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Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about
existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociolog ...

existence
,
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
,
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...

knowledge
,
values In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy ...

values
,
mind The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fun ...

mind
, and
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some sources claim the term was coined by
Pythagoras Pythagoras of Samos, or simply ; in Ionian Greek () was an ancient Ionians, Ionian Ancient Greek philosophy, Greek philosopher and the eponymous founder of Pythagoreanism. His political and religious teachings were well known in Magna Graec ...

Pythagoras
(c. 570 – c. 495 BCE); others dispute this story, arguing that Pythagoreans merely claimed use of a preexisting term. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation.Quinton, Anthony. 1995. "The Ethics of Philosophical Practice." P. 666 in ''
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy ''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'' (1995; second edition 2005) is a reference work in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemol ...
'', edited by T. Honderich. New York:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fre ...

Oxford University Press
. . "Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge), and the conduct of life (ethics or theory of value). Each of the three elements in this list has a non-philosophical counterpart, from which it is distinguished by its explicitly rational and critical way of proceeding and by its systematic nature. Everyone has some general conception of the nature of the world in which they live and of their place in it. Metaphysics replaces the unargued assumptions embodied in such a conception with a rational and organized body of beliefs about the world as a whole. Everyone has occasion to doubt and question beliefs, their own or those of others, with more or less success and without any theory of what they are doing. Epistemology seeks by argument to make explicit the rules of correct belief formation. Everyone governs their conduct by directing it to desired or valued ends. Ethics, or moral philosophy, in its most inclusive sense, seeks to articulate, in rationally systematic form, the rules or principles involved." (p. 666).
Historically, ''philosophy'' encompassed all bodies of knowledge and a practitioner was known as a ''
philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mi ...

philosopher
''."The English word "philosophy" is first attested to c. 1300, meaning "knowledge, body of knowledge." Harper, Douglas. 2020.
philosophy (n.)
." ''
Online Etymology Dictionary The ''Online Etymology Dictionary'' is a free online dictionary In computer technology and , online indicates a state of connectivity and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern terminology, this usually refers to an , but (especia ...
''. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
From the time of
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
philosopher
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
to the 19th century, "
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from ''philosophia naturalis'') was the study of and the physical that was dominant before the development of . From the ancient world, at least since , to the 19th century, ''natural philosophy' ...
" encompassed
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
, and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
. For example,
Newton Newton most commonly refers to: * Isaac Newton (1642–1726/1727), English scientist * Newton (unit), SI unit of force named after Isaac Newton Newton may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * Newton (film), ''Newton'' (film), a 2017 Indian fil ...

Newton
's 1687 ''
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
'' later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern
research universities A research university is a university that is committed to research as a central part of its mission. They can be public education, public or private education, private, and often have well-known brand names. Undergraduate courses at many research ...

research universities
led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize. Since then, various areas of investigation that were traditionally part of philosophy have become separate academic disciplines, and namely the
social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
such as
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
, and
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
. Today, major subfields of academic philosophy include
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...

metaphysics
, which is concerned with the fundamental nature of
existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociolog ...

existence
and
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
,
epistemology Epistemology (; ) is the Outline of philosophy, branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic Justification (epistemology), justification, the Reason, rationality o ...

epistemology
, which studies the nature of
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
and
belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconsci ...

belief
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...

ethics
, which is concerned with
moral value A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...
, and
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
, which studies the
rules of inference In the philosophy of logic, a rule of inference, inference rule or transformation rule is a logical form consisting of a function which takes premises, analyzes their Syntax (logic), syntax, and returns a conclusion (or multiple-conclusion logic, ...
that allow one to derive conclusions from
true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to represent reality or otherw ...

true
premises Premises are land and building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been ad ...
. Other notable subfields include
philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
,
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
,
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetics
,
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, ...
, and
philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of that studies the and nature of the and its relationship with the body. The is a paradigmatic issue in philosophy of mind, although a number of other issues are addressed, such as the and the nature of parti ...

philosophy of mind
.


Definitions

Initially, the term referred to any body of
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
. In this sense, philosophy is closely related to religion, mathematics, natural science, education, and politics. In section thirteen of his ''Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers'', the oldest surviving history of philosophy (3rd century),
Diogenes Laërtius Diogenes Laërtius ( ; grc-gre, Διογένης Λαέρτιος, Dīogénēs Lāértios; ) was a biographer of the Ancient Greece, Greek philosophers. Nothing is definitively known about his life, but his surviving ''Lives and Opinions of Em ...
presents a three-part division of ancient Greek philosophical inquiry: *
Natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from ''philosophia naturalis'') was the study of and the physical that was dominant before the development of . From the ancient world, at least since , to the 19th century, ''natural philosophy' ...

Natural philosophy
(i.e. physics, from ) was the study of the constitution and processes of transformation in the physical world. *
Moral philosophy Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of min ...

Moral philosophy
(i.e. ethics, from ) was the study of goodness, right and wrong, justice and virtue. *
Metaphysical philosophy Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between Substance theory, substance and Property (philosophy), attribute, and between potentiality and a ...

Metaphysical philosophy
(i.e. logic, from ) was the study of
existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociolog ...

existence
, causation,
God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Ted Honderich, Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...

God
,
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
,
forms Form is the shape, visual appearance, or :wikt:configuration, configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something happens. Form also refers to: *Form (document), a document (printed or electronic) with spaces in which to w ...
, and other abstract objects. () In ''Against the Logicians'' the Pyrrhonist philosopher
Sextus Empiricus Sextus Empiricus ( grc-gre, Σέξτος Ἐμπειρικός; c. 160 – c. 210 AD) was a Ancient Greece, Greek Pyrrhonism, Pyrrhonist philosopher and a physician. His philosophical works are the most complete surviving account of ancient Gree ...
detailed the variety of ways in which the ancient Greek philosophers had divided philosophy, noting that this three-part division was agreed to by Plato, Aristotle, Xenocrates, and the Stoics. The Academic Skeptic philosopher
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
also followed this three-part division. This division is not obsolete, but has changed: ''natural philosophy'' has split into the various natural sciences, especially physics,
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...

chemistry
,
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
, and
cosmology Cosmology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
; ''moral philosophy'' has birthed the
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s, while still including
value theory In the social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...
(e.g. ethics,
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetics
,
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
, etc.); and ''metaphysical philosophy'' has given way to formal sciences such as logic,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
and
philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
, while still including epistemology, cosmology, etc. For example,
Newton Newton most commonly refers to: * Isaac Newton (1642–1726/1727), English scientist * Newton (unit), SI unit of force named after Isaac Newton Newton may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * Newton (film), ''Newton'' (film), a 2017 Indian fil ...

Newton
's ''
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
'' (1687), since classified as a book of physics, uses the term ''
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from ''philosophia naturalis'') was the study of and the physical that was dominant before the development of . From the ancient world, at least since , to the 19th century, ''natural philosophy' ...
'' as it was understood at the time, encompassing disciplines such as
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
that later became associated with
the sciences ''The Sciences'' was a magazine published from 1961 to 2001 by the New York Academy of Sciences. Each issue contained articles that discussed science issues with cultural relevance, illustrated with fine art and an occasional cartoon. The periodi ...

the sciences
.


Historical overview

In one general sense, philosophy is associated with
wisdom Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to contemplate and act using knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a stateme ...

wisdom
, intellectual culture, and a search for knowledge. In this sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions, such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality." A broad and impartial conception of philosophy, then, finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
,
morality Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the '' ...

morality
, and life in all world civilizations.


Western philosophy

Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality ...
is the philosophical tradition of the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
, dating back to
pre-Socratic Pre-Socratic philosophy is ancient Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, at a time when the inhabitants of ancient Greece were struggling to repel devastating invasions from the east. Greek philosophy continued t ...
thinkers who were active in 6th-century
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...
(BCE), such as
Thales Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς (ὁ Μιλήσιος), ''Thalēs''; ) was a Greek mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive kn ...

Thales
( – BCE) and
Pythagoras Pythagoras of Samos, or simply ; in Ionian Greek () was an ancient Ionians, Ionian Ancient Greek philosophy, Greek philosopher and the eponymous founder of Pythagoreanism. His political and religious teachings were well known in Magna Graec ...

Pythagoras
( – BCE) who practiced a 'love of wisdom' () and were also termed 'students of nature' ().
Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality ...
can be divided into three eras: #
Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...
(
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the ), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were directly and ...
). #
Medieval philosophy Medieval philosophy is the philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philo ...
(referring to Christian European thought). #
Modern philosophy Modern philosophy is philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy ...
(beginning in the 17th century).


Ancient era

While our knowledge of the ancient era begins with
Thales Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς (ὁ Μιλήσιος), ''Thalēs''; ) was a Greek mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive kn ...

Thales
in the 6th century BCE, little is known about the philosophers who came before
Socrates Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens domi ...

Socrates
(commonly known as the pre-Socratics). The ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools. Most notable among the schools influenced by Socrates' teachings were
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
, who founded the
Platonic Academy The Academy (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: ...
, and his student
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
, who founded the
Peripatetic school The Peripatetic school was a school of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...
. Other ancient philosophical traditions influenced by Socrates included
Cynicism Cynic or Cynicism may refer to: Modes of thought * Cynicism (philosophy), a school of ancient Greek philosophy * Cynicism (contemporary), modern use of the word for distrust of others' motives Books * ''The Cynic'', James Gordon Stuart Grant 1875 ...
, Cyrenaicism,
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
, and
Academic Skepticism Academic skepticism refers to the philosophical skepticism, skeptical period of ancient Platonism dating from around 266 BC, when Arcesilaus became scholarch of the Platonic Academy, until around 90 BC, when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected skepticism ...
. Two other traditions were influenced by Socrates' contemporary,
Democritus Democritus (; el, Δημόκριτος, ''Dēmókritos'', meaning "chosen of the people"; – ) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient w ...

Democritus
:
Pyrrhonism Pyrrhonism is a school of philosophical skepticism Philosophical skepticism (American and British English spelling differences, UK spelling: scepticism; from Ancient Greek, Greek σκέψις ''skepsis'', "inquiry") is a family of Philosophy ...
and
Epicureanism Epicureanism is a system of founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the . Epicureanism was originally a challenge to . Later its main opponent became . Few writings by Epicurus have survived. However, there are independent attestat ...
. Important topics covered by the Greeks included
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...

metaphysics
(with competing theories such as
atomism Atomism (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...
and
monism Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., i ...
),
cosmology Cosmology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
, the nature of the well-lived life (''
eudaimonia Eudaimonia (Ancient Greek, Greek: :Wiktionary:εὐδαιμονία, εὐδαιμονία ; sometimes anglicized as eudaemonia or eudemonia, ) is a Greek word literally translating to the state or condition of 'good spirit', and which is commonl ...
''), the , and the nature of reason (
logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

logos
). With the rise of the
Roman empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman empire
, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
by
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
such as
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
and
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
(see
Roman philosophy Ancient Roman philosophy was heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks and the schools of Hellenistic philosophy; however, unique developments in philosophical schools of thought occurred during the Roman period as well. Interest in philosophy was ...
).


Medieval era

Medieval philosophy Medieval philosophy is the philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philo ...
(5th–16th centuries) is the period following the fall of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
and was dominated by the rise of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
and hence reflects
Judeo-Christian The term Judeo-Christian is used to group Christianity and Judaism Christianity is rooted in Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of ...
theological concerns as well as retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought. Problems such as the existence and nature of
God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Ted Honderich, Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...

God
, the nature of
faith Faith, derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...

faith
and reason, metaphysics, the
problem of evil The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil Evil, in a general sense, is defined by what it is not—the opposite or absence of good. It can be an extremely broad concept, although in everyday usage it is of ...
were discussed in this period. Some key medieval thinkers include ,
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar, Philosophy, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential ...

Thomas Aquinas
,
Boethius Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius (; also Boetius ; 477 – 524 AD), was a Roman Roman Senate, senator, Roman consul, consul, ''magister officiorum'', and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a ye ...

Boethius
, Anselm and
Roger Bacon Roger Bacon (; la, Rogerus or ', also '' Rogerus''; ), also known by the scholastic accolade It was customary in the European Middle Ages, more precisely in the period of scholasticism which extended into early modern times, to designate th ...
. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
() and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture. This period saw the development of
scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people ...
, a text critical method developed in
medieval universities A medieval university was a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law ...
based on close reading and disputation on key texts. The
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
period saw increasing focus on classic Greco-Roman thought and on a robust
humanism Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...

humanism
.


Modern era

Early modern philosophy Early modern philosophy (also classical modern philosophy) Richard Schacht, ''Classical Modern Philosophers: Descartes to Kant'', Routledge, 2013, p. 1: "Seven men have come to stand out from all of their counterparts in what has come to be known ...
in the Western world begins with thinkers such as
Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes ( ; sometimes known as Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; 5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an , considered to be one of the founders of modern . Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ', in which he expounds an influential form ...
and
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s ...

René Descartes
(1596–1650). Following the rise of natural science,
modern philosophy Modern philosophy is philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy ...
was concerned with developing a secular and rational foundation for knowledge and moved away from traditional structures of authority such as religion, scholastic thought and the Church. Major modern philosophers include
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Port ...

Spinoza
,
Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz ; see inscription of the engraving depicted in the "#1666–1676, 1666–1676" section. ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist, and diplomat. He is a promin ...

Leibniz
, , ,
Hume Hume most commonly refers to: * David Hume (1711–1776), Scottish philosopher Hume may also refer to: People * Hume (surname) * Hume (given name) * James Hume Nisbet (1849–1923), Scottish-born novelist and artist In fiction * Hume, the ...

Hume
, and
Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Kant
.
19th-century philosophy In the 19th century The 19th (nineteenth) century began on January 1, 1801 (Roman numerals, MDCCCI), and ended on December 31, 1900 (Roman numerals, MCM). The 19th century was the ninth century of the 2nd millennium. The 19th century saw much so ...
(sometimes called
late modern philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of s ...
) was influenced by the wider 18th-century movement termed "
the Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link=n ...
", and includes figures such as
Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...

Hegel
a key figure in
German idealism German idealism was a philosophical movement that emerged in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It developed out of the work of Immanuel Kant in the 1780s and 1790s, and was closely linked both with Romanticism and the revolutionary ...
, who developed the foundations for
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
,
Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, writer, and philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the ...

Nietzsche
a famed anti-Christian,
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), also cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most i ...
who promoted
utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a family of normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as ba ...
,
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
who developed the foundations for
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communism
and the American
William James William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ** Americans, citi ...
. The 20th century saw the split between
analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...
and
continental philosophy Continental philosophy is a set of 19th- and 20th-century philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awarenes ...
, as well as philosophical trends such as
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
,
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
,
logical positivism Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, and both of which together are also known as neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of ...
,
pragmatism Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving, and action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Pra ...
and the
linguistic turn The linguistic turn was a major development in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, ...
(see
Contemporary philosophy Contemporary philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the early 20th century with the increasing professionalization of the discipline and the rise of Analytic philosophy, analytic and continental philosop ...
).


Middle Eastern philosophy


Pre-Islamic philosophy

The regions of the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
and
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
are home to the earliest known philosophical wisdom literature and is today mostly dominated by
Islamic culture Islamic culture and Muslim culture refer to cultural practices which are common to historically Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", ...
. According to the
assyriologist Assyriology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
, Babylonian philosophy was a highly developed system of thought with a unique approach to knowledge and a focus on writing,
lexicography Lexicography is the study of lexicon A lexicon is the of a or branch of (such as or ). In , a lexicon is a language's inventory of s. The word ''lexicon'' derives from word (), neuter of () meaning 'of or for words'. Linguistic th ...

lexicography
, divination, and law. It was also a
bilingual in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of King County, Washington, King County, Washington (state), Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the la ...
intellectual culture, based on and
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
. Early
Wisdom Literature Wisdom literature is a genre of literature common in the ancient Near East. It consists of statements by sage (philosophy), sages and the Wisdom, wise that offer teachings about divinity and virtue. Although this genre uses techniques of traditiona ...
from the Fertile Crescent was a genre that sought to instruct people on ethical action, practical living, and virtue through stories and proverbs. In
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
, these texts were known as ''
sebaytSebayt (Egyptian '' sbꜣyt'', Coptic ⲥⲃⲱ "instruction, teaching") is the ancient Egyptian term for a genre of Ancient Egyptian literature, pharaonic literature. ''sbꜣyt'' literally means "teachings" or "instructions" and refers to formally ...
'' ('teachings') and they are central to our understandings of
Ancient Egyptian philosophy Africa is home to a rich embodiment of cultures, and a remarkable cultural history. This is so, in spite of the general unwritten preservation and transmission of African cultures. African cultures celebrate a depth of appreciation of the human expe ...
. The most well known of these texts is ''
The Maxims of Ptahhotep ''The'' () is a grammatical article in English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers or speakers. It is the definite article An article is any member of ...
.'' Theology and cosmology was a central concern in Egyptian thought. Perhaps the earliest form of a
monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousn ...
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
also emerged in Egypt, with the rise of the Amarna theology (or Atenism) of
Akhenaten Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten ( egy, wikt:ꜣḫ-n-jtn, ꜣḫ-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Ei ...

Akhenaten
(14th century BCE), which held that the solar creation deity
Aten Aten also Aton, Atonu, or Itn ( egy, wikt:jtn, jtn, ''reconstructed'' ) was the focus of Atenism, the religious system established in ancient Egypt by the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten. The Aten was the disc o ...

Aten
was the only god. This has been described as a "monotheistic revolution" by
egyptologist Egyptology (from ''Egypt'' and Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
Jan Assmann Jan Assmann (born Johann Christoph Assmann; born 7 July 1938) is a German Egyptologist Egyptology (from ''Egypt'' and Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), ...
, though it also drew on previous developments in Egyptian thought, particularly the "New Solar Theology" based around
Amun-Ra Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, wikt:jmn, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ámmōn'', ''Hámmōn'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolis Magn ...

Amun-Ra
.Assmann, Jan.
Theological Responses to Amarna.
' Originalveröffentlichung in: Gary N. Knoppers, Antoine Hirsch (Hg.), Egypt, Israel, and the Ancient Mediterranean World. Studies in Honor of Donald B. Redford, Leiden/Boston 2004, S. 179-191
These theological developments also influenced the post-Amarna Ramesside theology, which retained a focus on a single creative solar deity (though without outright rejection of other gods, which are now seen as manifestations of the main solar deity). This period also saw the development of the concept of the ''ba'' (soul) and its relation to god.
Jewish philosophy Jewish philosophy () includes all philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mi ...
and
Christian philosophy Christian philosophy includes all philosophy carried out by Christians, or in relation to the religion of Christianity. Christian philosophy emerged with the aim of reconcile science and faith, starting from natural rational explanations with ...
are religious-philosophical traditions that developed both in the Middle East and in Europe, which both share certain early Judaic texts (mainly the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, ...
) and monotheistic beliefs. Jewish thinkers such as the
Geonim ''Geonim'' ( he, גאונים; ; also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyri ...
of the
Talmudic Academies in Babylonia The Talmudic academies in Babylonia, also known as the Geonic academies, were the center for Jewish scholarship and the development of Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ; also Romanization of Hebrew, transliterated as ''halacha'', ' ...
and
Maimonides Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides ( ) grc-gre, Μωυσής Μαϊμωνίδης ; la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם),, for ''Rabbeinu Mōše bēn Maimun'', "Our Ra ...

Maimonides
engaged with Greek and Islamic philosophy. Later Jewish philosophy came under strong Western intellectual influences and includes the works of
Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohn (6 September 1729 – 4 January 1786) was a German-Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the ''Haskalah'', the 'Jewish Enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is indebted. Born to a poor Jewish family in Dessa ...

Moses Mendelssohn
who ushered in the
Haskalah The ''Haskalah'', often termed Jewish Enlightenment ( he, השכלה; literally, "wisdom", "erudition" or "education"), was an intellectual movement among the Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organ ...
(the Jewish Enlightenment), Jewish existentialism, and
Reform Judaism Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism) is a major Jewish denomination Jewish religious movements, sometimes called "Religious denomination, denominations", include different groups which have developed among Jews ...
. The various traditions of
Gnosticism Gnosticism (from grc, γνωστικός, gnōstikós, , 'having knowledge') is a collection of religious ideas and systems which coalesced in the late 1st century AD among Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pro ...
, which were influenced by both Greek and Abrahamic currents, originated around the first century and emphasized spiritual knowledge (''
gnosis Gnosis is the common Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
''). Pre-Islamic
Iranian philosophy Iranian philosophy (Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** ...
begins with the work of
Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōroastrēs''), also known as Zarathustra (, ; ae, , ''Zaraθuštra''), Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra (Modern fa, زرتشت, ''Zartosht''), was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer t ...

Zoroaster
, one of the first promoters of
monotheism Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciou ...
and of the
dualism Dualism most commonly refers to: * Mind–body dualism, a philosophical view which holds that mental phenomena are, at least in certain respects, not physical phenomena, or that the mind and the body are distinct and separable from one another ** P ...
between good and evil. This dualistic cosmogony influenced later Iranian developments such as
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to ...
,
Mazdakism Mazdakism was an Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered t ...
, and
Zurvanism Zurvanism is a hypothetical religious movement of Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behavio ...
.


Islamic philosophy

Islamic philosophy Islamic philosophy is a development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from an Islamic tradition. Two terms traditionally used in the Islamic world are sometimes translated as philosophy—falsafa (literally: "philosophy"), which refe ...
is the philosophical work originating in the Islamic tradition and is mostly done in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
. It draws from the religion of Islam as well as from Greco-Roman philosophy. After the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
, the
translation movement The Graeco-Arabic translation movement was a large, well-funded, and sustained effort responsible for translating a significant volume of secular Greek texts into Arabic. The translation movement took place in Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغ ...
(mid-eighth to the late tenth century) resulted in the works of Greek philosophy becoming available in Arabic.
Early Islamic philosophy Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar (early 9th century Common Era, CE) and lasting until the 6th century AH (late 12th ce ...
developed the Greek philosophical traditions in new innovative directions. This intellectual work inaugurated what is known as the
Islamic Golden Age The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural, economic, and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. M ...
. The two main currents of early Islamic thought are
Kalam ''ʿIlm al-Kalām'' ( ar, عِلْم الكَلام, literally "science of discourse"), usually foreshortened to Kalām or the ''Rational philosophies'' is the study of Islamic doctrine (aqa'id''). It was born out of the need to establish and ...

Kalam
, which focuses on
Islamic theology :''See Islamic schools and branches Islamic schools and branches have different understandings of Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to ...
, and Falsafa, which was based on
Aristotelianism Aristotelianism ( ) is a philosophical tradition inspired by the work of Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philo ...
and
Neoplatonism Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...
. The work of Aristotle was very influential among philosophers such as
Al-Kindi Abu Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī (; ar, أبو يوسف يعقوب بن إسحاق الصبّاح الكندي; la, Alkindus; c. 801–873 AD) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَب ...
(9th century),
Avicenna Ibn Sina ( fa, ابن سینا), also known as Abu Ali Sina (), Pur Sina (), and often known in the West as Avicenna (;  – June 1037), was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, t ...

Avicenna
(980 – June 1037), and
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; full name Image:FML names-2.png, 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultures use other struc ...

Averroes
(12th century). Others such as
Al-Ghazali Al-Ghazali (, ; full name or , ; Latinized Algazelus or Algazel; – 19 December 1111) was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the ...

Al-Ghazali
were highly critical of the methods of the Islamic Aristotelians and saw their metaphysical ideas as heretical. Islamic thinkers like
Ibn al-Haytham Ḥasan Ibn al-Haytham (Latinization of names, Latinized as Alhazen ; full name ; ) was a Muslim Arab Mathematics in medieval Islam, mathematician, Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world, astronomer, and Physics in the medieval Islamic world, ...

Ibn al-Haytham
and
Al-Biruni Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) was an Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a co ...
also developed a
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
, experimental medicine, a theory of optics, and a legal philosophy.
Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ...
was an influential thinker in
philosophy of history Philosophy of history is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality ...
. Islamic thought also deeply influenced European intellectual developments, especially through the commentaries of Averroes on Aristotle. The
Mongol invasions The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire - The Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest conti ...
and the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 is often seen as marking the end of the Golden Age. Several schools of Islamic philosophy continued to flourish after the Golden Age, however, and include currents such as
Illuminationist philosophy Illuminationism ( Persian حكمت اشراق ''hikmat-i ishrāq'', Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Wenin ...
,
Sufi philosophy Sufi philosophy includes the schools of thought unique to Sufism, the mystical tradition within Islam, also termed as ''Tasawwuf'' or ''Faqr'' according to its adherents. Sufism and its Islamic philosophy, philosophical tradition may be associat ...
, and
Transcendent theosophy Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’āliyah (حكمت متعاليه), the doctrine and philosophy developed by Iranian philosophy, Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra(d.1635 CE), is one of two main disciplines of Islamic philosophy that are ...
. The 19th- and 20th-century
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
saw the ''
Nahda The Nahda ( ar, النهضة, translit=an-nahḍa, meaning "the Awakening"), also referred to as the Arab Awakening or Enlightenment, was a cultural movement that flourished in Arabic-speaking regions of the Ottoman Empire, notably in Egypt, Leba ...
'' movement (literally meaning 'The Awakening'; also known as the 'Arab Renaissance'), which had a considerable influence on contemporary Islamic philosophy.


Eastern philosophy


Indian philosophy

Indian philosophy ( sa, , lit=point of view', 'perspective) refers to the diverse philosophical traditions that emerged since the ancient times on the Indian subcontinent. Indian philosophical traditions share various key concepts and ideas, which are defined in different ways and accepted or rejected by the different traditions. These include concepts such as Dharma, ''dhárma'', ''karma'', ''Pramana, pramāṇa,'' ''duḥkha, saṃsāra'' and ''Moksha, mokṣa.'' Some of the earliest surviving Indian philosophical texts are the Upanishads of the Vedic period#Later Vedic period (c. 1000 – c. 600 BCE), later Vedic period (1000–500 BCE), which are considered to preserve the ideas of Historical Vedic religion, Brahmanism. Indian philosophy is commonly grouped based on their relationship to the Vedas and the ideas contained in them. Jainism and Buddhism originated at the end of the Vedic period, while the various traditions grouped under Hinduism mostly emerged after the Vedic period as independent traditions. Hindus generally classify Indian philosophical traditions as either orthodox (Āstika and nāstika, ''āstika'') or heterodox (''nāstika'') depending on whether they accept the authority of the Vedas and the theories of ''brahman'' and Ātman (Hinduism), ''ātman'' found therein. The schools which align themselves with the thought of the Upanishads, the so-called "orthodox" or "Hinduism, Hindu" traditions, are often classified into six ''Hindu philosophy, darśanas'' or philosophies:Samkhya, Sānkhya, Yoga (philosophy), Yoga, Nyaya, Nyāya, Vaisheshika, Mīmāṃsā, Mimāmsā and Vedanta, Vedānta. The doctrines of the Vedas and Upanishads were interpreted differently by these six schools of Hindu philosophy, with varying degrees of overlap. They represent a "collection of philosophical views that share a textual connection," according to Chadha (2015). They also reflect a tolerance for a diversity of philosophical interpretations within Hinduism while sharing the same foundation. "The attitude towards the existence of God varies within the Hindu religious tradition. This may not be entirely unexpected given the tolerance for doctrinal diversity for which the tradition is known. Thus of the six orthodox systems of Hindu philosophy, only three address the question in some detail. These are the schools of thought known as Nyaya, Yoga and the theistic forms of Vedanta." (pp. 1–2). Hindu philosophers of the six orthodox schools developed systems of epistemology (''pramana'') and investigated topics such as metaphysics, ethics, psychology (''guṇa''), hermeneutics, and soteriology within the framework of the Vedic knowledge, while presenting a diverse collection of interpretations. The commonly named six orthodox schools were the competing philosophical traditions of what has been called the "Hindu synthesis" of History of Hinduism, classical Hinduism. There are also other schools of thought which are often seen as "Hindu", though not necessarily orthodox (since they may accept different scriptures as normative, such as the Tantras (Hinduism), Shaiva Agamas and Tantras), these include different schools of Shaivism, Shavism such as Pashupata Shaivism, Pashupata, Shaiva Siddhanta, Kashmir Shaivism, non-dual tantric Shavism (i.e. Trika, Kaula, etc.). The "Hindu" and "Orthodox" traditions are often contrasted with the "unorthodox" traditions (''nāstika,'' literally "those who reject"), though this is a label that is not used by the "unorthodox" schools themselves. These traditions reject the Vedas as authoritative and often reject major concepts and ideas that are widely accepted by the orthodox schools (such as ''Ātman'', ''Brahman'', and Ishvara, ''Īśvara'').Bilimoria, P. 2000. ''Indian Philosophy'', edited by R. Perrett. London: Routledge. . p. 88. These unorthodox schools include Jainism (accepts ''ātman'' but rejects ''Īśvara,'' Vedas and ''Brahman''), Buddhism (rejects all orthodox concepts except rebirth and karma), Charvaka, Cārvāka (materialists who reject even rebirth and karma) and Ājīvika (known for their doctrine of fate).R Bhattacharya (2011), Studies on the Carvaka/Lokayata, Anthem, , pp. 53, 94, 141–142Johannes Bronkhorst (2012), Free will and Indian philosophy, Antiquorum Philosophia: An International Journal, Roma Italy, Volume 6, pp. 19–30Wynne, Alexander. 2011. "The ātman and its negation." ''Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies'' 33(1–2):103–05. "The denial that a human being possesses a "self" or "soul" is probably the most famous Buddhist teaching. It is certainly its most distinct, as has been pointed out by Gunapala Piyasena Malalasekera, G.P. Malalasekera: 'In its denial of any real permanent Soul or Self, Buddhism stands alone.' A similar modern Sinhalese perspective has been expressed by Walpola Rahula Thero, Walpola Rahula: 'Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the existence of such a Soul, Self or Ātman.' The 'no Self' or 'no soul' doctrine (; ) is particularly notable for its widespread acceptance and historical endurance. It was a standard belief of virtually all the ancient schools of Indian Buddhism (the notable exception being the Pudgalavādins), and has persisted without change into the modern era.… [B]oth views are mirrored by the modern Theravādin perspective of Mahasi Sayadaw that 'there is no person or soul' and the modern Mahāyāna view of the fourteenth Dalai Lama that '[t]he Buddha taught that…our belief in an independent self is the root cause of all suffering.' Jain philosophy is one of the only two surviving "unorthodox" traditions (along with Buddhism). It generally accepts the concept of a permanent soul (''jiva'') as one of the five ''Āstika and nāstika, astikayas'' (eternal, infinite categories that make up the substance of existence). The other four being Dharma, ''dhárma'', ''adharma'', ''Akasha, ākāśa'' ('space'), and ''pudgala'' ('matter'). Jain thought holds that all existence is cyclic, eternal and uncreated. Some of the most important elements of Jain philosophy are the Karma in Jainism, Jain theory of karma, the doctrine of nonviolence (Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā) and the theory of "many-sidedness" or Anekantavada, Anēkāntavāda. The ''Tattvartha Sutra'' is the earliest known, most comprehensive and authoritative compilation of Jain philosophy.


Buddhist philosophy

Buddhist philosophy begins with the thought of Gautama Buddha (Floruit, fl. between 6th and 4th century BCE) and is preserved in the Early Buddhist Texts, early Buddhist texts. It originated in the Indian region of Magadha and later spread to the rest of the Indian subcontinent, East Asia, Tibet, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. In these regions, Buddhist thought developed into different philosophical traditions which used various languages (like Classical Tibetan, Tibetan, Classical Chinese, Chinese and Pali). As such, Buddhist philosophy is a Transculturalism, trans-cultural and international phenomenon. The dominant Buddhist philosophical traditions in East Asian Buddhism, East Asian nations are mainly based on Indian Mahayana Buddhism. The Theravāda Abhidhamma, philosophy of the Theravada school is dominant in Southeast Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. Because Avidyā (Buddhism), ignorance to the true nature of things is considered one of the roots of suffering (''dukkha''), Buddhist philosophy is concerned with epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and psychology. Buddhist philosophical texts must also be understood within the context of Buddhist meditation, meditative practices which are supposed to bring about certain cognitive shifts.Jan Westerhoff, Westerhoff, Jan. 2018. ''The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy''. Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fre ...

Oxford University Press
.
Key innovative concepts include the Four Noble Truths, four noble truths as an analysis of ''dukkha'', Impermanence, ''anicca'' (impermanence), and ''anatta'' (non-self). "All phenomenal existence [in Buddhism] is said to have three interlocking characteristics: impermanence, suffering and lack of soul or essence." (p. 47). After the death of the Buddha, various groups began to systematize his main teachings, eventually developing comprehensive philosophical systems termed ''Abhidharma''. Following the Abhidharma schools, Indian Mahayana philosophers such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu developed the theories of ''śūnyatā'' ('emptiness of all phenomena') and Yogachara#Vijñapti-mātra, ''vijñapti-matra'' ('appearance only'), a form of phenomenology or transcendental idealism. The Dignāga school of ''Pramana, pramāṇa'' ('means of knowledge') promoted a sophisticated form of Buddhist logico-epistemology, Buddhist epistemology. There were numerous schools, sub-schools, and traditions of Buddhist philosophy in ancient and medieval India. According to Oxford professor of Buddhist philosophy Jan Westerhoff, the major Indian schools from 300 BCE to 1000 CE were: the Mahāsāṃghika tradition (now extinct), the Sthavira nikāya, Sthavira schools (such as Sarvastivada, Sarvāstivāda, Vibhajyavāda and Pudgalavada, Pudgalavāda) and the Mahayana schools. Many of these traditions were also studied in other regions, like Central Asia and China, having been brought there by Buddhist missionaries. After the disappearance of Buddhism from India, some of these philosophical traditions continued to develop in the Tibetan Buddhist, East Asian Buddhist and Theravada Buddhist traditions.


East Asian philosophy

East Asian philosophical thought began in History of China#Ancient China, Ancient China, and Chinese philosophy begins during the Western Zhou Dynasty and the following periods after its fall when the "Hundred Schools of Thought" flourished (6th century to 221 BCE). This period was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments and saw the rise of the major philosophical schools of China such as Confucianism (also known as Ruism), Legalism (Chinese philosophy), Legalism, and Daoism, Taoism as well as numerous other less influential schools like Mohism and School of Naturalists, Naturalism. These philosophical traditions developed metaphysical, political and ethical theories such Tao, Yin and yang, Ren (Confucianism), Ren and Li (Confucianism), Li. These schools of thought further developed during the Han dynasty, Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) and Tang dynasty, Tang (618–907 CE) eras, forming new philosophical movements like ''Xuanxue'' (also called ''Neo-Taoism''), and Neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism was a syncretic philosophy, which incorporated the ideas of different Chinese philosophical traditions, including Buddhism and Taoism. Neo-Confucianism came to dominate the education system during the Song dynasty (960–1297), and its ideas served as the philosophical basis of the imperial exams for the Scholar-officials, scholar official class. Some of the most important Neo-Confucian thinkers are the Tang scholars Han Yu and Li Ao (philosopher), Li Ao as well as the Song thinkers Zhou Dunyi (1017–1073) and Zhu Xi (1130–1200). Zhu Xi compiled the Confucian canon, which consists of the Four Books (the ''Great Learning'', the ''Doctrine of the Mean'', the ''Analects'' of Confucius, and the ''Mencius (book), Mencius''). The Ming scholar Wang Yangming (1472–1529) is a later but important philosopher of this tradition as well. Buddhism began arriving in China during the Han Dynasty, through a Silk Road transmission of Buddhism, gradual Silk road transmission and through native influences developed distinct Chinese forms (such as Chan/Zen) which spread throughout the East Asian cultural sphere. Chinese culture was highly influential on the traditions of other East Asian states and its philosophy directly influenced Korean philosophy, Vietnamese philosophy and Japanese philosophy. During later Chinese dynasties like the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) as well as in the Korean Joseon dynasty (1392–1897) a resurgent Neo-Confucianism led by thinkers such as Wang Yangming (1472–1529) became the dominant school of thought, and was promoted by the imperial state. In Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1867) was also strongly influenced by Confucian philosophy. Confucianism continues to influence the ideas and worldview of the nations of the East Asian cultural sphere, Chinese cultural sphere today. In the Modern era, Chinese thinkers incorporated ideas from Western philosophy. Chinese Marxist philosophy developed under the influence of Mao Zedong, while a Chinese pragmatism developed under Hu Shih. The old traditional philosophies also began to reassert themselves in the 20th century. For example, New Confucianism, led by figures such as Xiong Shili, has become quite influential. Likewise, Humanistic Buddhism is a recent modernist Buddhist movement. Modern Japanese thought meanwhile developed under strong Western influences such as the study of Western Sciences (Rangaku) and the modernist Meirokusha intellectual society which drew from European enlightenment thought and promoted liberal reforms as well as Western philosophies like Liberalism and Utilitarianism. Another trend in modern Japanese philosophy was the "National Studies" (Kokugaku) tradition. This intellectual trend sought to study and promote ancient Japanese thought and culture. Kokugaku thinkers such as Motoori Norinaga sought to return to a pure Japanese tradition which they called Shinto that they saw as untainted by foreign elements. During the 20th century, the Kyoto School, an influential and unique Japanese philosophical school developed from Western
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
and Medieval Japanese Buddhist philosophy such as that of Dogen.


African philosophy

African philosophy is philosophy produced by African people, philosophy that presents African worldviews, ideas and themes, or philosophy that uses distinct African philosophical methods. Modern African thought has been occupied with Ethnophilosophy, with defining the very meaning of African philosophy and its unique characteristics and what it means to be African people, African. During the 17th century, Ethiopian philosophy developed a robust literary tradition as exemplified by Zera Yacob (philosopher), Zera Yacob. Another early African philosopher was Anton Wilhelm Amo (c. 1703–1759) who became a respected philosopher in Germany. Distinct African philosophical ideas include Ujamaa, the Bantu peoples in South Africa, Bantu idea of Bantu Philosophy, 'Force', Négritude, Pan-Africanism and Ubuntu (philosophy), Ubuntu. Contemporary African thought has also seen the development of Professional philosophy and of Africana philosophy, the philosophical literature of the African diaspora which includes currents such as black existentialism by African-Americans. Some modern African thinkers have been influenced by Marxism, African-American literature, Critical theory, Critical race theory, Postcolonialism and African feminism, Feminism.


Indigenous American philosophy

Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous-American philosophical thought consists of a wide variety of beliefs and traditions among different American cultures. Among some of Native Americans in the United States, U.S. Native American communities, there is a belief in a metaphysical principle called the 'Great Spirit' (Siouan languages, Siouan: ''Wakan Tanka, wakȟáŋ tȟáŋka''; Algonquian languages, Algonquian: Gitche Manitou, ''gitche manitou''). Another widely shared concept was that of ''orenda'' ('spiritual power'). According to Whiteley (1998), for the Native Americans, "mind is critically informed by transcendental experience (dreams, visions and so on) as well as by reason."Whiteley, Peter M. 1998.
Native American philosophy
." ''Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.'' Taylor & Francis. .
The practices to access these transcendental experiences are termed ''shamanism''. Another feature of the indigenous American worldviews was their extension of ethics to non-human animals and plants. In Mesoamerica, Aztec philosophy, Nahua philosophy was an intellectual tradition developed by individuals called ''tlamatini'' ('those who know something') and its ideas are preserved in various Aztec codices and fragmentary texts. Some of these philosophers are known by name, such as Nezahualcoyotl (tlatoani), Nezahualcoyotl, Aquiauhtzin, Xayacamach, Tochihuitzin coyolchiuhqui and Cuauhtencoztli.Leonardo Esteban Figueroa Helland (2012).
Indigenous Philosophy and World Politics: Cosmopolitical Contributions from across the Americas.
' Arizona State University.
Maffie, James.
Why Care about Nezahualcoyotl? Veritism and Nahua Philosophy
'' Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Vol. 32 No. 1, March 2002 71-91 © 2002 Sage Publications.
These authors were also poets and some of their work has survived in the original Nahuatl. Aztec philosophers developed theories of metaphysics, epistemology, values, and aesthetics. Aztec ethics was focused on seeking ''tlamatiliztli'' ('knowledge', 'wisdom') which was based on moderation and balance in all actions as in the Nahuas, Nahua proverb "the middle good is necessary." The Nahua worldview posited the concept of an ultimate universal energy or force called ''Ōmeteōtl'' ('Dual Cosmic Energy') which sought a way to live in balance with a constantly changing, "slippery" world. The theory of ''Teotl'' can be seen as a form of Pantheism. According to James Maffie, Nahua metaphysics posited that teotl is "a single, vital, dynamic, vivifying, eternally self-generating and self-conceiving as well as self-regenerating and self-reconceiving sacred energy or force." This force was seen as the all encompassing life force of the universe and as the universe itself. The Inca civilization also had an elite class of philosopher-scholars termed the ''amawtakuna'' or ''amautas'' who were important in the Inca education system as teachers of philosophy, theology, astronomy, poetry, law, music, morality and history.Yeakel, John A.
Accountant-Historians of the Incas.
' Accounting Historians Journal Volume 10 Issue 2 Fall 1983 Article 3 1983.
Adames, Hector Y.; Chavez-Dueñas, Nayeli Y. (2016) ''Cultural Foundations and Interventions in Latino/a Mental Health: History, Theory and within Group Differences.'' pp. 20-21. Routledge. Young Inca nobles were educated in these disciplines at the state college of Yacha-huasi in Cusco, Cuzco, where they also learned the art of the quipu. Incan philosophy (as well as the broader category of Andean thought) held that the universe is animated by a single dynamic life force (sometimes termed ''camaquen'' or ''camac'', as well as ''upani'' and ''amaya'').Maffie, James. "Pre-Columbian Philosophies", in Nuccetelli, Susana; Schutte, Ofelia; Bueno, Otávio (2013) ''A Companion to Latin American Philosophy,'' Wiley Blackwell. This singular force also arises as a set of dual complementary yet opposite forces. These “complementary opposites” are called yanantin and Yanantin#Masintin, masintin. They are expressed as various polarities or dualities (such as male–female, dark–light, life and death, above and below) which interdependently contribute to the harmonious whole that is the universe through the process of reciprocity and mutual exchange called ''ayni''. The Inca worldview also included the belief in a Creator deity, creator God (Viracocha) and reincarnation.


Women in philosophy

Although men have generally dominated philosophical discourse, women philosophers have engaged in the discipline throughout history. Ancient philosophy, Ancient examples include Hipparchia of Maroneia (active ) and Arete of Cyrene (active 5th–4th centuries BCE). Some women philosophers were accepted during the Medieval philosophy, medieval and Modern philosophy, modern eras, but none became part of the Western canon until the Contemporary philosophy, 20th and 21st century, when many suggest that G.E.M. Anscombe, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, and Susanne Langer entered the canon.Duran, Jane. Eight women philosophers: theory, politics, and feminism. University of Illinois Press, 2005.
In the early 1800s, some colleges and universities in the UK and the US began Mixed-sex education#Higher-education institutions, admitting women, producing more female academics. Nevertheless, U.S. Department of Education reports from the 1990s indicate that few women ended up in philosophy and that philosophy is one of the least gender-proportionate fields in the humanities, with women making up somewhere between 17% and 30% of philosophy faculty according to some studies."Salary, Promotion, and Tenure Status of Minority and Women Faculty in U.S. Colleges and Universities."National Center for Education Statistics, Statistical Analysis Report, March 2000; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Research and Improvement, Report # NCES 2000–173; 1993 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF:93). See also "Characteristics and Attitudes of Instructional Faculty and Staff in the Humanities." National Center For Education Statistics, E.D. Tabs, July 1997. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Research and Improvement, Report # NCES 97-973;1993 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF-93).


Philosophical progress

Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. British philosopher Colin McGinn claims that no philosophical progress has occurred during that interval. Australian philosopher David Chalmers, by contrast, sees progress in philosophy similar to that in science. Meanwhile, Talbot Brewer, professor of philosophy at University of Virginia, argues that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity.


Branches of philosophy

Philosophical questions can be grouped into various branches. These groupings allow philosophers to focus on a set of similar topics and interact with other thinkers who are interested in the same questions. These divisions are neither exhaustive, nor mutually exclusive. (A philosopher might specialize in Kantian epistemology, or
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Plato
nic aesthetics, or modern political philosophy). Furthermore, these philosophical inquiries sometimes overlap with each other and with other inquiries such as science, religion or mathematics.


Aesthetics

Aesthetics is the "critical reflection on art, culture and nature." It addresses the nature of art, beauty and Taste (sociology), taste, enjoyment, emotional values, perception and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more precisely defined as the study of Senses, sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of Feeling, sentiment and taste. Its major divisions are art theory, literary theory, film theory and music theory. An example from art theory is to discern the set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement such as the Cubist aesthetic.


Ethics

Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, studies what constitutes good and bad Action (philosophy), conduct, right and wrong values (philosophy), values, and good and evil. Its primary investigations include how to live a good life and identifying standards of
morality Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the '' ...

morality
. It also includes investigating whether or not there ''is'' a best way to live or a universal moral standard, and if so, how we come to learn about it. The main branches of ethics are normative ethics, meta-ethics and applied ethics. The three main views in ethics about what constitute moral actions are: *Consequentialism, which judges actions based on their consequences. One such view is
utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a family of normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as ba ...
, which judges actions based on the net happiness (or pleasure) and/or lack of suffering (or pain) that they produce. *Deontology, which judges actions based on whether or not they are in accordance with one's moral duty. In the standard form defended by Immanuel Kant, deontology is concerned with whether or not a choice respects the moral agency of other people, regardless of its consequences. *Virtue ethics, which judges actions based on the moral character of the agent who performs them and whether they conform to what an ideally virtuous agent would do.


Epistemology

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
. Epistemologists examine putative sources of knowledge, including Perception, perceptual experience,
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
, memory, and Testimony#Philosophy, testimony. They also investigate questions about the nature of truth,
belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconsci ...

belief
, Justification (epistemology), justification, and Reason, rationality. Philosophical skepticism, which raises doubts about some or all claims to knowledge, has been a topic of interest throughout the history of philosophy. It arose early in Pre-Socratic philosophy and became formalized with Pyrrho, the founder of the Pyrrhonism, earliest Western school of philosophical skepticism. It features prominently in the works of modern philosophers
René Descartes René Descartes ( or ; ; Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s ...

René Descartes
and David Hume, and has remained a central topic in contemporary epistemological debates. One of the most notable epistemological debates is between empiricism and rationalism. Empiricism places emphasis on observational evidence via sensory experience as the source of knowledge. Empiricism is associated with a posteriori knowledge, which is obtained through experience (such as Philosophy of science, scientific knowledge). Rationalism places emphasis on reason as a source of knowledge. Rationalism is associated with a priori knowledge, which is independent of experience (such as
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
and
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
). One central debate in contemporary epistemology is about the conditions required for a
belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconsci ...

belief
to constitute knowledge, which might include truth and Justification (epistemology), justification. This debate was largely the result of attempts to solve the Gettier problem. Another common subject of contemporary debates is the Regress argument, regress problem, which occurs when trying to offer proof or justification for any belief, statement, or proposition. The problem is that whatever the source of justification may be, that source must either be without justification (in which case it must be treated as an arbitrary Foundationalism, foundation for belief), or it must have some further justification (in which case justification must either be the result of circular reasoning, as in coherentism, or the result of an infinite regress, as in infinitism).


Metaphysics

Metaphysics is the study of the most general features of
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
, such as
existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociolog ...

existence
, time, Object (philosophy), objects and their Property (philosophy), properties, wholes and their parts, events, processes and Causality, causation and the relationship between mind and Human body, body. Metaphysics includes
cosmology Cosmology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
, the study of the world in its entirety and ontology, the study of being. A major point of debate is between Philosophical realism, realism, which holds that there are entities that exist independently of their mental perception, and idealism, which holds that reality is mentally constructed or otherwise immaterial. Metaphysics deals with the topic of Personal identity, identity. Essence is the set of attributes that make an object what it fundamentally is and without which it loses its identity while Accident (philosophy), accident is a property that the object has, without which the object can still retain its identity. Particulars are objects that are said to exist in space and time, as opposed to abstract objects, such as numbers, and universals, which are properties held by multiple particulars, such as redness or a gender. The type of existence, if any, of universals and abstract objects is an issue of debate.


Logic

Logic is the study of reasoning and argument. Deductive reasoning is when, given certain premises, conclusions are Logical consequence, unavoidably implied. Rules of inference are used to infer conclusions such as, modus ponens, where given “A” and “If A then B”, then “B” must be concluded. Because sound reasoning is an essential element of all sciences, social sciences and humanities disciplines, logic became a formal science. Sub-fields include mathematical logic, philosophical logic, Modal logic, computational logic and non-classical logics. A major question in the philosophy of mathematics is whether mathematical entities are objective and discovered, called mathematical realism, or invented, called mathematical antirealism.


Mind and language

Philosophy of language explores the nature, origins, and use of language. Philosophy of mind explores the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body, as typified by disputes between materialism and Dualism (philosophy of mind), dualism. In recent years, this branch has become related to cognitive science.


Philosophy of science

The
philosophy of science Philosophy of science is a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations, methodology, methods, and implications of science. The central questions of this study concern Demarcation problem, what qualifies as science, the reliability of s ...
explores the foundations, methods, history, implications and purpose of science. Many of its subdivisions correspond to specific branches of science. For example, philosophy of biology deals specifically with the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical issues in the biomedical and life sciences.


Political philosophy

Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals (or families and clans) to communities including the State (polity), state. It includes questions about justice, law, property and the rights and obligations of the citizen. Political philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics are traditionally linked subjects, under the general heading of value theory as they involve a normative or evaluative aspect.


Philosophy of religion

Philosophy of religion deals with questions that involve religion and religious ideas from a philosophically neutral perspective (as opposed to
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
which begins from religious convictions). Traditionally, religious questions were not seen as a separate field from philosophy proper, the idea of a separate field only arose in the 19th century.Wainwright, William J. 2005. "Introduction." Pp. 3–11 in
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion
'', edited by W. J. Wainwright. New York: Oxford University Press. "The expression “philosophy of religion” did not come into general use until the nineteenth century, when it was employed to refer to the articulation and criticism of humanity's religious consciousness and its cultural expressions in thought, language, feeling, and practice." ().
Issues include the existence of God, the relationship between reason and
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faith
, questions of religious epistemology, the relationship between religion and science, how to interpret religious experiences, questions about the possibility of an afterlife, the problem of religious language and the existence of souls and responses to religious pluralism and diversity.


Metaphilosophy

Metaphilosophy explores the aims, boundaries and methods of philosophy. It is debated as to whether Metaphilosophy is a subject that comes prior to philosophy or whether it is inherently part of philosophy.


Applied and professional philosophy

Some of those who study philosophy become professional philosophers, typically by working as professors who teach, research and write in academic institutions. However, most students of academic philosophy later contribute to law, journalism, religion, sciences, politics, business, or various arts. For example, public figures who have degrees in philosophy include comedians Steve Martin and Ricky Gervais, filmmaker Terrence Malick, Pope John Paul II, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Stephen Bryer and US vice presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Curtis White (author), Curtis White has argued that philosophical tools are essential to humanities, sciences and social sciences. Recent efforts to avail the general public to the work and relevance of philosophers include the million-dollar Berggruen Prize for Philosophy, Berggruen Prize, first awarded to Charles Taylor (philosopher), Charles Taylor in 2016. Some philosophers argue that this professionalization has negatively affected the discipline.


See also

* List of important publications in philosophy * List of years in philosophy * List of philosophy journals * List of philosophy awards * List of unsolved problems in philosophy * Lists of philosophers * Social theory


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography


Further reading


General introduction

* * Blumenau, Ralph. ''Philosophy and Living''. * Edward Craig (philosopher), Craig, Edward. ''Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction''. * Harrison-Barbet, Anthony, ''Mastering Philosophy''. * Bertrand Russell, Russell, Bertrand.
The Problems of Philosophy
'. * Sinclair, Alistair J. ''What is Philosophy? An Introduction'', 2008, * Elliott Sober, Sober, Elliott. (2001). ''Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings''. Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall. * Robert C. Solomon, Solomon, Robert C. ''Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy''. * Nigel Warburton, Warburton, Nigel. ''Philosophy: The Basics''. * Nagel, Thomas. ''What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy''. * ''Classics of Philosophy (Vols. 1, 2, & 3)'' by Louis P. Pojman * Cottingham, John. Western Philosophy: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2008. Print. Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. * Richard Tarnas, Tarnas, Richard. ''The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View''.


Topical introductions


African

* Imbo, Samuel Oluoch. ''An Introduction to African Philosophy.''


Eastern

* ''A Source Book in Indian Philosophy'' by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Charles A. Moore * Hamilton, Sue. ''Indian Philosophy: a Very Short Introduction''. * Kupperman, Joel J. ''Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts''. * Lee, Joe and Powell, Jim. ''Eastern Philosophy For Beginners''. * Smart, Ninian. ''World Philosophies''. * Copleston, Frederick. ''Philosophy in Russia: From Herzen to Lenin and Berdyaev''.


Islamic

* ''Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings'' edited by Muhammad Ali Khalidi * * *


Historical introductions


General

* * Kathleen Higgins, Higgins, Kathleen M. and Robert C. Solomon, Solomon, Robert C. ''A Short History of Philosophy''. * Will Durant, Durant, Will, ''Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers'', Pocket, 1991, *


Ancient

* Knight, Kelvin. ''Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre''.


Medieval

* ''The Phenomenology Reader'' by Dermot Moran, Timothy Mooney * Kim, J. and Ernest Sosa, Ed. (1999). ''Metaphysics: An Anthology''. Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers Ltd. *


Modern & contemporary

* ''The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill'' by Edwin Arthur * ''European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche'' by Monroe Beardsley * ''Existentialism: Basic Writings (Second Edition)'' by Charles Guignon, Derk Pereboom * Curley, Edwin, ''A Spinoza Reader'', Princeton, 1994, * Alan Bullock, Bullock, Alan, R.B. Woodings, and John Cumming, ''eds''. ''The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thinkers'', in series, ''Fontana Original[s]''. Hammersmith, Eng.: Fontana Press, 1992 [1983]. xxv, 867 p. * Roger Scruton, Scruton, Roger. ''A Short History of Modern Philosophy''. * ''Contemporary Analytic Philosophy: Core Readings'' by James Baillie * Kwame Anthony Appiah, Appiah, Kwame Anthony. ''Thinking it Through  – An Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy'', 2003, * Critchley, Simon. ''Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction''.


Reference works

* * * ''The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy'' by Robert Audi * ''The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (10 vols.) edited by Edward Craig, Luciano Floridi (available online by subscription); or * ''The Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' edited by Edward Craig (an abridgement) * ; in 1996, a ninth supplemental volume appeared that updated the classic 1967 encyclopedia. * ''International Directory of Philosophy and Philosophers''. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center. * ''Directory of American Philosophers''. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center. * ''Routledge History of Philosophy'' (10 vols.) edited by John Marenbon * ''History of Philosophy'' (9 vols.) by Frederick Copleston * ''A History of Western Philosophy'' (5 vols.) by W.T. Jones (philosopher), W.T. Jones * ''History of Italian Philosophy'' (2 vols.) by Eugenio Garin. Translated from Italian and Edited by Giorgio Pinton. Introduction by Leon Pompa. * ''Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophies'' (8 vols.), edited by Karl H. Potter et al. (first 6 volumes out of print) * ''Indian Philosophy'' (2 vols.) by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan * ''A History of Indian Philosophy'' (5 vols.) by Surendranath Dasgupta * ''History of Chinese Philosophy'' (2 vols.) by Fung Yu-lan, Derk Bodde * ''Instructions for Practical Living and Other Neo-Confucian Writings by Wang Yang-ming'' by Chan, Wing-tsit * ''Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy'' edited by Antonio S. Cua * ''Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion'' by Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Kurt Friedrichs * ''Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy'' by Brian Carr, Indira Mahalingam * ''A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English'' by John A. Grimes * ''History of Islamic Philosophy'' edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Oliver Leaman * ''History of Jewish Philosophy'' edited by Daniel H. Frank, Oliver Leaman * ''A History of Russian Philosophy: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Centuries'' by Valerii Aleksandrovich Kuvakin * Ayer, A.J. et al., Ed. (1994) ''A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations''. Blackwell Reference Oxford. Oxford, Basil Blackwell Ltd. * Blackburn, S., Ed. (1996)''The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy''. Oxford, Oxford University Press. * Mautner, T., Ed. ''The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy''. London, Penguin Books. * Runes, D., Ed. (1942)
''The Dictionary of Philosophy''
. New York, The Philosophical Library, Inc. * Angeles, P.A., Ed. (1992). ''The Harper Collins Dictionary of Philosophy''. New York, Harper Perennial. * * Hoffman, Eric, Ed. (1997) ''Guidebook for Publishing Philosophy''. Charlottesville, Philosophy Documentation Center. * Popkin, R.H. (1999). ''The Columbia History of Western Philosophy''. New York, Columbia University Press. * Bullock, Alan, and Oliver Stallybrass, ''jt. eds''. ''The Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought''. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. xix, 684 p. ''N.B''.: "First published in England under the title, ''The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought''." * William L. Reese, Reese, W.L. ''Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought''. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1980. iv, 644 p.


External links


''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy''

The ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy''

Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project

PhilPapers
– a comprehensive directory of online philosophical articles and books by academic philosophers


Philosophy Magazines and Journals
*
Philosophy (review)

Philosophy Documentation Center

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