events and he used…
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Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the German Idealism

Johann Gottlieb Fichte and the German Idealism

On May 19, 1762, German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte was born. Fichte was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant. Thus, Fichte often is regarded as a bridging figure between Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Like Descartes and Kant before him, he was motivated by the problem of subjectivity and consciousness. Maybe you have never…
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Liberty vs. Authority according to John Stuart Mill

Liberty vs. Authority according to John Stuart Mill

On May 8, 1873, British philosopher, political economist and civil servant John Stuart Mill passed away. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory and political economy. Dubbed “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century“, Mill‘s conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. His views still are significant today…
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You Don’t Exist. – says David Hume

You Don’t Exist. – says David Hume

On May 7, 1711, the great Philosopher David Hume was born. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy as well as the Scottish Enlightenment. In his ‘Treatise of Human Nature‘ (1739), he was about to create a total naturalistic “science of man” examining the psychological basis of human nature. In stark to Descartes, he concluded that desire rather than reason governed human behavior: “Reason is,…
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Karl Marx and Das Kapital

Karl Marx and Das Kapital

On May 5, 1818, German philosopher and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany. He is best known for his publications ‘The Communist Manifesto‘ and ‘Das Kapital‘, as well as his ideas have played a significant role in the establishment of the social sciences and the development of the socialist movement. Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany, the third of nine children of Heinrich (Heschel) Marx, a lawyer, and his…
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Reckless Power Play Politics – Niccolò Machiavelli

Reckless Power Play Politics – Niccolò Machiavelli

On May 3, 1469, Florentine civil servant, diplomat, historian, philosopher and author Niccolò Machiavelli was born. Besides his seminal work ‘Il Principe‘ (The Prince) he is also known for writing comedies, carnival songs, and even poetry. “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.” Niccoló Machiavelli, Il Principe Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era in which popes waged acquisitive wars against Italian city-states, and people and…
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Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology

Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology

On April 8, 1859, German philosopher and mathematician Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was born. He is best know as the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology, where he broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic. “First, anyone who seriously intends to become a philosopher must “once in his life” withdraw into himself…
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