History of Philosophy & Modern Trends

Dr Smitha Madhavan

Comes from the Greek word ‘Philia’, which means ‘love’ and ‘Sophia’ that means-‘wisdom’.

Philosophy is defined in different ways:
1. Philosophy is the science of “general being” and human thinking i.e. attempts to explain the existence of the universe, human being life etc., and related human thinking.

2. Philosophy is defined as cognition: – socio historic process of man’s creative activity designed to shape his knowledge, which in turn underlines man’s aims and motives of action.

3. Philosophy is defined as social consciousness. Hence philosophy of Homoeopathy will be different from the philosophy of Ayurveda and so on.

4. Philosophy is “Reflective thought”: – moral values are assessed at this level. When reflective thought becomes continuous, sustained, logical and directed towards life values, it becomes philosophy. Analysis of any concept in science for the benefit of humanity is Philosophy.

Event – different explanations – different philosophical groups- world view is constructed.

Purpose of Philosophy:
1. Try to solve any problem- financial, political, educational etc, by studying any matter on the background of human values and morality, after
A. Constructing a worldview on any subject matter.
B. Studying any event on the background of life values and morality.
C. Based on completely unified knowledge.
2. Reflective thinking on any particular or fundamental question like the origin of life.
3. Critically analyzing various concepts and making necessary explanation regarding relationships.

Subject matter of philosophy: –
1. Conscious reflection upon the world.
2. Critical examination of concepts made by Science and commonsense.

Aims of philosophy: –
A. Interpretation of the meaning and values of life.
B. Interpretation of the source and destiny of life.
Event – scientific knowledge – Correct interpretation -rule/concept
(Hypothesis disappears and law is formulated). In other words Science is formulated. Philosopher disappears from the field. Hence philosophy is said to be the mother of Science.

Science: Comes from two Latin words, Scio – Scire, meaning science is knowledge.
Science is defined as complete and consistent description of the facts of experience in the simplest possible terms. It involves the explanation of the conditions in which a particular event or phenomenon has taken place. Science aims at the discovery of cause of particular event.

Methodology of science:
Acquisition of facts.
Description of facts by,
2.Analysis of derived facts
3.Classification into groups
Explain the observed facts.
A. To ascertain the causes
B. Formulate a law

Comparative study:



1.   Philosophy seeks comprehensive knowledge, i.e. the integration of concepts, or synthesis of science.
2.   Philosophy is qualitative.
3.   Philosophy explains two phenomena in qualitative plane.
4.   The aim of philosophy is to explain
First cause,
Meaning, values of life5.   The object of philosophy is reflective thinking on various sciences by which, general conclusions can be made about the nature of universe as well as our position and prospects in it.
1.   Science classifies, formulates, analyses and gives description.2.   Science is quantitative.3.   Science explains the relation between the two phenomena in the material plane.

Branches of philosophy:
1. Metaphysics
2. Epistemology
3. Logic
4. Ethics
5. Aesthetics

It is the study of the fundamental nature of reality, existence and the essence of being. Metaphysics masks the difference between appearance and reality. It is divided into: –
1.Ontology – Study of being / existence.
2.Cosmology – Study of physical universe. Deals with study of organization, history and future of universe.

The study is based upon acquiring knowledge by
1. Materialism:
everything is explained in terms of matter. Monistic concept of matter is followed in materialism.
2. Idealism: every thing exists because of some supreme idea. The defect of this concept is that, we cannot formulate an idea without previous experience. To meet with this problem, the idealists believed in the concept of ‘God’ as a supreme power (Plato)
3. Mechanism: ’State of being’ is explained on the basis of purely mechanical forces. Things were explained on the basis of physico-chemical laws, mass, particle and atomic theory.
4. Teleology: every thing in the universe is created for some purpose. Aphorism 1-foot note indicates the teleological concept of Hahnemann (?).

Study of the nature, basis and extend of knowledge. It explores various bases of knowledge, the nature of truth and the relationship between knowledge and belief.

Knowledge can be of two types: –
Apriori knowledge – knowledge deduced by thinking process without taking into account, the element of experience. There are more chances for errors in this method.
Empirical knowledge – gained from practical observation and experience.
Apriori and empirical knowledge go hand in hand for best results.

Theories for acquisition of knowledge:
No single method is perfect.

  1. Correspondence theory: an idea is true if it corresponds to fact or reality.
  2. Pragmatic theory: an idea is true if it works or practically settles the problem dealt with.
  3. Coherence theory: an idea is true to the extent to which it fits with the other ideas that one holds.
  4. Skepticism: knowledge is impossible to attain and the truth is unknowable.
  5. Authoritarianism: knowledge is guaranteed or validated by authority or forwarded by some authority, as by Galen. Example diagnosis of disease.
  6. Mysticism: knowledge acquired through mystical experience. Knowledge is not acquired through nature, experience, world of space and time or concepts. It is obtained through insight into the self, mind or god.
  7. Empiricism: knowledge gained through experience and observation. Based on sensations.

Science of reasoning.
Logic is defined as the study of principles and methods of reasoning or arguments and conclusions. Conclusions are formed from these arguments. Logic can be good or bad according to the type of argument.
1. Good logic – if a conclusion follows the arguments.
2. Bad logic – if a conclusion cannot be made from argument.
Logic is divided into two types: –
1. Induction
2. Deduction
Deduction is used to explore necessary consequences from an assumption.
Inductive logic is used to formulate laws from a list of particulars.

It is concerned with human conduct, character and values. Ethics helps to differentiate between good and bad or right and wrong. It is divided into: –

1. Relativism – Ethical values are learnt in relation to a particular. This particular can be explained on the basis of a right or wrong argument.
2. Subjectivism – When the ethical value is considered on the subjective feeling of morality.

It is concerned with creation and principles of beauty. It deals with thoughts, feelings and attitudes formulated or formed while seeing, reading or hearing something beautiful.

History of development of philosophy:

Western Philosophy
Ancient Greece (BC 700 – 600)
1. Socrates
2. Plato
3. Aristotle

Eastern Philosophy
1. India (BC 600)- based on the Hindu mythology

  • A. Vedanta
  • B. Darsana
  • C. Buddhism
  • D. Jainism
  • E. Sikhism
  • F. Islam

2. China (BC 600)
G. Confuescianism
H. Taoism
I. Maoism

Homoeopathy is based on western philosophy. Initially there were no relationships between oriental and occidental philosophy. But now attempts are being made. Basically occidental philosophy was controlled by Christian philosophy until the 15th century to be further developed by Lord Bacon.

Modern philosophy
1. Rationalism
2. Empiricism
3. Existentialism
4. Phenomenology
5. Pragmatism
6. Logical positivism

Role of philosophy:
1. Philosophy critically examines the principles employed in the science and daily life, based on ethical principles.
E.g. utilization of nuclear power only for good in philosophy, but irrespective of good or bad in Science.
2. Philosophy searches the inconsistencies in any principles and accepts the principles only after critical enquiry finds no reason to reject it.
3. Philosophical criticism is aimed to consider each piece of apparent knowledge on its merits. Each and every particular phenomenon is learnt so that a worldview is constructed.

Value of philosophy:
1. Philosophy aims to acquire knowledge, which gives a unity and system, or a complete unified knowledge (wisdom). Aims to formulate the wisdom about a particular law, principle or event.
2. Philosophy is more apparent than real. Once reality is appreciated, it becomes Science.
3. Philosophy has to give an answer for every uncertainty.
4. Philosophy gives freedom from narrow and personal aims, so as to be free from selfishness.
5. Philosophy enriches intellectual imagination and mind is rendered great. Man becomes free of prejudices. The mind becomes capable of union with the Universe, which constitutes the higher goal of existence, -The Highest Good.

He was born in 384 BC at Stagira. His father was a physician to the king of Macedonia. At the age of 17 he joined Plato’s academy. After the death of Plato, Aristotle left to Athens. In 343 BC, Philip II, the king of Macedonia invited Aristotle to teach his son Alexander, the great. In 335 BC he returned to Athens. In 323 BC again left Athens and returned to Eubea. 12 months after reaching Eubea he expired in 322 BC.

Plato was the greatest pillar of philosophy. He established idealistic philosophy. Idealistic philosophy had certain problems and inconsistencies. Early Platonists tried to spread idealistic philosophy without taking into consideration the problems as well as inconsistencies of idealistic philosophy. Aristotle was the greatest student of Plato. He wanted to develop idealistic philosophy on a scientific background. Philosophy revolved around form and matter.

According to Plato – form and matter are separate. Form is transcendent to matter

According to Aristotle – form is imminent (inside) and cannot be separated from matter combined to form the individual unit. Hence the individual units are subject to changes. It can evolve itself under the control and direction of its form.

Writings of Aristotle:
1. Logic
– Organon (organ for acquiring knowledge) which includes
A. Categories
B. De interpretations
C. Prior and posterior analytics
D. Topics
E. Sophistic fallacies

2. Natural science
F. 8 books on physics
G. 4 books in astronomy
H. 2 books on origin and decay
I.  4 books on meteorology
J. 1 each on cosmology and botany
K. 10 books on history of animals
L. 5 books on origin of animals

3. Psychology
1. 8 books published on soul
2 .A group of treatises; parva naturalis,
3 .Treatises on dreams

4. Metaphysics
– he had a series of 14 books under the heading ta meta and ta physica.

5. Ethics –10 books on ethics
1 Nic Omechean ethica
2 Eudemian ethics
3 Magna moratia

6. Politics – 8 books on politics, on constitution of Athens

7. Rhetoric –

1 Rhetoric to Theodectus
2 Rhetoric to Alexander.

Logic of Aristotle:
In every subject matter Aristotle followed his predecessors by giving his own theories for further developments, but in logic he was the first to conceive a systematic treatment of correct inference and because of this he is considered to be the founder of logic. This mode of logic has been explained in the Prior Analyticus. According to Aristotle logic is the important instrument for acquisition of genuine knowledge. Logic is an elaboration of methods employed in search of all knowledge and it is called as science of sciences. Logic is concerned with thought forms and thinking process to achieve truth.

Theory of argument:
Argument is a discourse that tries to prove a point. The proposition of an argument tries to support its conclusions. Those propositions, which are addressed or which are put forward are called premises. Aristotle recognized two types of arguments.
1. Deductive logic
2. Inductive logic

Deductive logic:
A deduction is an argument in which the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. Aristotle’s deductive method is other wise called as syllogism – which means computation. Aristotle defines syllogism as a valid argument or at least any argument with a conclusion different from any of his premises. Every syllogism consists of 3 parts
1. Major premises – usually a universal law which will be always firm and affixing
2. Minor premises – subject
3. Conclusion

All men are mortal – major premise
Ram is a man – minor premise
Ram is mortal – conclusion

Syllogism can be continued – the conclusion of one syllogism can be used as a premise for other syllogism. Series of syllogism is applied until we reach up to a law, where no further explanation can be given, where it becomes relied upon the basic truth. Basic principles never require premises.

Types of deduction:
1. Complete: a method in which conclusion follows obviously from premises.
2. Incomplete deduction: conclusion is not obvious. It requires adequate steps of reasoning between the premises and conclusions.

Inductive logic:
Argues from particular to universe (general). i.e. it infers a general claim from a number of instances. But this is possible only in the absence of counter arguments, i.e., it becomes invalid by adding a right premise. A single counter example is sufficient to block the inductive inference.
Ram has 2 eyes
Sri has 2 eyes
Sita has 2 eyes
Humans have 2 eyes
Therefore, a good inductive argument must also suppose that, there is a counter example. Counter example will be any argument that forms a false conclusion from the premises.

Usage of arguments:
1.Demonstrative science:
Arguments are used for the acquisition of knowledge. Aristotle used the word ‘epistem’ for knowledge, which means body of knowledge about some subject, organized into a system of proofs or demonstration. To know scientifically is to know the causes or reason i.e., to find out the cause of the phenomena, why it must be and why it must not be. Knowledge is acquired by :
1. Inborn ability to perceive
2. Memorize what had been perceived
3. Recognition of a Universal law by correlation.

Perception leads to memory. Many memories lead to experience. Much experience eventually leads to Universal truth (First cause* or First Principle). Aristotle supposes that deductions have epistemic power, i.e., deductions help acquiring knowledge. This is possible by the premises. If the premises are true, then that knowledge together with knowledge of deduction brings the conclusion. For acquiring knowledge, Aristotle puts 2 conditions.
1. Premises must be true
2. Premises must stand in appropriate relationship to the conclusion
* – Cause – God. Ahead of human beings. Every soul has the ability to recognize the truth, by seeing many instances.

2. Definitions and division:
Aristotle defines definition as “ an account, which signifies what is to be something”. As accounts of things of nature, definitions are product of scientific and philosophical enquiry. Every definition consists of two aspects.

1. Determination of under what kind it follows (Genus/Class)
2. What characteristic differentiates it from within that kind, i.e., per genus et differentia.
According to Aristotle definitions should explain the nature and unique property of the subject under consideration.

Requirements of definition:
1. A definition should not contain the name or matter to be defined.
2. It should be exactly equivalent to the class of object defined; it must be neither too narrow nor too broad.
3. Definitions must not be expressed in obscure or figurative or ambiguous language.
4. It should be in affirmative and not negative.

3.categories of predicates:
Categories are used as strategies for argument. All predicates shall be one of the following:

  1. What it is?
  2. Quantity
  3. Quality
  4. Relationship
  5. Location
  6. State
  7. Time
  8. Posture or position
  9. Activity
  10. Passivity (what it is subject to)

I have seen 2 black elephants on the road hear the bridge carrying logs of wood at evening on last Sunday.

The word dialectic means to argue. Arguments are verbal disputes in which each party attack and defend positions. Arguments are directed at another person, and proceeds by asking questions.

1. sophistic philosophy: a kind of verbal contrast that aims at winning by any means.
2. Rhetorical argument: combined procedures of dialectical argument with a study of type of audience to be encountered and the premise of each type will be found persuasive.
Syllogism – Aristotle’s method of investigation – is the first serious attempt at a comprehensive theory of inference and is also the first attempt to necessity and possibility.

Explained in 14 books. It deals with ‘being’ in general (being and existence). It is the science of ‘being qua being’ (qua means something like). Hence metaphysics studies things, which exist, i.e., the study of those attributes, which hold of entities, in virtue of the fact that they are entities. Further, Aristotle attributes oneness or unity as such features. “Any object remains as one. Everything exists in one thing”. The nature of oneness leads to plurality and to otherness like differences in contrariety. Aristotle considered substances as concrete individuals and the concept of idealism is being intended to explain the nature of things. *Idealism could not explain the relation between things and ideas. Relation between life principles, existence and material body is completely invariable. Regarding the essence of being, Aristotle rejected the “atomic theory of Democritus”, and the transcendental concept of Plato. He considered the essence of the concrete individual, constituted by the form-by the essential quality of the class to which it belongs.

I). Aristotle approved the plurality of substances. Every individual substance is a mixture of matter, and form is the universal aspect of the thing. The essential characteristics are shared by everything of the same type. Matter confirms particularity and uniqueness. Matter and form are inseparable aspects of individual being. The universals and the particulars are fused together into the unity of the individual. Individual substance changes or moves subject to changes.

II).Aristotle also considered potentiality and actuality of the stages of development of the substances- the potential being an early and the actual being the late stage. The potential is that which is latent in a substance. Matter is the principle of potentiality and form is the principle of reality.

III).Cause: a cause is that which effects a change. Antecedent factor of any event or phenomena is called a cause. Aristotle defined causes into four types: –
1. Material cause: stuff from which the substance under question is made up of.
2. Formal cause: pattern or structure in which the substance is realized. It is the shape or pattern in which the thing is made.
3. Efficient cause: the active agent, which produces the substance.
4. Final cause: the purpose for which the substance is made.

Material and formal causes are called intrinsic causes since they enter into the constitution of the effect. Efficient causes and the final causes are extrinsic causes; since they remain outside the effect, yet influence the effect. Each individual has not just one cause, but also all four causes. So also discovery of one cause does not preclude the discovery of the others.

Philosophy and Science:
Aristotle defined Science as an organized body of systematically arranged information. This involves a chain of syllogistic deductions in which the premises must be,

  1. True
  2. Primary
  3. Immediate
  4. Tangible
  5. Intelligible
  6. Prior
  7. Explanatory of conclusions

Thus the purpose of Science is to give explanations.

Aristotle deals with
1. Physics
2. Biology
3. Psychology

Physics: Deals with the World of changes. The Universe is divided into two:
1. Heavenly bodies: perfection and eternal existence is the rule.
2. Sublunary bodies: below the orbit where, change and decay is the rule.

Aristotle divides substances in the world into two types:
1. Substances, which exist by nature: plants, earth, Air, fire, water etc. In this type growth and propagation are innate and inborn.
2. Substances, which exist for other reasons. E.g., vehicles, chairs these artificial objects have no power of propagation and growth, except those derived from the material from which they are derived or made.

Biology: Aristotle collected a vast data regarding morphology and mode of life of the animals. Because of this reason, Aristotle was called the father of Taxonomic biology. The salient features of the Biological concept of Aristotle are the following:

  1. Relation of part to whole in animals as being essentially teleological: animals have the parts in order to perform the functions for which they are designed.
  2. Part exists for the purpose of the whole: This is based upon the fact that “the part makes sense only in the context of the whole. These could not have been parts, unless these were not that of the wholes of which they are parts. Aristotle assigns priority to wholes than parts and considered that the procession in nature is goal directed; i.e., evolution in nature is essentially teleological.
  3. Approves self-sufficient potentiality of the development of the individual.

To Aristotle nature is dynamic rather than passive or teleological. It is more qualitative than it is quantitative.

Biological theory of Aristotle can be described as
1. Vitalism: Aristotle mentions that every organism has a directing and animating –Vital principle.
2. Body and Soul constitutes an indivisible whole (soul is used synonymously with Psyche.). Soul is the controlling and guiding principle.
3. The whole is prior to the part.

Every natural body has both form and matter. Animal soul possess the faculties of

  1. Perception
  2. Imagination
  3. Memory
  4. Pleasure
  5. Pain
  6. Desires and Aversions

Sense perception is a change produced in the soul by the things perceived through the medium of sense organs. Aristotle recognized two types of reason:
1. Active reason or creative reason: the effect of which is directly cognizable.
2. Passive reason: made real by creative reason i.e., with the help of the creative reasoning.

All human actions have a higher end or purpose, which is for the ultimate good or principle. The highest good for man is the complete and habitual exercise of functions, which make him a human being, and differentiates him from the other animals. Soul consists of an irrational part consisting of the appetite, desires, feelings etc, and a rational part that cooperates. To realize the purpose the body must function healthily.
Aim of ethics in human beings is to develop the virtue of wisdom or insight. The highest good of man is self-realization. A man realizes his true self when he loves and gratifies the rational part, moved by a motive of nobleness and promotes the interest of others and serve the country or Humanity.

Philosophy During Renaissance
The Renaissance period is characterized by the detection of faults associated with the existing tradition in language, art theological system, political relationships, church, State etc. this paved the way for development in Science and Philosophy. During the renaissance period, the spirit of enquiry and criticism broke out into a revolt against the authority and tradition. The authorities in various disciplines were questioned. Authority of the church over the mind of man gradually weakened and individuals started ascertaining intellectual independence. Reason replaced authority and came to be considered that truth can be discovered only by free and impartial enquiry instead of authority.

The Modern Philosophy

The modern period in philosophy is characterized by:
1. Reflective spirit / Reflective analysis
2. Criticism
3. Revolt against authority tradition
4. Demand for freedom in thought, feeling and action.

Modern philosophy is classified into two depending upon whether reason or experience is the source of knowledge.
1. Rationalism
2. Empiricism

Accordingly philosophers are classified into:
1. Rationalists including apriorists: DesCartes, Spinoza, Leibniz
2. Empiricists or sensationalists: Bacon, Loeke, Burkley, Hume.

Rationalism: characterized by:
1. Attitude, which makes reasoning as the basis of knowledge.
2. Genuine knowledge, which consists of systems of truth in which different propositions are logically related to one another.
3. Genuine knowledge based on thoughts and reasoning.
Empiricism: maintains that knowledge springs from sense perceptions or experience.

Lord Francis Bacon (1561- 1626 A.D.)
Lord Bacon was from a basically humble family. He had vast knowledge in various disciplines. Hence he was conferred the title of ‘Lord’. The King entrusted him to code the Laws of State. It is believed that for this purpose, he had received certain gifts from some of the beneficiaries. Hence the King condemned him and everything formulated by him was discarded. Every benefit, which he was enjoying, was taken away and at last he passed away as humble as he was born.

Lord Bacon is known for his two essays:
Advancement in Learning – 1605
Novum Organum – 1620

Lord Bacon made a decisive contribution to the birth and development of modern science by forwarding certain ideas concerned with the ways in which the form of knowledge must present, in comparison with the other forms of cultural life.

Lord Bacon classified philosophy into three groups:
1. Rationalists
2. Empirics
3. Humanists, (identified knowledge with the words in the beauty of Oratoric style).

In the book advancement in learning Lord Bacon describes three types of false learning:
1. Sophistic
2. Empirical
3. Superstitious

Lord Bacon was against the empirical and dogmatic group. According to him, Science should be “ScienceOperativa”, i.e., productive of works. He considered that things as really are considered not from the viewpoint of appearance, but from that of existence; not in relation to man, but in relation to the Universe, offer conjointly the truth and utility. As scientific truth is always fruitful, their fruitfulness depends exclusively upon the characters of full truth.

Bacon divided knowledge into three parts according to the function of human understanding.
1. History that corresponds to memory
2. Poesy that corresponds to imagination
3. Philosophy that corresponds to reasoning.

Bacon classified knowledge (method of learning) into two types.
1. Human learning: Learning by the different senses.
2. Divine learning: learning by divine aspiration
Bacon considered memory, imagination, and reasoning as the three dominate faculties of the rational soul.

HISTORY is divided into:
1. Natural philosophy
2. Ecclesiastical philosophy – of the church or the clergy
3. Literacy-history of state of learning.

Natural philosophy
includes evolutions of generations and species. It is divided into three as:
1. Natural course of events.
2. ‘Preter Gene’-qualities of erring and variations
3. Art- nature of altered wrought, mechanical or experimental history

POESY: is the knowledge pertaining to imagination i.e., imitation of ‘history et pleasure’. Imagination can be,
Narrative – acts and deeds are imaginative.
Dramatic – educates human mind more effectively.
Parabolic – teaches religious matters.

PHILOSOPHY: classified into three.

  • Natural theology – related to God
  • Natural philosophy – related to nature
  • Human philosophy – related to man
  • Human philosophy is divided into theoretical part and operative part. Theoretical part enquires causes while operative part enquires about effects. Theoretical part defines physics dealing with material and efficient cause i.e., it deals with variables.

Physics is divided into
1 First principle of things: first cause
2 Structure of the world
3 Varieties and smallest structure of things

METAPHYSICS: deals with formal and final cause. Bacon proposes a Universal Science, when the three branches i.e., history, poesy, philosophy, meets and he believed that this guides progress in general. Bacon’s philosophy of humanity considers that nature and state of man as constituted by body and soul of man respectively.

Nature and state gives two inferences:
1. Indications and
2. Impressions
Indications: by indication is meant inference of characters of mind by the physical constitution of the body i.e., physiognomy. Through the dreams, the state and disposition of the body can be known.
Impressions: investigates the effect of humors and temperament on the body and that of passion and apprehension of mind on body.
This concept has been incorporated into Homoeopathy.

Doctrine of Body: doctrine of body of man contributes to the ‘good of man’ i.e., ethics, medicine, cosmetics (aesthetic sense).

Bacon identified three functions to medicine:
1. Cure of diseases
2. Preservation of health
3. Prolongation of life
Cosmetics deal with Hygiene and Art and Music.
Doctrine of Soul : divided into two:
Rational soul and
Irrational soul

Rational soul is inspired by God and has six functions:

  1. Understanding
  2. Reasoning
  3. Appetite
  4. Will
  5. Imagination
  6. Memory

To this he added two other functions:
1. Divination* –making a prediction by an argument
2. Fascination- power of imagination resulting on another body.
* Only in the good sense

EPISTEMOLOGY – Bacon’s method of Science
Bacons epistemology rests upon a single method, i.e., INDUCTION, very simple in principle, but intricate in application. According to Bacon knowledge starts from sensible experience, rests upon natural history which presents sense data in an ordinate distribution, rises from lower preposition to a more general one, tries to reach a more general one, tries to reach the more fundamental laws of nature and from there, by a practical deduction derives new experiments or works.

Induction aims at the purpose of answer to the question of invention. Induction shouldn’t be,
1. Blind (prejudiced)
2. Imperative

Induction should help to find out the truth.
Core of induction:
1. Formation of axioms- general preposition of experiencing the cause of the phenomena i.e., collection of data.
2. Arrangement of tables, which presents the understanding of all instances to some nature i.e., the object of investigation collected without premature speculation and followed by
3. Going to affirmative through negative.

Reason for prejudices in induction:
1. Idola Tribus: Idol of Tribes: every tribe has its own inherent characters, thus resulting in certain prejudices.
2. Idola Species: Idol of Dens: related to peculiarities of the individual due to education, mental attitudes, social circumstances.
3. Idola Fori: Idol of Market: due to association of words and names, often these need not represent reality.
4. Idola Theatre: Idol of Theatre: due to result of false theories and philosophies.

Empirical Group Of Philosophers

John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was the son of James Mill, who was the secretary to English East India Company, and was one of the exponents of Utilitarianism (defines that the greatest happiness of the largest number of people should be the sole purpose of public actions). James Mill was in close association with Compte- another exponent of Utilitarianism.

J.S.Mill was born in 1806 in London and was educated by his father. By the age of 14 yrs, he was a master in Latin, Classical literature, Logic and Political Economy. At the age of 17 yrs, he joined as a clerk in the East India Company and retired after 33 yrs of service. After this he was elected to the British Parliament in 1865. he expired in 1873.
J.S.Mill was one of the most advanced thinkers of his times. He was a follower of Hume and Compte. He stood for progress and enlightenment and believed in supremacy of education. His greatest philosophical work is ‘Systems of Knowledge’.

Other works include:

  1. Principles of political economy
  2. Utilitarianism
  3. On liberty
  4. Subjection of women
  5. Autobiography
  6. Three essays on religion

Editor of West Minster review from 1835-1840.

METAPHYSICS: Mill considered matter as a permanent potency of sensations and soul / spirit as a permanent potency of feelings. According to Mill, things don’t exist out side the perception. Man perceives only phenomena (sensations) and cannot go beyond that.

ETHICS:Mill was utilitarian and in political economy he replaced the classical labour theory by the cost price.
Mill considered Psychology and Logic as the starting point for solution of a problem, and knowledge as nothing but a firm and coherent association of ideas and the so called necessity of thought as nothing but an expression of the firmness of association i.e., we only know our idea that follow one another, in a certain temporal order (sequential order of time and space), according to the laws of association by similarity, contiguity, and causality.

To know, therefore means to study the sequence of our ideas, to eliminate the accidental, transitory points and to discover permanent, enduring and invariably recurring ones, i.e., the correct and valid sequences. This is achieved by induction. Hence all inferences and proof and all discoveries of truth are not self evident, but consists of induction and interpretation of induction.

According to Mill, all our knowledge, except intuitive knowledge comes from the process of induction. Mill’s entire logical theory is based on the Law of Association. The conclusion is an induction that extends from what is observed in certain particulars to one or more similar particulars and this is contained in the premises.

LOGIC: J.S.Mill was an exponent of inductivism and rejected deduction as a method of acquiring knowledge. He elaborated the method of inductive investigation of causal correction. According to Mill, syllogism is not a process of inference, as it does not progress from known to unknown. Major premises of syllogism does not prove the conclusion as in the example, all men are mortal,-the premises will be true only after ascertaining that all men are mortal. Major premise is a concise or comprehensive form of expression of many observations and inferences i.e., may only be an assumption.
Induction: Systematic nature of reality is the basis of all inference i.e., it is the interconnectedness or unity between the facts, the absence of which restricts the inductive process. This inference is called as induction, from which the universal law or the so-called system is constructed. Applying this universal law to particulars is called– deduction.

Stages of induction

  1. Observation of facts
  2. Formulation of hypothesis
  3. Deduction of consequences from the derived hypothesis
  4. Verification
  5. Proof

Impartial collections of all factors / observations /data in relation to the phenomena are needed without any prejudice. Once this factors are collected, on examination we can deduce a hypothesis related to that phenomena. In the third stage i.e., deduce the consequences from the observed facts with the idea of the formulated hypothesis. During this deductive process, either the hypothesis is confirmed or not confirmed – this has to be verified. This verification is a must, if there is confusion regarding the interrelation of factors. Then it is subjected to further test or experiment. In this further experiment some of the factors are excluded and the reliable things are accepted. This is to be confirmed from other experiments to form a law. When this is put into practical utility it becomes a Universal law.

“Induction and deduction are parallel methods of studying (not similar or opposite) – both are inter related”

The cause of phenomena is invariable and unconditional antecedent of an event. In its presence the phenomena should occur and in its absence it should not occur. If any circumstance is not so related to the phenomena whose cause we seek, then we should eliminate it as not being its cause. The grounds on which we eliminate are

  1. That is not the cause of phenomena in the absence of which the phenomena occurs.
  2. That is not the cause of the phenomena in the presence of which the phenomena fails to occur.
  3. That is not the cause, which varies when phenomena is constant or is constant when phenomena varies or varies in no proportionate manner with the phenomena.
  4. That is not the cause of the phenomena, which is known to be the cause of another phenomena.

The rules of elimination are the negative method of stating the conditions of casual relation. A cause and its effect must be co present or co absent and any change that occurs in the one must be reflected in the other. The method explained by Mill involves the principle of elimination.

1. Method of agreement:
This method consists in comparing several positive instances of the phenomena under investigation and discovering its cause and effect, as the case may be, by seeing in what instances they agree. If 2 or more instances of the phenomena under investigation have only one circumstance in common, the circumstance in which alone all the instances agree is the cause of the given phenomena. What ever circumstances can be excluded, without prejudice to phenomena, or can be absent not withstanding it presence is not connected with it in the way of causation and the casual circumstances being thus eliminated, if only one remains that one is the cause which we are in search of. Usually we may not reach one cause, more than one factor may be the cause of one particular phenomenon.
p = phenomena. a to g = causes
p1 – a,b,c,d
p2 – a,c,d,e
p3 – a,d,e,f
p4 – a, e,f,g
a is the cause of event p

2. Method of difference:
If an instance in which the phenomena under investigation occur and an instance in which it does not occur having every circumstances in common save one, that one occurring only in the former, the circumstances in which alone the 2 instances differ in that effect or the cause or indispensable part of the cause of the phenomena. Here we are examining a positive and a negative instance. This method of enquiring into the cause is the method of difference.
p , q, r = phenomena; c,d,e are factors
p q r – c d
q r – d e
Then, c is the cause of p

3.Joint method of agreement and difference:
p1 → a,b,c,d
p2 → a,c,d,e
p3 → a,d,e,f
p0 → d,e,f
p0 → e,f,g

4.Concomitant variation:
Any circumstance which is unaffected by the variation of a phenomena cannot be connected by way of causation. Mill stated ‘whatever phenomena varies in any manner, whenever another phenomena varies in same particular manner is either a cause or an effect of that phenomena is connected with it through some fact of causation. If a variation in a case is followed by a corresponding variation in phenomena or effect, then the two are causally connected.
p1 → a, b, c, d
p’2 → a’, b, c, d
p”3 → a”, b, c, d

4. Method of residue:
p q r → c d e
q → d
r → e
therefore, p → c
This method can be employed only at a late stage of causal investigation. If several parts of complex phenomena have been explained in terms of their antecedent circumstances, then the remaining part or parts of the phenomena can be determined to be the effect of he antecedent factors which are yet left over. Sub duct from any phenomena such part as is known by previous inductions to be the effect of certain antecedent and then the residue of the phenomena is the effect of the remaining antecedents.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz:
Concept of the Doctrine of Force
The Doctrine of Force was explained mainly by two philosophers:
1 Leibniz and
2 Bergson

Leibniz was born at Leipzig in Germany, in the year 1646 and died on 14th November 1716. He was a mathematician and a philosopher and is known for the concept of Infinite Calculus. Leibniz is considered to be the third important person in rationalistic philosophy, the others being, Des Cartes and Spinoza.

1. Rene Descartes:
Proposed the dualistic concept i.e., matter and mind are considered as two kinds of existence. Matter was considered to be a form of extension and by mind was understood the thought. Brain was believed to be the center of interconnection between the two.

2. Spinoza:
Never agreed with dualistic concept of Des Cartes. Spinoza was a monistic philosopher. The basic philosophy is that, the “Being” is an extension from Nature or God.

3. Leibniz : Believed that existence is not in the form of thought or interconnection; but by the power of force inherent in it. This force is called Monad – it is the center of force – it is inherent in every matter, every organism. Each atom has its own monad. The universe has its own monad – macrocosm, meanwhile its constituent units have their own monads (microcosm).

Functions of monads:
1. Every individual has its monad, which is unique. i.e., it has its own quality. The quality of the monad ranges from, lower quality (quality of inorganic substances), called the bare monad, to that of higher quality (quality of organic substances), called the queen monad. The queen monad is surrounded by the smaller monads, which are all in harmony.

2. Every monad is able to perceive. Perception of lower quality monad is called petite perception. The perception of a higher quality monad is called apperception. Apperception is otherwise reflective knowledge of inner self, or self-consciousness. Clarity of perception is highest in man.

3. It has no windows – Every monad is closed. Nothing can be added or removed. The quality of a monad is predetermined. When there are suitable circumstances, the monad is activated. Even though closed, the monad develops within the system. Different monads work together as predetermined.

4. The monad can be transformed. This transformation or evolution from higher to lower or vice versa is called appetite. The transformation of quality within the monad is called ‘appetite’.

Henri Bergson (1857 – 1941)
He was a French philosopher. He was an anti rationalistic philosopher and promoted the idea of intuitionalism. Believed in Materialistic phenomena – include space (distribution of simultaneously existing object) and time (expression of the sequence of existence of phenomena which replace one another. Time is dynamic. Space is the Universe.

Bergson:- Intellect and intellectual analysis eludes the concept of conventional method of study of reality, because every phenomena is time oriented and analysis is space oriented. Because of this concept Bergson was against rationalism
Bergson questioned the concept of scientific and logical explanation giving relevance to space. He considered time as primary and space as secondary. Time is the very basic principle, which governs the reality of the being (existence). Bergson applied the term – duration – instead of time. ‘Duration’ is continuing, dynamic and non-static, which grows in every minute and during this progress something, is given out and something is added and is called ‘Elam Vital’. The dynamic property of duration cannot be possessed by spatial configuration; so analytical study of metaphysical explanation cannot raise the essence of things i.e. the vital aspect is lost here. This essence or ‘vital’ is not in the part of thing, but is in the totality. Space is governed by duration. This process of every phenomenon, evolving with certain end or aim and is called Creative Evolution. Example: formation of snow or salt crystal.

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831)
Part to whole relationship – German philosopher
Hegel believed that, if one wants to study anything that should be from the historical perspective. This historical study has three perspectives:
1. Follows a cause of necessity.
2. History implies not only a change but also a progress.
3. At any time in history, there tends to be a confrontation and replacement – which is usually an opposite one.
In other philosophy, it corresponds to
1. Thesis
2. Anti thesis
3. Synthesis

Major works of Hegel
1. Phenomenology of spirit
2. Science of logic

Hegel belongs to the absolute idealistic group.
Reality of the Universe according to Hegel is that of “Absolute Mind” (spirit). Method of philosophy of Hegel is dialectic; not linear but implicative.
Everything can be studied in relation to others.

Part to Whole Relationship:
The whole is not the same as the sum total. This concept could have influenced Dr. Hahnemann in developing the concept of totality. This relationship of part and whole in the organism is extended to all truth and reality. Every truth or fact is dependant upon and helps in turn to determine every other truth or fact. This is called the ‘organic theory of truth and reality’, since everything is internally determined by its relation to everything else.
Concept of Organic Whole: During the process of evolution of living beings, something more than additions and deletions take place. The concept of organic whole implies the relation of the part to whole in living and non-living organisms. In non living organisms this is decided by the laws of physics, but is not so in living substances. Any organic whole is more than the mere sum of its parts. The successful work of art is an organic whole.

Abstract study: study of a particular event, object or phenomena without considering its relationship to the Universe.
Concrete study: study of any particular phenomena, event or object in relation to the units of the Universe.
Principle of Negation: For anything there is an opposite existence. Clarke further developed this concept.


Mainly three branches:
1. Existentialism
2. Realism
3. Pragmatism and
The development in philosophy was secondary to development in Science and Technology. The importance of morality has come down.

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that developed in Europe in the 18th and 19th century. The movement is called as existentialism because most of its members are primarily interested in the nature of existence of “being”. By the term existence we usually mean Human Existence.

This branch of philosophy was developed mainly by two philosophers:
1 Soren Kirkergaad
2 Friedrich Nietzsche.

Eminent existentialist philosophers include:

  • Albert Came
  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Karl Jaspers
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Nicolas Berdyaev
  • Martin Bube

Existentialism developed as a revolt against the existing European philosophy and reached its peak during the period of the two German philosophers, Hegel and Immanuel Karnt. Traditional philosophers considered philosophy as a development of science.

Existentialistic philosophers considered human life as being a series that must be made with no way of knowing conclusively what the correct choices are. The individual must continuously decide what is true and what is false and what is right and what is wrong, which to accept and which to reject, what to do and what not. Yet there are no objective standards to which a person can turn for answers to problems of choice, because different standards provide conflicting advice. The individual therefore decides which standard to accept and which to reject. Therefore the human choice is subjective, because the individual must make his own choices without any help from external standards as laws, ethical rules, and traditions.
Because individuals make their own choices, they are free. But because these choices are freely made, the individuals are completely responsible for their choices. So freedom necessarily follows responsibility.

Further more since the individuals forced to choose for themselves, they are condemned to be free. So the responsibility is the dark side of freedom. When individuals realize that they are completely responsible for their actions and beliefs they are overcome by anxiety. They try to escape from this anxiety by ignoring or denying their freedom or responsibility. As this amounts to ignoring or denying their actual situation they succeed only in deceiving themselves – self-deception.
An Existentialist insists that individuals must accept full responsibility for their behavior, no matter how difficult and they also believe to engage in disputes and problems and commit themselves to a side.

Soren Kierkgaad (1813-1855)
He was basically an atheist. He was against the religious philosophy and considered religion as irrational on the background that religious belief is subjective than objective. Secondly it requires sincerity and passion of the believer. His working principle is based on three things:
1 Truth
2 Choice
3 God

He considered truth as ‘Being’ itself- in itself. Any method of analytical study avails truth. Choice is explained in the book, EITHER/OR, in which he gives three modes of existence.

1 Aesthetics – related to drama, pictures etc.
2 Ethical – acquired happiness from, marriage, occupation etc.
3 Theological – related to God.

Martin Heidegger
(1889 – 1976)
Martin Heidegger was an atheist and existentialist. He tried to explain existence on
1. Temporal background and
2. Historic background – existence of anything at a particular moment.

When something is non-existing, it is meant that, that has been stripped off from the historical background.
Temporal background: the interaction of any particular individual with other one is always a unique one. Problem is always in the interaction of individual with the environment.
Another important philosophical concept of Martin Heidegger is that the Human being knows the span of life. Existence is being for death or for nothingness. This belief brings on anxiety to a person.

Carl Jaspers
(1883 – 1969)
Human existence is time bound. There is a quality in any individual to transit his limitations through philosophy, science and religion. Finally he has to succumb. For this Jaspers forwarded three ideas.
1. World overview or world orientation with the help of science / philosophy, for the existence of himself and the Universe.
2. Concept of Being for death.
Metaphysics: similar to that of existence, to that of God.

Jean Paul Sartre
He considered human existence as for Being for itself. While existing on earth, man is conscious about himself as well as others and because of this concept, Sartre proposes that INDIVIDUAL has to choose for himself. He put forward three ideas:
1. Man is free for selection, so human beings are self-deceptive. (Since man wouldn’t take up all the responsibilities, he wouldn’t be given all the freedom.)
2. Existence precedes essence and
3. Ultimate motive is perfect self-sufficiency.

Positivism emerged due to failure of speculative philosophy to explain various philosophical problems. The central theme of positivism is the employment of verifiability as the criterion of meaning. There are two groups of positivistic philosophers:
1. Early group –begins with the period of Comte.
2. Late neo positivism – 19th century

Auguste Comte
(1798 – 1857)
French Positivist. Father of positivistic philosophy and he introduced the word ‘Sociology’ – which means science of humanity in the background of science of biology.
Comte considered that study of any phenomena consists of three stages, or the mind passes through three stages or employs three methods of philosophizing:
1. Theological: knowledge is acquired from the belief of religion. Study in the background of religious concepts or superhuman powers.
2. Metaphysical: here we study by seeking certain causes and principles
3. Positive/scientific method: we try to study things by reasoning, by reference to observation and coming to inferences.
According to Comte this positive method should be applied in all philosophical studies.

Neo Positivism (Logistic Positivism):
Developed by Vienna group of philosophers. Main principle is verifiability, criterion of meaning. All statement that cannot be verified by sense perception, except those statements provable in mathematics and logic, are meaningless. This group of philosophers tried to eliminate the unverifiable facts in philosophy. There are two important philosophers in this group:
1. Rudolf Carnap
2. Luding Wittgenstein

Rudolf Carnap:
Rudolf Carnap was an American Neopositivist. He reduced the philosophy to logical analysis of language of science or he approved the idea of linguistic philosophy, which involves,
A. Scrutiny of words: logic of science were regarded as syntax of language of science
B. Analytic meaning of the word: (semantic study) sense aspect of the language of sciences becomes the subject matter of study

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1899-1951)
Ludwig Wittgenstein believed that all problems in philosophy originated because philosophers ran behind each word. Instead of naming words (they thought that every word is a name), if we use it as a sentence, then most of the problem in philosophy can be solved.

Analytical Philosophy:
Analytical philosophy considers that analysis must replace the vague, expression of problem in the language, by a formula that would demonstrate the real essence. This branch is based on the proper analysis of the terms in which they are used. The great philosophers include – Bertrant Russel. There are three areas of importance in language:
1 Words should be used precisely in talks and writings
2 Language is far away from sense date
3 Systematic analysis of ordinary language.

Realism is the tendency to treat the world as it is. It is due to the result of the over emphasis given by idealism, that they considered that world itself as real.

The object of phenomenology is to describe the phenomena as an object of experience accurately and independently of all assumptions to derive science. Edmund Husserl developed phenomenology. According to him, psychology cannot be accepted, since it is studied under different traits.

We can study things only through experience. Knowledge is subordinate to action. i.e. meaning and truth of ideas are determined in relation to practice. Anything that can be put in practice alone can be true.

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