Sam Harris’s Free Will, a review and evaluation

Sam Harris’s book Free Will is short, but very smart, and packs a lot of punch. He argues that the concept of free will, as it is commonly understood, is an unfounded myth. He does not believe, however, that this means we lack any control over our lives at all. Instead, he states that his…… Continue reading Sam Harris’s Free Will, a review and evaluation

The Sources of Plato’s Opinions-Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (13)

This is a short post, and in it Russell outlines the areas of Plato he is going to discuss, whilst also explaining the thoughts which influenced Plato’s personal philosophy. He tells us that Plato was born 428/7 BCE in the early years of the Peloponnesian war. He came from an aristocratic family and despised democracy.…… Continue reading The Sources of Plato’s Opinions-Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (13)

Sparta- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (12)

Sparta had a profound influence on the subsequent philosophy of Greece through Plato and Aristotle, so Russell takes a chapter to explain their fascinating culture. We will see the politics of Sparta replicated in the Politics of Plato, and even as far in the future as Nietzsche’s thoughts on culture. Helots Sparta had no interest…… Continue reading Sparta- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (12)

Socrates- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (11)

Today we move on to a discussion of Socrates. Russell only focuses on him briefly because of the fact that we have so much historical uncertainty regarding him. This article will mostly focus on what we know of him through Plato and Xenophon. One interesting thing about the historicity of Socrates is that we can…… Continue reading Socrates- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (11)

Protagoras- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (10)

This is the final chapter in the section on philosophers preceding Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Tomorrow we will begin with Socrates. In it is discussed Protagoras and the Sophists. The Sophists were a group of philosophers who taught their ideas and knowledge to people for a price. Protagoras was himself a Sophist. He was very…… Continue reading Protagoras- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (10)

The Atomists- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (9)

The Atomists were a fascinating group of philosophers. We have seen the eminence of Greek scientists in various scientific discoveries in the past several chapters, but the Atomists are possibly the most surprising. Pertaining to their namesake, the Atomists built a science and philosophy around the positing of atoms to build up the world. The…… Continue reading The Atomists- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (9)

Anaxagoras- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (8)

Today we have another short post, this time about Anaxagoras. Russell asserts his main importance as being the person who first introduced philosophy to Athens. He was a student of Anaximenes, and in his later life he was an influence on Socrates. He was born in Clazomenae, a costal town of Ionia, around 500 BCE.…… Continue reading Anaxagoras- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (8)

Athens in relation to culture- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (7)

This is a short chapter which discusses the reasons Athens became a more dominant force on the world stage. In the following chapters, we will see discussion shift almost entirely to the intellectual circle of Athenian culture. Athens took over as the ‘producer of great men’ after defeating the Persians in conflict. They toppled Darius…… Continue reading Athens in relation to culture- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (7)

Empedocles- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter (6)

Empedocles represents the cusp of Greek scientific endeavour. He was a brilliant thinker in regards of his science, but his religious life was rather different. It is worth separating the two because of how at odds with each other they are. He flourished around the date of 440BCE in Akragas. He was originally a successful…… Continue reading Empedocles- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter (6)

Parmenides- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (5)

Life Parmenides was born, it is thought, around 515 BCE in Elea. It was believed that an old Parmenides actually taught a young Socrates, although this is debated. In this article, we will look at his attempt to explain permanence in nature, and be introduced to an early problem in the philosophy of language. Philosophy…… Continue reading Parmenides- Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, chapter by chapter- (5)