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MAP of Modern Philosophy

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Valerie Christensen

on 1 June 2015

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Transcript of MAP of Modern Philosophy

Hume is an empiricist like Locke and Berkeley, but greatly differs from the previous philosophers and is known as the great skeptic. He ultimately concludes that we cannot know much about anything about the world, metaphysically speaking. He claims there are many truths that may in fact be true, but we cannot prove them to be such. He holds that we come to know things about reality through our interpretations of sense experiences, which he calls impressions or ideas. It is his work that greatly inspired Immanuel Kant, however, he differs from Kant in that we can't know causation of things. He contributed to the free will debate and views that freedom can be reconciled with causal determinism.
The third of the rationalists, Leibniz differ greatly from Descartes and Spinoza metaphysically, and believes that there are an infinite amount of "substances" which he calls "monads". He ultimately believes in God and that God has orchestrated a "pre-established" harmony among monads, which explains the relationship between monads. He is a strong determinist in the sense that God ultimately knows and has planned out the 'best possible world' and all events can be explained by God. He also maintains that we have free will, but that we wouldn't choose in opposition to the way that God has designed things in advanced.
Spinoza, a rationalist like Descartes and Leibniz, differs in his idea of substance. He holds as a Monist and believes that there is one infinite substances and that everything is a part of this substance and is expressed as "attributes and modes" of this one infinite substance. He is God-fearing individual and with his idea of monism, he is a strong determinist that believes everything is an expression of God- the ultimate infinite substance.
Locke differs from the three previous rationalists and sets the stage for the empirically minded. He is well known for his "tabula rasa" , or blank slate, theory which holds that we came to this life with no innate ideas. The way by which we come to gain knowledge or understanding of anything is through our sense experiences which comes from his concept of ideas both simple and complex. He divides these ideas into primary (texture, number, size, etc) and secondary (color, sound, taste, etc) and together they encompass everything that we experience and understand. Locke liked the idea of free will but believed that there is a determinism requirement. He didn't focus his attention to substances like Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz and it isn't explicitly clear whether or not he is a dualist or monist.
Berkeley stands out unique his approach to idealism. Another empiricist, like Locke. However, he disagreed with Locke and held that abstract ideas could not be formed and are not conceivable. He believed that existence depends on perception. If something is not being perceived that it must not exist. However, the existence of the things we are not perceiving is explained by God, because God perceives what we cannot. He is more of an extreme idealist because he believes reality is in perception, even if it may seem difficult to separate from imagination. Again, he doesn't focus on substances in the way the rationalists do, however, he asserts that are many minds separate from each other and God, which would make him an idealistic pluralist.
Descartes is the Father of Modern Philosophy. By initially abandoning all his previous thoughts and notions, he rebuilt his understanding of truth through reasoning. As a dualist he believes in the division of substance between the mind and body. He holds that the mind perceives and that the body has extension. He is famously known for the statement, "I think, therefore, I am." In the process of riding himself of all former opinions, he came to the conclusion that the foundational truth that he was capable of discovering, was the fact that he exists because he is a thinking thing. In the debate of free will, while maintaining his beliefe in God, Descartes recognizes that are bodies must comply to the physical laws of the world, but our minds are free unto themselves.
Hegel differs from Kant in that he doesn't think that we can know things as they are in themselves. He approaches things rationally but believes that there is realism in thoughts and ideas, so the divide between empiricism and rationalism is difficult just like Kant. Kant and Hegel are in their own category between Rationalism and Empiricism. Hegel believes in an Absolute idea, which would make him more of a monist, but again doesn't emphasize a huge focus on substances like Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. He is a historical determinist and holds that the history influences how the future will unfold and that historical and future unfold according to predetermined sequences.
Free Will
Georg Hegel
Immanuel Kant
George Berkeley
David Hume
John Locke
Gottfried Leibniz
Baruch Spinoza
Rene Descartes
1500 1525 1550 1576 1600 1625 1650 1675 1700 1725 1750 1775 1800 1825 1850
Modern Philosophy
Transcendental Idealism
Dualism is the belief in two parts. In relation to philosophy, it is the view that there are two irreducible substances at the foundation of our existence in life. The view is that substances are either material or mental.
With this view, the human being is often embodies two parts as a body and a soul.

In comparison to Dualism and Pluralism, Monists hold that there is only one basic substance that at the ground of reality.
They hold that there are many substances at the ground of reality. In comparison to Monism and Dualism, Pluralists typically believe that there is an infinite amount of substances at the ground of reality.
Idealism in Philosophy maintains that reality is defined by our thoughts, ideas, and external perception of the world around us.
Realism, in comparison to idealism, is the idea that universals have real objective existence. Objects of sense perception, or objects that experience the senses exist physically exist outside the mind.
This is the idea that human experience is similar to the way that it appears. Reality in ideas, such as space and time, are proven to us by how the appear to us and not for how they are in themselves. This idea greatly differs between idealism and realism.
This is the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. In philosophy it is held in closely to the idea fatalism, that individuals have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.
In comparison to Determinism, this is the idea that individual human beings do have the ability to make their choices and are not fatally determined to do so.
Simply put, skepticism is universal doubt. This is the idea that we cannot know about the inner details and truths of reality that compose Metaphysics.
This is the kind of philosophy where reason alone is what discovers truth, not experience. It is through reasoning that one discovers the truths of reality and existence and this truths are self-evident.
In comparison to rationalism, empiricism holds that the means to discover truth is through sense experience. Reasoning alone is not sufficient to expose reality, but one must tangibly experience such through the senses.
Unique to the previous philosophers Kant combines the approach of rationalism and empricism and investigates both human reason and experience. He introduces what is knows as "transcendental idealism" with his attempt to understand and explain metaphysics. He argues against Hume that we can know the causation of things. We can only have experiences with the intuitive understanding of space and time. His focus is in explaining the limitations of what we can understand a priori and what we do learn a posteriori.
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