By Awais Aftab

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties," says Francis Bacon and thus begins Modern Philosophy...

PREFACE:

Here you will find a short, convenient and friendly summary of the major and influential ideas of modern philosophers. The most important thing to point out here is the fact that this work is written by an amateur, and therefore is primarily addressed to non-academics... [read more]

“What once was thought can never be undone.”
Friedrich Durrenmatt, The Physicists

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* Preface

1. Introduction
… an art of suspended judgment…

2. Early Modern Philosophers… a state of war with everyone against everyone…

3. Descartes
… I think, therefore I am…

4. Spinoza
… from the perspective of eternity…

5. Leibniz… the best of all possible worlds…

6. Locke… a tabula rasa, an empty slate…

7. Berkeley
… to be is to be perceived…

8. Hume
… nothing but sophistry and illusion…

9. French Enlightenment
… man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains…

10. Kant
… the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me…

11. Hegel
… history is the story of the world spirit…

12. Schopenhauer
… a blind, unreasoning impulse of self-preservation…

13. Nietzsche
… I teach you the Superman…

14. Positivism and Utilitarianism
… greatest happiness of the greatest number…

15. Marx
… the history of class struggles…

16. Pragmatism and James
… looking towards last things, fruits, consequences, facts…

17. Bergson
… life’s impulse to new creation, the √©lan vital…

18. Logical Analysis and Russell
… restating a philosophical problem in precise logical terminology …

19. Wittgenstein
… whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent …

20. Logical Positivism
… philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity…

21. Existentialism and Sartre
… man is condemned to be free…

22. Camus and Absurdism
… does the absurd dictate death?...

23. Popper
… a game of conjectures and refutations …

24. Postmodernism
… incredulity towards Grand Narratives…

25. Appendix

* The Existentialist Couple

* Suggestions for further study