Topic: Philosophy/Philosophical literature

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🔗 Simulacra and Simulation

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books

Simulacra and Simulation (French: Simulacres et Simulation) is a 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard, in which the author seeks to examine the relationships between reality, symbols, and society, in particular the significations and symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing an understanding of shared existence.

Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no original, or that no longer have an original. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.

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🔗 Nicomachean Ethics

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Politics 🔗 Philosophy/Ancient philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics (; Ancient Greek: Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, Ēthika Nikomacheia) is the name normally given to Aristotle's best-known work on ethics. The work, which plays a pre-eminent role in defining Aristotelian ethics, consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes from his lectures at the Lyceum. The title is often assumed to refer to his son Nicomachus, to whom the work was dedicated or who may have edited it (although his young age makes this less likely). Alternatively, the work may have been dedicated to his father, who was also called Nicomachus.

The theme of the work is a Socratic question previously explored in the works of Plato, Aristotle's friend and teacher, of how men should best live. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle described how Socrates, the friend and teacher of Plato, had turned philosophy to human questions, whereas pre-Socratic philosophy had only been theoretical. Ethics, as now separated out for discussion by Aristotle, is practical rather than theoretical, in the original Aristotelian senses of these terms. In other words, it is not only a contemplation about good living, because it also aims to create good living. It is therefore connected to Aristotle's other practical work, the Politics, which similarly aims at people becoming good. Ethics is about how individuals should best live, while the study of politics is from the perspective of a law-giver, looking at the good of a whole community.

The Nicomachean Ethics is widely considered one of the most important historical philosophical works, and had an important impact upon the European Middle Ages, becoming one of the core works of medieval philosophy. It therefore indirectly became critical in the development of all modern philosophy as well as European law and theology. Many parts of the Nicomachean Ethics are well known in their own right, within different fields. In the Middle Ages, a synthesis between Aristotelian ethics and Christian theology became widespread, in Europe as introduced by Albertus Magnus. While various philosophers had influenced Christendom since its earliest times, in Western Europe Aristotle became "the Philosopher". The most important version of this synthesis was that of Thomas Aquinas. Other more "Averroist" Aristotelians such as Marsilius of Padua were controversial but also influential. (Marsilius is for example sometimes said to have influenced the controversial English political reformer Thomas Cromwell.)

A critical period in the history of this work's influence is at the end of the Middle Ages, and beginning of modernity, when several authors such as Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, argued forcefully and largely successfully that the medieval Aristotelian tradition in practical thinking had become a great impediment to philosophy in their time. However, in more recent generations, Aristotle's original works (if not those of his medieval followers) have once again become an important source. More recent authors influenced by this work include Alasdair MacIntyre, G. E. M. Anscombe, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martha Nussbaum and Avital Ronell.

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🔗 Against Method

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophy of science 🔗 Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy

Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge is a 1975 book about the philosophy of science by Paul Feyerabend, in which the author argues that science is an anarchic enterprise, not a nomic (customary) one. In the context of this work, the term anarchy refers to epistemological anarchy.

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🔗 Gödel, Escher, Bach

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books 🔗 Philosophy/Logic

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, also known as GEB, is a 1979 book by Douglas Hofstadter. By exploring common themes in the lives and works of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the book expounds concepts fundamental to mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence. Through illustration and analysis, the book discusses how, through self-reference and formal rules, systems can acquire meaning despite being made of "meaningless" elements. It also discusses what it means to communicate, how knowledge can be represented and stored, the methods and limitations of symbolic representation, and even the fundamental notion of "meaning" itself.

In response to confusion over the book's theme, Hofstadter emphasized that Gödel, Escher, Bach is not about the relationships of mathematics, art, and music—but rather about how cognition emerges from hidden neurological mechanisms. One point in the book presents an analogy about how individual neurons in the brain coordinate to create a unified sense of a coherent mind by comparing it to the social organization displayed in a colony of ants.

The tagline "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll" was used by the publisher to describe the book.

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🔗 The Society of the Spectacle

🔗 France 🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books 🔗 Politics 🔗 Socialism 🔗 Philosophy/Social and political philosophy 🔗 Marketing & Advertising 🔗 Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Continental philosophy

The Society of the Spectacle (French: La société du spectacle) is a 1967 work of philosophy and Marxist critical theory by Guy Debord, in which the author develops and presents the concept of the Spectacle. The book is considered a seminal text for the Situationist movement. Debord published a follow-up book Comments on the Society of the Spectacle in 1988.

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🔗 A Mathematician’s Apology

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Aesthetics 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature

A Mathematician's Apology is a 1940 essay by British mathematician G. H. Hardy. It concerns the aesthetics of mathematics with some personal content, and gives the layman an insight into the mind of a working mathematician.

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🔗 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

🔗 Mathematics 🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books 🔗 Philosophy/Logic 🔗 Philosophy/Contemporary philosophy 🔗 Linguistics 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophy of language 🔗 Linguistics/Philosophy of language 🔗 Philosophy/Analytic philosophy

The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (widely abbreviated and cited as TLP) is the only book-length philosophical work by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that was published during his lifetime. The project had a broad goal: to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science. Wittgenstein wrote the notes for the Tractatus while he was a soldier during World War I and completed it during a military leave in the summer of 1918. It was originally published in German in 1921 as Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung (Logical-Philosophical Treatise). In 1922 it was published together with an English translation and a Latin title, which was suggested by G. E. Moore as homage to Baruch Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670).

The Tractatus is written in an austere and succinct literary style, containing almost no arguments as such, but consists of altogether 525 declarative statements, which are hierarchically numbered.

The Tractatus is recognized by philosophers as one of the most significant philosophical works of the twentieth century and was influential chiefly amongst the logical positivist philosophers of the Vienna Circle, such as Rudolf Carnap and Friedrich Waismann and Bertrand Russell's article "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism".

Wittgenstein's later works, notably the posthumously published Philosophical Investigations, criticised many of his ideas in the Tractatus. There are, however, elements to see a common thread in Wittgenstein's thinking, in spite of those criticisms of the Tractatus in later writings. Indeed, the legendary contrast between ‘early’ and ‘late’ Wittgenstein has been countered by such scholars as Pears (1987) and Hilmy (1987). For example, a relevant, yet neglected aspect of continuity in Wittgenstein’s central issues concerns ‘meaning’ as ‘use’. Connecting his early and later writings on ‘meaning as use’ is his appeal to direct consequences of a term or phrase, reflected e.g. in his speaking of language as a ‘calculus’. These passages are rather crucial to Wittgenstein’s view of ‘meaning as use’, though they have been widely neglected in scholarly literature. The centrality and importance of these passages are corroborated and augmented by renewed examination of Wittgenstein’s Nachlaß, as is done in "From Tractatus to Later Writings and Back - New Implications from the Nachlass" (de Queiroz 2023).

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🔗 Philosophus Autodidactus

🔗 Novels 🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Books 🔗 Philosophy/Medieval philosophy

Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān (Arabic: حي بن يقظان, lit. 'Alive son of Awake'; also known as Hai Eb'n Yockdan) is an Arabic philosophical novel and an allegorical tale written by Ibn Tufail (c. 1105 – 1185) in the early 12th century in Al-Andalus. Names by which the book is also known include the Latin: Philosophus Autodidactus ('The Self-Taught Philosopher'); and English: The Improvement of Human Reason: Exhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn Yokdhan. Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān was named after an earlier Arabic philosophical romance of the same name, written by Avicenna during his imprisonment in the early 11th century, even though both tales had different stories. The novel greatly inspired Islamic philosophy as well as major Enlightenment thinkers. It is the third most translated text from Arabic, after the Quran and the One Thousand and One Nights.

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🔗 The Unreality of Time

🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Guild of Copy Editors

"The Unreality of Time" is the best-known philosophical work of the Cambridge idealist J. M. E. McTaggart (1866–1925). In the argument, first published as a journal article in Mind in 1908, McTaggart argues that time is unreal because our descriptions of time are either contradictory, circular, or insufficient. A slightly different version of the argument appeared in 1927 as one of the chapters in the second volume of McTaggart's greatest work, The Nature of Existence.

The argument for the unreality of time is popularly treated as a stand-alone argument that does not depend on any significant metaphysical principles (e.g. as argued by C. D. Broad 1933 and L. O. Mink 1960). R. D. Ingthorsson disputes this, and argues that the argument can only be understood as an attempt to draw out certain consequences of the metaphysical system that McTaggart presents in the first volume of The Nature of Existence (Ingthorsson 1998 & 2016).

It is helpful to consider the argument as consisting of three parts. In the first part, McTaggart offers a phenomenological analysis of the appearance of time, in terms of the now famous A- and B-series (see below for detail). In the second part, he argues that a conception of time as only forming a B-series but not an A-series is an inadequate conception of time because the B-series does not contain any notion of change. The A-series, on the other hand, appears to contain change and is thus more likely to be an adequate conception of time. In the third and final part, he argues that the conception of time forming an A-series is contradictory and thus nothing can be like an A-series. Since the A- and the B- series exhaust possible conceptions of how reality can be temporal, and neither is adequate, the conclusion McTaggart reaches is that reality is not temporal at all.

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🔗 List of important publications in philosophy

🔗 History 🔗 Lists 🔗 Philosophy 🔗 Philosophy/Philosophical literature 🔗 Bibliographies

This is a list of important publications in philosophy, organized by field. The publications on this list are regarded as important because they have served or are serving as one or more of the following roles:

  • Foundation – A publication whose ideas would go on to be the foundation of a topic or field within philosophy.
  • Breakthrough – A publication that changed or added to philosophical knowledge significantly.
  • Influence – A publication that has had a significant impact on the academic study of philosophy or the world.

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