What is Instrumentalism?

What is Instrumentalism?

Introduction Instrumentalism is a methodological approach in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. It was advanced by the American pragmatist philosopher John Dewey, who held the view that (philosophical) theories are instrumental – literally, instrumental means that something services only as a means of pursuing an aim. That is to say, the worth of theories is not measured in the binary true or false or even if they are applicable to reality or depict reality accurately. Instead, Dewey...

What is Pluralism (Brief)?

What is Pluralism (Brief)?

Introduction Pluralism, rather unsurprisingly, is used in a variety of ways in philosophy. Generally speaking, however, it is used to denote that there two or more substances or principles according to which our world view should be based. When speaking of substances, Pluralism is contrasted to Monism and Dualism. Monism holds the view that there is ultimately only one kind of substance in the world (usually either a physical substance, such as water or fire for the Ancients,...

What is Hegelianism?

What is Hegelianism?

Hegelianism is a school of philosophy heavily focusing on the works of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegelianism was practiced in Germany around Jena, Hegel’s univerisity, in the period directly after Hegel’s death. Hegel’s immediate followers in Germany were divided into two general categories: the Left/Young Hegelians (Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Max Stirner, and David Strauss) and the Right/Old Hegelians (Johann Philipp Gabler, Karl Daub, Heinrich Leo, Leopold von Henning, and Heinrich Gustav Hotho). Hegel‘s...

What is Deconstruction?

What is Deconstruction?

Introduction Deconstruction (or sometimes just Deconstructionism) was initiated by Jacques Derrida in the 1960s as a theoretical approach in Epistemology and Philosophy of Language and philosophy more broadly. Though notoriously misunderstood, mainly due to its initial reception, it is at the core an approach to literary criticism. With this approach, Derrida aimed to put to test traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth more generally. Influenced by the early 20th century French linguists, Derrida asserted that words can only refer...

What is Babylonian Philosophy?

What is Babylonian Philosophy?

Introduction Babylonian Philosophy is traced back to early Mesopotamian region. Much like most philosophical reflection of the time, it is tied to religion that, for Babylonians, revolved around identifying their gods with stars, planets, and other celestial bodies. Babylonians understood philosophy as a way of life, tying wisdom and ethics into one. History of Babylonian Philosophy From the 11th century BC, we have Esagil-kin-apli’s Diagnosic Handbook (Sakikkū – Sumerian for symptoms). It is a medical treatise that...

What is Fallibilism?

What is Fallibilism?

Introduction Fallibilism is the philosophical doctrine that claims that knowledge cannot be certain in an absolute sense. Historically speaking, some early Greek philosopher could be said to have been fallibilists (e.g. Socrates who places a limit on knowledge without going as far as sceptics). Nevertheless, as a doctrine it only comes to prominence in the 19th century with the development of pragmatism of William James, John Dewey, and Charles Sanders Peirce. In the 20th century,...

Who was St. Augustine of Hippo?

Introduction St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354 – 430) was born in Algeria and later moved to Rome. He was a philosopher and theologian in the late Roman / early Medieval period. St. Augustine is primarily recognised as one of the most important figures in the development of Christianity, especially due to his immense influence on early developments of the doctrine, because it was through him that Christianity was brought to dominance in the previously...

What is Ethical Non-Naturalism?

What is Ethical Non-Naturalism?

Introduction Ethical Non-Naturalism (or Moral Non-Naturalism) is a meta-ethical doctrine. It is meant as a counterpart to Ethical Naturalism. As the name suggests, in Ethical Non-Naturalism the propositions expressed are not reducible to non-ethical statements, which is the assumption held by Ethical Naturalism. For example, it is not possible to define ‘good’ and  ‘bad’ as natural properties – as in, say, what is ‘pleasurable’ or ‘desirable’. That is to say, Ethical Non-Naturalism holds that such conceptions as...

Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory

Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory

In their seminal 1985 Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (second edition with a new introduction 2001), Laclau and Mouffe present a rather complex discourse theory. They claim to oppose a number of theoretical traditions (notably, Michel Foucault), to an extent follow Louis Althusser, certainly borrow a lot of Jacques Lacan, but most importantly confuse a lot of readers with numerous new concepts. In this little post, I want to elaborate a little on the common concepts that...

4 Examples of Oxymora in Romeo and Juliet – a study guide

4 Examples of Oxymora in Romeo and Juliet – a study guide

The main theme of [amazon asin=0743477111&text=Romeo and Juliet] is of course love – but there are so many levels of depth in the play that it would be near impossible to go through all of them without embarking on a journey to madness of sorts. Just like [amazon asin=0743477103&text=Macbeth] that I discussed previously, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet too is filled with contradictory and paradoxical statements. Given my interest in paradoxes, I will focus only on...