philosophy

Johann Gottfried Herder and the Philosophy of History and Culture

Johann Gottfried Herder and the Philosophy of History and Culture

On August 25, 1744, German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic Johann Gottfried Herder was born. He was one of the most influential writers and thinkers of the German language in the Age of Enlightenment and, together with Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Wolfgang Goethe [1] and Friedrich Schiller,[2] is one of the classical four stars of Weimar. Early life and Education Johann Gottfried Herder was born as son of the cantor and school…
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Denis Diderot’s Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts

Denis Diderot’s Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts

On July 31, 1784, French philosopher, art critic, and writer Denis Diderot passed away. Diderot is best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d’Alembert.[1] He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment. “From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.” — Denis Diderot, Essai sur le Mérite de la Vertu (1745) Denis Diderot was born on October 5, 1713, the second…
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You Cannot Not Communicate – Paul Watzlawick

You Cannot Not Communicate – Paul Watzlawick

On July 25, 1921, the psychotherapist, psychoanalytic, sociologist, philosopher, and author Paul Watzlawick was born. He was best known for his approaches in the field of schizophrenia and his five axiomes in the theory of communication. “Our everyday, traditional ideas of reality are delusions which we spend substantial parts of our daily lives shoring up, even at the considerable risk of trying to force facts to fit our definition of reality instead…
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The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Bertrand Russell, Logician and Pacifist

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time – Bertrand Russell, Logician and Pacifist

On July 11, 1906, mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell was suspended from Trinity College, Cambridge due to his engagement in pacifist activities. The remarkable Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic was best known for the famous ‘Principia Mathematica‘, which he published along with Alfred North Whitehead between 1910 and 1913. “Pure mathematics consists entirely of assertions to the effect that, if such and such a proposition is true of…
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Let Us Calculate – the Last Universal Academic Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Let Us Calculate – the Last Universal Academic Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

On July 1, 1646, one of the last universally interdisciplinary academics, active in the fields of mathematics, physics, history, politics, philosophy, and librarianship was born. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz counts as one of the most influential scientists of the late 17th and early 18th century and impersonates a meaningful representative of the Age of Enlightenment. Moreover, I even have a personal relationship with him since he is also the namesake of the association to…
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“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712. The writer, philosopher, composer, and pioneer of the Age of Enlightenment had a great influence in educational and political matters throughout the French Revolution and beyond. “It is ordinary people who have to be educated, and their education alone can serve as a pattern for the education of their fellows. The others find their way alone.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, or On Education, 1762 Rousseau was born in…
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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

On June 19, 1623, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian Blaise Pascal was born. “A few rules include all that is necessary for the perfection of the definitions, the axioms, and the demonstrations, and consequently of the entire method of the geometrical proofs of the art of persuading.” – Blaise Pascal, The Art of Persuasion (1660) The Son of a Tax Collector “It is not certain that everything is uncertain.”…
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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. “To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the…
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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. Oswald Spengler – Early Years Already in his early life Oswald Spengler was highly interested in…
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