Adventures in Philosophy



Introduction & Directory

Academy Resources

Glossary of Philosophical Terms

Timeline of Philosophy

A Timeline of American Philosophy

Development of Philosophic Thought

Diagram: Divisions of Philosophy

The Philosophy Resource Center

The Religion Resource Center

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Introductory Essay
The Dynamics of Contemporary Thought

The Development of Modern and Recent Philosophical Thought
Major Influences on American Social Thought


The Critical Revision of Positivism

German Psychologism

Wilhelm Wundt


The New Positivism

Ernst Mach


Critical Positivism

Harald Höffding



Also see: American Pragmatism

Contemporary Philosophy of the Spirit


Henri Bergson


The New Idealism

Thomas Hill Green - Francis Herbert Bradley - Bernard Bosanquet

Critical Essays


Also see: Idealism in America

The Philosophy of Neo-Realism

Alfred North Whitehead - Bertrand Russell

Expanded Discussion


Aso see: George Santayana

The Philosophy of Existentialism

Background Essay

Expanded Discussion

Danish and German Existentialism

Soren Kierkegaard - Karl Barth - Friedrich Nietzsche
Edmund Husserl - Martin Heidegger - Karl Jaspers


French Existentialism

Gabriel Marcel - Jean-Paul Sartre


Contemporary Movements in Philosophy

The Frankfurt School

Herbert Marcuse - Theodor Adorno - Erich Fromm - Jurgen Habermas

Logical Positivism & the Analytic Movement

Moritz Schlick - Hans Reichenbach - Rudolf Carnap - Bertrand Russell
Alfred J. Ayer - Ludwig Wittgenstein - John Wisdom
Max Black - G.E. Moore - Willard Van Orman Quine


Critical Essays

Philosophy Meets Modern Physics

Max Planck - Sir James Jeans - Albert Einstein


Cultural Theory, Structuralism, Postmodernism,
& Deconstructionism

Gyorgy Lukacs - Antonio Gramsci - Ferdinand de Saussure
Claude Levi-Strauss - Michel Foucault - Jacques Derrida

The Philosophy of Objectivism

Ayn Rand - Leonard Peikoff - David Kelley

The Perennial Philosophy - Classical Realism

Cardinal Mercier - Etienne Gilson - Jacques Maritain - Mortimer J. Adler - Jonathan Dolhenty

Essay Collections

Expanded Discussion


Advanced Essays

Other Recent & Contemporary Philosophers


Edmund Husserl - Maurice Merleau-Ponty


Philosophical Hereneutics

Hans-Georg Gadamer


Richard Rorty

Critical Rationalism

Karl Popper

Unclasified Philosophers

Leo Tolstoy - Shadworth Hollway Hodgson - Wilhelm Dilthey - Eugen Dühring
Samuel Butler - Eduard von Hartmann - Emile Boutroux - Rudolf Eucken
Vilfredo Pareto - Thomas Garrigue Masaryk - Theodor Lipps
C. Lloyd Morgan - Alexius von Meinong

Henri Poincaré - Paul Natorp - Julien Benda - Richard Wahle - Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
David Emile Durkheim - Georg Simmel - Giuseppe Peano
Samuel Alexander - William Ralph Inge - James Edwin Creighton
Rudolf Steiner - Maurice Maeterlinck - Hugo Munsterberg - Heinrich Rickert
Max Weber

Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo - Hans Driesch - André Lalande - Léon Brunschwicg
William Stern - Ludwig Klages - Ernst Cassirer - Albert Schweitzer - Carl Gustav Jung
Ralph Barton Perry - Paul Haeberlin - William Temple - Nicolai Hartmann

Pierre Lecomte du Noüy - Jules Romains - John Laird - Edith Stein
Cyril E.M. Joad - Francisco Romero - Louis De Broglie
Joaquin Palau Xirau - Kurt Gödel - Alasdair MacIntyre - John Searle


Academy Showcase Specials

Introduction: The Dynamics of Contemporary Thought

The Period of Recent Philosophy, which extends from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present day, is characterized by two important movements, the first of which is an effort directed toward a critical revision of science and hence of Positivism; the second, a movement of direct reaction against Positivism and consequently an attempt to construct a new metaphysics based on the recognition of some form of spiritual reality.

Positivism restricted its investigations to scientifically explicable experimental data, with the result that it reduced philosophy to the simple task of registering the findings of science and unifying them in an over-all picture of reality.

During the last decade of the nineteenth century, however, and within the very field of the physical sciences, there arose a movement looking to the revision of science itself and of the mechanistic principle which Positivism had assumed as a means of explaining reality.

The question was raised as to whether the scientific constructions so highly extolled by Positivism were exact expressions of "natural facts" or merely the results of a dogmatism as unjustifiable as that of which metaphysics had been accused.

New developments in corpuscular physics made necessary the formulation of new hypotheses. Thus, for example, the hypothesis of the atomic composition of bodies was superseded by the hypothesis of "electrical constitution," according to which the atom, far from being the smallest indivisible body, is held to be nothing but an infinitesimal space occupied by positive and negative electrical charges in continuous motion.

Furthermore, it was noted that the scientist did not always register the facts of nature objectively, but often used them to support his personal views. Hence even scientific findings had depended in some measure upon the subjective dispositions of the investigators. So it seemed necessary to make a critical revision of the principles of science and consequently of the Positivist philosophy which rested upon them.

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Introduction & Directory

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