The genesis of philosophy can be observed across a wide range of human interests such as religion, creative arts, education and economy. In its very essence, philosophy involves unique belief systems that refine the conditions and thoughts pertaining to life, growth and death. Philosophers are considered to be wise visionaries and thinkers who suffered the tragedy of being labeled ‘eccentric’ or ‘ridiculous’ for their unique pattern of thoughts during their lifespan. Most philosophers were unappreciated during their lifetime.
The genesis of philosophy began with the Roman and Greek philosophers, at around 600 BC. Philosophy evolved when men began to question their purpose on earth. There are several schools of thoughts to philosophy.
The Genesis of Philosophy: Theories
Important philosophical theories that comprise the Genesis of Philosophy include:
* Rationalism: It propounded that human beings are intellectual creatures who have the ability to question and analyze various aspects of life. Parmenides, a Greek Philosopher, is believed to be the first world’s first rationalist. Other popular rationalists include Plato, Descartes and Locke. Rationalism involves establishing a premise and attempting to deduce it. Empiricists also developed during this time, who believed in the opposite school of thought, known as empiricism.
* Skepticism: This philosophy involves continual questioning and testing to obtain knowledge. The theory was articulated by a Greek philosopher called Pyrrho and popularly propounded by Sextus Empiricus.
* Existentialism: This is based on the core idea of non existence of human nature and existence of unique individual characteristics. It was first propounded by Soren Kierkegaard, who held that truth is subjective. He voiced that truth; especially regarding religious faith should be questioned passionately by every individual.
* Structuralism: This philosophy propounds that every field, from religion to science, is a complex system that is made up of a large number of inter-related parts. It was first articulated by Ferdinand de Saussure in the 19th century. The theory was accepted across all major fields. However, it also faced opposition by a group who felt that structures could not transcended. They were collectively called the poststructuralists.
The genesis of philosophy continued after the ‘enlightenment’ era. This period witnessed the rise of political philosophers, who questioned the workings of the governments. Another influential branch of philosophy pertained to socio-economic theories that included two opposing schools of thoughts put forth by Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The former voiced free trade and removal of restrictions whereas the later supported tightening of governmental control. These thoughts helped to establish the base for communism and capitalism.
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