philosophy

Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy

Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy

According to the definition of Pope Leo XIII, on October 23, either between 475 and 477 AD, or in the early 480s, Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th century Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius was born. Boethius is best known for his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues, which became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. As…
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Marsilio Ficino and his Florentine Academy

Marsilio Ficino and his Florentine Academy

On October 19, 1433, Italian scholar and Catholic priest Marsilio Ficino was born. He was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance. With his translations and commentaries he contributed significantly to the knowledge of Plato and Platonism in his epoch and made the writings of ancient Greek-speaking authors accessible to the Latin-speaking public. His understanding of Plato, influenced by Plotin‘s Neoplatonism, became groundbreaking for the early modern…
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Aleister Crowley – the Wickedest Man in the World

Aleister Crowley – the Wickedest Man in the World

On October 12, 1875, English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, and mountaineer Aleister Crowley was born. During his lifetime, Crowley gained widespread notoriety. As a result, he was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world”. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over western esotericism and the counter-culture. Usually, we are not interested in any kind of esotericism here at yovisto blog. But, the case of Aleister Crowley is…
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Carl von Ossietzky and Political Reason

Carl von Ossietzky and Political Reason

On October 3, 1889, German pacifist and Nobel Laureate Carl von Ossietzky was born. He received the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in exposing the clandestine German re-armament. In the course of his publications of Germany‘s alleged violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an air force he was convicted of high treason and espionage in 1931. “Germany is the only country where lack of political empowerment secures the…
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Martin Heidegger and the Question of Being

Martin Heidegger and the Question of Being

On September 26, 1889, German philosopher Martin Heidegger was born. He is best known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the “question of Being”. His best known book, Being and Time, is considered one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century. There as also in his later writings, Heidegger maintained that our way of questioning defines our nature. He argued that philosophy, Western Civilization‘s chief way of questioning,…
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Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

Stanislaw Lem and Mankind’s Place in the Universe

On September 12, 1921, Polish writer of science fiction, philosophy and satire Stanislaw Lem was born. He is considered to be one of the most widely read science fiction writer in the world with his books translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. His best known novel Solaris, about the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species, published in 1961, was made into a feature film…
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Moses Mendelssohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

Moses Mendelssohn and the Jewish Enlightenment

On September 6, 1729, German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn was born, who inspired the Haskalah movement of Jewish Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th century. Haskalah was a movement among European Jews that advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for better integration into European society, and increasing education in secular studies, Hebrew language, and Jewish history. Moses Mendelssohn’s descendants include also the famous composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn.[4] “The state gives orders and coerces, religion…
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Nikolaus of Cusa and the Learned Ignorance

Nikolaus of Cusa and the Learned Ignorance

On August 11, 1464, German philosopher, theologian, jurist, and astronomer Nikolaus of Cusa (in latin: Nicolaus Cusanus) passed away. He is considered as one of the first German proponents of Renaissance humanism. His best known work is entiteled ‘De Docta Ignorantia‘ (Of the Learned Ignorance), where also most of his mathematical ideas were developed, as e.g. the trial of squaring the circle or calculating the circumference of a circle from its radius. “In…
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Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

On July 29, 1805, French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville was born. He is best known for his Democracy in America, where he analyzed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Today, it is considered an early work of sociology and political science. “The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can…
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The Medium is the Message – Marshall McLuhan

The Medium is the Message – Marshall McLuhan

On July 21, 1911, Canadian philosopher of communication theory Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born. His groundbreaking work is considered to be the cornerstone of media and communication theory. McLuhan is known for coining the expressions the medium is the message and the global village, and for predicting the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented. “In television, images are projected at you. You are the screen. The images wrap…
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