background preloader


Utilitarianism is influential in political philosophy. Bentham and Mill believed that a utilitarian government was achievable through democracy. Mill thought that despotism was also justifiable through utilitarianism as a transitional phase towards more democratic forms of governance. As an advocate of liberalism, Mill stressed the relationship between utilitarianism and individualism.[10] Historical background[edit] The importance of happiness as an end for humans has long been recognized. Although utilitarianism is usually thought to start with Jeremy Bentham, there were earlier writers who presented theories that were strikingly similar. Hume says that all determinations of morality, this circumstance of public utility principally important. In the first three editions of the book, Hutcheson included various mathematical algorithms " compute the Morality of any Actions." This pursuit of happiness is given a theological basis:[22] …actions are to be estimated by their tendency.

Related:  Thomas Carlyle

Transcendentalism Transcendentalism is a religious and philosophical movement that developed during the late 1820s and '30s[1] in the Eastern region of the United States as a protest against the general state of spirituality and, in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian church as taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. They believe that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupt the purity of the individual.

Empiricism John Locke, a leading philosopher of British empiricism Empiricism is a theory which states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.[1] One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism and skepticism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory experience, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or traditions;[2] empiricists may argue however that traditions (or customs) arise due to relations of previous sense experiences.[3] Empiricism, often used by natural scientists, says that "knowledge is based on experience" and that "knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification.

Physicalism Physicalism is closely related to materialism. Physicalism grew out of materialism with the success of the physical sciences in explaining observed phenomena. The terms are often used interchangeably, although they are sometimes distinguished, for example on the basis of physics describing more than just matter (including energy and physical law). Common arguments against physicalism include both the philosophical zombie argument[3] and the multiple observers argument,[4] that the existence of a physical being may imply zero or more distinct conscious entities. Definition of physical[edit]

Übermensch The Übermensch (German for "Overman, Overhuman, Above-Human, Superman, Super-human"; German pronunciation: [ˈˀyːbɐmɛnʃ]) is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche had his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself in his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (German: Also Sprach Zarathustra), although Nietzsche clearly disagreed with many things he had Zarathustra say. There is no consensus regarding the precise meaning of the Übermensch, nor on the importance of the concept in Nietzsche's thought. There are other conceptions of superhuman nature besides those that are labeled Übermensch.

Pragmatism Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870.[1] Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality[citation needed]. Instead, pragmatists consider thought to be a product of the interaction between organism and environment. Thus, the function of thought is as an instrument or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes. A few of the various but interrelated positions often characteristic of philosophers working from a pragmatist approach include: Charles Sanders Peirce (and his pragmatic maxim) deserves much of the credit for pragmatism,[2] along with later twentieth century contributors, William James and John Dewey.[3] Pragmatism enjoyed renewed attention after W.

Solipsism Solipsism ( i/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning "alone", and ipse, meaning "self")[1] is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (pronounced [ˈmoːɦənd̪aːs ˈkərəmtʃənd̪ ˈɡaːnd̪ʱi] ( ); 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahatma (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable"[2])—applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,[3]—is now used worldwide.

Phenomenalism Phenomenalism is the view that physical objects cannot justifiably be said to exist in themselves, but only as perceptual phenomena or sensory stimuli (e.g. redness, hardness, softness, sweetness, etc.) situated in time and in space. In particular, some forms of phenomenalism reduce talk about physical objects in the external world to talk about bundles of sense-data. History[edit] Phenomenalism is a radical form of empiricism.

Beethoven: Concertos and Symphonies in MIDI files Ludwig van Beethoven on Kunst der Fuge site: List of pages: Main page Bibliography Works [list of only] Symphonies Beyond Good and Evil Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse: Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft) is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886. It draws on and expands the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but with a more critical and polemical approach. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man. Background and themes[edit]

Fallibilism Fallibilism (from medieval Latin fallibilis, "liable to err") is the philosophical principle that human beings could be wrong about their beliefs, expectations, or their understanding of the world, and yet still be justified in holding their incorrect beliefs. In the most commonly used sense of the term, this consists in being open to new evidence that would disprove some previously held position or belief, and in the recognition that "any claim justified today may need to be revised or withdrawn in light of new evidence, new arguments, and new experiences."[1] This position is taken for granted in the natural sciences.[2] In another sense, it refers to the consciousness of "the degree to which our interpretations, valuations, our practices, and traditions are temporally indexed" and subject to (possibly arbitrary) historical flux and change. Such "time-responsive" fallibilism consists in an openness to the confirmation of a possibility that one anticipates or expects in the future.[3]

Utilitarianism or consequentialism analyses potential outcomes to balance risks against potential benefits that research may offer. In stressing the outcomes and calculating cost-benefits, utilitarianism can sometimes be unprincipled. It may allow 'the ends to justify the means' too much, or it may tolerate harm to a minority if this is likely to benefit the majority. by raviii Jul 15