Searching for an essay?

Browse our database of more than 2000 essays donated by our community members!

Category: Philosophy

Philosophy of Religion

There are laws of this universe that humankind does not understand the origins of. Humans are limited by their limited (but growing) knowledge. A God would be greater than the most unlimited force imaginable, for God would be omnipotent. God, if he exists, is perfect. Philosophers try to determine the . . . Read more

Racism David Hume’s View

David Hume is a philosopher highly respected for his clarity of thought and constructive use of skepticism. His skepticism, however, did not extend to all the prejudices of his time: I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized . . . Read more

Hume and Kant on Causality

Kant famously attempted to “answer” what he took to be Hume’s skeptical view of causality, most explicitly in the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783); and, because causality, for Kant, is a central example of a category or pure concept of the understanding, his relationship to Hume on this topic . . . Read more

Machiavelli and Plato

This paper considers some of the opinions of these men, as given in The Prince and The Republic. (13 pages; 2 sources; MLA citation style) Introduction We can learn a lot about our world from those who have gone before, even if they are removed from us by hundreds, even . . . Read more

Kant on Transcendental Deduction

This paper examines Section 25 of Transcendental Deduction, contained in Critique of Pure Reason, in detail. (13 pages; 2 sources; MLA citation style. Introduction Immanuel Kant’s work entitled Critique of Pure Reason is considered by many to be one of the most important philosophical studies ever written. In it, Kant . . . Read more

Idealism in Kierkegaard and Hegel

This paper examines the way in which Kierkegaard and Hegel’s writings express their idealism. (10+ pages; 4 sources; MLA citation style. Introduction The dictionary defines “idealism” as “behaviour or thought based on a conception of things as they should be or as one would wish them to be.” A moment’s . . . Read more

Self Transformation in Machiavelli and St. Augustine

This paper discusses self-transformation as described in The Prince and Confessions. (3 pages; 2 sources; MLA citation style. Introduction Self-transformation (or “reinventing” oneself) is not new; it’s been a necessary part of politics of all kinds for centuries. This paper looks at what Machiavelli and St. Augustine have to say . . . Read more

Allegory of the Cave

In the Allegory of the Cave Plato represents man’s condition as being “chained in a cave,” with only a fire behind him. He perceives the world by watching the shadows on the wall. He sits in darkness with the false light of the fire and does not realize that this . . . Read more

Philosophy on the Knowledge of God

Throughout history, there has been a concept of a greater being(s) that guided our lives. In the beginning, the main idea was that of plurality and polytheism. In ancient Greece and Rome, there were various gods that were believed to control different aspects of life. At some point, people began . . . Read more

Moral Behavior in Today’s World

Morality describes the principles that rule our behaviour. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. In today’s world, morality is often thought of as belonging to a particular religious point of view. Everyone sticks to a moral doctrine of some kind. Morality, as it relates to our . . . Read more

The Question Of Truth

The goal of any philosopher is to find what can only be referred to as “truth.” Truth is the undeniable, that which can be relied upon in any circumstances, obviously the one thing in life that has real meaning. Unfortunately, truth is quite elusive, as philosophers have been going at . . . Read more

Examine the via negativa

Examine the via negativa as an approach to understanding the nature of God. Another word for via negativa is the apophatic way. It comes from the Greek word ‘apophasis’, which means negation. It argues that God cannot be known in terms of human categories. God is beyond all signs and . . . Read more

Teachings and Philosophies of Gandhi

The roots of civil disobedience exercised today stem from Gandhi’s teachings, philosophy and practices. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a.k.a. Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma meaning great soul, was born in 1869 in India. Gandhi was a great humanist, a social reformer of fight imperialism morally and non-violently. In the early twentieth century, India . . . Read more

Darwinism and Materialism

Most people think the theory of evolution was first proposed by Charles Darwin and rests on scientific evidence, observations and experiments. However, in the same way, that Darwin was not its originator neither does the theory rest on scientific proof. The theory consists of an adaptation to the nature of . . . Read more

Philosophy of Free Will and Necessity

In his essay, “Freedom and Necessity”, A.J. Ayer maps out his argument for Determinism, the idea that humans act the way they do because of the way already existing factors in their lives incline them to, and not of their own free will. These already existing factors are known as . . . Read more

Descartes’ Skeptical Method of Doubt

Descartes’ main task in the Meditations was to devise a system that would bring him to the truth. He wanted to build a foundational philosophy; a basic structure from which all further intellectual inquiry could be built. It was essential that his foundational beliefs were sound. If any one of . . . Read more

Philisophical Examinaiton of Plato’s Dialogues

In Plato’s dialogues, Euthyphro, Apology and Crito, Socrates demonstrates his belief that “the most important thing is not life, but the good life”(Crito 48b). Socrates believed that a good life is equivalent to one that is just and honourable. The good life is also one where the beliefs and morals . . . Read more

Philosophies on Beauty

Wolf’s basic thesis states that there is a relationship between female liberation and female beauty: “The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us…During the past decade, women breached the power structure; . . . Read more

Philosophies on the Existence of God

Aquinas, Anselm, Paley and Kant all famous philosophers, have proven that god exists; yet people still question God’s existence. As Anselm said, “We are like students who, unable to solve a mathematical problem, are given the answer to it and then discover they can reason out why that answer is . . . Read more

Philosophies of Hume

Hume accepts that the problems of philosophy are those Descartes isolates; he rejects all of Descartes’s solutions. Hume asks the question how does the mind work? What are the principles that the mind follows when it thinks? These questions are answered in Hume’s “ Enquiry concerning Human understanding” section II. . . . Read more

Proposal for Institutionalized Revenge in Society

Restorative justice facilitators today are taught to cringe at the word “retributive”. We learn that retributive justice is the antithesis to restorative principles, and is a necessary evil at best. However, the logic behind this assumption is flawed, and hence not conducive to the optimum restoration that restorative justice ideally . . . Read more

On the Philosophy of Descartes

Seven men have come to stand out from all their counterparts in what has come to be known as the ‘modern’ period in the history of philosophy: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.” Essentially these modern philosophers, with perhaps the exception of Kant, have been classified into two . . . Read more

Philosophy Analysis of The Apology by Socrates

In The Apology, Socrates talks positively about an instance in which he committed an act of civil disobedience, but in The Crito he argues that civil disobedience is not an acceptable option. These two claims are irreconcilable. Although Socrates claims that civil disobedience is never alright, he insists he would . . . Read more

Personal Philosophy on Life

I have no single philosophy for life, but rather three philosophies. Each of which has a different meaning. My three philosophies include the following: work hard, take pride in myself and the accomplishments that I make, and also everyone is on this planet for a reason. In the following paragraphs, . . . Read more

Philosophy Essay: Socrates on Definitions

Late in his life, Socrates went around the marketplace having discussions with the countrymen. He believed that if someone claimed to know what X was then they should be able to define it. So he would usually ask a question such as, what is X? Socrates would not be pleased . . . Read more

Scope of Impartial Philosophy

In a society that moulds individuals to think in particular ways, it is rare for someone to defy its aimless influence. Aimlessness can be defied only by having an aim. This aim must not be a pursuit of one’s emotions and whims, or of an arbitrary goal one chooses. Only . . . Read more

Religous Language

Many philosophers have argued against the verification and the falsification criterion of meaning, and its challenge to religious language. However, the falsification theory in religious language can be considered “meaningless” since true believers exercise faith, but do not allow any evidence to count against their ideas. Criticism of logical positivism . . . Read more

Evaluation of Candide and Leibnitzian Optimism

“Everything happens for the best, in this the best of all possible worlds.” This is a statement that can be found many times within Voltaire’s Candide. Voltaire rejected Lebitizian Optimism, using Candide as a means for satirizing what was wrong with the world, and showing that, in reality, this is . . . Read more

A Critique of the Works of Immanuel Kant

But if the mind actively generates perception, this raises the question of whether the result has anything to do with the world, or if so, how much. The answer to the question, unusual, ambiguous, or confusing as it was, made for endless trouble both in Kant’s thought and for a . . . Read more

Examining a Philosophy of History

That history contains errors, will not come as news to a person who has reflected on the topic. The very first history, a Greek one, History of Herodotus, written around 450 BC, likely had quite a number of fictional details so as to effect its purpose.1 Those parts of our . . . Read more

A Comparison of Plato and Aristotle

Plato versus Aristotle Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers in the 4th century, hold polar views on politics and philosophy in general. This fact is very cleverly illustrated by Raphael’s “School of Athens” (1510-11; Stanza Della Segnatura, Vatican), where Plato is portrayed looking up to the higher forms; and Aristotle is . . . Read more

Philosophy Of Law: Command Theory of Law

In an attempt to answer the question “What the law is?” Professor J. L. Austin proposes a “Command Theory of Law”. One way of understanding this theory of traditional positivism is to compare it to the famous empires of Medieval Japan. These empires consisted of a single Emperor, or a . . . Read more

Machiavelli’s Philosophy on Human Nature

In The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli presents a view of governing a state that is drastically different from that of humanists of his time. Machiavelli believes the ruling Prince should be the sole authority determining every aspect of the state and put in effect a policy which would serve his best . . . Read more

Does Absolute Understanding Exist?

What is Absolute Understanding? Does Absolute Understanding Exist? Absolute Understanding An elephant was brought to a group of blind men who had never encountered such an animal before. One felt a leg and reported that an elephant is a great living pillar. Another felt the trunk and reported that an . . . Read more

What is the Meaning of Life?

Does life have a meaning? Life, it might be argued, is the distinguishing feature of all organisms and may most usefully be thought of as involving various kinds of complex systems of the organization providing individual organisms with the ability to make use of those energy sources available to them . . . Read more

Human Nature and Philosophy

Human beings are physical objects, according to Hobbes, sophisticated machines all of whose functions and activities can be described and explained in purely mechanistic terms. Even though itself, therefore, must be understood as an instance of the physical operation of the human body. Sensation, for example, involves a series of . . . Read more

Essay on Kantian Philosophy vs. Nietsche

Kant escapes the limitations of the apparent world by viewing it through a strictly rational perspective; Neitzsche also achieves this through the will to power of his original code of ethics. Kantian philosophy escapes the apparent world through reason, void of any influence of the thought of desires, inclinations and . . . Read more

Descartes Views on Legislator Versus Smith & Rousseau

Western Political Thought Midterm: Part II, Question 1 Is Descartes’ idea of the role of the founder/legislator types similar to those put forth by Smith and Rousseau? Indeed, are Descartes’ and Rousseau’s ideas of founders indistinguishable? The sovereign’s role within a government of a state has been debated for hundreds . . . Read more

Confucianism, Daoism & Legalism

Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such profound impact in the field of politics, religion and philosophy. Even to the day, their influence can be espied in the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school . . . Read more

Ethics Of The Hellenistic World

In comparing the ethical theories of the Epicureans, Aristotle, and the Stoics it’s found that they possess three separate ideas. These ideas are different in their individual beliefs; yet attempt to accomplish the same goals of creating inner peace and a sense of well-being in their followers. Generally, these three . . . Read more

Humanism Research paper

Humanism is the philosophical idea that emphasizes the dignity and worth of the individual. The term humanism is most often used to describe a literary and cultural movement that spread through Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome and other Italian cities in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It involved a revival . . . Read more