Ancient Philosophy · Basics · Epistemology · Metaphysics

Q&A: Ancient Philosophy

How does the image of the tripartite soul in Plato’s Phaedrus differ from that in the Republic? The imagery of the tripartite soul in Plato’s Phaedrus and Republic differ in terms of scene setting, dynamism and directedness. In the Phaedrus, Plato likens the soul “to the natural union of a team of winged horses and… Continue reading Q&A: Ancient Philosophy

Ancient Philosophy · Cosmology · Islamic Philosophy · Metaphysics

What does the philosophy of Avicenna owe to Plotinus?

To explore the relationship between Avicenna and Plotinus, one question needs to be clarified upfront: what does it mean to say that one philosopher owes to another? A quick answer: ‘owe’ refers to the fact that a philosopher developed particular views because of another. A proper analysis of philosophical indebtedness, however, requires a more precise… Continue reading What does the philosophy of Avicenna owe to Plotinus?

Cosmology · Epistemology · Metaphysics

Possible Worlds – David Lewis

The American philosopher David Lewis (1941 – 2001) argued that, beyond this world, the actual world, there are countless possible worlds of a certain nature. These possible worlds exist and are as real as the actual one. The inhabitants of this world are only a few compared to all the inhabitants of all the worlds.… Continue reading Possible Worlds – David Lewis

Basics · Cosmology · Metaphysics

Max Tegmark – The Mathematical (Level IV) Multiverse

The physicist and cosmologist Max Tegmark propagates the view that the Universe can be thought of as a mathematical structure and that all mathematical structures exist in form of parallel worlds. The purpose of this essay is to sketch Tegmark main arguments and show how they substantiate Tegmark’s proposal. The idea of a close relationship… Continue reading Max Tegmark – The Mathematical (Level IV) Multiverse

Basics · Metaphysics · Philosophy of Mind

Anomalous Monism – David Davidson

The relationship between mind and body can be described with a set of three principles (Davidson 1970, p. 116): First, the Principle of Causal Interaction. It states that at least some mental events interact causally with physical events. That means that a physical event can cause a mental event and vice versa. Examples: taking an… Continue reading Anomalous Monism – David Davidson

Basics · Metaphysics · Philosophy of Mind

The Causal Exclusion Argument – Jaegwon Kim

Everyday experience suggests that mental events can cause physical events: the experience of pain typically leads to pain avoidance behaviour; the feeling of hunger makes someone searching for food; the desire for her mother’s attention makes a child cry; the decision to buy a house directs someone to consult a real estate agent. Mental causation,… Continue reading The Causal Exclusion Argument – Jaegwon Kim

Basics · Metaphysics

On the Heavenly Bodies – Aristotle’s Cosmology

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) was a philosopher-scientist, ceaseless in his quest for truth about the nature of reality, but he was no professional astronomer (Barnes 2000, pp. 97-98). Much of what he knew goes back to the Presocratics some of whom were heavily invested in proto-typing cosmologies based on rational thinking (Graham, chapter 2).… Continue reading On the Heavenly Bodies – Aristotle’s Cosmology

Continental Philosophy · Metaphysics

Jaspers’ Concept of Transcendence

Karl Jaspers (1883 – 1969) shares Husserl’s view that all consciousness is consciousness of something. In acts of awareness a subject relates to an object. These subject-object relations can be analysed and grouped into what Jaspers calls ‘modes of the encompassing’. The encompassing (German: das Umgreifende), the context and horizon of all forms of awareness of… Continue reading Jaspers’ Concept of Transcendence