- Purpose and Scope
- Deductive Reasoning
- A Priori
- A Posteriori
- Deontological Ethics
- Categorical Imperative
I am not a philosopher. I enjoy philosophy, and I frequently wish to know more about it, so this primer will help me do that by giving me immediate and distilled access to key concepts. But this resource will be a blunt tool. If you ever hear any tinge of authority in its words, it will be due to poor writing on my part. Once again, I am not a philosopher. Really.
I intend to be extraordinarily broad and practical here (a euphemism for simplistic and/or sloppy). The alternative is never adding content. So if you are a professional (or even just serious) philosopher, I apologize in advance for the violence committed below and ask for your kind assistance in making what I have less horrible.
Hopefully that’s ample throat-clearing. Let’s proceed.
I’m not sure how many I’ll include here, but if you notice any serious omissions, please let me know.
Metaphysics deals with the nature of reality, such as existence, time, mind and body, objects, and their properties and relationships.
Epistemology deals with the limits of knowledge.
The idea that nature has a purpose, or, more precisely, that nature tends towards outcomes and goals the way human actions often have a purpose. Put another way, the idea that nature has a design.
Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning.
A type of argument where, given certain statements called premises, other statements called conclusions, are necessarily true if the premises are correct.
Knowledge that can be attained prior to experience or evidence.
Knowledge that is dependent on experience or evidence.
A study of the nature of being, existence, etc., with focus on categories of being and their relations. Traditionally part of metaphysics.
Ethics that are based on following rules, e.g. duties, obligations, etc.
Kant’s universal rule that you should only act in a way that would be good if everyone did it.
The belief that being good comes from selecting and adhering to good maxims, such as the Categorical Imperative.
Part of Epistemology that regards reason as the primary source and test of knowledge in the world.
Part of Epistemology that, in contrast with Rationalism, regards exprience as the primary source of knowledge in the world.
The rejection of theology and metaphysics as flawed ways of learning about the world, and the belief that the superior method is through empirical verification of natural properties of the world.
A way of evaluating the truth of claims based on how their implementation works in reality, e.g. communism not being valid because it didn’t work in the USSR.
To be a Hobbesian is to believe that people must submit to a guiding central authority in order to maintain order, as people left to their own will regress into a natural state of war, dominance, and suffering.
The idea that 1) we make our own fates through our actions, and 2) that we do so within a universe that is devoid of its own intrinsic meaning. In short, you make your own meaning, if any, through your own actions that you are responsible for.
Here I’ll succinctly cover a number of key philosophers using the following format: lifespan, major concepts, major works, and notes/analysis. Each entry will be extremely short, with only 1-5 sentences in any section.
- Rejected Christian morality and structure.
- Believed in a better human potential, called the übermench, that could express itself creatively and artistically rather than suppressing itself.
- Believed strongly in the human desires of achievement, ambition, and striving, which he called “The Will to Power”.
- The Birth of Tragedy
- On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense
- Untimely Meditations
- Human, All Too Human
- The Gay Science
- Also Sprach Zarathustra
- Beyond Good and Evil
- On the Genealogy of Morality
- The Case of Wagner
- Twilight of the Idols
- The Anti-Christ
- Ecce Homo
- Neitzsche Contra Wagner
- The Will to Power (Post Mortem Collection)
Notes and Analysis:
- Died fairly early after an extreme mental and physical breakdown.
- Was highly sexist, likely due to a lack of success with women.
- Used an aphoristic style in much of his writing.
- Got his push into philosophy from Schopenhauer.