Monday, August 10, 2020

The Top Ten Most Influential Ideas in Western Philosophy

This is another top ten list I wrote for your reading enjoyment! Call it a very, very, very short history of Western philosophy.
1. Plato's Cave Allegory - that the physical world is an illusion
2. Aristotle's Theory of Logic - that the form of an argument can be correct or incorrect, regardless of its content
3. Hume's Skepticism - that he can't know whether God exists, he can't even know if the Sun will rise tomorrow
4. Kant's Copernican Revolution - that reality revolves around the mind, the mind imposes its categories onto reality
5. John Locke's politics - kings are only human, and all people have rights
6. Karl Marx - Communism (today called Socialism!)
7. Descartes' "I think, therefore I am" - knowledge from the mind turning in upon itself and thinking deductively, instead of by looking outside, at the external world
8. Ayn Rand's Rational Selfishness - a meaningful rejection of altruism as the dominant ethical axiom, to be replaced with one's own happiness as one's highest virtue
9. Searle's Social Reality - Everything is a social construct, nothing is objective
10. Judith Butler's Bodies that Matter - Gender is a social construct, to be overcome
I like Aristotle, John Locke, Rand, and Butler... I am not a fan of the others!
It seems clear that Subjectivism is one of the major historical trends in philosophy, which the new philosophy of Objectivism is rebelling against.