philosophy

Christian Wolff and the German Enlightenment

Christian Wolff and the German Enlightenment

On January 24, 1679, German philosopher Christian Wolff was born. One of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment between Leibniz and Kant, he is one of the most important representatives of natural law and is regarded as the actual founder of 19th-century jurisprudence on concepts. German philosophy owes its terminological foundation to him; many of the terms he defined, such as consciousness, meaning, or attention, were later adopted into everyday language.…
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Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

On January 22, 1561, English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author Sir Francis Bacon was born. Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. “Knowledge, that tendeth but to satisfaction, is but as a courtesan, which is for pleasure, and not for fruit or generation.” — Francis Bacon, as quoted in Valerius Terminus: Of the Interpretation of Nature (ca. 1603) Scholasticism…
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Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

The Neoplatonian philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first well-documented woman in mathematics. Her actual date of birth is unknown, although considered somewhen between 350 and 370 AD. She was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and additionally taught philosophy and astronomy. Hypatia’s Early Life There is little news about Hypatia’s life and work. Hypatia’s father was the astronomer and mathematician Theon of Alexandria, the last scientist known by…
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Thomas Carlyle and his Obsession with “Great Man”

Thomas Carlyle and his Obsession with “Great Man”

On December 4, 1795, Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, translator, historian, mathematician, and teacher Thomas Carlyle was born. Best known for his famous work On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History, he argued that the key role in history lies in the actions of the “Great Man“. However, Carlyle is considered one of the most important social commentators of the Victorian era. “The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on…
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C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

On November 29, 1898, English novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis aka C.S. Lewis was born. He was a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and is best known for his fictional work, especially The Chronicles of Narnia. Actually, since his childhood days, was was usually referred to as ‘Jack’ and not ‘Clive’. “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it…
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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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