Among all the humanities it is philosophy that is called the most insidious. After all, she naming it to mankind such difficult, but important questions as: “What is being?”, “What is the meaning of life?”, “Why do we live in this world?”. Hundreds of volumes are written about each of these topics, their authors tried to find the answer …
But more often they became even more confused when searching for the truth. Among the numerous philosophers noted in history, there are 10 most important. After all, it was they who laid the foundations of future thought processes on which other scientists were already fighting.
Parmenides (520-450 BC).
This ancient Greek philosopher lived before Socrates. Like many other thinkers of that era, he was distinguished by his incomprehensibility and even a certain insanity. Parmenides became the founder of the whole philosophical school in Elie. His poem “On Nature” reached us. In it, the philosopher discusses the questions of cognition and being. Parmenides reasoned that there is only ever and unchangeable Being, which is identified with thinking. According to his logic, it is impossible to think about non-existence, which means that it does not exist. The contradictory idea is “there is something that is not.” The main pupil of Parmenides is Zeno of Elea, but the works of the philosopher influenced Plato and Melissa.
Aristotle (384-322 BC).
Along with Aristotle, the pillars of ancient philosophy are also considered Plato with Socrates. But this man was also distinguished for his enlightenment activity. The school of Aristotle gave a great impetus to his development of the creative work of numerous students. Today, scientists can not even figure out exactly what works belong to a great thinker. Aristotle became the first scientist who could create a versatile philosophical system. Later, it will form the basis of many modern sciences. It was this philosopher who created formal logic. And his views on the physical foundations of the universe markedly changed the further development of man’s thinking. The central doctrine of Aristotle was the doctrine of the root causes – matter, form, cause and purpose. This scientist laid down the concept of space and time. Aristotle paid much attention to the theory of the state. It is no coincidence that his most successful pupil, Alexander of Macedon, achieved so much.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180).
This person went down in history not only as a Roman emperor, but also as an outstanding philosopher-humanist of his era. Under the influence of another philosopher, his teacher Maximus Claudius, Marcus Aurelius created 12 books in Greek, united under the common name “Discourses on himself.” The work of “Meditation” was written for the inner world of philosophers. There the emperor told about the beliefs of Stoic philosophers, but not all of their ideas were accepted. Stoicism was an important phenomenon for the Greeks and Romans, because he defined not only the rules of patience, but also pointed to the path to happiness. Marcus Aurelius believed that all people through their spirit participate in an ideological community, which has no limitations. The works of this philosopher are easy to read today, helping to solve some vital problems. It is interesting that the philosopher’s humanistic ideas did not stop him from pursuing the first Christians.
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109).
This medieval philosopher did much for Catholic theology. He is even considered the father of scholasticism, and the most famous work of Anselm of Canterbury was Proslogion. In it, with the help of ontological evidence, he gave unshakable evidence of the existence of God. The existence of God was derived from its very concept. Anselm came to the conclusion that God is perfection, existing outside of us and beyond this world, exceeding in size all that is conceivable. The main statements of the philosopher “faith that requires understanding” and “I believe to understand” then became the peculiar mottoes of the Augustinian philosophical school. Among the followers of Anselm was Thomas Aquinas. The disciples of the philosopher continued to develop his views on the attitude of faith and reason. For his works for the benefit of the church in 1494, Anselm was canonized, becoming a saint.And in 1720, Pope Clement XI proclaimed the Holy Teacher of the Church. Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677).
Spinoza was born into a Jewish family, his ancestors after being expelled from Portugal settled in Amsterdam. In his youth, the philosopher studies the works of the best Jewish minds. But Spinoza began to express orthodox views and became close with the sectarians, which led to excommunication from the Jewish community. After all, his progressive views were in conflict with the hard-core social views. Spinoza fled to The Hague, where he continued to improve. He himself made a living by polishing lenses and private lessons. And in his spare time from these ordinary studies, Spinoza wrote his philosophical works. In 1677, a scientist died of tuberculosis, his inveterate illness was further aggravated by the inhalation of lens dust. Only after Spinoza’s death did his main work – “Ethics”. The works of the philosopher synthesized together the scientific ideas of Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages, the works of the Stoics, Neoplatonists and Scholastics. Spinoza tried to transfer the influence of Copernicus to science in the field of ethics, politics, metaphysics and psychology. The metaphysics of Spinoza was based on the logic that it is necessary to define terms, formulate axioms and then, with the help of logical consequences, derive the remaining positions.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).
Contemporaries of the philosopher remembered him as a little ugly pessimist. He spent most of his life with his mother and cat in his apartment. Nevertheless, this suspicious and ambitious man was able to break into the number of the most important thinkers, becoming the most outstanding representative of irrationalism. The source of the ideas of Schopenhauer were Plato, Kant and the ancient Indian treatise of the Upanishad. The philosopher became one of the first who dared to combine Eastern and Western culture. The difficulty of synthesis was that the former was irrational, while the second, on the contrary, was rational. The philosopher paid much attention to the questions of the will of man, his most famous aphorism was the phrase “Will is a thing in itself.” After all, it is she who determines the essence, influencing it. The main work of the philosopher’s whole life was his “The World as Will and Representation.” Schopenhauer outlined the main ways of a decent life – art, moral asceticism and philosophy. In his opinion, it is art that can liberate the soul from life’s suffering. Others must be treated as oneself. Although the philosopher sympathized with Christianity, he remained an atheist.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).
This person, despite a relatively short life, was able to achieve much in philosophy. It is customary to associate Nietzsche with fascism. In fact, he was not a nationalist, like his sister. The philosopher was not very interested in life around him. Nietzsche was able to create an original teaching that has nothing to do with academic character. Proceedings of the scientist questioned the generally accepted norms of morality, culture, religion and socio-political relations. What is worth only the famous phrase Nietzsche “God is dead.” The philosopher was able to revive interest in philosophy, blowing up the stagnant world with new views. The first work of Nietzsche, “The Birth of Tragedy,” immediately awarded the author a label “a terrible child of modern philosophy.” The scientist tried to understand what morality is. According to his views, one should not think about its truth, one must consider its service of purpose. Nietzsche’s pragmatic approach is also noted in relation to philosophy and culture in general. The philosopher was able to deduce the formula of the superman, which will not be limited by morality and morality, being set aside from good and evil. Roman Ingarden (1893-1970).
This Pole was one of the most prominent philosophers of the last century. He was a disciple of Hans-Georges Gadamer. Ingarden in Lviv survived the fascist occupation, continuing to work on its main work, “The dispute about the existence of the world.” In this two-volume book, the philosopher discusses art. The basis of the philosopher’s activity was aesthetics, ontology and epistemology.Ingarden has laid the foundations of a realistic phenomenology, which is still relevant today. The philosopher also studied literature, cinema, and the theory of cognition. Ingarden translated philosophical works into Polish, including Kant, and taught a lot in universities.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980).
This philosopher is very popular and popular in France. This is the most vivid representative of atheistic existentialism. His positions were close to Marxism. At the same time, Sartre was also a writer, playwright, essayist and teacher. At the heart of the works of philosophers lies the notion of freedom. Sartre believed that it is an absolute concept, a person is simply condemned to be free. We ourselves must form ourselves, responsible for our actions. Sartre said: “Man is the future of man.” The sense of the world does not exist, it is the person who changes this by his activity. The work of the philosopher “Being and Nothing” became the most real Bible for young intellectuals. Sartre refused to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature because he did not want to question his independence. The philosopher always defended the rights of a destitute and degraded person in his political activity. When Sartre died, 50,000 people gathered to lead him on his last journey. Contemporaries believe that no other Frenchman has given the world as much as this philosopher. Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961).
This French philosopher was once an adherent of Sartre, being an adherent of existentialism and phenomenology. But then he departed from the communist views. The main ideas of Merlot-Ponty outlined in his work “Humanism and Terror.” Researchers believe that it has features similar to fascist ideology. In the collection of his works the author severely criticizes the supporters of Marxism. The worldview of the philosopher was influenced by Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Freud, he himself was fond of the ideas of Gestalt psychology. Based on the work of his predecessors and working on the unknown works of Edmund Husserl, Merleau-Ponty was able to create his own phenomenology of the body. This teaching says that the body is neither a pure being nor a natural thing. This is just a turning point between culture and nature, between one’s own and another’s. The body in its understanding is the integral “I”, which is the subject of thinking, speech and freedom. The original philosophy of this Frenchman forced a new way to rethink traditional philosophical themes. It is no coincidence that he is considered one of the main thinkers of the twentieth century.