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Fresco of Hipparchia of Maroneia

Fresco of Hipparchia of Maroneia


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Contents

Nothing is known about Diogenes' early life except that his father Hicesias was a banker. Η] It seems likely that Diogenes was also enrolled into the banking business aiding his father. At some point (the exact date is unknown), Hicesias and Diogenes became involved in a scandal involving the adulteration or debasement of the currency, ⎖] and Diogenes was exiled from the city and lost his citizenship and all his material possessions. ⎗] ⎘] This aspect of the story seems to be corroborated by archaeology: large numbers of defaced coins (smashed with a large chisel stamp) have been discovered at Sinope dating from the middle of the 4th century BC, and other coins of the time bear the name of Hicesias as the official who minted them. ⎙] During this time there was much counterfeit money circulating in Sinope. ⎗] The coins were deliberately defaced in order to render them worthless as legal tender. ⎗] Sinope was being disputed between pro-Persian and pro-Greek factions in the 4th century, and there may have been political rather than financial motives behind the act.

In Athens [ edit ]

According to one story, ⎘] Diogenes went to the Oracle at Delphi to ask for her advice and was told that he should "deface the currency". Following the debacle in Sinope, Diogenes decided that the oracle meant that he should deface the political currency rather than actual coins. He traveled to Athens and made it his life's goal to challenge established customs and values. He argued that instead of being troubled about the true nature of evil, people merely rely on customary interpretations. This distinction between nature ("physis") and custom ("nomos") is a favorite theme of ancient Greek philosophy, and one that Plato takes up in The Republic, in the legend of the Ring of Gyges. ⎚]

Diogenes arrived in Athens with a slave named Manes who abandoned him shortly thereafter. With characteristic humor, Diogenes dismissed his ill fortune by saying, "If Manes can live without Diogenes, why not Diogenes without Manes?" ⎛] Diogenes would mock such a relation of extreme dependency. He found the figure of a master who could do nothing for himself contemptibly helpless. He was attracted by the ascetic teaching of Antisthenes, a student of Socrates. When Diogenes asked Antisthenes to mentor him, Antisthenes ignored him and reportedly "eventually beat him off with his staff". Ώ] Diogenes responds, "Strike, for you will find no wood hard enough to keep me away from you, so long as I think you've something to say." Ώ] Diogenes became Antisthenes' pupil, despite the brutality with which he was initially received. ⎜] Whether the two ever really met is still uncertain, ⎝] ⎞] ⎟] but he surpassed his master in both reputation and the austerity of his life. He considered his avoidance of earthly pleasures a contrast to and commentary on contemporary Athenian behaviors. This attitude was grounded in a disdain for what he regarded as the folly, pretense, vanity, self-deception, and artificiality of human conduct.

The stories told of Diogenes illustrate the logical consistency of his character. He inured himself to the weather by living in a clay wine jar Β] ⎠] belonging to the temple of Cybele. ⎡] He destroyed the single wooden bowl he possessed on seeing a peasant boy drink from the hollow of his hands. He then exclaimed: "Fool that I am, to have been carrying superfluous baggage all this time!" ⎢] ⎣] It was contrary to Athenian customs to eat within the marketplace, and still he would eat there, for, as he explained when rebuked, it was during the time he was in the marketplace that he felt hungry. He used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp when asked what he was doing, he would answer, "I am just looking for an honest man." ⎤] Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels. ⎥]

According to Diogenes Laërtius, when Plato gave the tongue-in-cheek ⎦] definition of man as "featherless bipeds," Diogenes plucked a chicken and brought it into Plato's Academy, saying, "Behold! I've brought you a man," and so the Academy added "with broad flat nails" to the definition. ⎧]

In Corinth [ edit ]

According to a story which seems to have originated with Menippus of Gadara, ⎨] Diogenes was captured by pirates while on voyage to Aegina and sold as a slave in Crete to a Corinthian named Xeniades. Being asked his trade, he replied that he knew no trade but that of governing men, and that he wished to be sold to a man who needed a master. In fact, this was a pun. In Ancient Greek this would sound both as "Governing men" and "Teaching values to people". ⎩] Xeniades liked his spirit and hired Diogenes to tutor his children. As tutor to Xeniades's two sons, ⎪] it is said that he lived in Corinth for the rest of his life, which he devoted to preaching the doctrines of virtuous self-control. There are many stories about what actually happened to him after his time with Xeniades's two sons. There are stories stating he was set free after he became "a cherished member of the household", while one says he was set free almost immediately, and still another states that "he grew old and died at Xeniades's house in Corinth." ⎫] He is even said to have lectured to large audiences at the Isthmian Games. ⎬]

Although most of the stories about his living in a jar Β] are located in Athens, there are some accounts of his living in a jar near the Craneum gymnasium in Corinth:

A report that Philip II of Macedon was marching on the town had thrown all Corinth into a bustle one was furbishing his arms, another wheeling stones, a third patching the wall, a fourth strengthening a battlement, every one making himself useful somehow or other. Diogenes having nothing to do – of course no one thought of giving him a job – was moved by the sight to gather up his philosopher's cloak and begin rolling his tub energetically up and down the Craneum an acquaintance asked for the reason, and got the explanation: "I do not want to be thought the only idler in such a busy multitude I am rolling my tub to be like the rest." ⎭]

Diogenes and Alexander [ edit ]

It was in Corinth that a meeting between Alexander the Great and Diogenes is supposed to have taken place. ⎮] These stories may be apocryphal. The accounts of Plutarch and Diogenes Laërtius recount that they exchanged only a few words: while Diogenes was relaxing in the morning sunlight, Alexander, thrilled to meet the famous philosopher, asked if there was any favour he might do for him. Diogenes replied, "Yes, stand out of my sunlight." Alexander then declared, "If I were not Alexander, then I should wish to be Diogenes." "If I were not Diogenes, I would still wish to be Diogenes," Diogenes replied. Γ] Δ] Ε] In another account of the conversation, Alexander found the philosopher looking attentively at a pile of human bones. Diogenes explained, "I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave." ⎯]

Death [ edit ]

There are conflicting accounts of Diogenes' death. His contemporaries alleged he had held his breath until he expired although other accounts of his death say he had become ill from eating raw octopus ⎰] or to have suffered an infected dog bite. ⎱] When asked how he wished to be buried, he left instructions to be thrown outside the city wall so wild animals could feast on his body. When asked if he minded this, he said, "Not at all, as long as you provide me with a stick to chase the creatures away!" When asked how he could use the stick since he would lack awareness, he replied "If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead?" ⎲] At the end, Diogenes made fun of people's excessive concern with the "proper" treatment of the dead. The Corinthians erected to his memory a pillar on which rested a dog of Parian marble. ⎳]


Philosophy

Cynicism

Along with Antisthenes and Crates of Thebes, Diogenes is considered one of the founders of Cynicism. The ideas of Diogenes, like those of most other Cynics, must be arrived at indirectly. No writings of Diogenes survived even though he is reported to have authored over ten books, a volume of letters and seven tragedies. [ 33 ] Cynic ideas are inseparable from Cynic practice therefore what we know about Diogenes is contained in anecdotes concerning his life and sayings attributed to him in a number of scattered classical sources.

Diogenes maintained that all the artificial growths of society were incompatible with happiness and that morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature. So great was his austerity and simplicity that the Stoics would later claim him to be a wise man or "sophos". In his words, "Humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods." [ 34 ] Although Socrates had previously identified himself as belonging to the world, rather than a city, [ 35 ] Diogenes is credited with the first known use of the word "cosmopolitan". When he was asked where he came from, he replied, "I am a citizen of the world (cosmopolites)". [ 36 ] This was a radical claim in a world where a man's identity was intimately tied to his citizenship in a particular city state. An exile and an outcast, a man with no social identity, Diogenes made a mark on his contemporaries.

Diogenes had nothing but disdain for Plato and his abstract philosophy. [ 37 ] Diogenes viewed Antisthenes as the true heir to Socrates, and shared his love of virtue and indifference to wealth, [ 38 ] together with a disdain for general opinion. [ 39 ] Diogenes shared Socrates' belief that he could function as doctor to men's souls and improve them morally, while at the same time holding contempt for their obtuseness. Plato once described Diogenes as "a Socrates gone mad." [ 40 ]

Obscenity

Diogenes taught by living example. He tried to demonstrate that wisdom and happiness belong to the man who is independent of society and that civilization is regressive. He scorned not only family and political social organization, but also property rights and reputation. He even rejected normal ideas about human decency. Diogenes is said to have eaten in the marketplace, [ 41 ] urinated on some people who insulted him, [ 42 ] defecated in the theatre, [ 43 ] masturbated in public, and pointed at people with his middle finger. [ 44 ]

From "Life of Diogenes": "Someone took him [Diogenes] into a magnificent house and warned him not to spit, whereupon, having cleared his throat, he spat into the man's face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle."

Diogenes the Dog

Many anecdotes of Diogenes refer to his dog-like behavior, and his praise of a dog's virtues. It is not known whether Diogenes was insulted with the epithet "doggish" and made a virtue of it, or whether he first took up the dog theme himself. Diogenes believed human beings live artificially and hypocritically and would do well to study the dog. Besides performing natural bodily functions in public with ease, a dog will eat anything, and make no fuss about where to sleep. Dogs live in the present without anxiety, and have no use for the pretensions of abstract philosophy. In addition to these virtues, dogs are thought to know instinctively who is friend and who is foe. Unlike human beings who either dupe others or are duped, dogs will give an honest bark at the truth. Diogenes stated that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them." [ 45 ]

The term "Cynic" itself derives from the Greek word κυνικός, kynikos, "dog-like" and that from κύων, kyôn, "dog" (genitive: kynos). [ 46 ] One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called dogs was because Antisthenes taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens. [ 47 ] The word Cynosarges means the place of the white dog. Later Cynics also sought to turn the word to their advantage, as a later commentator explained:

There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs, eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their philosophy. The fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them. [ 48 ]

As noted (see Death), Diogenes' association with dogs was memorialized by the Corinthians, who erected to his memory a pillar on which rested a dog of Parian marble. [ 32 ]

Contemporary theory

Diogenes is discussed in a 1983 book by German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk (English language publication in 1987). In his Critique of Cynical Reason, Diogenes is used as an example of Sloterdijk’s idea of the “kynical” — in which personal degradation is used for purposes of community comment or censure. Calling the practice of this tactic “kynismos,” Sloterdijk explains that the kynical actor actually embodies the message he/she is trying to convey. The goal here is typically a false regression that mocks authority — especially authority that the kynical actor considers corrupt, suspect or unworthy.

There is another discussion of Diogenes and the Cynics in Michel Foucault's book Fearless Speech. Here Foucault discusses Diogenes' antics in relation to the speaking of truth (parrhesia) in the ancient world. Foucault expands this reading in his last course at the Collège de France, The Courage of Truth. In this course Foucault tries to establish an alternative conception of militancy and revolution through a reading of Diogenes and Cynicism. [ 49 ]


Western canon

The Western canon is the body of high culture literature, music, philosophy, and works of art that is highly valued in the West: works that have achieved the status of classics. However, not all these works originate in the Western world, and such works are also valued throughout the world. It is "a certain Western intellectual tradition that goes from, say, Socrates to Wittgenstein in philosophy, and from Homer to James Joyce in literature". [2] The word canon is derived from ancient Greek κανών, kanṓn, meaning a measuring rod, or standard. The Bible, a product of ancient Jewish culture, from the Levant, in Western Asia, has been a major force in shaping Western culture, and "has inspired some of the great monuments of human thought, literature, and art". [3]

The canon of books has been fairly stable, although it has very recently expanded to include more women and racial minorities, while the canons of music and the visual arts have greatly expanded to cover the Middle Ages, and subsequent centuries once largely overlooked. But some examples of newer media such as cinema have attained a precarious position in the canon. Also during the twentieth century there has been a growing interest in the West, as well as globally, in major artistic works of the cultures of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America, including the former colonies of European nations. [ citation needed ]

A classic

A classic is a book, or any other work of art, accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy, for example through an imprimatur such as being listed in a list of great books, or through a reader's personal opinion. Although the term is often associated with the Western canon, it can be applied to works of literature, music and art, etc. from all traditions, such as the Chinese classics or the Vedas. A related word is masterpiece or chef d'œuvre, which in modern use refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill, or workmanship. Historically, the word refers to a work of a very high standard produced in order to obtain membership of a guild or academy.

The first writer to use the term "classic" was Aulus Gellius, a 2nd-century Roman writer who, in the miscellany Noctes Atticae (19, 8, 15), refers to a writer as a classicus scriptor, non proletarius ("A distinguished, not a commonplace writer"). Such classification began with the Greeks' ranking their cultural works, with the word canon (ancient Greek κανών, kanṓn: "measuring rod, standard"). Moreover, early Christian Church Fathers used canon to rank the authoritative texts of the New Testament, preserving them, given the expense of vellum and papyrus and mechanical book reproduction, thus, being comprehended in a canon ensured a book's preservation as the best way to retain information about a civilization. [4] Contemporarily, the Western canon defines the best of Western culture. In the ancient world, at the Alexandrian Library, scholars coined the Greek term Hoi enkrithentes ("the admitted", "the included") to identify the writers in the canon.

Literary canon

Classic book

With regard to books, what makes a book "classic" has concerned various authors, from Mark Twain to Italo Calvino, and questions such as "Why Read the Classics?", and "What Is a Classic?" have been considered by others, including Calvino, T. S. Eliot, Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Michael Dirda, and Ezra Pound.

The terms "classic book" and Western canon are closely related concepts, but are not necessarily synonymous. A "canon" is a list of books considered to be "essential", and it can be published as a collection (such as Great Books of the Western World, Modern Library, Everyman's Library, or Penguin Classics), presented as a list with an academic's imprimatur (such as Harold Bloom's, [5] ) or be the official reading list of a university.

In addition the following are some of the important works from other cultures that have influenced the West: Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC), Mahabharata (c. 800 BC), The Bible (c. 5th century BC - 1st century AD), One Thousand and One Nights (c. 7th century AD), The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 or 978 – c. 1014 or 1031), and Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin (1715 or 1724 – 1763 or 1764). [8] [9] [10]

Great Books Program

A university or college Great Books Program is a program inspired by the Great Books movement begun in the United States in the 1920s by Prof. John Erskine of Columbia University, which proposed to improve the higher education system by returning it to the western liberal arts tradition of broad cross-disciplinary learning. These academics and educators included Robert Hutchins, Mortimer Adler, Stringfellow Barr, Scott Buchanan, Jacques Barzun, and Alexander Meiklejohn. The view among them was that the emphasis on narrow specialization in American colleges had harmed the quality of higher education by failing to expose students to the important products of Western civilization and thought.

The essential component of such programs is a high degree of engagement with primary texts, called the Great Books. The curricula of Great Books programs often follow a canon of texts considered more or less essential to a student's education, such as Plato's Republic, or Dante's Divine Comedy. Such programs often focus exclusively on Western culture. Their employment of primary texts dictates an interdisciplinary approach, as most of the Great Books do not fall neatly under the prerogative of a single contemporary academic discipline. Great Books programs often include designated discussion groups as well as lectures, and have small class sizes. In general students in such programs receive an abnormally high degree of attention from their professors, as part of the overall aim of fostering a community of learning.

Over 100 institutions of higher learning, mostly in the United States, offer some version of a Great Books Program as an option for students. [11]

For much of the 20th century, the Modern Library provided a larger convenient list of the Western canon, i.e. those books any person (or any English-speaking person) needed to know in order to claim an excellent general education. The list numbered more than 300 items by the 1950s, by authors from Aristotle to Albert Camus, and has continued to grow. When in the 1990s the concept of the Western canon was vehemently condemned, just as earlier Modern Library lists had been criticized as "too American," Modern Library responded by preparing new lists of "100 Best Novels" and "100 Best Nonfiction" compiled by famous writers, and later compiled lists nominated by book purchasers and readers. [12]

Debate

There has been an ongoing debate, especially in the US, over the nature and status of the canon since at least the 1960s, much of which is rooted in critical theory, feminism, critical race theory, and Marxism. [13] In particular, postmodern studies have argued that the body of scholarship is biased, because the main focus traditionally of the academic studies of history and Western culture has only been on Europe and men. American philosopher Jay Stevenson argues:

[In] the postmodern period […] [t]raditional literature has been found to have been written by " dead white males" to serve the ideological aims of a conservative and repressive Anglo hegemony […] In an array of reactions against the race, gender, and class biases found to be woven into the tradition of Anglo lit, multicultural writers and political literary theorists have sought to expose, resist, and redress injustices and prejudices. [14]

Classicist Bernard Knox made direct reference to this topic when he delivered his 1992 Jefferson Lecture (the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities). [15] Knox used the intentionally "provocative" title "The Oldest Dead White European Males" [16] as the title of his lecture and his subsequent book of the same name, in both of which Knox defended the continuing relevance of classical culture to modern society. [17] [18]

Some intellectuals have championed a "high conservative modernism" that insists that universal truths exist, and have opposed approaches that deny the existence of universal truths. [19] Many argued that "natural law" was the repository of timeless truths. [20] Allan Bloom, in his highly influential The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students (1987) argues that moral degradation results from ignorance of the great classics that shaped Western culture. Bloom further comments: "But one thing is certain: wherever the Great Books make up a central part of the curriculum, the students are excited and satisfied." [21] His book was widely cited by some intellectuals for its argument that the classics contained universal truths and timeless values which were being ignored by cultural relativists. [22] [23] Yale University Professor of Humanities and famous literary critic Harold Bloom (no relation) has also argued strongly in favor of the canon, in his 1994 book The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, and in general the canon remains as a represented idea in many institutions, [2] though its implications continue to be debated.

Defenders maintain that those who undermine the canon do so out of primarily political interests, and that such criticisms are misguided and/or disingenuous. As John Searle, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, has written:

There is a certain irony in this [i.e., politicized objections to the canon] in that earlier student generations, my own for example, found the critical tradition that runs from Socrates through the Federalist Papers, through the writings of Mill and Marx, down to the twentieth century, to be liberating from the stuffy conventions of traditional American politics and pieties. Precisely by inculcating a critical attitude, the "canon" served to demythologize the conventional pieties of the American bourgeoisie and provided the student with a perspective from which to critically analyze American culture and institutions. Ironically, the same tradition is now regarded as oppressive. The texts once served an unmasking function now we are told that it is the texts which must be unmasked. [2]

One of the main objections to a canon of literature is the question of authority who should have the power to determine what works are worth reading? Searle's rebuttal suggests that "one obvious difficulty with it [i.e., arguments against hierarchical ranking of books] is that if it were valid, it would argue against any set of required readings whatever indeed, any list you care to make about anything automatically creates two categories, those that are on the list and those that are not." [2]

Charles Altieri, of the University of California, Berkeley, states that canons are "an institutional form for exposing people to a range of idealized attitudes." It is according to this notion that work may be removed from the canon over time to reflect the contextual relevance and thoughts of society. [24] American historian Todd M. Compton argues that canons are always communal in nature that there are limited canons for, say a literature survey class, or an English department reading list, but there is no such thing as one absolute canon of literature. Instead, there are many conflicting canons. He regards Bloom's "Western Canon" as a personal canon only. [25]

The process of defining the boundaries of the canon is endless. The philosopher John Searle has said, "In my experience there never was, in fact, a fixed 'canon' there was rather a certain set of tentative judgments about what had importance and quality. Such judgments are always subject to revision, and in fact they were constantly being revised." [2] One of the notable attempts at compiling an authoritative canon for literature in the English-speaking world was the Great Books of the Western World program. This program, developed in the middle third of the 20th century, grew out of the curriculum at the University of Chicago. University president Robert Maynard Hutchins and his collaborator Mortimer Adler developed a program that offered reading lists, books, and organizational strategies for reading clubs to the general public. [ citation needed ] An earlier attempt had been made in 1909 by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot, with the Harvard Classics, a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature. Eliot's view was the same as that of Scottish philosopher and historian Thomas Carlyle: "The true University of these days is a Collection of Books". ("The Hero as Man of Letters", 1840)

In the English-speaking world

The canon of Renaissance English poetry of the 16th and early 17th century has always been in some form of flux and towards the end of the 20th century the established canon was criticised, especially by those who wished to expand it to include, for example, more women writers. [26] However, the central figures of the British renaissance canon remain, Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and John Donne. [27] Spenser, Donne, and Jonson were major influences on 17th-century poetry. However, poet John Dryden condemned aspects of the metaphysical poets in his criticism. In the 18th century Metaphysical poetry fell into further disrepute, [28] while the interest in Elizabethan poetry was rekindled through the scholarship of Thomas Warton and others. However, the canon of Renaissance poetry was formed in the Victorian period with anthologies like Palgrave's Golden Treasury. [29]

In the twentieth century T. S. Eliot and Yvor Winters were two literary critics who were especially concerned with revising the canon of renaissance English literature. Eliot, for example, championed poet Sir John Davies in an article in The Times Literary Supplement in 1926. During the course of the 1920s, Eliot did much to establish the importance of the metaphysical school, both through his critical writing and by applying their method in his own work. However, by 1961 A. Alvarez was commenting that "it may perhaps be a little late in the day to be writing about the Metaphysicals. The great vogue for Donne passed with the passing of the Anglo-American experimental movement in modern poetry." [30] Two decades later, a hostile view was expressed that emphasis on their importance had been an attempt by Eliot and his followers to impose a 'high Anglican and royalist literary history' on 17th-century English poetry. [31]

The American critic Yvor Winters suggested in 1939 an alternative canon of Elizabethan poetry, [32] which would exclude the famous representatives of the Petrarchan school of poetry, represented by Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser. Winters claimed that the Native or Plain Style anti-Petrarchan movement had been undervalued and argued that George Gascoigne (1525–1577) "deserves to be ranked […] among the six or seven greatest lyric poets of the century, and perhaps higher". [33]

Towards the end of the 20th century the established canon was increasingly disputed. [26]

Expansion of the literary canon in the 20th century

In the twentieth century there was a general reassessment of the literary canon, including women's writing, post-colonial literatures, gay and lesbian literature, writing by people of colour, working people's writing, and the cultural productions of historically marginalized groups. This reassessment has resulted in a whole scale expansion of what is considered "literature", and genres hitherto not regarded as "literary", such as children's writing, journals, letters, travel writing, and many others are now the subjects of scholarly interest. [34] [35] [36]

The Western literary canon has also expanded to include the literature of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Writers from Africa, Turkey, China, Egypt, Peru, and Colombia, Japan, etc., have received Nobel prizes since the late 1960s. Writers from Asia and Africa have also been nominated for, and also won, the Booker prize in recent years.

Hardy argues that the Western canon has maintained itself by excluding and marginalising women, whilst idealising the works of white men. [37] Where women's work is introduced it can be considered inappropriately rather than recognising the importance of their work a works greatness is judged against socially situated factors which exclude women, whilst being portrayed as an intellectual approach. [38]

The feminist movement produced both feminist fiction and non-fiction and created new interest in women's writing. It also prompted a general reevaluation of women's historical and academic contributions in response to the belief that women's lives and contributions have been underrepresented as areas of scholarly interest. [34]

However, in Britain and America at least women achieved major literary success from the late eighteenth century, and many major nineteenth-century British novelists were women, including Jane Austen, the Brontë family, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot. There were also three major female poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, [39] Christina Rossetti and Emily Dickinson. [40] [41] In the twentieth century there were also many major female writers, including Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, and Marianne Moore. Notable female writers in France include Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Yourcenar, Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Duras and Françoise Sagan.

Much of the early period of feminist literary scholarship was given over to the rediscovery and reclamation of texts written by women. Virago Press began to publish its large list of 19th and early 20th-century novels in 1975 and became one of the first commercial presses to join in the project of reclamation.

In the twentieth century, the Western literary canon started to include black writers not only from black American writers, but also from the wider black diaspora of writers in Britain, France, Latin America, and Africa. This correlated largely with the shift in social and political views during the civil rights movement in the United States. The first global recognition came in 1950 when Gwendolyn Brooks was the first black American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart helped draw attention to African literature. Nigerian Wole Soyinka was the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, and American Toni Morrison was the first black woman to win in 1993.

Some early American Black writers were inspired to defy ubiquitous racial prejudice by proving themselves equal to white American authors. As Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has said, "it is fair to describe the subtext of the history of black letters as this urge to refute the claim that because blacks had no written traditions they were bearers of an inferior culture." [42]

African-American writers were also attempting to subvert the literary and power traditions of the United States. Some scholars assert that writing has traditionally been seen as "something defined by the dominant culture as a white male activity." [42] This means that, in American society, literary acceptance has traditionally been intimately tied in with the very power dynamics which perpetrated such evils as racial discrimination. By borrowing from and incorporating the non-written oral traditions and folk life of the African diaspora, African-American literature broke "the mystique of connection between literary authority and patriarchal power." [43] In producing their own literature, African Americans were able to establish their own literary traditions devoid of the white intellectual filter. This view of African-American literature as a tool in the struggle for black political and cultural liberation has been stated for decades, most famously by W. E. B. Du Bois. [44]

Since the 1960s the Western literary canon has been expanded to include writers from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. [ citation needed ] This is reflected [ citation needed ] in the Nobel prizes awarded in literature.

Yasunari Kawabata (1899 – 1972) [45] was a Japanese novelist and short story writer whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. His works have enjoyed broad international appeal and are still widely read.

Naguib Mahfouz (1911 – 2006) was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, along with Tawfiq el-Hakim, to explore themes of existentialism. [46] He published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films.

Kenzaburō Ōe (b. 1935) is a Japanese writer and a major figure in contemporary Japanese literature. His novels, short stories, and essays, strongly influenced by French and American literature and literary theory, deal with political, social, and philosophical issues, including nuclear weapons, nuclear power, social non-conformism, and existentialism. Ōe was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994 for creating "an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today". [47]

Guan Moye (b. 1955), better known by the pen name "Mo Yan", is a Chinese novelist and short story writer. Donald Morrison of the U.S. news magazine TIME referred to him as "one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers", [48] and Jim Leach called him the Chinese answer to Franz Kafka or Joseph Heller. [49] He is best known to Western readers for his 1987 novel Red Sorghum Clan, of which the Red Sorghum and Sorghum Wine volumes were later adapted for the film Red Sorghum. In 2012, Mo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work as a writer "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". [50] [51]

Orhan Pamuk (b. 1952) is a Turkish novelist, screenwriter, academic, and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of Turkey's most prominent novelists, [52] his work has sold over thirteen million books in sixty-three languages, [53] making him the country's best-selling writer. [54] Pamuk is the author of novels including The White Castle, The Black Book, The New Life, My Name Is Red, Snow, The Museum of Innocence, and A Strangeness in My Mind. He is the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches writing and comparative literature. Born in Istanbul, [55] Pamuk is the first Turkish Nobel laureate. He is also the recipient of numerous other literary awards. My Name Is Red won the 2002 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, 2002 Premio Grinzane Cavour, and 2003 International Dublin Literary Award.

Octavio Paz Lozano (1914 – 1998) was a Mexican poet and diplomat. For his body of work, he was awarded the 1981 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Gabriel García Márquez [56] (1927 – 2014) was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. [57]

García Márquez started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them explore the theme of solitude. On his death in April 2014, Juan Manuel Santos, the President of Colombia, described him as "the greatest Colombian who ever lived." [58]

Mario Vargas Llosa, (b. 1936) [59] is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. [60] Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of the Latin American Boom. [61] Upon announcing the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said it had been given to Vargas Llosa "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat". [62]

Canon of philosophers

The discussion of the literary canon above, especially with regard to "Great Book" and the "debate" over the canon, is also relevant.

Ancient Greek philosophy has consistently held a prominent place in the canon. Only a relatively small number of works of Greek philosophy have survived, essentially those thought most worth copying in the Middle Ages. Plato, Aristotle and, indirectly, Socrates are the primary figures. Roman philosophy is included, but regarded as less significant (as it tended to be even by the Romans themselves). The ancient philosophy of other cultures now receives more attention than before the 20th century. The vast body of Christian philosophy is typically represented on reading lists mainly by Saints Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, and the 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides is now usually represented, mostly by The Guide for the Perplexed. The academic canon of early modern philosophy generally includes Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, though influential contributions to philosophy were made by many thinkers in this period. [63]

Women have engaged in philosophy throughout the field's history. There were female philosophers since ancient times, notably Hipparchia of Maroneia (active c. 325 BC) and Arete of Cyrene (active 5th–4th century BC), and some were accepted as philosophers during the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary eras, but almost no female philosophers have entered the philosophical Western canon. [64] [65] In the early 1990s, the Canadian Philosophical Association claimed that there is gender imbalance and gender bias in the academic field of philosophy. [66] In June 2013, a US sociology professor stated that "out of all recent citations in four prestigious philosophy journals, female authors comprise just 3.6 percent of the total. While other areas of the humanities are at or near gender parity, philosophy is actually more overwhelmingly male than even mathematics." [67]

Ancient Greeks

Many philosophers today agree that Greek philosophy has influenced much of Western culture since its inception. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." [68] Clear, unbroken lines of influence lead from ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophers to Early Islamic philosophy, the European Renaissance, and the Age of Enlightenment. [69] Greek philosophy was probably influenced by the philosophy and mythological cosmogonies of the ancient Near East, as well as Indian Vedanta philosophy, [70] [71] [72] but philosophy, as we understand it, is a Greek creation." [73]

Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, unlike nearly all of his philosophical contemporaries. [74] [75]

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government—and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. [76] Aristotle's views on physical science had a profound influence on medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and his views were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. Aristotle was well known among medieval Muslim intellectuals and revered as "The First Teacher" (Arabic: المعلم الأول ‎). His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. [77]

Indian philosophy

Major Western writers and philosophers have been influenced by Eastern philosophy.

Through his teacher Ammonius Saccas (died c. AD 265 ), the Greek speaking philosopher Plotinus may have been influenced by Indian thought, because of the similarities between neoplatonism and the Vedanta philosophies of Hinduism. [70] [71] [72]

American modernist poet T S Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India "make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys". [78] [79] Arthur Schopenhauer, in the preface to his book The World as Will and Representation, writes that one who "has also received and assimilated the sacred primitive Indian wisdom, then he is the best of all prepared to hear what I have to say to him" [80] The 19th-century American philosophical movement Transcendentalism was also influenced by Indian thought. [81] [82]

Chinese philosophy

Chinese philosophy originates during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", [83] philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 B.C. [84] which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. [83] Much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period (475 BC to 403 BC), though elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BC. [85] It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism, arose, along with other schools of philosophy that later fell into obscurity,

Renaissance philosophy

Seventeenth-century philosophers

The seventeenth century was important for philosophy, and the major figures were Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), René Descartes (1596–1650), Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716). [86]

Eighteenth-century philosophers

Major philosophers of the eighteenth century include George Berkeley (1685–1753), Montesquieu (1689-1755), Voltaire (1694–1778), David Hume (1711–1776), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), Denis Diderot (1713-1784), Adam Smith (1723–1790), Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), Edmund Burke (1729–1797) and Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832). [86]

Nineteenth-century philosophers

Twentieth-century philosophers

Major twentieth century figures include Henri Bergson (1859–1941), Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). A porous distinction between analytic and continental approaches emerged during this period. The term "continental" is misleading, as many prominent British philosophers such as R. G. Collingwood and Michael Oakeshott were non-analytic, and many non-British European philosophers like Wittgenstein were analytic. Moreover, analytic approaches are dominant in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and parts of east-central Europe today. Some argue in English-speaking countries, it is better to distinguish between the dominant approaches of university departments, where Modern Language departments tend to favor continental methods and philosophy departments tends to favor analytic ones. However, the humanities/social sciences departments in general such as history, sociology, anthropology, and political science departments in English-speaking countries tend to favor continental methods such as those by Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Jürgen Habermas (1929- ). [87] [88]

Female philosophers have begun to gain prominence in the last hundred years. Notable female philosophers from the contemporary period include Susanne Langer (1895–1985), Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), Simone Weil (1909-1943), and Martha Nussbaum (1947– ).

Classical music

The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age. In addition to Bach and Beethoven, the other major figures from this period were George Frideric Handel, Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. [89] The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836. [90]

In classical music, during the nineteenth century a "canon" developed which focused on what was felt to be the most important works written since 1600, with a great concentration on the later part of this period, termed the Classical period, which is generally taken to begin around 1750. After Beethoven, the major nineteenth-century composers include Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Frédéric Chopin, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner, Giuseppe Verdi, Gustav Mahler, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. [91]

In the 2000s, the standard concert repertoire of professional orchestras, chamber music groups, and choirs tends to focus on works by a relatively small number of mainly 18th- and 19th-century male composers. Many of the works deemed to be part of the musical canon are from genres regarded as the most serious, such as the symphony, concerto, string quartet, and opera. Folk music was already giving art music melodies, and from the late 19th century, in an atmosphere of increasing nationalism, folk music began to influence composers in formal and other ways, before being admitted to some sort of status in the canon itself.

Since the early twentieth century non-Western music has begun to influence Western composers. In particular, direct homages to Javanese gamelan music are found in works for western instruments by Claude Debussy, Béla Bartók, Francis Poulenc, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. [92] Debussy was immensely interested in non-Western music and its approaches to composition. Specifically, he was drawn to the Javanese gamelan, [93] which he first heard at the 1889 Paris Exposition. He was not interested in directly quoting his non-Western influences, but instead allowed this non-Western aesthetic to generally influence his own musical work, for example, by frequently using quiet, unresolved dissonances, coupled with the damper pedal, to emulate the "shimmering" effect created by a gamelan ensemble. American composer Philip Glass was not only influenced by the eminent French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, [94] but also by the Indian musicians Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha, His distinctive style arose from his work with Shankar and Rakha and their perception of rhythm in Indian music as being entirely additive. [95]

The absence of female composers from the canon has been debated in the twentieth century, even though there have been female composers throughout the classical music period. Marcia J Citron, for example, has examined "the practices and attitudes that have led to the exclusion of women [sic] composers from the received 'canon' of performed musical works." [96] Since around 1980 the music of Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), a German Benedictine abbess, and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (born 1952) has achieved international reputations. Saariaho's opera L'amour de loin has been staged in some of the world's major opera houses, including The English National Opera (2009) [97] and in 2016 the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Visual arts

The backbone of traditional Western art history are artworks commissioned by wealthy patrons for private or public enjoyment. Much of this was religious art, mostly Roman Catholic art. The classical art of Greece and Rome has, since the Renaissance, been the fount of the Western tradition.

Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) is the originator of the artistic canon and the originator of many of the concepts it embodies. His Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects covers only artists working in Italy, [98] with a strong pro-Florentine prejudice, and has cast a long shadow over succeeding centuries. Northern European art has arguably never quite caught up to Italy in terms of prestige, and Vasari's placing of Giotto as the founding father of "modern" painting has largely been retained. In painting, the rather vague term of Old master covers painters up to about the time of Goya.

This "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection present in art history textbooks, as well as the prices obtained in the art trade. But there have been considerable swings in what is valued. In the 19th century the Baroque fell into great disfavour, but it was revived from around the 1920s, by which time the art of the 18th and 19th century was largely disregarded. The High Renaissance, which Vasari regarded as the greatest period, has always retained its prestige, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, but the succeeding period of Mannerism has fallen in and out of favour.

In the 19th century the beginnings of academic art history, led by German universities, led to much better understanding and appreciation of medieval art, and a more nuanced understanding of classical art, including the realization that many if not most treasured masterpieces of sculpture were late Roman copies rather than Greek originals. The European tradition of art was expanded to include Byzantine art and the new discoveries of archaeology, notably Etruscan art, Celtic art and Upper Paleolithic art.

Since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of art made by women vernacular creativity, especially in printed media and an expansion to include works in the Western tradition produced outside Europe. At the same time there has been a much greater appreciation of non-Western traditions, including their place with Western art in wider global or Eurasian traditions. The decorative arts have traditionally had a much lower critical status than fine art, although often highly valued by collectors, and still tend to be given little prominence in undergraduate studies or popular coverage on television and in print.

Women and art

English artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth DBE (1903 – 1975), whose work exemplifies Modernism, and in particular modern sculpture, is one of the few female artists to achieve international prominence. [99] In 2016 the art of American modernist Georgia O'Keeffe has been staged at the Tate Modern, in London, and is then moving in December 2016 to Vienna, Austria, before visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada in 2017. [100]

Women were discriminated against in terms of obtaining the training necessary to be an artist in the mainstream Western traditions. In addition, since the Renaissance the nude, more often than not female, [ citation needed ] has had a special position as subject matter. In her 1971 essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?", Linda Nochlin analyzes what she sees as the embedded privilege in the predominantly male Western art world and argues that women's outsider status allowed them a unique viewpoint to not only critique women's position in art, but to additionally examine the discipline's underlying assumptions about gender and ability. [101] Nochlin's essay develops the argument that both formal and social education restricted artistic development to men, preventing women (with rare exception) from honing their talents and gaining entry into the art world. [101]

In the 1970s, feminist art criticism continued this critique of the institutionalized sexism of art history, art museums, and galleries, and questioned which genres of art were deemed museum-worthy. [102] This position is articulated by artist Judy Chicago: "[I]t is crucial to understand that one of the ways in which the importance of male experience is conveyed is through the art objects that are exhibited and preserved in our museums. Whereas men experience presence in our art institutions, women experience primarily absence, except in images that do not necessarily reflect women's own sense of themselves." [103]

Sources containing canonical lists

English literature

International literature

  • Bibliothèque de la Pléiade[104] (Modern works)
  • Great Books of the Western World
  • História da Literatura Ocidental (in Portuguese) by Otto Maria Carpeaux
  • The Harvard Classics* – books of the 20th century : One Hundred Best Books (1916) [105]
  • Verso Books' Radical Thinkers
  • ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher [de] – Die Zeit list of 100 books
    's Honors Program's Great Works List [106] (established by Scott Buchanan and Stringfellow Barr) 's Great Books Reading List [107] 's Great Texts Reading List [108]

The preface to the Blackwell anthology of Renaissance Literature from 2003 acknowledges the importance of online access to literary texts on the selection of what to include, meaning that the selection can be made on basis of functionality rather than representativity". [109] This anthology has made its selection based on three principles. One is "unabashedly canonical", meaning that Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson have been given the space prospective users would expect. A second principle is "non-canonical", giving female writers such as Anne Askew, Elizabeth Cary, Emilia Lanier, Martha Moulsworth, and Lady Mary Wroth a representative selection. It also includes texts that may not be representative of the qualitatively best efforts of Renaissance literature, but of the quantitatively most numerous texts, such as homilies and erotica. A third principle has been thematic, so that the anthology aims to include texts that shed light on issues of special interest to contemporary scholars.

The Blackwell anthology is still firmly organised around authors, however. A different strategy has been observed by The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse from 1992. [110] Here the texts are organised according to topic, under the headings The Public World, Images of Love, Topographies, Friends, Patrons and the Good Life, Church, State and Belief, Elegy and Epitaph, Translation, Writer, Language and Public. It is arguable that such an approach is more suitable for the interested reader than for the student. While the two anthologies are not directly comparable, since the Blackwell anthology also includes prose and the Penguin anthology goes up to 1659, it is telling that while the larger Blackwell anthology contains work by 48 poets, seven of which are women, the Penguin anthology contains 374 poems by 109 poets, including 13 women and one poet each in Welsh, Siôn Phylip, and Irish, Eochaidh Ó Heóghusa .

German literature

The Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century is a list of books compiled in 1999 by Literaturhaus München and Bertelsmann, in which 99 prominent German authors, literary critics, and scholars of German ranked the most significant German-language novels of the twentieth century. [111] The group brought together 33 experts from each of the three categories. [112] Each was allowed to name three books as having been the most important of the century. Cited by the group were five titles by both Franz Kafka and Arno Schmidt, four by Robert Walser, and three by Thomas Mann, Hermann Broch, Anna Seghers, and Joseph Roth. [111]

Der Kanon, edited by Marcel Reich-Ranicki, is a large anthology of exemplary works of German literature. [113]

French literature

Canon of Dutch Literature

The Canon of Dutch Literature comprises a list of 1000 works of Dutch-language literature important to the cultural heritage of the Low Countries, and is published on the DBNL. Several of these works are lists themselves such as early dictionaries, lists of songs, recipes, biographies, or encyclopedic compilations of information such as mathematical, scientific, medical, or plant reference books. Other items include early translations of literature from other countries, history books, first-hand diaries, and published correspondence. Notable original works can be found by author name.

Scandinavia

The Danish Culture Canon consists of 108 works of cultural excellence in eight categories: architecture, visual arts, design and crafts, film, literature, music, performing arts, and children's culture. An initiative of Brian Mikkelsen in 2004, it was developed by a series of committees under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture in 2006–2007 as "a collection and presentation of the greatest, most important works of Denmark's cultural heritage." Each category contains 12 works, although music contains 12 works of score music and 12 of popular music, and the literature section's 12th item is an anthology of 24 works. [114] [115]

Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) was a Swedish list of the 100 best books in the world, created in 1991 by the Swedish literary magazine Tidningen Boken . The list was compiled through votes from members of the Svenska Akademien, Swedish Crime Writers' Academy, librarians, authors, and others. Approximately 30 of the books were Swedish.

Spain

For the Spanish culture, specially for the literature in Spanish language, during the 19th and the first third of the 20th century similar lists were created trying to define the literary canon. This canon was established mainly through teaching programs, and literary critics like Pedro Estala, Antonio Gil y Zárate, Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, Ramón Menéndez Pidal, or Juan Bautista Bergua . In the last decades, other important critics have been contributing to the topic, among them, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, José Manuel Blecua Perdices , Francisco Rico, and José Carlos Mainer.

Other Spanish languages have also their own literary canons. A good introduction to the Catalan literary canon is La invenció de la tradició literària by Manel Ollé , from the Open University of Catalonia. [116]


Canon of philosophers

The discussion of the literary canon above, especially with regard to "Great Book" and the "debate" over the canon, is also relevant.

Ancient Greek philosophy has consistently held a prominent place in the canon. Only a relatively small number of works of Greek philosophy have survived, essentially those thought most worth copying in the Middle Ages. Plato, Aristotle and, indirectly, Socrates are the primary figures. Roman philosophy is included, but regarded as less significant (as it tended to be even by the Romans themselves). The ancient philosophy of other cultures now receives more attention than before the 20th century. The vast body of Christian philosophy is typically represented on reading lists mainly by Saints Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas, and the 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides is now usually represented, mostly by The Guide for the Perplexed. The academic canon of early modern philosophy generally includes Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, though influential contributions to philosophy were made by many thinkers in this period.

Women have engaged in philosophy throughout the field's history. There were female philosophers since ancient times, notably Hipparchia of Maroneia (active c. 325 BC) and Arete of Cyrene (active 5th–4th century BC), and some were accepted as philosophers during the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary eras, but almost no female philosophers have entered the philosophical Western canon. In the early 1990s, the Canadian Philosophical Association claimed that there is gender imbalance and gender bias in the academic field of philosophy. In June 2013, a US sociology professor stated that "out of all recent citations in four prestigious philosophy journals, female authors comprise just 3.6 percent of the total. While other areas of the humanities are at or near gender parity, philosophy is actually more overwhelmingly male than even mathematics."

Ancient Greeks

Many philosophers today agree that Greek philosophy has influenced much of Western culture since its inception. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." Clear, unbroken lines of influence lead from ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophers to Early Islamic philosophy, the European Renaissance, and the Age of Enlightenment. Greek philosophy was probably influenced by the philosophy and mythological cosmogonies of the ancient Near East, as well as Indian Vedanta philosophy, but philosophy, as we understand it, is a Greek creation."

Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, unlike nearly all of his philosophical contemporaries.

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist. His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government—and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy.

Aristotle's views on physical science had a profound influence on medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and his views were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. Aristotle was well known among medieval Muslim intellectuals and revered as "The First Teacher" (Template:Lang-ar). His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.

Indian philosophy

Major Western writers and philosophers have been influenced by Eastern philosophy.

Through his teacher Ammonius Saccas (died Template:Circa), the Greek speaking philosopher Plotinus may have been influenced by Indian thought, because of the similarities between neoplatonism and the Vedanta philosophies of Hinduism.

American modernist poet T S Eliot wrote that the great philosophers of India "make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys". Arthur Schopenhauer, in the preface to his book The World as Will and Representation, writes that one who "has also received and assimilated the sacred primitive Indian wisdom, then he is the best of all prepared to hear what I have to say to him" The 19th-century American philosophical movement Transcendentalism was also influenced by Indian thought.

Chinese philosophy

Chinese philosophy originates during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", philosophies and schools that flourished from the 6th century to 221 B.C. which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period (475 BC to 403 BC), though elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BC. It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism, arose, along with other schools of philosophy that later fell into obscurity,

Renaissance philosophy

Seventeenth-century philosophers

The seventeenth century was important for philosophy, and the major figures were Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), René Descartes (1596–1650), Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716).

Eighteenth-century philosophers

Major philosophers of the eighteenth century include George Berkeley (1685–1753), Montesquieu (1689-1755), Voltaire (1694–1778), David Hume (1711–1776), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), Denis Diderot (1713-1784), Adam Smith (1723–1790), Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), Edmund Burke (1729–1797) and Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832).

Nineteenth-century philosophers

Twentieth-century philosophers

Major twentieth century figures include Henri Bergson (1859–1941), Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). A porous distinction between analytic and continental approaches emerged during this period. The term "continental" is misleading, as many prominent British philosophers such as R. G. Collingwood and Michael Oakeshott were non-analytic, and many non-British European philosophers like Wittgenstein were analytic. Moreover, analytic approaches are dominant in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and parts of east-central Europe today. Some argue in English-speaking countries, it is better to distinguish between the dominant approaches of university departments, where Modern Language departments tend to favor continental methods and philosophy department tends to favor analytic ones. However, the humanities/social sciences departments in general such as history, sociology, anthropology, and political science departments in English-speaking countries tend to favor continental methods such as those by Michel Foucault (1926-1984), Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002), Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Jürgen Habermas (1929- ).

Female philosophers have begun to gain prominence in the last hundred years. Notable female philosophers from the contemporary period include Susanne Langer (1895–1985), Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986), Simone Weil (1909-1943), and Martha Nussbaum (1947– ).


Bitter Withy

In the fourth post he quotes from a web page that says:

  1. For abesta cdd. A et B read abest a cdd. A et B. The abbreviation cdd. stands for codicibus. Still, the sentence makes no sense -- "At this spot in manuscript B there follows a little story that is missing from manuscripts A and B." Is the story in manuscript B or not? Perhaps the second B should be C or some other siglum.
  2. For super radios solus read super radios solis.

Political Correctness in Hell

'Have you a Parliament in Hell?' asked Bidderdale in some surprise.

'Only quite recently. Of course we've always had chaos, but not under Parliamentary rules. Now, however, that Parliaments are becoming the fashion, in Turkey and Persia, and I suppose before long in Afghanistan and China, it seemed rather ostentatious to stand outside the movement. That young Fiend just going by is the Member for East Brimstone he'll be delighted to show you over the institution.'

'You will just be in time to hear the opening of a debate,' said the Member, as he led Bidderdale through a spacious outer lobby, decorated with frescoes representing the fall of man, the discovery of gold, the invention of playing cards, and other traditionally appropriate subjects. 'The Member for Nether Furnace is proposing a motion "that this House do arrogantly protest to the legislatures of earthly countries against the wrongful and injurious misuse of the word 'fiendish,' in application to purely human misdemeanours, a misuse tending to create a false and detrimental impression concerning the Infernal Regions."'

A feature of the Parliament Chamber itself was its enormous size. The space allotted to Members was small and very sparsely occupied, but the public galleries stretched away tier on tier as far as the eye could reach, and were packed to their utmost capacity.

'There seems to be a very great public interest in the debate,' exclaimed Bidderdale.

'Members are excused from attending the debates if they so desire,' the Fiend proceeded to explain 'it is one of their most highly valued privileges. On the other hand, constituents are compelled to listen throughout to all the speeches. After all, you must remember, we are in Hell.'

Bidderdale repressed a shudder and turned his attention to the debate.

'Nothing,' the Fiend-Orator was observing, 'is more deplorable among the cultured races of the present day than the tendency to identify fiendhood, in the most sweeping fashion, with all manner of disreputable excesses, excesses which can only be alleged against us on the merest legendary evidence. Vices which are exclusively or predominatingly human are unblushingly described as inhuman, and, what is even more contemptible and ungenerous, as fiendish. If one investigates such statements as "inhuman treatment of pit ponies" or "fiendish cruelties in the Congo," so frequently to be heard in our brother Parliaments on earth, one finds accumulative and indisputable evidence that it is the human treatment of pit ponies and Congo natives that is really in question, and that no authenticated case of fiendish agency in these atrocities can be substantiated. It is, perhaps, a minor matter for complaint,' continued the orator, 'that the human race frequently pays us the doubtful compliment of describing as "devilish funny" jokes which are neither funny nor devilish.'

Officials of Lake County, on the Canadian border, had a sensible response. They offered to rename Squaw Creek and Squaw Lake as Politically Correct Creek and Politically Correct Lake.

  • The attempt to introduce democracy to Afghan tribesmen.
  • The absence of Congressmen from congressional debates. Today they're off on golfing junkets paid for by Jack Abramoff and his ilk.
  • The public preoccupation with congressional debates. Modern political junkies can watch the spell-binding oratory of Joe Biden, Chuck Grassley, et al. on C-SPAN.
  • The persistence of fiendish cruelties in the Congo, now the "Democratic" Republic of the Congo.

Western canon

The Western canon is the body of high culture literature, music, philosophy, and works of art that is highly valued in the West: works that have achieved the status of classics. However, not all these works originate in the Western world, and such works are also valued throughout the world. It is "a certain Western intellectual tradition that goes from, say, Socrates to Wittgenstein in philosophy, and from Homer to James Joyce in literature". [2] The word canon is derived from ancient Greek κανών, kanṓn, meaning a measuring rod, or standard. The Bible, a product of ancient Jewish culture, from the Levant, in Western Asia, has been a major force in shaping Western culture, and "has inspired some of the great monuments of human thought, literature, and art". [3]

The canon of books has been fairly stable, although it has very recently expanded to include more women and racial minorities, while the canons of music and the visual arts have greatly expanded to cover the Middle Ages, and subsequent centuries once largely overlooked. But some examples of newer media such as cinema have attained a precarious position in the canon. Also during the twentieth century there has been a growing interest in the West, as well as globally, in major artistic works of the cultures of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America, including the former colonies of European nations. [ citation needed ]


Inhoud

Kennis Wysig

Tradisioneel verwys die term "filosofie" na enige kennisversameling (body of knowledge). [1] [10] In hierdie sin is filosofie nou verwant aan godsdiens, wiskunde, natuurwetenskap, onderwys en politiek. Newton se wiskundige beginsels van natuurfilosofie uit 1687 word in die 2000's geklassifiseer as 'n boek van fisika hy gebruik die term 'natuurfilosofie' omdat dit dissiplines omvat het wat later verband hou met wetenskappe soos sterrekunde, geneeskunde en fisika.

In die eerste deel van die eerste boek van sy Academica het Cicero die verdeling van filosofie in logika, fisika en etiek bekendgestel. Hy kopieer Epikurus se verdeling van sy leer in kanon, fisika en etiek. In afdeling dertien van die eerste boek van sy Vitae Philosophorum het die derde-eeuse Diogenes Laërtius, die eerste filosofiese historikus, die tradisionele verdeling van filosofiese ondersoek in drie dele aangebied:

  • Natuurlike filosofie ('fisika', uit ta physika, 'dinge wat met die natuur te make het (physis)' was die studie van die samestelling en prosesse van transformasie in die fisiese wêreld
  • Morele filosofie ('etiek', uit êthika, letterlik, 'te make met karakter, ingesteldheid, maniere') was die studie van goedheid, reg en verkeerd, geregtigheid en deug.
  • Metafisiese filosofie ('logika') was die studie van bestaan, oorsaaklikheid, God, logika, vorms en ander abstrakte voorwerpe (meta ta physika letterlik: 'Na [die boek] die Fisika) [11]

Hierdie verdeling is nie uitgedien nie, maar het verander. Die natuurfilosofie is verdeel in die verskillende natuurwetenskappe, veral sterrekunde, fisika, chemie, biologie en kosmologie. Vanuit die morele filosofie het die sosiale wetenskappe ontstaan, maar sluit steeds waardeteorie in (insluitend estetika, etiek, politieke filosofie, ens.). Vanuit die metafisiese filosofie het formele wetenskappe soos logika, wiskunde en wetenskapsfilosofie ontstaan, maar dit sluit steeds epistemologie, kosmologie en andere in.

Filosofiese vooruitgang Wysig

Baie filosofiese debatte wat in antieke tye begin het, word vandag nog bespreek. Colin McGinn en andere beweer dat geen filosofiese vooruitgang gedurende daardie periode plaasgevind het nie. [12] David Chalmers en ander sien daarenteen vooruitgang in filosofie soortgelyk aan dié in die wetenskap, [13] terwyl Talbot Brewer aangevoer het dat 'vooruitgang' die verkeerde standaard is om filosofiese aktiwiteite mee te beoordeel. [14]

Die geskiedenis van die filosofie verwys na die totaliteit van teorieë en dokrines wat deur die eeue heen deur denkers geformuleer word. Volgens The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy begin die wetenskap van die filosofie met die Indo-Iraniërs vanaf 1500 voor Christus. In die Weste verskyn vanaf die 6e eeu v.C. die eerste tekens van wat filosofie genoem word met die Oud-Griekse pre-Sokratiese denkers, gevolg deur Sokrates, wat beskou word as die ware vader van hierdie dissipline, en wie in sy voetspore volg: Plato, Aristoteles en die sokratiese skole. Die filosofie as dissipline bly groei tydens die Hellenistiese tydperk, in die besonder die stoïsisme, die epikurisme, die sinisme en die skeptiese skool, wat ook in die Romeinse tyd voortgesit word. Vanaf die latere oudheid en die middeleeue staan die neoplatonisme en die Christelike filosofie as 'n brug tussen filosofie en religie, en dié is in noue verhouding met die teologie en die Grieks-Arabiese filosofie wat in die middeleeuse filosofie ontwikkel, wat blyk uit die belangrikheid van die skolastiek in hierdie periode. Probleme wat spesifiek betrekking het op die geskiedenis van die filosofie omvat onder meer: "Hoe kan veranderinge in die filosofie histories verantwoord word?" "Hoe is die ontwikkeling van die denke uiteindelik histories te verklaar?" "In welke mate kan filosofiese tekste uit voorafgaande historiese tydperke vandag nog begryp word?"

Filosofiese vrae is oorweeg deur mense van baie tye, volkere en kulture. Die term "filosofie" in 'n Europese of Amerikaanse akademiese konteks verwys oor die algemeen na die tradisies van die westerse beskawing en word gevolglik "westerse filosofie" genoem. In die weste word die term "oosterse filosofie" meestal gebruik as omvattende term om te verwys na die filosofiese tradisies van Asië en die ooste.

Filosofiese tradisies uit spesifieke tye en geloofsrigtings word gereeld apart gesien, byvoorbeeld Antieke filosofie, Christelike filosofie, Hindoe-filosofie, ensovoorts.

Suid-Afrikaanse filosofie uit westerse tradisies word meestal gesien as deel van westerse filosofie. Die bestaan van iets soos Afrikafilosofie (of ander filosofiese tradisies) as onderskeibare tradisie word soms bespreek, maar is gewoonlik afwesig of sleg verteenwoordig in meeste akademiese besprekings oor filosofie.

Westerse filosofie Wysig

Westerse filosofie verwys na die filosofiese denke en werk van die Westerse wêreld. Histories verwys die term na die filosofiese denke van die Westerse kultuur, beginnend met die Griekse filosofie van die pre-Sokratici soos Thales van Milete (ca. 624 - ca. 546 vC) en Pythagoras (ca. 570 - ca. 495 vC), en wat uiteindelik 'n groot deel van die wêreld dek. [15] [16] Die woord filosofie self is afkomstig van die Antieke Griekse filosofie (φιλοσοφία), letterlik, "die liefde van wysheid" (φιλεῖν phileîn, "om lief te hê" en σοφία sophía, "wysheid").

Daar is verskeie hoofstrome in die moderne Westerse filosofie. Van die mees bekende hoofstrome is:

Analitiese filosofie word gekarakteriseer deur bewyse en argumente, aandag aan detail, en 'n presiese benadering tot die analise van die taal van filosofiese vrae om onduidelikheid uit die weg te ruim. Hierdie benadering domineer Engels-Amerikaanse filosofie. Dit het begin met Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore en Ludwig Wittgenstein met die draai van die 20ste eeu.

Kontinentale filosofie is 'n versamelnaam vir verskeie uiteenlopende denkrigtings, hoofsaaklik uit kontinentale Europa. Dit is gevolglik moeilik om die tradisie as sodanig te beskryf. Dit kan gekontrasteer word met die tradisie van analitiese filosofie in sommige opsigte. Waar analitiese filosowe byvoorbeeld spesifieke probleme analiseer, fokus kontinentale filosowe soms meer op die werk van sleuteldenkers en die verwantskap tussen verskillendes se werk.

Die metodes van analitiese filosofie word soms beskou as nader verwant aan dié van die wiskunde (veral wat formele argumentasie betref), terwyl kontinentale filosofie weer dikwels metodes uit die letterkunde gebruik.

Eksistensialisme word gekenmerk as 'n filosofiese beweging waar die individu homself bemoei met filosofiese vrae soos "wat is die sin van die lewe?", "wie is ek?", "wat maak ek in hierdie wêreld en hoe kan ek sin vind in realiteit?". Soren Kierkegaard word meestal beskou as die vader van eksistensialisme, maar dit is egter noodsaaklik om te besef dat daar twee vertakkinge van eksistensialisme is: Christelike eksistensialisme en Ateistiese eksistensialisme. Kierkegaard is die groot sentrale denker van die Christelike eksistensialisme en Jean-Paul Sartre word weer as die sleutelfiguur van die ateistiese eksistensialisme beskou. Hoewel Friedrich Nietzsche ook beskryf word as 'n eksistensialis kom hy eintlik meer in die beweging van nihilisme voor, hoewel hy tog 'n impak op eksistensialisme gemaak het.

Dekonstruksie is 'n beweging waarvan Jacques Derrida hoofsaaklik die sleutelfiguur was. Derrida se sentrale idee was dat die hele wêreld in werklikheid 'n "teks" is. Dekonstruksie gaan baie sterk gepaard met die beweging van poststrukturalisme.

Theodor W. Adorno vooraanstaande lid van die Frankfurt Skool skryf die boek Negatiewe Dialektiek wat deel vorm van die kritieke teorie. Hoewel Adorno gesidder het wanneer hy die woord "teorie" hoor, het hy tog erken dat 'n mens nie sonder teorie te werk kan gaan in enige vakwetenskap nie. Daarom word sy negatiewe dialektiek tog as teorie beskou. Die negatiewe dialektiek funksioneer basies as 'n teorie wat twee kontrasterende konsepte teenoor mekaar opweeg en dit in negatiewe dialektiek teenoor mekaar laat staan. Met behulp van hierdie negatiewe dialektiese verhouding, kan 'n sentrale idee of begrip gedekonstrueer word om sodoende by die kern van iets uit te kom of om die leemtes van 'n begrip of konsep aan te toon.

Midde-Oosterse filosofie Wysig

Die vroegste bekende filosofiese wysheidsliteratuur is in die streke van die vrugbare halfmaan-gebied, Iran en Arabië, en word vandag meestal deur die Islamitiese kultuur oorheers. Vroeë wysheidsliteratuur vanaf die vrugbare halfmaan was 'n genre wat probeer het om mense te onderrig oor etiese optrede, praktiese lewe en deugde deur verhale en spreekwoorde. In Antieke Egipte het hierdie tekste bekend gestaan as sebayt ('leringe') en is dit sentraal tot ons verstaan van die Antieke Egiptiese filosofie. Die Babiloniese sterrekunde bevat ook baie filosofiese bespiegelinge oor kosmologie wat die Antieke Grieke beïnvloed het. Joodse filosofie en Christelike filosofie is religio-filosofiese tradisies wat ontwikkel het in die Midde-Ooste en in Europa, wat albei sekere vroeë Judaïstiese tekste (hoofsaaklik die Tanakh) en monoteïstiese oortuigings deel. Joodse denkers soos die Geonim van die Talmudic Academies in Babilonië en Maimonides het hul besig gehou met die Griekse en Islamitiese filosofie. Later het die Joodse filosofie onder Westerse intellektuele invloede gekom en sluit die werke van Moses Mendelssohn in wat die Haskalah (die Joodse Verligting), die Joodse eksistensialisme en die Hervormde Judaïsme ingelei het.

Die pre-Islamitiese Iraanse filosofie begin met die werk van Zoroaster, een van die eerste bevorderaars van monoteïsme en van die dualisme tussen goed en kwaad. Hierdie dualistiese kosmogonie het latere Iranse ontwikkelings soos Manichaeïsme, Mazdakisme en Zurvanisme beïnvloed.

Na die Moslem-verowerings het die vroeë Islamitiese filosofie die Griekse filosofiese tradisies in nuwe innoverende rigtings ontwikkel. Hierdie Islamitiese Goue Eeu het Europese intellektuele ontwikkelings beïnvloed. Die twee hoofstrome van vroeë Islamitiese denke is Kalam wat fokus op Islamitiese teologie en Falsafa wat gebaseer is op Aristotelianisme en Neoplatonisme. Die werk van Aristoteles was baie invloedryk onder die falsafa soos al-Kindi (9de eeu), Avicenna (980 - Junie 1037) en Averroes (12de eeu). Ander soos Al-Ghazali was baie krities oor die metodes van die Aristoteliaanse falsafa. Islamitiese denkers het ook 'n wetenskaplike metode, eksperimentele medisyne, 'n teorie van optika en 'n regsfilosofie ontwikkel. Ibn Khaldun was 'n invloedryke denker in die geskiedenisfilosofie.

In Iran het verskeie skole van Islamitiese filosofie na die Goue Eeu voortgegaan en het strome soos Illuminasionistiese filosofie, Soefi-filosofie en Transendentale teosofie ingesluit. In die 19de en 20ste eeu het die Nahda-beweging (ontwaking of renaissance) die hedendaagse Islamitiese filosofie beïnvloed.

Indiese filosofie Wysig

Indiese filosofie (Sanskrit: darśana 'wêreldbeskouings', 'lering') [17] verwys na die uiteenlopende filosofiese tradisies wat sedert die antieke tyd op die Indiese subkontinent ontstaan het. Jainisme en Boeddhisme het ontstaan aan die einde van die Vediese periode, terwyl Hindoeïsme na vore gekom het na die einde van die Vediese periode as 'n samesmelting van uiteenlopende tradisies.

Hindoes klassifiseer hierdie tradisies meestal as ortodoks of heterodoks - -āstika of nāstika - afhangend van of hulle die gesag van die Vedas en die teorieë van Brahman en Atman (siel, self) daarin aanvaar. [18] [19] Die ortodokse skole sluit die Hindoe-tradisies van denke in, terwyl die heterodokse skole die Boeddhistiese en die Djain-tradisies insluit. [20] Ander skole sluit in die Ajñana, Ajivika en Cārvāka wat oor die geskiedenis uitgesterf het. [21] [22]

Belangrike Indiese filosofiese konsepte wat deur die Indiese filosofieë gedeel word, is dharma, karma, artha, kama, dukkha (lyding), anitya (anicca-verganklikheid), dhyana (jhana, meditasie), verloëning (met of sonder monastisisme of asketisme), verskillende samsara's met siklusse van wedergeboorte, moksha (nirvana, kaivalya, bevryding van wedergeboorte), en deugde soos ahimsa. [23] [24]

Djain filosfie Wysig

Djain-filosofie aanvaar die konsep van 'n permanente siel (jiva) as een van die vyf astikayas, of ewige oneindige kategorieë wat die substansie van die bestaan vorm. Die ander vier is dharma, adharma, akasha (ruimte) en pudgala (materie). Die Djain-gedagte skei materie heeltemal van die siel. [25] Dit het twee belangrike subtradisies: Digambara (lug geklee, naak) en Svetambara (wit geklee), saam met 'n aantal kleiner tradisies soos Terapanthis. [26] Asketisme is 'n groot monastiese deugd in die Djainisme. [27] Uit Djain-tekste soos die Tattvartha Sutra word verklaar dat regte geloof, regte kennis en regte gedrag die weg na bevryding is. [28] Die Djain-gedagte beweer dat alle bestaan siklies, ewig en ongeskape is. Die Tattvartha Sutra is die vroegste, mees omvattende en gesaghebbende samestelling van die Djain-filosofie.

Boeddhistiese filosofie Wysig

Boeddhistiese filosofie begin met die denke van Gautama Boeddha (Tussen sesde en vierde eeu vC) en word in die vroeë Boeddhistiese tekste bewaar. Dit het sy oorsprong in Indië en het later na Oos-Asië, Tibet, Sentraal-Asië en Suidoos-Asië versprei en verskillende tradisies in hierdie streke ontwikkel. Mahayana-vorme is die oorheersende Boeddhistiese filosofiese tradisies in Oos-Asiatiese streke soos China, Korea en Japan. Die Theravada-vorme is oorheersend in Suidoos-Asiatiese lande, soos Sri Lanka, Birma en Thailand.

Omdat onkunde oor die ware aard van dinge as een van die wortels van lyding (dukkha) beskou word, is Boeddhistiese filosofie gemoeid met epistemologie, metafisika, etiek en sielkunde. Boeddhistiese filosofiese tekste moet ook verstaan word binne die konteks van meditatiewe praktyke wat veronderstel is om sekere kognitiewe verskuiwings teweeg te bring. Belangrike innoverende konsepte sluit die Vier Edel Waarhede in as ontleding van lyding, anicca (tydelikheid) en anatta (nie-self). [29] [30]

Na die dood van die Boeddha, het verskeie groepe begin om sy belangrikste leringe sistematies te orden, wat uiteindelik tot die ontwikkeling van omvattende filosofiese stelsels genoem "Abhidharma”aanleiding gegee. [31] Na die Abhidharma skole, het Mahayana filosowe soos Nagarjuna en Vasubandhu die teorieë van sunyata (leegheid van alle verskynsels) en vijñapti-matra (slegs voorkoms) ontwikkel, 'n vorm van fenomenologie of transendentale idealisme. Die Dignāga skool van pramāṇa (letterlike vetraling, kennis) het 'n gesofistikeerde vorm van Boeddhistiese logika-epistemologie bevorder.

Daar was talle skole, sub-skole en tradisies van Boeddhistiese filosofie in Indië. Volgens Oxford professor van Boeddhistiese filosofie Jan Westerhoff, die groot Indiese skole van 300 V.C. 1000 CE was: [32]

  • Die Mahāsāṃghika tradisie.
  • Die Sthavira skole wat die volgende insluit: Sarvgestivharda, Sautrāntika, Vibhajyavāda (later bekend as Theravada in Sri Lanka), en Pudgalavharda.
  • Die Mahayana skole, hoofsaaklik die Madhyamaka, Yogachara, Tathāgatagarbha en Tantra.

Na die verdwyning van Boeddhisme uit Indië, het sommige van hierdie filosofiese tradisies voortgegaan om te ontwikkel in die Tibetaanse Boeddhistiese, Oos-Asiatiese Boeddhistiese en Theravada Boeddhistiese tradisies.

Hindoeïstiese filosofie Wysig

Die Vedas-gebaseerde ortodokse skole vorm deel van die Hindoe-tradisies en word tradisioneel in ses darsanas geklassifiseer: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā en Vedanta. [33] [34] Die Vedas as kennisbron is verskillend geïnterpreteer deur hierdie ses skole van Hindoe-filosofie, met verskillende vlakke van oorvleueling. Volgens Chadha is dit 'n versameling filosofiese sienings wat 'n tekstuele verband het'. [35] Dit weerspieël ook 'n verdraagsaamheid vir 'n verskeidenheid filosofiese interpretasies binne Hindoeïsme terwyl hulle dieselfde grondslag deel. [36]

Van die vroegste oorlewende Hindoe-mistieke en filosofiese tekste is die Upanishads uit die latere Vediese periode (1000–500 vC). Hindoe-filosowe van die ses skole het stelsels epistemologie (pramana) ontwikkel en onderwerpe soos metafisika, etiek, sielkunde (guna), hermeneutiek en soteriologie ondersoek binne die raamwerk van die Vediese kennis, terwyl hulle 'n uiteenlopende versameling interpretasies aangebied het. [37]

Oos-Asiatiese filosofie Wysig

Oos-Asiatiese filosofiese denke het in Antieke China begin, en Chinese filosofie begin gedurende die Westerse Zhou-dinastie en die daaropvolgende periodes na die val daarvan toe die 'Honderd Skole van denke' gefloreer het (6de eeu tot 221 vC). [38] [39] Hierdie periode is gekenmerk deur beduidende intellektuele en kulturele ontwikkelings en die opkoms van die belangrikste filosofiese skole van China, Konfusianisme, Legalisme en Daoïsme asook talle ander minder invloedryke skole. Hierdie filosofiese tradisies het metafisiese, politieke en etiese teorieë ontwikkel soos Tao, Jin en jang, Ren en Li, wat saam met die Chinese Boeddhisme die Koreaanse filosofie, die Vietnamese filosofie en die Japannese filosofie (wat ook die inheemse Shinto-tradisie insluit) direk beïnvloed het. Boeddhisme het gedurende die Han-dinastie (206 vC - 220 nC) in China aangekom, deur middel van 'n geleidelike transmissie deur die Syroete en deur inheemse invloede verskillende Chinese vorme (soos Chan / Zen) ontwikkel wat versprei het oor die Oos-Asiatiese kulturele sfeer. Gedurende latere Chinese dinastieë soos die Ming-dinastie (1368–1644) sowel as in die Koreaanse Joseon-dinastie (1392–1897) het 'n herlewende Neo-Konfusianisme onder leiding van denkers soos Wang Yangming (1472–1529) die dominante denkskool geword, en is deur die keiserlike staat bevorder.

In die moderne era het Chinese denkers idees uit die Westerse filosofie opgeneem. Chinese Marxistiese filosofie het ontwikkel onder die invloed van Mao Zedong, terwyl 'n Chinese pragmatisme onder Hu Shih en die opkoms van Neo-Konfusianisme deur Xiong Shili beïnvloed is. Moderne Japannese denke het intussen ontwikkel onder sterk Westerse invloede soos die bestudering van die Westerse wetenskappe (Rangaku) en die modernistiese Meirokusha-intellektuele samelewing wat voortvloei uit die Europese verligtingsgedagtes. In die 20ste eeu het die staat Shinto en ook Japanese nasionalisme ontstaan. Die Kyoto-skool, 'n invloedryke en unieke Japannese filosofiese skool, het ontwikkel uit Westerse fenomenologie en Middeleeuse Japannese Boeddhistiese filosofie soos dié van Dogen.

Afrika filosofie Wysig

Afrika filosofie is filosofie wat geproduseer word deur Afrikane, filosofie wat Afrika-wêreldbeskouings, idees en temas aanbied, of filosofie wat spesifieke Afrika-filosofiese metodes gebruik. Die moderne Afrika-denke is besig met etnofilosofie, veral met die definisie van die betekenis van Afrika filosofie en die unieke eienskappe daarvan en wat dit beteken om 'n Afrikaan te wees. [40] Gedurende die 17de eeu het die Ethiopiese filosofie 'n robuuste literêre tradisie ontwikkel soos deur Zera Yacob geïllustreer. 'n Ander vroeë Afrikaanse filosoof was Anton Wilhelm Amo (ca. 1703–1759) wat 'n gerespekteerde filosoof in Duitsland geword het. Spesifieke filosofiese idees in Afrika sluit in Ujamaa, die Bantoe-idee van 'Magte', Négritude, Pan-Afrikanisme en Ubuntu. Hedendaagse Afrika-denke het ook die ontwikkeling van die professionele filosofie en die Africana-filosofie gesien, die filosofiese literatuur van die Afrika-diaspora wat strome soos swart eksistensialisme deur Afro-Amerikaners insluit. Sommige moderne Afrika-denkers is beïnvloed deur marxisme, Afro-Amerikaanse literatuur, kritiese teorie, kritiese rasteorie, postkolonialisme en feminisme.

Inheemse Amerikaanse filosofie Wysig

Inheemse Amerikaanse filosofiese denke bestaan uit 'n wye verskeidenheid oortuigings en tradisies tussen verskillende Amerikaanse kulture. Onder sommige Inheemse Amerikaanse gemeenskappe is daar 'n geloof in 'n metafisiese beginsel wat die 'Groot Gees' genoem word (Siouan: wakȟáŋ tȟáŋka Algonquian: gitche manitou). 'n Ander wyd gedeelde konsep was die van orenda ('geestelike krag'). Volgens Whiteley (1998) word vir die inheemse Amerikaanse gemeenskappe die gees krities ingelig deur "transendentale ervaring (drome, visioene, ensovoorts), sowel as deur rede.” [41] Die praktyke om toegang tot hierdie transendentale ervarings te kry, word shamanisme genoem. 'n Ander kenmerk van die inheemse Amerikaanse wêreldbeskouings was die uitbreiding van etiek tot nie-menslike diere en plante. [41] [42]

In Meso-Amerika was die Asteke-filosofie 'n intellektuele tradisie wat ontwikkel is deur individue genaamd Tlamatini ('die wat iets weet') [43] en die idees daarvan word in verskillende Asteke-kodes gehou. Die Asteke-wêreldbeskouing stel die konsep van 'n uiteindelike universele energie of krag genaamd Ōmeteōtl ('dualistiese kosmiese energie') voor, wat 'n manier gesoek het om in balans te leef met 'n voortdurend veranderende, 'gladde' wêreld.

Die teorie van Teotl kan gesien word as 'n vorm van panteïsme. [44] Asteek-filosowe het teorieë oor metafisika, epistemologie, waardes en estetika ontwikkel. Asteke-etiek was gefokus op die soek na tlamatiliztli ('kennis', 'wysheid') wat gebaseer was op matigheid en balans in alle handelinge, soos in die Nahua-spreekwoord "die middelste goed is nodig." [44]

Die Inka-beskawing het ook 'n elite-klas filosoofgeleerdes genoem, die Amawtakuna, wat belangrik was in die Inka-onderwysstelsel as onderwysers van godsdiens, tradisie, geskiedenis en etiek. Sleutelkonsepte van die Andes-denke is Yanantin en Masintin, wat 'n teorie bevat van 'komplementêre teenoorgesteldes' wat polariteite (soos manlik / vroulik, donker / lig) as interafhanklike dele van 'n harmonieuse geheel beskou. [45]

Vroue in filosofie Wysig

Alhoewel mans oor die algemeen die filosofiese diskoers oorheers het, het vrouefilosowe dwarsdeur die geskiedenis betrokke geraak. Antieke voorbeelde is Hipparchia van Maroneia (aktief ongeveer 325 vC) en Arete van Cyrene (aktief 5 tot 4de eeu vC). Sommige vrouefilosowe is aanvaar gedurende die Middeleeuse en moderne eras, maar geeneen het deel geword van die Westerse kanon tot in die 20ste en 21ste eeu toe baie mense daarop dui dat G.E.M. Anscombe, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir en Susanne Langer die kanon binnegegaan het. [46] [47] [48]

In die vroeë 1800's het sommige kolleges en universiteite in die Verenigde Koninkryk en die VSA vroue begin toelaat en meer vroulike akademici opgelewer. Nietemin dui die Amerikaanse onderwysdepartemente uit die negentigerjare aan dat min vroue in die filosofie beland het, en dat filosofie een van die minste gelyke geslagsverdeling in die geesteswetenskappe aandui, terwyl vroue êrens tussen 17% en 30% van die filosofiese fakulteit uitmaak volgens enkele studies. [49]

Filosofiese vraagstukke kan in verskillende velde gegroepeer word. Hierdie groeperings laat filosowe toe om op 'n stel soortgelyke onderwerpe te konsentreer en met ander denkers wat in dieselfde vrae belangstel, te kommunikeer. Die groeperinge vergemaklik ook filosofie vir studente om te benader. Studente kan die basiese beginsels wat by een aspek van die veld betrokke is, leer sonder om oorweldig te word met die hele stel filosofiese teorieë.

Verskeie bronne bied verskillende skemas van kategorisering aan. Die kategorieë wat in hierdie artikel aangeneem word, streef na breedte en eenvoud. Hierdie vyf hoofvertakkings kan in ondervertakkings geskei word en elke ondervertakking bevat baie spesifieke studierigtings: [50] [51]

Hierdie indelings is nie volledig nie, en ook nie onderling uitsluitend nie. ('n Filosoof kan spesialiseer in Kantiaanse epistemologie, of Platoniese estetika, of moderne politieke filosofie). Verder oorvleuel hierdie filosofiese ondersoeke soms met mekaar en met ander navrae soos wetenskap, godsdiens of wiskunde. [52]

Epistemologie Wysig

Epistemologie is die vertakking van die filosofie wat kennis bestudeer. [53] Epistemoloë ondersoek vermoedelike bronne van kennis, waaronder perseptuele ervaring, rede, geheue en getuienis. Hulle ondersoek ook vrae oor die aard van waarheid, geloof, regverdiging en rasionaliteit. [54]

Een van die opvallendste epistemologiese debatte in die vroeë moderne periode was tussen empirisme en rasionalisme. Empirisme plaas klem op waarnemingsbewyse via sensoriese ervaring as die bron van kennis. Empirisme word geassosieer met 'n posteriori-kennis wat verkry word deur ervaring (soos wetenskaplike kennis). Rasionalisme plaas klem op rede as 'n bron van kennis. Rasionalisme word geassosieer met a priori-kennis, wat onafhanklik is van ervaring (soos logika en wiskunde).

Filosofiese skeptisisme, wat sommige of alle aansprake op kennis betwyfel, was dwarsdeur die geskiedenis van die filosofie 'n onderwerp van belang. Filosofiese skeptisisme dateer duisende jare terug uit antieke filosowe soos Pyrrho van Elis, en verskyn prominent in die werke van die moderne filosowe René Descartes en David Hume. Skeptisisme is 'n sentrale onderwerp in hedendaagse epistemologiese debatte. [54]

Een sentrale debat in die hedendaagse epistemologie is oor die voorwaardes wat nodig is vir 'n opvatting om as kennis gereken te word, wat waarheid en regverdiging kan insluit. Hierdie debat was grotendeels die resultaat van pogings om die Gettier-probleem op te los. [54] 'n Ander algemene onderwerp van kontemporêre debatte is die terugvalprobleem, wat voorkom wanneer jy probeer om enige opvatting, stelling of voorstel te bewys of te regverdig. Die probleem is dat die bron van die regverdiging ookal mag wees, die bron moet óf sonder regverdiging wees (in welke geval dit as 'n arbitrêre grondslag vir geloof moet beskou word), of dit moet 'n verdere regverdiging hê (in welke geval die regverdiging óf moet wees die resultaat van sirkulêre redenering, soos in samehang, of die resultaat van 'n oneindige terugval, soos in oneindigheid). [54]

Metafisika Wysig

Metafisika is die bestudering van die algemeenste kenmerke van die werklikheid, soos bestaan, tyd, voorwerpe en hul eienskappe, omvang en hul dele, gebeure, prosesse en oorsaak en die verhouding tussen gees en liggaam. Metafisika sluit kosmologie in, die bestudering van die wêreld in sy geheel en ontologie, die studie van wese.

'n Groot besprekingspunt is tussen realisme, wat die standpunt handhaaf dat daar entiteite is wat onafhanklik van hul geestelike persepsie bestaan en idealisme, wat meen dat die werklikheid geestelik gekonstrueer of andersins immaterieel is. Metafisika fokus op die onderwerp van identiteit. Essensie is die stel eienskappe wat 'n objek maak wat dit fundamenteel is en waarsonder dit sy identiteit verloor terwyl 'n geluk 'n eienskap is wat die voorwerp het, waarsonder die voorwerp steeds sy identiteit kan behou. Die konkrete is voorwerpe wat beweer word dat hulle in ruimte en tyd bestaan, in teenstelling met abstrakte voorwerpe, soos getalle en universele beginsels, wat eienskappe is wat gehou word deur veelvuldige besonderhede, soos rooiheid of geslag. Die tipe bestaan, indien enige, van universele beginsels en abstrakte voorwerpe is 'n debatspunt.

Logika Wysig

Logika is die studie van redenasie en argumente.

Deduktiewe redenasie is wanneer gevolgtrekkings onvermydelik geïmpliseer word, gegewe sekere uitgangspunte. Afleidingsreëls word gebruik om gevolgtrekkings soos modus ponens af te lei, waar gegee word dat "A" en "As A dan B", dan moet "B" afgelei word.

Omdat gesonde redenering 'n noodsaaklike element van alle wetenskappe, [55] sosiale wetenskappe en geesteswetenskappe, is, het logika 'n formele wetenskap geword. Subvelde sluit in wiskundige logika, filosofiese logika, modale logika, berekeningslogika en nie-klassieke logika. 'n Belangrike vraag in die filosofie van wiskunde is of wiskundige entiteite objektief is en ontdek word, wat wiskundige realisme genoem word, of uitgedink word, wat wiskundige antirealisme genoem word.


Seneca to Lucilius: old age and death

The 26th letter written by Seneca to his friend Lucilius begins in this fashion:

“I give thanks to myself, in your presence, that I do not sense any impairment in my mind, even though I do in my body. Only my faults have grown old, and those parts of me that pay service to my faults.” (XXVI.1-2)

When he wrote his letters Seneca was living the last years of his life, and even though he had of course no knowledge that those years would come to an abrupt end once the order to commit suicide had been delivered by Nero’s guards, he felt it in his bones. Still, he is thankful that his mind is still sharp, even though his body is decaying, as befits a Stoic who puts premium on his faculty of judgment and considers the body a preferred indifferent. I find it endearing that Seneca immediately mentions his faults, that persist because there are parts of him that keep paying service to them. We try to become better people, but we are still very fallible humans.

“My mind tells me to ponder the matter and to discern what of my tranquility and moderate habits I owe to wisdom and what to my time of life also, to distinguish carefully between things I cannot do and things I do not want to do.” (XXVI.3)

This is a dense passage, addressing two separate issues. The first one is the open question of how much his serenity of mind and temperance of habit is the result of his own efforts at becoming more virtuous, or simply of the fact that he is getting old. The answer, for most of us, is probably an inextricable combination of the two, though there certainly are examples of old people who are neither serene nor temperate.

The second part is a reminder to himself of a version of the dichotomy of control: some things are simply not in our power, so we don’t get to take credit for not doing them. What we should focus instead is on the bits that are under our control, because we are definitely responsible for those. This is the virtue of practical wisdom, or phronesis in Greek (and prudentia in Latin): it is the knowledge of good and evil, and specifically the knowledge that the only truly good and truly evil things are those that fall under our control. Our own correct judgments are the only good (for us), and our own incorrect judgments are the only evil (for us).

“It is a very big problem, you say, for a person to wither and perish and — if I may speak accurately — to melt away. For we are not knocked flat all at once rather, we waste away a little at a time, as each day erodes our strength.” (XXVI.4)

A quick and sudden death is easy and preferable, but the reality is that most of us will decay slowly, losing both our physical and likely mental strength in the process. That’s the hard challenge of nearing the end, and that’s why how we approach death is the ultimate test of our character. How will we react to our increase dependency on others? Is it better to hang around until the very last minute, or walk through the open door, as Epictetus puts it, while we are still in control? Hence this interesting bit of self doubt:

“I am unafraid as I prepare myself for that day when the artifices and disguises will be stripped away and I shall make judgment of myself. Is it just brave talk, or do I mean what I say? Were they for real, those defiant words I spoke against fortune, or were they just theater — just acting a part?” (XXVI.5)

It’s good practice to ask ourselves the same question, not just about death, but about how we conduct ourselves every day: are we really trying, however imperfectly, to live the Stoic life, or is it just talk? As all Stoics, Seneca puts limited value in theoretical learning (as important as it is). The proof, as we say, is in the pudding:

“Lectures and learned seminars and sayings culled from the teachings of philosophers and educated conversation do not reveal the mind’s real strength. For speech is bold even where the speaker is among the most timorous. What you have achieved will be revealed only when you breathe your last.” (XXVI.6)

Setting aside the substance of what Seneca is saying here, let’s pause for a second to appreciate the beauty of his writing. This why pretty much all translations of Seneca are good, because it is almost impossible to botch the job when one is served with such astounding prose.

“You are younger than I, but what does it matter? Years are not given out by quota. There’s no way to know the point where death lies waiting for you, so you must wait for death at every point.” (XXVI.7)

This is a crucial, and so commonly underappreciated point. We often speak of someone dying “prematurely” if they die young, or even young-ish. But we based that on statistical expectations. From the point of view of the Logos, the cosmic web of cause and effect, there is no such thing as too early or too late. Things happen when they happen. And this bit of theoretical understanding has the potential to be of enormous practical interest, if we internalize the thought and act accordingly: do not waste time, for the simple reason that you don’t know how much of a reserve you have in the bank.

Seneca then quotes the archrival Epicurus, who tells us to “rehearse for death.” Seneca explains to his friend that this is really an injunction to rehearse for freedom, because death is freedom from the shackles imposed by life on our bodies and minds. Life itself is a preferred indifferent, for the Stoic, and too much love of life is not a good thing, as it can lead us to act unvirtuously. Which explains the concluding words of the letter:

“There is but one chain that binds us: the love of life. That, admittedly, we may not discard yet we must lessen it.” (XXVI.9)


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