The Birth of Modern Philosophy
The birth of Modern Philosophy was a time of rebirth, a time when science was beginning to challenge previously held beliefs about how the world worked. Mechanistic world views, with lifeless particles and mathematically characterizable natural laws, threatened to undermine established ways of thinking. Philosophers developed an array of theories regarding the nature of the universe and human existence, and developed the basic terms to discuss philosophical issues. However, this age of discovery was short-lived and quickly turned into a period of despair and disillusionment.
Descartes' philosophies influenced and shaped the modern world. He held that human beings have the ability to uncover fundamental truths, but believed that the schools of his day were stultifying them. He also held that the scholastic Aristotelian philosophy was based on a fundamental error about how to gain these truths. In attempting to correct this fundamental error, he formulated the Principles of Human Knowledge.
Meditations begins with skeptical questions about the nature of knowledge, laying the foundation for knowledge. But in fact, Descartes is not a skeptic and uses his skepticism as a vehicle to motivate his readers. Descartes describes his style of presentation as analytic and synthetic, and he refers to the principles of philosophy in terms similar to those of Kant. This style of presentation was essential for Descartes and is still a necessary part of modern philosophy.
René Descartes' philosophies have been hailed as the first modern philosophy. He is famous for his connection of algebra and geometry, and for his ideas on the mind-body relationship. His work has also become one of the most influential in the history of the world. It is important to understand that Descartes' philosophy was a reaction to centuries of scholastic philosophy and a response to the anti-scholastic ideas of his contemporaries, such as Michel de Montaigne, a French statesman.
Unlike Newton, Descartes did not believe in the existence of a "force" in the world. He believed that matter was simply a mixture of particles and their interactions. The laws of motion that govern our physical world are rooted in God's activity, and are not the fault of a particular object or force. For this reason, Descartes was viewed as the founding father of modern philosophy.
He was also influenced by the Dutch natural philosopher and mathematician Isaac Beeckman. Beeckman's influence on Descartes' philosophies is not fully understood, however, because Descartes was not aware of it until he wrote his book The Foundations of Human Knowledge. And he was not alone. Beeckman was an influential philosopher. They would continue to argue for a common foundation and define the nature of reality, but they would come to opposite conclusions.
The main aim of Descartes' Philosophy of Modern Philosophy was to replace the idea that the world was made of "real" qualities with a mechanical account. He rendered light as a property of particles and motion that circulates out of a luminous body. Those particles alter their spin around an axis, causing various colors. Descartes also claimed that the nerves of our bodies jiggle because of the difference in spin.
Despite this controversy, Descartes continued to work on the physiological system, and his first published edition of The Metaphysics of the Human Body was published in 1644. In 1649, he was married to Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, and had three daughters. In the 1640s, he had begun writing his last book, entitled the Principia Philosophiae. The book was dedicated to Princess Elisabeth.
There are numerous works on Descartes' Philosophy of Mind and Body. Two of the most popular of these are the Principles of Philosophy and Meditations, edited by Karen Detlefsen. Other popular works include Descartes' Philosophical Writings and Meditations, edited by Stephen Voss and Dennis Chene. Descartes' philosophies of mind and matter are discussed in the Essays of René Descartes.
One twentieth-century interpretation of Descartes' Philosophy of Mind focused on the notion of isolation of the subject in the Second Meditation. Although Descartes recognized that the mind is separate from the body, he doubted that there was a separate body. Some philosophers concluded that the mind does not need the body in order to experience any of its sensory functions, including imagination and sense perception. Descartes believed that intellectual perception and sense perception do require a brain.
In the 1625s, he is raised by a grandmother who died of scarlet fever at the age of five. After his father's death, he was sent to the Jesuit college of La Fleche in 1606. The Jesuits established this college to train young men for careers in the Jesuit order. He studied mathematics, classical studies, and poetry, but was also encouraged to learn the humanities.
Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical outlook was radical, and he applied it to previously neglected areas. His critique of the Enlightenment foreshadowed the approach of Adorno and Horkheimer (1972). Nietzsche saw reason as a myth: supposedly freeing us from nature and from irrational social authority, it actually imprisons us in a life-denying culture.
The metaphysical basis of Nietzsche's moral philosophy is based on his belief that there is no objective truth about moral right and wrong. This metaphysical view is consistent with his inconsistent stance on the semantics of moral judgment. Nietzsche does not use the terms "truth" or "falsehood," though he uses them in other contexts. The metaphysical basis of Nietzsche's philosophy makes it difficult to reconcile his views with a metaethical view.
As the first German-born philosopher, Nietzsche opposed the notion of association as an end in itself. He believed that society was destroying itself and that social conformity was destroying individuality. He had a visceral repulsion against mass societies. And he equated such society with a "cold monster" that devours its citizens. In short, Nietzsche believed that the modern state is nothing more than a machine, and that individuals should never join it.
The realist reading of Nietzsche's philosophy of modern philosophy involves assigning a special place to power. This is to explain the objectivity of normative facts. Nietzsche argues that power is the only property that has value, and that it is an objective natural property. The evaluative perspective in Nietzsche's philosophy involves assessing both prudential and non-prudential value in terms of power.
The Socratic culture, which Nietzsche viewed as a response to tragic Greek culture, is subjectified and dominated by reason. Nietzsche argues that this principle has become the central principle of modern culture, affecting everything from politics to everyday life. Nietzsche's philosophy of modern philosophy examines how repressive rationalism permeates our modern societies. It is also reflected in postmodern theories such as the Frankfurt School, Foucault, and Weber.
Friedrich Nietzsche equates the modern condition with the societal values of cultural decadence and exhaustion. He argues that our values have become so distorted that they have been reduced to a generic form that does not reflect our reality. Moreover, Nietzsche defines the concept of culture as the order of rank. Higher values are imposed by higher values. Nietzsche calls for revaluation, overturning, and creation of new values. He defines the Ubermensch as a superior individual who overcomes these decadent values and creates a new life-affirming culture.
While Nietzsche criticizes the transvaluation of values by Christians, he sees this as an inherent characteristic of modern society. He claims that individuals are increasingly dominated by their emotions, and that their moral values have been corrupted and compromised. A society that has no values is a neocolonial state of mind. This nihilist society is characterized by deceit, oppression, and societal repression.
Nietzsche also argues that modern man's regressive nature is the result of liberal and democratic values. Nietzsche compares modern culture to Greek culture, arguing that ancient Greek culture promoted a healthy, life-affirming culture in which individuality flourished and bodies were valued. Moreover, Nietzsche believes that we can be better people by using the principles of these past cultures to guide us in the future.
Nietzsche's political views are a good place to start for those seeking an understanding of his philosophical views. His philosophy is largely anti-democratic, and he views political institutions as a dangerous obstacle to progress. As such, Nietzsche advocates cultural politics and a stronger individuality in society. While Nietzsche rejects progressive and liberal movements of his time, he remained committed to the ideals of the Socratic culture.
In his early works, Nietzsche engaged in scholarly research on Greek and Roman culture. As he grew older, he moved into the discourse of classical social theory. His aphoristic works aspire to convey his philosophy in a new and more expressive form. He uses narrative and parables to illustrate his ideas, which can be understood as a modernist approach. There are many other similarities in Nietzsche's philosophy of modern philosophy.
The Ubermensch concept reflects Nietzsche's nostalgia for ancient Greece, and he feared that modernity was devitalizing individuals. Nietzsche aspired to emulate the ideals of ancient Greece to live a more vibrant life. However, his morality and appropriation of modernity are largely lopsided. Ultimately, Nietzsche's view of modernity re-affirms modern values of individuality and rejects traditional institutions.