20th Century philosophy has been dominated to a great extent by the rivalry between two very general philosophical traditions, Analytic Philosophy (the largely, although not exclusively, anglophone mindset that philosophy should apply logical techniques and be consistent with modern science) and Continental Philosophy (really just a catch-all label for everything else, mainly based in mainland […]

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In the 19th century the philosophies of the Enlightenment began to have a dramatic effect, the landmark works of earlier philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau influences the 19th century generation of thinkers. In the late 18th century a movement known as Romanticism began; it inspires music, literature, and philosophy. The early 19th […]

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The medieval period in European history covers over a thousand years of development, from the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the 16th century. Nearly all of the medieval thinkers – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim – were pre-occupied with the attempt to synthesize philosophy with […]

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Emmanuel Levinas is a unique philosopher in the 20th century. He redefines traditional philosophy by radically re-thinking it from the point of view of justice, which in his understanding originates in the encounter with the other. For Aristotle, the “first philosophy” is metaphysics: what is the meaning of the verb “to be.” This leads to […]

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This essay was published for the first time in “Justifications de l’Ethique” (Bruxelles: Editions de l’Universite de Bruxelles), 1984, pp. 41 – 51. I am quoting here from the English translation in “,” edited by Sean Hand, 1989, p. 76. Ethics as First Philosophy’ is a clear and powerful summary of Levinas’s methodical and yet […]

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It is spring in California, and we had plenty of rain through the winter. Everything is in bloom, and the De Young Museum uses this abundance to organize its annual “Bouquets to Art” exhibition. The idea is simple, and it draws huge crowds of spectators. The museum invites floral designers and artists to let themselves […]

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Western Philosophy has an almost  3000-year history, with origins in ancient Greece and Rome, to its fully established form today. It is the intellectual discourse that accompanied Western civilization. At its core, philosophy is thinking, a process of reflection that operates on ideas, propositions, and their history. Philosophy as a discipline can be further divided […]

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