philosophy

Cogito Ergo Sum – The Philosophy of René Descartes

Cogito Ergo Sum – The Philosophy of René Descartes

On March 31, 1596, French philosopher, mathematician, and writer René Descartes was born. The Cartesian coordinate system is named after him, allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis.…
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Egon Friedell’s Fascinating Cutural Histories

Egon Friedell’s Fascinating Cutural Histories

On 16 March 1938, at about 22:00, two SA men arrived at the house of prominent Austrian philosopher, historian, journalist and critic Egon Friedell to arrest him. While they were still arguing with his housekeeper, Friedell committed suicide by jumping out of the window. Before leaping, he warned pedestrians walking on the sideway where he hit by shouting “Watch out! Get out of the way!“. This was the tragic end of a brilliant…
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Georg Simmel – First Generation Sociologist

Georg Simmel – First Generation Sociologist

On March 1, 1858, German sociologist, philosopher and critic Georg Simmel was born. Along with Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, Simmel was one of the first generation sociologists, questioning the definition of society, nature, and culture. Georg Simmel was born, grew up and spent most of his research time in Berlin. He earned his doctorate in philosophy and history in 1881 and afterwards became a private teacher at the University, lecturing philosophy, logic,…
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The World according to Arthur Schopenhauer

The World according to Arthur Schopenhauer

On February 22, 1788, famous and most influential German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was born. He is best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction. Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig (now Gdansk) on the 22nd of February 1788, as son of the merchant Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer, and Johanna Troisner. At age 17,…
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment

On February 9, 1881, famous Russian novelist, short story writer, and essayist Fyodor Dostoyevsky passed away in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dostoyevsky‘s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russia and is considered to be one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature. The very first piece of literature I read from Dostoyevsky was the short parable ‘The Grand Inquisitor‘, which is…
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Francisco de Enzinas and the New Testament

Francisco de Enzinas and the New Testament

On December 30, 1552, classical scholar, translator, author, and Protestant apologist of Spanish origin Francisco de Enzinas, also known by the humanist name Francis Dryander, passed away. De Enzinas was the first to translate the New Testament from Greek to Spanish. Francisco de Enzinas was born in Burgos, Spain, probably on 1 November 1518, as one of ten children of the successful wool merchant Juan de Enzinas and his wife Ana, who…
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George Edward Moore and the Naturalistic Fallacy

George Edward Moore and the Naturalistic Fallacy

On November 4, 1873, English philosopher George Edward “G. E.” Moore was born. Moore was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and  Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of the analytic tradition in philosophy. Along with Russell, he led the turn away from idealism in British philosophy, and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts, his contributions to ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. George Edward Moore was born in Upper Norwood, Croydon,…
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Denis Pétau and the Science of Chronology

Denis Pétau and the Science of Chronology

On August 21, 1583, French Jesuit scholar Denis Pétau was born. Pétau, also known as Dionysius Petavius, was one of the most brilliant scholars in a learned age. Carrying on and improving the chronological labors of Joseph Justus Scaliger,[2] he published in 1627 an Opus de doctrina temporum. Denis Pétau was born at Orléans, where he had his initial education. He attended the University of Paris, where he successfully defended his theses…
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Jean de La Bruyère and the Characters

Jean de La Bruyère and the Characters

On August 16, 1645, French philosopher and moralist Jean de La Bruyère was born. La Bruyère is best known for one work, Les Caractères de Théophraste traduits du grec avec Les Caractères ou les moeurs de ce siècle (1688; The Characters, or the Manners of the Age, with The Characters of Theophrastus), which is considered to be one of the masterpieces of French literature. “Life is a tragedy for those who feel,…
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Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

On August 6, 1638, French priest and rationalist philosopher Nicolas Malebranche was born. Malebranche sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of Vision in God, Occasionalism and Ontologism. Family Background and Education Malebranche’s father was royal councillor, his mother Catherine de Lauson came from the lower aristocracy, her brother…
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