The natural law concept existed long before Locke as a way of expressing the idea that there were certain moral truths that applied to all people, regardless of the particular place where they lived or the agreements they had made. The most important early contrast was between laws that were by nature, and thus generally applicable, and those that were conventional and operated only in those places where the particular convention had been established.
Indeed, these differences can be conceived in more abstract terms as the contrast between empiricism and rationalism. This theme dominated the philosophical controversies of the 17th and 18th centuries and was hardly resolved before the advent of Immanuel Kant.
Less an original metaphysician or cosmologist than the advocate of a vast new program for the advancement of learning and the reformation of scientific method, Bacon conceived of philosophy as a new technique of reasoning that would reestablish natural science on a firm foundation.
In the Advancement of Learninghe charted the map of knowledge: To reason, however, Bacon assigned a completely experiential function. Fifteen years later, in his Novum Organumhe made this clear: His concept of fact and his belief in the primacy of observation led him to formulate laws and generalizations.
Also, his conception of forms was quite un-Platonic: His enduring place in the history of philosophy lies, however, in his single-minded advocacy of experience as the only source of valid knowledge and in his profound enthusiasm for the perfection of natural science.
With the first he shared a strong concern for philosophical method, with the second an overwhelming interest in matter in motion. His philosophical efforts, however, were more inclusive and more complete than those of his contemporaries.
He was a comprehensive thinker within the scope of an exceedingly narrow set of presuppositions, and he produced one of the most systematic philosophies of the early modern period—an almost completely consistent description of humankind, civil society, and nature according to the tenets of mechanistic materialism.
As method, philosophy is simply reasoning or calculating by the use of words as to the causes or effects of phenomena. When a person reasons from causes to effects, he reasons synthetically; when he reasons from effects to causes, he reasons analytically.
His dogmatic metaphysical assumption was that physical reality consists entirely of matter in motion. The real world is a corporeal universe in constant movement, and phenomena, or events, the causes and effects of which it is the business of philosophy to lay bare, consist of either the action of physical bodies on each other or the quaint effects of physical bodies upon minds.
Physics is the science of the motions and actions of physical bodies conceived in terms of cause and effect. And civil philosophy deals with the concerted actions of people in a commonwealth—how, in detail, the wayward wills of human beings can be constrained by power i. But there are also elements in it that make it characteristically English.
Empiricism has been a basic and recurrent feature of British intellectual life, and its nominalist and sensationalist roots were already clearly evident in both Bacon and Hobbes. A crucial figure in the history of philosophy, Descartes combined however unconsciously or even unwillingly the influences of the past into a synthesis that was striking in its originality and yet congenial to the scientific temper of the age.
In the minds of all later historians, he counts as the progenitor of the modern spirit of philosophy.
National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland From the past there seeped into the Cartesian synthesis doctrines about God from Anselm and Aquinas, a theory of the will from Augustine, a deep sympathy with the Stoicism of the Romans, and a skeptical method taken indirectly from Pyrrho and Sextus Empiricus.
But Descartes was also a great mathematician—he invented analytic geometry —and the author of many important physical and anatomical experiments. Each of the maxims of Leonardo, which constitute the Renaissance worldview, found its place in Descartes: Bacon and Descartes, the founders of modern empiricism and rationalism, respectively, both subscribed to two pervasive tenets of the Renaissance: The metaphor is revealing, for it indicates that for Descartes—as for Bacon and Galileo—the most important part of the tree was the trunk.
In other words, Descartes busied himself with metaphysics only in order to provide a firm foundation for physics. Thus, the Discourse on Method, which provides a synoptic view of the Cartesian philosophy, shows it to be not a metaphysics founded upon physics as was the case with Aristotle but rather a physics founded upon metaphysics.
Thus his metaphysics in essence consisted of three principles: To employ the procedure of complete and systematic doubt to eliminate every belief that does not pass the test of indubitability skepticism.
To accept no idea as certain that is not cleardistinct, and free of contradiction mathematicism. From the indubitability of the self, Descartes inferred the existence of a perfect God; and, from the fact that a perfect being is incapable of falsification or deception, he concluded that the ideas about the physical world that God has implanted in human beings must be true.
Cartesian metaphysics is the fountainhead of rationalism in modern philosophy, for it suggests that the mathematical criteria of clarity, distinctness, and logical consistency are the ultimate test of meaningfulness and truth.The Social Contract Theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke Introduction Thomas Hobbes ( ) and John Locke ( ) developed their political theories at a time of religious, political and social upheaval in England.
Thomas Hobbes research papers explicate the complexities of Hobbes' philosophy. Research papers on Thomas Hobbes () show he was one of the first to recognize government as the creation of humans, and not the divine state of the universe.
Hobbes research papers tell of a social contract is made between individuals in order to soften the natural state, which is war. Although he completed a philosophical education at Oxford, John Locke declined the offer of a permanent academic position in order to avoid committing himself to a religious order.
Thomas Hobbes describes the state of nature as a society without government controls. Men are free to do what they chose without laws regulating their actions and without repercussions from these actions.
In this type of society men will fear one another and fight to gain power and control.4/4(1). Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two of the great political theorists of their time.
Both created great philosophical texts that help to describe the role of government in man’s life, as well as their views of man’s state of nature.
Philosophy is the systematic study of the foundations of human knowledge with an emphasis on the conditions of its validity and finding answers to ultimate questions.
While every other science aims at investigating a specific area of knowledge, such as physics or psychology, philosophy has been defined as “thinking about thinking.”At the same time, as expressed by its Greek etymology.