Philosophy Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

How to Read and Understand Philosophy
Which tips and guidelines can you follow to improve your understanding of philosophical texts?

6 Reasons to Study Logic
How can logic help you succeed in your academic and personal life?

Philosophical Theories and Ideas
The theories and ideas that shaped the development of philosophy and spanned the hottest debates.

Philosophy Now
Updates and info regarding what's happening in philosophy right now. Discover the latest trends in philosophy, learn about new titles in philosophy, spot the upcoming philosophy events, browse through department rankings, and much more.

How Do Philosophers Think About Beauty?
The nature of beauty is one of the most fascinating riddles of philosophy. Is beauty universal? How do we know it?

The Debate Between Nominalism and Realism
Realists claim that all entities are made up of particulars and universals; Nominalists instead argue that there are only particulars.

Philosophical Empiricism: Knowledge Through the Senses
Empiricism - the philosophical belief that the senses are the ultimate source of human knowledge - was espoused by both John Locke and David Hume.

Rationalism in Philosophy
Rationalists describe reason as the ultimate source of human knowledge. Rationalism is an extremely popular philosophy, even today.

What Does It Mean To Live The Good Life?
Comparison of various senses of

The Five Great Schools of Ancient Greek Philosophy
Five great philosophical traditions originated in ancient Greece: the Platonist, the Aristotelian, the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Skeptic.

Plato's 'Meno': Summary and Analysis
What is the nature of virtue? This article analyses the debate between Socrates and Meno, and describes the conclusions they draw.

Descartes's 3 Proofs of God's Existence
René Descartes (1596-1650) famously produced some original arguments to prove God's existence. These are his 3 proofs.

Philosophy Basics
Introduction to Philosophy, What Is Philosophy, Philosophical Branches, Philosophical Theories, Philosophical Ideas

Philosophy Jokes to Understand the Self and Cognition
From Descartes's death to the unconscious. Here are 5 philosophy jokes to help you understand the self and cognition.

What You Should Know About Kant's Ethics in a Nutshell
Immanuel Kant is one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Here's what you should know about Kant's ethics in a nutshell.

Philosophy Question: Would You Kill One Person to Save Five?
Philosophers love to conduct thought experiments. Answer this question: Would You Kill One Person to Save Five? This is The “Trolley Problem”.

Great Works of Philosophy
Learn about the works that shaped the development of philosophical thinking.

Major Philosophers
What did Spinoza do for a living? And Leibniz? What was Descartes's favorite habit in the morning? Look into the life and work of the greatest philosophers of all times, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Quine, Heidegger, Adorno, Marcuse.

Philosophy Periods
When did modern philosophy start? What is the difference between early modern and modern philosophy? What is distinctive and ancient Greek philosophy? Discover the turning points in the history of philosophy, along with their specific problems.

Philosophical Conundrums
The most entertaining and intriguing philosophical paradoxes, dilemmas, and problems.

What Can Chuck Norris Teach You About Philosophy?
He's a legendary martial artist and actor. This is what Chuck Norris's

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Machiavelli's Best Quotes
Niccolň Machiavelli is a central intellectual figure in Renaissance philosophy. Here is a selction of his most memorable quotes.

Do Babies Have A Moral Sense?
Evidence that some of our moral values may be innate

Plato's Republic, Book VI - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book VI

Nietzsche's Works In Chronological Order
List of Nietzsche's works in order of publication

Anaxagoras - Presocratic Pluralist
Anaxagoras (c. 500-428 BCE) claimed that Mind governed the world. Socrates was excited by this idea, but when he read what Anaxagoras had to say about Mind he was disappointed.

Everyday Philosophy
When philosophy meets the ordinary, you are on to some entertaining surprises.

Do You Have A Moral Duty To Leave a Tip?
Do you have a duty to leave a tip? Or is the tipping system itself unethical?

Is The Death Penalty Immoral?
Useful summary of the main arguments for and against the death penalty

Philosophical Quotes and Lines
A compilation of the the best and most famous philosophical quotes and lines, explained to the details.

Philosophy Study Tools
A hands-on guide on how to prepare for your philosophy assignments and exams.

Political Science
A handy online guide to political science: the major figures, problems, study tools, career prospects.

Intro to Logic
Philosophical articles about logic

Philosophy Schools and Traditions
The main schools and traditions in philosophy, including Skepticism, Platonism, Aristotelianim, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Materialism, Relativism, Buddhism, Confucianism.

On Optimism
What does it take to be an optimist? And, is it good to be such minded? While optimism is often associated to religious worldviews and to committing to some form of future improvement or even progress, some optimistic worldviews need not encompass either of the two aspects.

Philosophy of Sport: Quotes
There is a great deal of philosophical substance in sport. Any sport, really. From team sports such as football and basketball to individual sports such as tennis and car racing, it is easy to devise a plethora of philosophical issues that span across most philosophical branches. Here is a selection of the most poignant quotes related to sport that highlight its philosophical significance.

The Liar Paradox: Solutions
That certain sentences involving liars are paradoxical has been known for a long time. Perhaps the earliest written formulation of the liar paradox within Western philosophy dates back to the Ancient Greek period: it is due to Eubulides of Miletus, author of several other important logical paradoxes too. If a person says that she is a liar, is what she’s saying true or false? Suppose it’s true: then the person is not a liar; but then it’s actually false that she is a liar. If instead what the person is saying is false, then she is a liar; but then what she is saying is true. Either way, we reach conclusions that seem – literally – incredible; that’s the mark of paradoxicality. In this article we will concentrate on the solutions to the paradox.

Ethical Arguments for a Non-Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarianism seems to be backed up by a wealth of reasons, despite the difficulties in its formulation. At the same time, most people do not practice a vegetarian diet. It might well be, of course, that they are immoral – after all, who ever said that the majority of people is morally blameless? However, there may be also considerations leading to defend a non-vegetarian diet. In this article we shall review the main ones.

Philosophical Quotes on Lying
Lying is a complex activity, one that we often blame, despite the fact that several times it may be the best ethical option left to us. While lying can been seen as a threat to civil society, there seem to be several instances in which lying seems the most intuitively moral option. Besides, if a sufficiently broad definition of

The Liar Paradox
The paradoxicality of certain sentences involving liars has been known for a long time, and in Western philosophy it dates back to the Ancient Greek period. In this article we will concentrate on the formulation of the paradox and some of its implications for the concept of truth, rather than its solutions.

Arguments for Relativism
What reasons in favor of relativism can be brought forward? That people tend to have different views with respect to a same issue seems to be a platitude. Generational gaps, differences in social status, upbringing, religion, scientific perspectives can all contribute, at one time or other, to form contrasting opinions. Some people take these situations to provide a plethora of evidence to take a relativistic attitude towards the topic at hand. Of course not everyone agrees, affirming that relativism ought to be resisted. Needless to say, to a relativist the disagreement will just be additional evidence that she is on the right side of the debate.

Guilt and Philosophy
Guilt is a complex notion, mostly utilized in psychology to describe an emotion or passion apparently related to an agent’s ascribing to herself moral blame for having performed an action. Interestingly enough, and on a par with several other psychological attitudes, the guilt can arise with respect to all sorts of circumstances: some people may feel guilty of having accomplished actions for which no one would ever dream about blaming them. The topic of guilt is best discussed in connection with the idea of some controlling entity, be it psychological or institutional, that blames or allegedly would blame the agent. We shall deepen this aspect, after having pondered to a greater extent what guilt is.

Parmenides
Parmenides is probably the first great philosopher of the Western canon. His philosophy seems to have embodied several of the distinctive traits of Ancient Greek philosophy, most notably the exclusive reliance on reason; Parmenides had a deep influence on Plato's and Aristotle's thinking, whose work can by and large be seen as a response to Parmenides’s.

"The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince is the most read work by Florentine author Niccolò Machiavelli and one of the masterpieces of Western political thought. It is a small treatise composed of twenty-six chapters and aiming to educate a young adult about how to maintain power in a princedom regardless of the situation. Machiavelli’s precepts subverted Aristotelian ethics, turning what was the most regarded theory upside town.

Plato and Aristotle on Women: Selected Quotes
Plato and Aristotle defended different views on the nature of women and of their role in society. This article collects some influential quotes on the topic.

What Is Virtue Ethics?
How virtue ethics differs from other ways of doing moral philosophy

3 Stoic Strategies For Becoming Happier
3 Stoic practices to make you a happier person

Brief Biography of Plato and His Work
Author among others of

The Basic Principles of Utilitarianism
The basics of utilitarianism explained.

The Wisdom Of Seneca In Quotations
Wise words from the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca

How We Should Live According To Seneca
Seneca the Roman Stoic's views on they keys to happiness

Seneca's View Of Nature And The Gods
Summary of why Seneca the Stoic thinks the study can help us live better

Life of Seneca
A brief life of Seneca-the fat cat philosopher who said that you don't need money to be happy

Negative Visualization
The Stoic practice of thinking about how you might lose the things you most love

- By Category
An index of categories in the

The Natural Law Theory Of Morality
Thinkers like Aristotle and Aquinas thought that moral principles could be discovered by reason reflecting on the natural world and human nature.

Is Religion A Good Basis For Morality?
The pros and cons of basing morality on religion

What Is Ethical Egoism?
Should I only seek what's good for me? The problem of ethical egoism.

What Is Psychological Egoism?
Summary and critique of the view that all our actions are self-interested

Life Of Epicurus
Brief life of Epicurus (341-271 BCE)

The Wisdom Of Marcus Aurelius
Wise sayings of Marcus Aurelius. Philosophy.

What Is The Hypothetico-Deductive Method?
Simple explanation with examples of the hypothetico-deductive method

About Philosophy: Theories, Study Guides, and More
Philosophy students and amateurs alike can learn more about central philosophers, philosophical theories, ideas, schools, traditions, and new trends.

Can Food Be Art?
Can food be art? This is a question that has received increasing attention over the past few decades in aesthetics; in this article we shall deal with the main reasons that have been brought forth against the palatability of gastronomic experiences being, in some instances, forms of ultimate artistic experiences.

Philosophical Quotes on Food
Philosophy of food is an emerging branch in philosophy. Here is a list of quotes that are pertinent to it; if you happen to have additional suggestions, please do send them along!

Philosophical Quotes on Art
How to tell an artwork from what is a work of art is not? What is it that makes an object, or a gesture, a work of art? Those questions lie at the core of Philosophy of Art, a major subfield of Aesthetics. Here is a collection of quotes on the subject.

Aesthetics
What is beauty? How to tell what is art from what art is not? These are the two fundamental questions if aesthetics. The first one concerns beauty in its most general form, thus not only artifacts, but also beauty as encountered in a landscape, a sunset, a stone, or a flower. What is it that makes something beautiful? Is beauty always one and the same property, exemplified by entities of radically different sorts?

Key Concepts In Thomas Kuhn's 'The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions'
Brief explanations of the key terms in Kuhn's account of scientific revolutions

The Paradox of Tragedy
How is it possible that human beings can derive pleasure from unpleasant states? This is the question addressed by Hume in his essay

A Funny Selection of Philosophy Jokes
There are plenty of hilarious philosophy jokes out there, some of which could easily be incorporated as teaching materials, both for children and adults.

Philosophy of Education - A Brief Introduction
Though education is often thought in relation to the school system, educational processes aren't restricted to what is imparted in a school setting.

The Self - Autonomous or Dependent?
The idea of a self plays a central role in philosophy. Three main types of views of the self are explored in this brief introduction.

What Is A Paradigm Shift?
Explanation of the commonly used phrase

Thomas Kuhn's Philosophy Of Science
A simple explanation of Thomas Kuhn's ideas about paradigm shifts in science

Epicurus Quotations
Sayings of Epicurus on on life, death, pleasure, friendship and frugality

How To Be Happy According To Epicurus
Epicurus' recipe for a good life: simple pleasures, wisdom, and friendship

Epicurus' View Of The Universe
Epicurus' astonishingly modern view of the world

Marcus Aurelius -Roman Emperor And Stoic Philosopher
The life and thought of Marcus Aurelius

Brief Life Of David Hume
Brief life of David Hume,the 'Great Infidel'

Karl Marx - Quotations
Sayings of Karl Marx on religion, work, history, capitalism, and communism

Brief Life Of Descartes
Brief life of Descartes. Philosophy.

Essay Topics On Nietzsche's Critique Of Morality And Religion
Sample essay topics on Nietzsche's critiques of morality and religion

Essay Topics On Nietzsche
Essay topics on Nietzsche. Philosophy.

Nietzsche's 'On the Genealogy of Morals (2nd Essay)
Summary of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (2nd Essay)

Theory Of Knowledge Jokes
Jokes that illustrate ideas in the theory of knowledge

Philosophy Of Science Jokes
Good jokes illustrating features of scientific reasoning

Gilbert Ryle
Brief account of Gilbert Ryle's contribution to philosophy

Francis Bacon - Wise Sayings
Francis Bacon's Wit and Wisdom. Philosophy.

Philosophy Of Mind Jokes
Jokes relating to philosophy of mind

Political Philosophy Jokes
Jokes related to political philosophy

Jokes About Metaphysics
Jokes that illustrate metaphysical ideas

Jokes About Applied Ethics
Jokes related to applied ethics. Philosophy.

Jokes About The Moral Virtues
Jokes about the moral virtues. Philosophy.

Moral Philosophy Jokes
Jokes illustrating ideas in ethics

Jokes About Philosophy
Jokes about philosophy-its abstractness and impracticality

Nietzsche's 'On The Genealogy Of Morals' (First Essay)
Brief explanation of Nietzsche's contrast between master and slave values

What Does Nietzsche Mean When He Says that God Is dead?
Explanation of Nietzsche's saying

Nietzsche's "The Use And Abuse Of History"
A summary of Nietzsche's famous essay on history

Nietzsche's "Ubermensch" (a.k.a. Superman)
Explanation of Nietzsche's Übermensch or Superman

Nietzsche Concept Of Slave Morality
Nietzsche's notion of slave morality explained

Nietzsche's Concept Of Master Morality
Nietzsche's idea of master morality explained

Life of Nietzsche
A brief biography of Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche's Concept Of The Will To Power
Nietzsche's theory of the will to power explained

Nietzsche And The Nazis
Was Nietzsche a proto-Nazi? Philosophy.

Nietzsche's Idea Of The Eternal Recurrence
Nietzsche idea of eternal recurrence explained and analysed

Why Did Nietzsche Break With Wagner?
Why Nietzsche had to part company with the only other creative genius he had over known

Brief Life Of Nietzsche's Sister Elisabeth
Brief life of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche

Definition Of Terms In The Free Will Debates
Short definitions of some technical terms used in the debate over free will

Does Neuroscience Prove That We Don't Have Free Will?
Does neuroscience disprove free will?

Theological Determinism
Brief account of how God's omniscience and omnipotence threaten the idea of free will

Soft Determinism
Brief account of soft determinism

Determinism
Brief account of causal determinism and the challenges it faces

Incompatibilism
Why free will and determinism can't be reconciled

Compatibilism
Brief account of how free will can be reconciled with determinism

Hard Determinism
Brief account of the afrguments for and against hard determinism

Well Known Sayings Of Hegel
Some of Hegel's best known sayings

Indeterminism and Free Will
Does indeterminacy lie at the root of free will

Fatalism
A brief account of fatalism and how it differs from determinism

Heracleitus - The Philosopher of Flux
Heracleitus of Ephesus remains one of the most interesting and enigmatic of the ancient Greek thinkers.

Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans
Although much about them is obscure, the Pythagoreans made a massive contribution to Western civilization in recognizing that nature is mathematically ordered.

Empedocles: one of the first pluralists
Summary of the main teachings of Empedocles (495 - 435 BCE)

7 Things To Know When Taking Your First Philosophy Course
Some basic information for those new to the subject.

Brief biography of Hegel (1770-1831)
A brief biography of Hegel (1770-1831)

Logical humor in Ch. 8 of 'Through the Looking Glass'
Analysis of logical and lingusitic humor in Ch. 8 of 'Through the Looking Glass'

How Alice sees 'Nobody' in Ch. 7 of 'Through The Looking Glass'
Analysis of a philosophical joke about 'Nobody' in Ch. 7 of 'Through the Looking Glass'

Humpty Dumpty's Philosophy of Language in 'Through the Looking Glass'
Philosophical analysis of the meeting between Alice and Humpty Dumpty in Ch. 6 of 'Through the Looking Glass'

Why Alice Never Gets Jam Today
Analysis of the philosophical humor in Ch. 5 of 'Through the Looking Glass'

Alice gets a philosophy lesson from Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Analysis of Alice's philosophical conversation with Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Philosophy in Ch. 3 of Through The Looking Glass
Alice puzzles over the relation between things and their names in Through the Looking Glass

Philosophy in Ch. 2 of Alice Through The Looking Glass
Philosophical issues in Ch. 2 of Lewis Carroll's 'Through The Looking Glass'

Philosophical Humor In Alice Through The Looking Glass
How Ch. 1 of Alice Through the Looking Glass illustrates the nature of mysteries and explanations.

Philosophy in Ch. 9 of Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll's funny critique of education in Ch. 9 of Alice in Wonderland

Philosophical Humor in Alice in Wonderland - Ch. 8
Philosophical puzzles raised in Ch. 8 of Alice in Wonderland

Philosophical humor in Chapter 5 of Alice in Wonderland
Analysis of the philosophy jokes in Ch. 5 of Alice in Wonderland

Why philosophers love Alice In Wonderland
Why Lewis Carroll tickles philosophers' funny bones

Brief Life of Lewis Carroll
A brief life of Lewis Carroll. Philosophy.

Why philosophers love Alice in Wonderland
Analysis of philosophy jokes in Ch. 1 of Alice in Wonderland

Philosophical Commentary On Lewis Carroll's Alice Books
Brief description of a few good commentaries on Lewis Carroll's Alice books

A Simple Explanation of the Fact-Value Gap
An explanation of a basic idea in modern moral philosophy

Aristotle's Theory Of Causality
Aristotle's way of answering any

Brief Explanation of Kant's Categorical Imperative
The central concept of Kant's ethics explained simply

Moral Relativism Explained
The pros and cons of moral relativism

The Distinction Between Intrinsic Value And Instrumental Value
A bried explanation of the difference between intrinsic value and instrumental value

A Brief Summary of the Different Kinds of Relativism
A brief account of the main kinds of relativism

Philosophical humor Ch. 6 of in Alice in Wonderland
The philosophical humor in Alice's conversation with the Cheshire Cat

Philosophical humor in Ch. 7 of Alice in Wonderland
How the Mad Hatter's tea-party illustrates issues in the philosophy of language.

Philosophy in Alice in Wonderland - Ch. 2
How Alice, on entering Wonderland, poses the problem of personal identity over time.

Philosophy in Alice in Wonderland - Ch. 3
Explains two kinds of absurdity in Ch. 3 of Alice in Wonderland

Plato's Republic, Book X-Summary
A summary of Book X of Plato's Republic

Plato's Republic, Book IX - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book IX

Plato's Republic, Book VIII - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book VIII

Summary of The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir
A summary and commentary on Simon de Beauvoir's story,

A Brief Life of Simon de Beauvoir
A brief life of Simone de Beauvoir

Essay Topics On Plato's Best Known Dialogs
Essay on topics on several of Plato's dialogs

Plato's Republic, Book IV - Summary
A summary of Book IV of Plato's Republic

Plato's Republic, Book V - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book V

Plato's Republic, Book III - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book III

Plato's Republic, Book II - Summary
Summary of Book II of Plato's Republic

Plato's Republic, Book I - Summary
Summary of Plato's Book I of Plato's 'Republic'

Plato's Republic Book VII - Summary
Summary of Plato's Republic, Book VII

Plato's 'Republic' - A Brief Outline
A brief outline of Plato's 'Republic'

Plato's Views On What Happens When We Die
Six different answers to the question of whether the soul is immortal that can be found in Plato's dialogues.

Existentialism - Essay Topics
Essay prompts on classic existentialist texts by Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Sartre, Kafka, Camus, and Beckett

Summary and Analysis of Jean Paul Sartre's Story "The Wall"
Summary and analysis of Jean Paul Sartre's classic story,

Life of Jean Paul Sartre - Existentialist Philosopher
A brief biography of Jean Paul Sartre

An Explanation of Jean Paul Sartre's Concept of 'Bad Faith'
A brief explanation of Jean-Paul Sartre's concept of bad faith

A summary of Sartre's 'The Transcendence of the Ego
A brief clarification of Sartre's account of consciousness

The Order of Events in Sartre's 'Nausea'
A chronological summary of what happens in Jean-Paul Sartre's novel 'Nausea'

Brief Explanations Of Key Terms Used By Jean Paul Sartre
Clarification of philosophical terms used by Jean Paul Sartre

Plato's critique of a life devoted to pleasure
A summary of Plato's 'Gorgias'. Philosophy.

Aristophanes' Myth About Love In Plato's 'Symposium'
One of the most profound and poignant accounts of sexual desire in the history of ideas.

What Is Socratic Ignorance?
An explanation of the term 'Socratic ignorance'

What is Meant by 'Socratic Wisdom'?
The meaning of the term 'Socratic wisdom'

Life of Plato
A brief biography of the man many would call the greatest philosopher in the history of Western civilization.

Socrates and Alcibiades: Two Kinds of Love
How Socrates and Alcibiades embody 2 different kinds of love

Plato's "Ladder of Love"
Plato's account of how sexual desire for the beautiful body of a boy can be transformed into the quest for philosophical insight.

Plato's 'Symposium' - On Love and Beauty
A summary an commentary on Plato's dialog, the 'Symposium', where Socrates and his friends take turns praising Love

Plato's 'Phaedo' - Socrates' Fnal Philosophical Discussion
Socrates argues for the soul's immortality in his final hours

Socrates - Biography
The remakable story of the ugly little man who fascinated Athens and changed the world

The Eleatics - RIgorous Monists
The Eleatics stressed the unity of being and argued that diversity and change were illusory.

The Presocratics - the first Western philosophers
The Presocratics were some of the most original and influential thinkers in all of Western philosophy.

Leucippus - Ancient Atomist
The Presocratic philosopher we know least about, but as the father of atomism possibly one of the most important

Democritus - An Early Atomist
Democritus' atomic theory is one of the most remarkable feats of imaginative speculation in the history of science.

Reduction Ad Absurdum - One Of The Most Powerful Forms of Argument
One of the most powerful forms of argument in mathematics, philosophy, and everyday reasoning.

Zeno's Paradoxes
If Zeno is right, motion is impossible and our senses are constantly deceiving us.

Parmenides: The First Great Rationalist
Parmenides was the first philosopher to establish such basic principles as

10 Beatles Songs With Philosophical Themes
John, Paul, George, and Ringo may not have been deep original thinkers, but some of their best songs touch on topics of interest to philosophers.

Major Works of 19th Century Philosophy
Authors and titles (with dates). Philosophy.

Major Texts of Existentialism
Authors, and titles in chronological order.

Jokes That Illustrate Logical Fallacies
An amusing and effective way way of illustrating and remembering some common informal fallacies.

Life of Pythagoras
Brief Life of Pythagoras of Samos

Kant - Quotations
Kant's best known sayings. Philosophy.

Xenophanes
Brief account of Xenophanes' philosophy

Brief Life of Immanuel Kant
Brief biography of Immanuel Kant

Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason'
A concise summary of Kant's greatest work

Anaximander: Philosopher of the 'Unbounded'
Anaximander - the first scientist?

Definitions of Basic Concepts in Logic
Definitions of basic concepts in logic

Some famous names with degrees in philosophy
10 famous individuals who studied philosophy in college

Plato's 'Crito': Summary and Analysis
Crito, a wealthy old man and one of Socrates' oldest friends visits him in prison

Best ways to prepare for a philosophy final
Some tips on how to study for a philosophy exam

Meno's Paradox
How Socrates answers Meno's challenge in Plato's 'Meno'

Plato's 'Apology'
A brief account of Plato's 'Apology'--Socrates' speech at his trial

The Slave Boy Experiment in Plato's 'Meno'
Does Plato's 'Meno' prove we have innate ideas?

Best Philosophy Graduate Programs in the U.S.
The choice of a philosophy graduate program can be extremely difficult. In the U.S.A. alone, there are over one hundred of well-established departments granting graduate degrees (M.A., M.Phil., or Ph.D.) Needless to say, Canada, the U.K., Australia, France, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, and a few other countries have graduate programs that are well-regarded too. How to decide where is most suitable to study?

Plato's 'Euthyphro': Socrates and Euthyphro try to define piety
Socrates and Euthyphro try to define piety.

How to Prove an Argument Invalid by a Counterexample
How to prove arguments invalid using counterexamples

Induction v Deduction: The Difference Between Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Simple explanations of induction, deduction, validity and soundness.

Will the future resemble the past? The problem of induction
How do you know your next cup of coffee won't kill you? The problem of induction.

Thales: The First Philosopher in the West
Life and thought of Thales of Miletus, the first philosopher

Branches of Philosophy
An accessible overview of the main branches of philosophy, including Ethics, Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Logic, Philosophy of Science.

Descartes' Discourse on Method
A summary of Descartes' 'Discourse on Method' and an explanation of its philosophical importance.

What Is Political Science? - An Introduction
Political science studies governments in all their forms and aspects, both theoretical and practical. Once a branch of philosophy, political science nowadays is typically considered a social science. The history of the discipline is virtually as long as that of humanity. Its roots in the Western tradition are typically individuated in the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Best Quotes About Friendship From Philosophers
What is friendship? How many types of friendship can we recognize and in what degree shall we seek each of them? Several of the greatest philosophers have addressed those questions and neighboring ones. Let’s see some illustrations of their work.

Why Major in Philosophy?
Philosophy is one of the most spontaneous and profound activities humans can pursue; but, what can you do with a major in philosophy? Here are eleven reasons to choose the examined life .

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
One of the most influential philosophers to date, Aristotle was a student of Plato and the teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings redefined or established an impressive variety of areas, including ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, logic, epistemology, rhetoric, and tragedy.

Philosophical Quotes on History
A selection of important quotes about history, which are relevant also for philosophical discussions.

Intelligence: Philosophical Quotes
A selection of important quotes about intelligence, which bear significance for philosophical concerns.

Philosophical Quotes on Identity
A selection of important quotes about identity, which bear significance also for philosophical concerns.

Philosophical Quotes on Time
A selection of important quotes on time, which bear particular significance also for philosophical discussions.

Philosophy Quotes on Beauty
A selection of important quotes on beauty, which bear philosophical significance.

Best Online Philosophy Sources I: Encyclopedias, Radios, and TVs
Since the advent of internet, philosophy sources on the web have grown steadily both in number and varieties. Nowadays, having an online profile and being up to date with regard to the latest debates, trends, and news on the subject has become a (almost obligatory) routine for professional philosophers, aspiring ones, and amateurs. Here we shall trace a map of philosophical encyclopedias as well as philosophy radios and TVs. Philosophy blogs, journals, and bibliographies will be treated separately.

Spinoza on Ethics: Selected Quotes
Baruch Spinoza was a central figure in early modern philosophy. Among his major contributions, a theory of ethics that is widely taught and discussed. This article collects some important quotes on the topic.

Kant on Ethics: Selected Quotes
Immanuel Kant was a central figure in the philosophy of Enlightenment. Among his major contributions, a theory of ethics that is widely taught and discussed. This article collects some important quotes on Kant’s ethics.

Rousseau on Education: Selected Quotes
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a central figure in the philosophy of Enlightenment. Among his major contributions, a theory of education and human development that was widely debated and that still draws some heated debates. This article collects some important quotes from Rousseau on the topic.

Plato and Aristotle on the Family: Selected Quotes
Plato and Aristotle have proposed radical views on the family, which influenced the debate on the topic in Western philosophy. This article collects some influential quotes on the topic.

Early Modern Philosophy - Descartes to Kant
New theories of mind and matter, of the divine, and of civic society - among others - were proposed by figures such as Descartes, Locke, Hume, and Kant.

Philosophy and the Systematics of Storms
Philosophers are typically intrigued with understanding the structure of reality and the ways in which humans may get it wrong. This is indeed the goal of those vested to study metaphysics and epistemology. The systematics of storms makes for a good case study, at times leaving meteorologists and their audience baffled. Sandy, the tropical cyclone that swept the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeastern United States towards the end of 2012, is the most recent example of the puzzles of classification posed by storms. Let’s see why.

Is Lying Morally Permissible? - The Ethics of Lying
While lying can been seen as a threat to civil society, there seem to be several instances in which it seems to be the most intuitively moral option.

Zen Buddhist Philosophy - Best Quotes
Zen is famous in the West thanks to its short, elliptical, yet intriguing proverbs and sayings. Here is a list of some famous Zen quotations.

Wikileaks and What the Public Should Not Know
The controversies surrounding the blog Wikileaks gave a new dress to old questions concerning the ethics and politics of information. Assange has been criticized on a number of counts, including being unprofessional and irresponsible. The criticisms point especially at the fact that Wikileaks publicly released on the blog confidential documents that some whistleblower had sent in; the documents contained sensitive information such as lists of intelligence collaborators, individuals’ phone numbers, home addresses, email accounts and emails. To some, Assange exposed the worst side of blogging, which is the opportunity of disseminating information without the professional standards of those who keep societies informed by working as professional journalists.

Nudging and Philosophy
In 2008, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein published a book that aimed to apply choice architecture in a benign way, one that could be openly endorsed also by governments and public institutions. The book title by itself conveys the sort of optimist that surrounded the project:

Charity and False Consciousness
In December 2006 philosopher Peter Singer appropriately titled an article for the

The Right to Ignorance and Genetic Testing
We obviously know a lot about ourselves, at least in a quotidian sense of the verb

Environmental Ethics - Who Dares Not to Care?
Explore the issues behind biodiversity, wildlife management, ecological preservation, hunting practices, farming techniques, and food regulations.

Humanism - Putting the Individual First
A historical summation of the concept of humanism, including information about famous thinkers and the influence on western philosophy.

Philosophy of Sex and Gender - Natural or Conventional?
Do you wonder whether sexual categories are natural or conventional? Explore this article for information and further online readings.

Best Online Philosophy Sources II: Blogs
Here find a selection of the most influential blogs in philosophy to date along with some additional useful sources like the Philosophical Gourmet Report.

Sport Ethics - Everyday Philosophy
Sport ethics has come to be a foremost point of contact between philosophy, civil institutions, and society at large.

Can Violence Be Just? - An Important Ethical Question
In some circumstances it is evident that violence is unjust. But some cases appear more debatable: can violence ever be justified?

What Is Psychological Violence? - Philosophy Overview
What is violence? What forms can it take? Can human life be void of violence, and should it be? Explore these ethical dilemmas and more in this article.

What Is Philosophy? - A Brief Introduction
Literally it means “love of wisdom.” But, really, philosophy begins in wonder. So, what characterizes philosophical wonder? How does one achieve it?

How to Pick a Philosophy Undergraduate Program
Think about career prospects, specific areas of expertise of faculty and programs, and overall experience. Follow the links for more information.

Philosophy of Honesty
While it may be tempting to define honesty as speaking the truth and abiding to the rules, this may turn out to be overtly simplistic. Telling the truth – the whole truth – is at times practically and theoretically impossible as well as morally not required or even wrong. Suppose your new partner asks you to be honest about what you have done over the past week, when you were apart: does this mean you’ll have to tell everything you have done?

Maps and Philosophy
One of the remarkable traits of human beings is the ability to produce rankings, classifications, taxonomies. Human life can be seen as an endeavor to group, cluster, sort out things for different endeavors. And the human rank can be renamed

Homo Taxonomicus
Some metaphysicians – the Nominalists – hold that all that there is, really, are particular entities. And when they say particular, they do not generically imply that everything is kind of unique. What they mean is that everything is heterogeneous to everything else. No two things are the same and no two things can possibly be the same. The universe is structured in accordance to a metaphysical law of particularity.

Philosophy in a Map?
Philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines, with some well-established branches, schools, and theories. As such, it is a subject matter that can be fruitfully mapped. In this article I look at different maps of the history of philosophy and of philosophical theories that have been put forward. Before doing that, however, some preliminary information regarding maps is in order.

Boundaries and Philosophy
Boundaries are quirk entities. Their existence depends on the existence of spatially extended entities: if there were no extended entities, there would be no boundaries and boundaries exist only as the most external components of extended entities. Furthermore, boundaries are one-dimensional entities. Although our everyday business makes often reference to boundaries, metaphysically speaking they are peculiar. For instance, you cannot physically split a boundary and you cannot penetrate or grab hold of it. This simple properties of boundaries lead to some serious problems for our conception of reality.

Philosophy of Food - An Authentic Approach to Eating
How can food lead to deep philosophical discussions? Find how it reflects on the ethical, political, social, artistic, identity-defining aspects of life.

Skepticism - What Can You Not Doubt?
Skepticism is precisely the attitude of doubting the reliability of one’s sources. Learn about the history of skepticism and the contemporary responses.

Ethics - In Search of the Life Worth Living
Ethics is one of the major branches of philosophy and an ethical theory is part and parcel of all philosophies broadly conceived.

Liberalism - The Quest for Individual Freedom
Liberalism's core values are expressed in terms of individual freedom and equality, democracy, capitalism, freedom of religion, and human rights.

Arguments Against Relativism - A Debate
A discussion of arguments against relativism, including concepts of truth, cultural perceptions, and more. Follow the links for further online readings.

René Descartes -Where Modernity Starts
Descartes revolutionized scientific methodology, established a new conception of human nature, and linked algebra to geometry, among a host of other things.

Niccolò Machiavelli - His Life and Influence
One of the most influential political theorists of Western philosophy.

Who Is Voltaire? - Candide and Philosophy
Voltaire’s writings are most famous for their advocacy of the autonomy of the individual and the State with respect to the church.

Anne Conway (1631-1679)
Anne Conway is probably the most prominent woman philosopher in the early modern period, along with Elizabeth of Bohemia. Her major work,

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei was one of the protagonists of the scientific revolution, best known for his astronomical discoveries by means of a telescope (including sunspots, Jupiter’s satellites, and the phases of Venus), for his defense of heliocentrism, and and for his study of the natural laws regarding falling bodies. Galileo, however, gave key contributions also to the development of the modern scientific methodology; for this reason, he holds a special place in the philosophy of science and epistemology.

Alan Turing: Life (1912-1952)
One of the most brilliant and influential minds of twentieth century, Alan Turing was a British mathematician and logician, a father of computer science and artificial intelligence, who also served as cryptanalyst during World War II and for some time afterwards. His tortuous life has been the source of literary inspiration, from his mother’s memoir (Alan M. Turing by Sara E. Turing, 1959) to Hugh Whitemore’s play, Breaking the Code, 1986, then produced in 1996 by BBC.

Alan Turing: Work (1912-1952)
One of the most brilliant and influential minds of twentieth century, Alan Turing was a British mathematician and logician, a father of computer science and artificial intelligence, who also served as cryptanalyst during World War II and for some time afterwards. His life was anything but ordinary. Though his affiliation was never with philosophy departments, some of his work has inspired lively debates in philosophy of mind and logic.

Philosophical Quotes on Love
What is love? What is the relationship between love and beauty, or love and truth, or love and justice? While I’ve written about those topics, it is refreshing to read poignant quotes on them. Here is a compilation of some favorite passages on love.

Philosophical Quotes on Sex
Sex and gender are among the most debated philosophical topics of the past few decades, and rightly so, as the conceptions of these two notions have changed – I would say matured – extensively. In this piece I shall collect some of the most remarkable statements about sex made by contemporary philosophers. I hope you enjoy them and, if you have any suggestion, please don’t hesitate to send it in.

Philosophical Quotes on Violence
What is violence? And, accordingly, how should non-violence be understood? While I have written a number of articles on these and related topics, it is useful to look at how philosophers have synthesized their views on violence. Here is a selection of quotes, sorted out into topics.

Jorge Luis Borges's Best Philosophical Quotes
Jorge Louís Borges (1899-1986) was one of the greatest writers of the past century and, to many, he was the most prominent Argentinian writer. Not only, however, Borges was an exemplar writer, he was also one of the most acute thinkers of the past century, so much as that his work is worth of being closely studied also from a philosophical point of view. In this article, I collected some of the most prominent passages from his writings that stimulate philosophical reflection; the list could keep growing, and if you have any suggestion you are most welcome to send it in!

Philosophical Quotes on Equality
Equality is one of the most complex and abused of the philosophically loaded terms. A plea for

Philosophical Quotes on Respect
To respect someone or something is to value that person or thing. What else can we say about respect to be able to teach it and to practice it? To start addressing such a need, I compiled a list of quotes on respect, which may be compared to quotes on equality and dignity. If you have any other passage you would like to share, please send in your suggestions!

How to Write Philosophy? Ten Steps to Build a Solid Term Paper
How to write a solid philosophy paper? Which practices should you follow and which ones to avoid? Here are ten simple and general steps you can follow.

Truth
Truth is a topic of major significance within any philosophy branch. Virtually every philosophers has to come to terms, in one way or another, with the nature of truth. Because of this, the array of positions regarding truth is as wide as that of philosophical schools and theories that have been proposed. In this article we will review the main positions on the nature of truth that characterize Western philosophy.

Most Obscure Philosophy Quotes
Philosophers are not always known for their simplicity. Even to make a simple point, a reader may be taken for some convolute route. Here are some notable favorite examples, from classic philosophers or texts.

Ethical Arguments for Vegetarianism
Despite the difficulties in nailing down its details, vegetarianism seems to be backed up by a wealth of ethical arguments. For this reason, turning to a vegetarian diet seems to be one of the most pressing issues for our contemporary society. In this article we shall review the main reasons in favor of a vegetarian diet.

Vegetarianism Act III: Devising Exceptions
Vegetarianism is regarded as a dietary style that is increasingly popular around the world. But, what does it take to be a vegetarian? In this article, I follow up on one of three questions that any well-rounded vegetarian should ponder. The question is: what constitutes a sufficient reason to make an exception to the ethical imperative not to eat an animal or an animal part?

Vegetarianism Act I: Animals and Animal Parts
Vegetarianism is regarded as a dietary style that is increasingly popular around the world. But, what does it take to be a vegetarian? In this article, I follow up on one of three questions that any well-rounded vegetarian should ponder. The question is: what counts as an animal and an animal part (e.g. as flesh)?

Three Questions for The Conscious Vegetarian
Vegetarianism is regarded as a dietary style that is increasingly popular around the world. But, what does it take to be a vegetarian? In this article, I analyze vegetarian ideologies by rehearsing three questions.

Philosophy of Hunting
The philosophy of hunting is a subfield of the philosophy of food, which deals most importantly with the ethical, environmental, and evolutionary aspects of the practice of hunting. Among its central questions: can hunting ever be regarded as morally good? Which methods for hunting are most ethical? Is hunting for sport rather than for food, e.g. fox hunting, ever morally permissible? Can hunting better reconnect us with wildlife? Can hunting shed light on our evolutionary past?

Should Vegetarians Eat Artificial Meat?
Different laboratories around the world are at work for producing some edible stuff that is grown out of the cultivation of cells extracted from chicken bodies, such as stem cells. The cells are layered into textures that mirror the texture of muscle tissues of a chicken; to strengthen the tissues, the cells are electrically stimulated. But, is it really meat? And, how many of those who are vegetarian today would eat it?

What Is Verbal Violence?
Violence is a central concept for describing social relationships among humans, a concept loaded with ethical and political significance. Yet, what is violence? What forms can it take? Can human life be void of violence, and should it be? These are some of the hard questions that a theory of violence shall address.

Why Are Humans Violent?
We may be shy or even ashamed to admit it, but violence is one of the central modalities through which humans relate to each other. Not only we are violent against strangers or acquaintances, but we are often violent also against ourselves. Why is it so? Why is violence one of the main modalities through which we relate to the world?

Vegetarianism Act II: Playing With Probabilities
Vegetarianism is regarded as a dietary style that is increasingly popular around the world. But, what does it take to be a vegetarian? In this article, I follow up on one of three questions that any well-rounded vegetarian should ponder. The question is: how to weigh the probability to find an animal part in some food or beverage (e.g. wines, beers, flours, and cereals)?

David Hume (1711-1776)
David Hume is one of the most distinguished empiricists and skeptics of the Western tradition. A prominent figure in the history of early modern philosophy, according to some he is also the most important thinker to ever write in English...

John Locke
John Locke is one of the most important figures in British empiricism and one of the main authors in early modern philosophy. Considered by many as the father of liberalism, his philosophical contribution spans across all branches, from philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics to political philosophy. His most influential and representative work,

Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for her philosophical and political insightful fervor, especially for her strenuous and lucid defense of the rights of women in society. This excerpt, taken from the third chapter of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, bears witness to a well-articulated picture.

Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher, one of the greatest minds of Early Modern Philosophy and one of the most remarkable in the Western philosophical tradition. He is most famous for having developed the infinitesimal calculus (independently of Isaac Newton), for his doctrine according to which ours is the best of all possible worlds, and for his metaphysics of monads.

Free Will
At the center of human agency lies a terrifically simple question:

Theodicy and the Problem of Evil
The God of monotheistic religions is said to be infinitely good and infinitely powerful. But, if so, why did God tolerate that there is evil in the world for which no one can apparently be blamed? This is, in a nutshell, the so-called

Self-Knowledge in a Cartesian Perspective
Descartes famously affirmed the centrality of the first-person in philosophy. Self-consciousness, to him, is the place from within our understanding of metaphysics and epistemology (and derivatively ethics, aesthetics, and all other philosophical endeavors) ultimately rest. I know that I exist, I am certain of it as I cannot fail to recognizing myself as thinking without actually being thinking; everything else follows.

Problems for Realism
Nominalism and Realism are the two most distinguished positions in western metaphysics dealing with the fundamental categories of reality. From the millenary debate between supporters of those two opposed camps spurred some of the most puzzling problems in metaphysics. Here we shall review the problems with realism, that are no less hard than the problems faced by nominalists.

Past, Present, and Future
Time is a central and classical theme in philosophy. It can be taken up from several angles, including epistemology (how do we know of the existence of a past or a future?), phenomenology (the time lived and perceived as opposed to external time), philosophy of language (the relevance of tenses in communication), philosophy of mind (e.g. time and memory), ethics (e.g., human life ought to be lived with the horizon of our death in view), social philosophy (the importance of recurring rituals in the structuring of a society, e.g. bells, New Year’s, 4th of July …) In this article we shall look at time from a metaphysical point of view.

Complexity
Complexity is the opposite of simplicity. Theories of complexity have become increasingly central in contemporary research and the idea of complexity has been surrounded by an aura of fascination. But, what is complexity, really?

Simplicity and Economics
Simplicity has been a powerful ally of business people and of successful civilizations. Simple inventions, such as the wheel or the yearly rotation of crops within fields, have gone far in securing an increase in availability of food, ease of transportation and of exchange of information. One of the most revolutionary inventions of the last century, then, computing machines, ultimately rests on an extremely simple language and some simple mechanisms, discovered by – among others – the British logician Alan Turing. Computers, along with the inventions that prompted the industrial revolution, are key to understand the economic success of certain countries.

Simplicity, Computation, and WikiLeaks
Simplicity is, in most occasion, relative. To a bodybuilder, it is simple to lift a two hundreds pounds weight, while to a child it is almost impossible. To swim may be simple, if you are trained, by extremely hard if you are a novice. These examples involve practical endeavors, but the matter is not so different even when we consider more intellectual ones. To an able mathematician, it may take a few seconds to calculate the outcome of

Simplicity in the Natural Sciences
The idea of simplicity has played a key role in the development of scientific hypotheses and theories. Depending on the perspective of the researcher, and more broadly on the historical framework, the simple structure of reality has been understood in different manners. Here are the main ones.

The Beautiful, The Sublime, and the Picturesque
The beautiful, the sublime, and the picturesque are three key concepts in aesthetics and philosophy of art. Together, they help mapping the variety of aesthetically significant experiences. The differentiation among the three concepts took place in seventeenth and eighteenth hundreds, and is still to these days of some significance, despite the difficulty in pinning down each of the three concepts.

The Paradox of the Sublime
While we are drawn to experiencing the sublime and we value it for its aesthetic worth, such an experience is also mixed with negative pleasures and negative feelings. For instance, looking at the ocean, while standing in the middle of it aboard a small boat, I may aesthetically appreciate the majesty of the seemingly unending basin of water. At once, however, a sense of abandonment may assail me.

The Picturesque
The picturesque is an idea of importance to aesthetic theory. It stands in contrast to the idea of beauty as well as to the idea of the sublime. I have discussed the comparison between the three ideas in a separate article. This article goes in more details regarding the picturesque.

Philosophical Quotes on Beauty
Beauty is one of the most intricate and fascinating topics of philosophical discussion. It has been taken up in relationship to a host of other subjects, such as truth, the good, the sublime, and pleasure. Here is a selection of quotes on beauty, divided into different themes.

Beauty and Love


The Varieties of Necessity
Necessity and possibility are intimately related: to say that a scenario is possible is to say that it is not necessary that it is not possible, while to say that a scenario is necessary is to say that it is not possible that it fails to be the case. Such type of relation is more thoroughly investigated by that branch of logic that goes under the label of modal logic: the term

Cheerfulness and Happiness
What’s the difference between cheerfulness and happiness? Trying to offer an answer to this question may help to shed light on a number of important aspects of ethics, politics, and practical living. In this article I will offer a few remarks on how a philosophy encompassing both cheerfulness and happiness may be developed.

The Great Chain of Being
Humans tend to like rankings, perhaps out of their adamant competitiveness, perhaps out of their eye for classification, systematization, and domination. One of the most pervasive rankings is that of kinds of being; this is possibly the ranking of all rankings, that on the basis of which anything that there is ought to be first and foremost considered. It is hard to find civilizations that did not adopt one version or another of such ranking. In the Western tradition, it is often referred to as the great chain of being, following suggestions of Plato and Aristotle and the title of a 1936 book by Arthur Lovejoy.

On Being Cynical
A reader asked me whether it is acceptable, or just, or good of a human being cynical. This seems an interesting question to be entertained. I hence decided to write a piece on the topic ...

The Idea of Nature
The idea of nature is one of the most widely employed in philosophy, and by the same token one of the most ill-defined. Authors such as Aristotle and relied on the concept of nature to explain the fundamental tenets of their views, without ever attempting to define the concept. Even in contemporary philosophy, the idea is oftentimes employed, in different forms. So, what is nature?

The Philosophy of Humor
What is humor and how is it used among humans to enhance or hinder their relationships? Plenty of philosophers have asked this question, trying to come up with a theory of humor that could also separate such a state from mere laughter as well as good from bad quality humor.

Desire
What is a desire? Such notion is often taken for granted in contemporary analytic philosophy. But to provide an answer to that question is all but straightforward. There are several important nodes to be untied before having a viable notion of desire. Let’s see seven of them.

Prime Matter
Confronted with the problem of explaining change, Aquinas borrows from Aristotle three notions, that he calls principia (principles): matter, privation, form. Briefly put, form is whatever quality a substance possesses; the acquisition of such quality may have happened either at the very moment in which the substance was created, or during the course of its existence.

Philosophy of Authenticity
Each one is unique and, more often than not, would like to believe that her life has something special to it, that her contribution to humankind is unprecedented.

Philosophy of Conversion
The word

Philosophy of Culture
The ability to transmit information across generations and peers by means other than genetic exchange is a key trait of the human species; even more specific to humans seems the capacity to use symbolic systems to communicate. In the anthropological use of the term,

The Nature-Culture Divide
Nature and culture are often seen as opposite ideas: what belongs to nature cannot be the result of human intervention and, on the other hand, cultural development is achieved against nature. However, this is by far the only take on the relationship between nature and culture. Studies in the evolutionary development of humans suggest that culture is part and parcel of the ecological niche within which our species thrived, thus rendering culture a chapter in the biological development of a species.

Beauty and Truth


Consequentialism
Consequentialism is perhaps the most developed view of ethics, according to which the ethical worth of an action is proportional to its consequences. In particular, consequentialism holds that among all the possible courses of action, an agent should pursue the one that, overall, brings about the greatest amount of good – or, in jargon, the one that maximizes good.

Enlightenment
Enlightenment, or the Age of the Enlightened, was an intellectual movement most fertile between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in central Europe (France and Germany most distinctly) as well as in Russia and North America. The movement converged around the (at times unconditional) belief in the light of reason, regarded as the best gift to guide human agency, both theoretical and practical. The list of authors affiliated to some degree with the movement is particularly extensive and includes figures such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Smith, Kant, Franklin, and Jefferson. The work that most embodies the spirit of enlightenment is probably the Encyclopédie that d’Alembert and Diderot assembled between 1751 and 1772.

The Analytic-Continental Split
The split between analytic and continental philosophers is perhaps one of the most distinctive traits of Western philosophy in the twentieth century. What is this all about and what relevance does it have to this date?

The Cynics of Ancient Greece
A map of Ancient Greek philosophy usually lists four major schools, each of which can be traced back to Socrates: the Platonist, the Aristotelian, the Stoic, and the Epicurean. There is, however, a fifth school, which developed in conversation with Socrates’s teachings – the Cynic. Cynics are often unrecognized as forming a school, primarily because they had no specific place for meeting, but rather practiced their philosophical creeds in city streets, Athens being the first and foremost. Few teachings were transmitted in written form and what we are left with is instead a series of sayings and deeds, often in the form of anecdotes. A good proportion of the information that we have, moreover, is due to sources that looked at the cynics in a rather antagonistic fashion, which renders a reconstruction of the cynic views fated to be uncertain. Despite this, history records a fair number of prominent cynic figures, spanning across several generations; as I am inclined to regard of secondary importance, from a

Metaphysics
Metaphysics is one of the core branches of philosophy and it is among the oldest ones. Metaphysics centers on the study of the most fundamental categories of reality and their relations, such as god, person, thing, event, property, causation. The question typical of this branch is, hence: “What is there, really?”

Logic
Logic is one of the most important and oldest branches of philosophy and its subject matter falls at the core of philosophizing. Logic studies patterns of reasoning dividing them into those that are

Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of language takes central place in contemporary philosophizing and its dealt in quite different manners in the analytic and continental traditions (roughly, the modern-day Anglo-Saxon and German-French philosophical schools respectively). In the analytic tradition, philosophy of language has focused on the characterization of meaning, on the explanation of language use and understanding, and on the relationship between language and reality. The continental tradition, instead, language has been seen an institution emerging within certain biological and socio-political structures. Champions of the first approach are authors such as Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Paul Grice, and Willard Quine; the second approach was particularly influenced by the figures of Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Paul Ricoeur.

Philosophy of Sport
Whether the thought of it was implicit in your attitude or whether you actually took the time to spell it out, there is a great deal of philosophical substance in sport. Any sport, really. From team sports such as football and basketball to individual sports such as tennis and car racing, it is easy to devise a plethora of philosophical issues that span across most philosophical branches.