Philosophical Ideals and Contributions to Philosophical Thought Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1443 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

¶ … philosophical ideals and contributions to philosophical thought by the following: a: David Hume b: Aristotle c: Spinoza/Lao Tsu d: Immanuel Kant e: John Stuart Mill a: David Hume had a profound effect on philosophical and political ideas in the modern world. He contributed the philosophy of skepticism, which asks the philosopher to question all standards and traditions with regard to self and society, including self-identity, religion, politics and even what he termed false cause and effect relationships. He proposed on the individual level that there is no fixed self that remains constant through ones life and the at that the individual is instead a malleable and ever changing entity. One of his most important and far reaching philosophies was regarding the first purely secular idea of morality. He contended that moral acts were conducted by groups and individuals for the rewards they offered, rather than because of any input from a god.

b. Aristotle

For both his own philosophies, as well as for his design of logic, or a line of reasoning significantly altered the world of philosophy. Aristotle was an early student of Plato. Aristotle founded a very successful school of philosophy, and based his philosophical works very much on observation as the must fundamental aspect of knowing. He believed that everything on earth was in constant movement and that this movement was an attempt to balance the four elements, while everything in the heavens was fixed and everlasting.

A c: Spinoza/Lao Tsu

Spinoza and Lao Tsu were significant contributors to the ideals of peace and resolution, without violence. Each furthered an idea bases on eastern philosophies that demonstrated the need for balance in self and the world. Lao Tsu furthered the Tao eastern philosophy while Spinoza developed the ideals of Rationalism as well as other philosophies to strike balance in one's self, and hence the world and to believe that the only thing that really exists is God and everything else is a product of that one entity.

A d) Immanuel Kant

The center of Kant's work revolves around the idea that the perception or representation of a concrete object makes the object possible, and not the reverse. The idea was to open the mind to the development of perception and representation as the cementing factor in even the physical world, and as the experience of the physical world being more important than the world itself. The idea being that science could discover everything and morality was based upon the observations of the individual or group.

A e: John Stuart Mill

Influenced 19th century English thought as he, also a skeptic called into question the validity of social control and power, defining for many the only reason to legitimize control of one being over another (but especially me) was as a cause to stop them from hurting themselves and others. He also believed that actions were right or wrong based in proportion to what their outcome did, i.e. Created happiness and/or misery.

2) Now that you have finished this philosophy course, I would like you to write a comprehensive essay explaining your ethical philosophy toward life. Be sure to give specific examples based on the course readings.

The development of philosophy should be regarded as a personal quest for understanding the world and self. If the individual does not examine his or her life, and his or her place within their world then that life is not valuable, as it does not know its purpose or place. As a student of philosophy I lean in the direction of the balanced explanations offered by Lao Tsu as philosophical groundwork for explaining the need to recognize the whole of existence as a balanced entity, which needs to have such balance restored, rather than offset by man. Though science is a powerful tool it cannot discover everything by observation or experiment as there are to many things that are not observable and create conflicts.

3) Explain the importance of Jean-Paul Sartre and the key points of his philosophy of existentialism.

Jean-Paul Sarte contended that individuals create the meanings of their lives (rather than the reverse, existence precedes essence) through a philosophy he furthered called existentialism. Existentialism rejects rationalism and empiricism in that values are subjective and unknowable. Individuals are also noted by Sarte to lie to themselves and the only… [END OF PREVIEW]

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