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Theory is skeptical and subversive in nature. • Socrates (470 -399 BC) questioned conventional wisdom and subjected the longstanding beliefs of the Athenian society to rigorous rational scrutiny. .
knowledge of ‘things as they really are’. which is knowledge of absolute truth. . The belief that human beings are thinking rational creatures is foundational principle of ‘Cartesian Philosophy’. • • • • Descartes aspired for the ultimate dream of Western Philosophy. Meditations (1641) ‘I think therefore I exist’ or ‘I think therefore I am’.Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) is known as the father of modern Philosophy and the founder of the ‘method of doubt’.
.• • • • • The concept of the individual human subject as autonomous and totally separate from the world it inhabits. ‘Method of doubt’. is a methodology that arrives at truth via a process of elimination of all uncertainty. Subject employs intellect and imagination to represent the world. There is a distance between the mind/subject and the object it thinks about. The autonomous subject is the source of all action and meaning in the world.
• The second trend can be traced to Hegel’s philosophy of history. • The first trend argues that thought or ‘reason’ is constitutive. • Second trend argues that reason is transformative. which attempts to locate philosophical reflection in debates about the history of human freedom.• There are two main trends in the history of German thought. . • The first trend can be traced to the debate initiated by Kant over the limits of human reason.
Critique of Pure Reason (1781) Critique of Practical Reason (1788) Critique of Judgment (1790) The different faculties of the mind are brought before a tribunal which analyses the nature.• • • • • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). . capacities and limits of each faculty.
morality. God. which gives us objective knowledge of the physical world that is the subject of Newton’s physics. Critique of Judgment deals with aesthetic judgment.• • • Critique of Pure Reason deals with theoretical or scientific understanding. the soul. Critique of Practical Reason deals with moral reasoning which gives us understanding of abstract concepts such as. .
Phenomenal world – the physical world of external appearances that can be experienced by the senses. The external world can be divided into two categories. The rational mind attributes meaning to the external world. Noumenal world – is derived from the Greek word ‘nous’ that means pure reason and indicates the abstract ‘things in themselves’. .• • • Our mind is equipped with different cognitive modes/faculties.
• The purpose of the spirit is to be fully conscious of itself and to realize its essence.Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831) • In Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) Hegel develops the concept of World Spirit. as well as the collective consciousness of humanity. which is the agent and subject of history. . The spirit is on a trajectory and its trajectory is teleological in nature. The proper subject of philosophy is humanity as a collectivity coming to a self consciousness. which is freedom. • • • From the Greek word ‘teleos’ meaning purpose or goal.
• History traces the path in which the spirit develops gradually. .