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8 philosophical ideas that will turn your worldview
8 philosophical ideas that will turn your worldview

The history of philosophy is not at all the history of abstract things that have nothing to do with life. Many philosophical ideas have greatly influenced both the development of European science and the ethical ideals of society. The life hacker invites you to familiarize yourself with some of them.

8 philosophical ideas that will turn your worldview
8 philosophical ideas that will turn your worldview

Anselm of Canterbury: "God really exists because we have the concept of God"

Proving the existence of God is one of the main tasks of Christian theology. And the most interesting argument in favor of divine existence was put forward by the Italian theologian Anselm of Canterbury.

Its essence is as follows. God is defined as the totality of all perfections. He is absolute good, love, good, and so on. Existence is one of the perfections. If something exists in our mind, but does not exist outside it, then it is imperfect. Since God is perfect, it means that his real existence should be inferred from the idea of his existence.

God exists in the mind, therefore, he also exists outside of it.

This is a pretty interesting argument illustrating what philosophy was like in the Middle Ages. Although it was refuted by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, try to meditate on it for yourself.

René Descartes: "I think, therefore I am"


Can you state anything with absolute certainty? Is there even one thought that you do not doubt in the least? You say, “Today I woke up. I am absolutely sure of that. Sure? What if your brain got into the flask of scientists an hour ago and now they send electrical signals to it in order to artificially create memories in you? Yes, it looks unlikely, but theoretically possible. And we are talking about absolute certainty. What then are you sure of?

René Descartes found such unquestionable knowledge. This knowledge is in the person himself: I think, therefore I am. This statement is beyond doubt. Think: even if your brain is in a flask, your very thinking, albeit incorrect, exists! Let everything you know is false. But you cannot deny the existence of that which thinks falsely.

Now you know the most indisputable statement of all possible, which has become almost the slogan of all European philosophy: cogito ergo sum.

Plato: "In reality, there are concepts of things, and not the things themselves"

The main problem of the ancient Greek philosophers was the search for being. Do not be alarmed, this beast is not at all terrible. Being is what it is. That's all. "Then why look for it, - you say, - here it is, everywhere." Everywhere, but just take some thing, think about it, as being disappears somewhere. For example, your phone. It seems to be there, but you understand that it will break and be disposed of.

In general, everything that has a beginning has an end. But being has no beginning or end by definition - it just is. It turns out, since your phone exists for some time and its existence depends on this time, its existence is somehow unreliable, unstable, relative.

Philosophers have dealt with this problem in different ways. Someone said that there is no existence at all, someone stubbornly continued to insist that there is, and someone - that a person cannot say anything definite about the world at all.

Plato found and argued for the strongest position that had an incredibly strong influence on the development of the entire European culture, but with which it is intuitively difficult to agree. He said that the concepts of things - ideas - possess being, while the things themselves refer to another world, the world of becoming. Your phone has a part of being, but being is not characteristic of it as a material thing. But your idea of a phone, unlike the phone itself, does not depend on time or anything else. It is eternal and unchanging.

Plato paid a lot of attention to proving this idea, and the fact that he is still considered by many to be the greatest philosopher in history should make you hold back a little of your willingness to unequivocally reject the position of the reality of ideas. Better read Plato's Dialogues - they are worth it.

Immanuel Kant: "Man constructs the world around himself"


Immanuel Kant is a giant of philosophical thought. His teaching became a kind of waterline that separated philosophy "before Kant" from philosophy "after Kant".

He was the first to express a thought that today may not sound like a bolt from the blue, but which we completely forget in everyday life.

Kant showed that everything that a person deals with is the result of the creative forces of the person himself.

The monitor in front of your eyes does not exist “outside of you,” you yourself have created this monitor. The easiest way to explain the essence of the idea can be physiology: the image of the monitor is formed by your brain, and it is with it that you are dealing, and not with the "real monitor".

However, Kant thought in philosophical terminology, while physiology as a science did not yet exist. Also, if the world exists in the brain, where then does the brain exist? Therefore, instead of “brain”, Kant used the term “a priori knowledge”, that is, such knowledge that exists in a person from the moment he was born and allows him to create a monitor out of something inaccessible.

He distinguished various types of this knowledge, but its primary forms, which are responsible for the sensory world, are space and time. That is, there is neither time nor space without a person, it is a grid, glasses through which a person looks at the world, while simultaneously creating it.

Albert Camus: "Man is absurd"

Is life worth living?

Have you ever had such a question? Probably not. And the life of Albert Camus was literally permeated with despair from the fact that this question could not be answered in the affirmative. Man in this world is like Sisyphus, endlessly performing the same meaningless work. There is no way out of this situation, no matter what a person does, he will always remain a slave to life.

Man is an absurd being, wrong, illogical. Animals have needs, and there are things in the world that can satisfy them. A person, however, has a need for meaning - for something that is not.

The human being is such that it requires meaningfulness in everything.

However, its very existence is meaningless. Where there should be a sense of meanings, there is nothing, emptiness. Everything loses its foundation, not a single value has a foundation.

Camus's existential philosophy is very pessimistic. But you must admit that there are certain grounds for pessimism.

Karl Marx: "All human culture is an ideology"

In accordance with the theory of Marx and Engels, the history of mankind is the history of the suppression of some classes by others. In order to maintain its power, the ruling class distorts knowledge about real social relations, creating the phenomenon of "false consciousness". Exploitable classes simply have no idea that they are being exploited.

All products of bourgeois society are declared by philosophers to be ideology, that is, a set of false values and ideas about the world. This is religion, politics, and any human practices - we, in principle, live in a false, erroneous reality.

All our beliefs are a priori false, because they originally appeared as a way of hiding the truth from us in the interests of a certain class.

A person simply does not have the opportunity to look at the world objectively. After all, ideology is culture, an innate prism through which he sees things. Even such an institution as the family must be recognized as ideological.

What is real then? Economic relations, that is, those relations in which a way of distributing life's benefits is formed. In a communist society, all ideological mechanisms will collapse (this means there will be no states, no religions, no families), and true relations will be established between people.

Karl Popper: "Good scientific theory can be refuted"

What do you think, if there are two scientific theories and one of them is easily refuted, and it is impossible to dig into the other at all, which of them will be more scientific?

Popper, a methodologist of science, showed that the criterion of scientificness is falsifiability, that is, the possibility of refutation. A theory must not only have a coherent proof, it must have the potential to be defeated.

For example, the statement “the soul exists” cannot be considered scientific, because it is impossible to imagine how to refute it. After all, if the soul is immaterial, then how can you be sure whether it exists? But the statement "all plants carry out photosynthesis" is quite scientific, since in order to refute it, it is enough to find at least one plant that does not transform the energy of light. It is possible that he will never be found, but the very possibility of refuting the theory should be obvious.

This is the fate of any scientific knowledge: it is never absolute and is always ready to resign.