Introduction to Philosophy

Topics: Karl Marx, Marxism, Philosophy Pages: 7 (890 words) Published: August 21, 2014
Philosophy of Man: Notes
Historical Background
I. Pre-Socratic Period
- also known as the Cosmological Period (cosmos meaning universe) *questions about human existence and subsistence (basic needs) Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers:
- Anaxagoras
- Thales (he held that water is the fundamental stuff of all things, saying “All is water”) - Anaximander
- Xenophanes
- Heraclitus
- Anaximenes
Empiricism – a theory which states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience II. Socratic Period
- also known as the Era of Scientific Discoveries
III. Church Period
- also known as the Theological/Dogmatic Period
Dogmatic – from the word dogma (teachings of the Catholic church) Martin Luther – the most controversial bishop during his time; he questioned the teachings of the Catholic church
IV. Rebellion Period
- also known as the Period of Protestantism
*Martin Luther started Protestantism and established the Lutheran church; he questioned the indispensability of the pontis and the institution of the sacraments (holy order and marriage) division of the Catholic church:

- Roman Catholic
- Greek Orthodox
4 legal systems:
- English law
- Roman law

- Arabic/Mohammedan law
- Anglo-American law

V. Renaissance Period
- renaissance meaning rebirth
- also known as the Arts and Literature Period (which focused on religion)

VI. Modern Period
- also known as the Period of Industrialization
 introduction to machines
 social problem of unemployment arose
 battle between man and machines
2 social classes:
 bourgeoisie – the ruling class of the two basic classes of capitalist society, consisting of capitalists, manufacturers, bankers, and other employers. The bourgeoisie owns the most important of the means of production, through which it exploits the working class  proletariat - the class of workers, especially industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive, the lowest or poorest class of people Friedrich Engels – mentor of Karl Marx

*Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels campaigned for a classless society known as communism communism - the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society; people don’t have private ownership

Das Kapital – one of the major works of the 19th-century economist and philosopher Karl Marx (1818–83), in which he expounded his theory of the capitalist system, its dynamism, and its tendencies toward self-destruction. He described his purpose as to lay bare “the economic law of motion of modern society.”

Lenin and Stalin – leaders of the Russian Revolution who first introduced communism


(zero ownership)


(ownership by few)


(controlled by the majority of people)

Definition of Philosophy
- from the words “de finire” meaning “to limit”
3 types of definition:
1. Etymological – derived from the word “etymos” meaning “origin” Etymology of Philosophy
by Pythagoras


greek words

2. Nominal – derived from the word “nomen” meaning “name” 3. Real definition – maybe conceptual or operational definition Real definition of Philosophy
a science of beings that investigates
the ultimate causes of things, events,
etc., with the aid of human reason

*philosophers investigate by asking questions
human reason – the instrument in philosophy
branches of science:
 natural  social  physical -

e.g. physics

beings – subject matter of philosophy; anything that exists 2 types of beings:
a) potential – exists without intrinsic contradiction
b) actual – exists with intrinsic contradiction
(theology - focused
on the study of

- man
- plants
- animals...
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