philosophy

Ferdinand de Saussure and the Study of Language

Ferdinand de Saussure and the Study of Language

On November 26, 1857, Swiss linguist and semiotician Ferdinand de Saussure was born. His ideas laid the foundation for many significant developments both in linguistics and semiotics in the 20th century. Moreover, de Saussure is widely considered one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics and together with Charles Sanders Peirceone of two major fathers of semiotics.[4] “Il est souvent plus aisé de découvrir une vérité que de lui assigner la place qui lui…
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Scientific Progress Goes “Boink” – Calvin and Hobbes

Scientific Progress Goes “Boink” – Calvin and Hobbes

On November 18, 1985, the first Calvin and Hobbes daily comic strip was published, the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger by American cartoonist Bill Watterson. Ok, you might ask, what does a daily cartoon comic strip have to do with the history of science and technology. Well, we have included Calvin and Hobbes into our daily blog for several reasons: First,…
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Saint Augustine’s Confessions

Saint Augustine’s Confessions

On November 13, 354 A.D., Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine was born. He was bishop of Hippo Regius located in the Roman province of Africa. As an early Christian theologian his writings are considered very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today. Why should you read a 1,600…
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John Duns Scotus – the Subtle Doctor

John Duns Scotus – the Subtle Doctor

On November 8, 1308, Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, university professor, philosopher, and theologian John Duns aka Duns Scotus passed away. He is one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas [1] and William of Ockham.[2] Amongst others, he is best known for the “univocity of being”, that existence is the most abstract concept we have, applicable to everything that exists;…
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Erasmus of Rotterdam – Prince of the Humanists

Erasmus of Rotterdam – Prince of the Humanists

On October 27, 1466,  Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus, also known as Erasmus of Rotterdam was born. He was the dominant figure of the early-16th-century humanist movement. Besides others, he is also namesake of the European Erasmus funding programme, the world’s largest support programme for stays abroad at universities that financed about 1 million scholarships in its first 15 years. “No Man is wise at all…
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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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