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Eric Alfred Havelock (/ˈhævlɒk/; 3 June 1903 – 4 April 1988) was a British classicist who spent most of his life in Canada and the United States. He was a professor at the University of Toronto and was active in the Canadian socialist movement during the 1930s. In the 1960s and 1970s, he served as chair of the classics departments at both Harvard and Yale. Although he was trained in the turn-of-the-20th-century Oxbridge tradition of classical studies, which saw Greek intellectual history as an unbroken chain of related ideas, Havelock broke radically with his own teachers and proposed an entirely new model for understanding the classical world, based on a sharp division between literature of the 6th and 5th centuries BC on the one hand, and that of the 4th on the other.
Much of Havelock's work was devoted to addressing a single thesis: that all of Western thought is informed by a profound shift in the kinds of ideas available to the human mind at the point that Greek philosophy converted from an oral to a literate form. The idea has been controversial in classical studies, and has been rejected outright both by many of Havelock's contemporaries and modern classicists. Havelock and his ideas have nonetheless had far-reaching influence, both in classical studies and other academic areas. He and Walter J. Ong (who was himself strongly influenced by Havelock) essentially founded the field that studies transitions from orality to literacy, and Havelock has been one of the most frequently cited theorists in that field; as an account of communication, his work profoundly affected the media theories of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan. Havelock's influence has spread beyond the study of the classical world to that of analogous transitions in other times and places. (Full article...)
Intelligent design (ID) is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins". Proponents claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, and is therefore not science. The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a Christian, politically conservative think tank based in the United States.
Sir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams, FBA (21 September 1929 – 10 June 2003) was an English moral philosopher. His publications include Problems of the Self (1973), Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (1985), Shame and Necessity (1993), and Truth and Truthfulness (2002). He was knighted in 1999.
Like Darwin, Wallace did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin. He would then do fieldwork in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line, which separates the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts: a western portion in which the animals are largely of Asian origin, and an eastern portion where the fauna reflect Australasia. He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography". (Full article...)
In his counterarguments, Eagleton explains how class struggle is central to Marxism, and that history is seen as a progression of modes of production, like feudalism and capitalism, involving the materials, technology and social relations required to produce goods and services within the society. Under a capitalist economy, the working class, known as the proletariat, are those lacking significant autonomy over their labour conditions, and have no control over the means of production. Eagleton describes how revolutions could lead to a new mode of production—socialism—in which the working class have control, and an eventual communist society could make the state obsolete. He explores the failures of the Soviet Union and other Marxist-Leninist countries. (Full article...)
Cover of the first edition
The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand, her first major literary success. The novel's protagonist, Howard Roark, is an intransigent young architect, who battles against conventional standards and refuses to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. Roark embodies what Rand believed to be the ideal man, and his struggle reflects Rand's belief that individualism is superior to collectivism.
Roark is opposed by what he calls "second-handers", who value conformity over independence and integrity. These include Roark's former classmate, Peter Keating, who succeeds by following popular styles but turns to Roark for help with design problems. Ellsworth Toohey, a socialistarchitecture critic who uses his influence to promote his political and social agenda, tries to destroy Roark's career. Tabloid newspaper publisher Gail Wynand seeks to shape popular opinion; he befriends Roark, then betrays him when public opinion turns in a direction he cannot control. The novel's most controversial character is Roark's lover, Dominique Francon. She believes that non-conformity has no chance of winning, so she alternates between helping Roark and working to undermine him. (Full article...)
Title page from the first edition of Locke'sSome Thoughts Concerning Education (1693)
Some Thoughts Concerning Education is a 1693 treatise on the education of gentlemen written by the English philosopher John Locke. For over a century, it was the most important philosophical work on education in England. It was translated into almost all of the major written European languages during the eighteenth century, and nearly every European writer on education after Locke, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, acknowledged its influence.
In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Locke outlined a new theory of mind, contending that the gentleman's mind was a tabula rasa or "blank slate"; that is, it did not contain any innate ideas. Some Thoughts Concerning Education explains how to educate that mind using three distinct methods: the development of a healthy body; the formation of a virtuous character; and the choice of an appropriate academic curriculum. (Full article...)
The Augustinian theodicy, named for the 4th- and 5th-century theologian and philosopher Augustine of Hippo, is a type of Christiantheodicy that developed in response to the evidential problem of evil. As such, it attempts to explain the probability of an omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnibenevolent (all-loving) God amid evidence of evil in the world. A number of variations of this kind of theodicy have been proposed throughout history; their similarities were first described by the 20th-century philosopher John Hick, who classified them as "Augustinian". They typically assert that God is perfectly (ideally) good, that he created the world out of nothing, and that evil is the result of humanity's original sin. The entry of evil into the world is generally explained as consequence of original sin and its continued presence due to humans' misuse of free will and concupiscence. God's goodness and benevolence, according to the Augustinian theodicy, remain perfect and without responsibility for evil or suffering.
Augustine of Hippo was the first to develop the theodicy. He rejected the idea that evil exists in itself, instead regarding it as a corruption of goodness, caused by humanity's abuse of free will. Augustine believed in the existence of a physical Hell as a punishment for sin, but argued that those who choose to accept the salvation of Jesus Christ will go to Heaven. In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas – influenced by Augustine – proposed a similar theodicy based on the view that God is goodness and that there can be no evil in him. He believed that the existence of goodness allows evil to exist, through the fault of humans. Augustine also influenced John Calvin, who supported Augustine's view that evil is the result of free will and argued that sin corrupts humans, requiring God's grace to give moral guidance. (Full article...)
Priestley is credited with his independent discovery of oxygen by the thermal decomposition of mercuric oxide, having isolated it in 1774. During his lifetime, Priestley's considerable scientific reputation rested on his invention of carbonated water, his writings on electricity, and his discovery of several "airs" (gases), the most famous being what Priestley dubbed "dephlogisticated air" (oxygen). Priestley's determination to defend phlogiston theory and to reject what would become the chemical revolution eventually left him isolated within the scientific community. (Full article...)
In political philosophy, a throffer is a proposal (also called an intervention) that mixes an offer with a threat which will be carried out if the offer is not accepted. The term was first used in print by political philosopher Hillel Steiner; while other writers followed, it has not been universally adopted and it is sometimes considered synonymous with carrot and stick. Though the threatening aspect of a throffer need not be obvious, or even articulated at all, an overt example is: "Kill this man and receive £100; fail to kill him and I'll kill you."
Steiner differentiated offers, threats and throffers based on the preferability of compliance and noncompliance for the subject when compared to the normal course of events that would have come about were no intervention made. Steiner's account was criticised by philosopher Robert Stevens, who instead suggested that what was important in differentiating the kinds of intervention was whether performing or not performing the requested action was more or less preferable than it would have been were no intervention made. Throffers form part of the wider moral and political considerations of coercion, and form part of the question of the possibility of coercive offers. Contrary to received wisdom that only threats can be coercive, throffers lacking explicit threats have been cited as an example of coercive offers, while some writers argue that offers, threats and throffers may all be coercive if certain conditions are met. For others, by contrast, if a throffer is coercive, it is explicitly the threat aspect that makes it so, and not all throffers can be considered coercive. (Full article...)
Born in Kaunas, Russian Empire (now Lithuania), to a Jewish family, Goldman emigrated to the United States in 1885. Attracted to anarchism after the Chicago Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Frick survived the attempt on his life in 1892, and Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. (Full article...)
Earlier, Du Bois had risen to national prominence as a leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois and his supporters opposed the Atlanta compromise, an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Instead, Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth, a concept under the umbrella of racial uplift, and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership. (Full article...)
In his early life, Maximus was a civil servant, and an aide to the Byzantine EmperorHeraclius. He gave up this life in the political sphere to enter the monastic life. Maximus had studied diverse schools of philosophy, and certainly what was common for his time, the Platonic dialogues, the works of Aristotle, and numerous later Platonic commentators on Aristotle and Plato, like Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Proclus. When one of his friends began espousing the Christological position known as Monothelitism, Maximus was drawn into the controversy, in which he supported an interpretation of the Chalcedonian formula on the basis of which it was asserted that Jesus had both a human and a divine will. Maximus is venerated in both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. He was eventually persecuted for his Christological positions; following a trial, his tongue and right hand were mutilated. (Full article...)
Most of decision theory is normative or prescriptive, i.e. it is concerned with identifying the best decision to take, assuming an ideal decision taker who is fully informed, able to compute with perfect accuracy, and fully rational. The practical application of this prescriptive approach (how people should make decisions) is called decision analysis, and aimed at finding tools, methodologies and software to help people make better decisions. The most systematic and comprehensive software tools developed in this way are called decision support systems.
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Title page of a Song dynasty (c. 1100) edition of the I Ching
The I Ching or Yi Jing (Chinese: 易經, Mandarin:[î tɕíŋ](listen)), usually translated as Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), the I Ching was transformed over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500–200 BC) into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of East Asian philosophical thought.
As a divination text, the I Ching is used for a traditional Chinese form of cleromancy known as I Ching divination, in which bundles of yarrow stalks are manipulated to produce sets of six apparently random numbers ranging from 6 to 9. Each of the 64 possible sets corresponds to a hexagram, which can be looked up in the text. The hexagrams are arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence. The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching has been endlessly discussed and debated over the centuries. Many commentators have used the book symbolically, often to provide guidance for moral decision making as informed by Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The hexagrams themselves have often acquired cosmological significance and been paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin and yang and Wu Xing. (Full article...)
Manilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi (pronounced [məɲilal nəbʰubʰai dvivedi](listen); 26 September 1858 – 1 October 1898) was a Gujarati-language writer, philosopher, and social thinker from British India, commonly referred to as Manilal in literary circles. He was an influential figure in 19th-century Gujarati literature, and was one of several Gujarati writers and educators involved in the debate over social reforms, focusing on issues such as the status of women, child marriage, and the question of whether widows could remarry. He held Eastern civilisation in high esteem, and resisted the influence of Western civilisation, a position which drew him into conflicts with other social reformers of a less conservative outlook. He considered himself a "reformer along religious lines".
Manilal's writings belong to the Pandit Yuga, or "Scholar Era" – a time in which Gujarati writers explored their traditional literature, culture and religion in order to redefine contemporary Indian identity when it was subject to challenge from the influential Western model introduced under colonial rule. His works include Atmanimajjan, a collection of poems on the theme of love in the context of Advaita (non-duality) philosophy; Kanta, a play combining Sanskrit and English dramatic techniques; Nrusinhavatar, a play based on Sanskrit dramatic traditions; Pranavinimaya, a study of yoga and mysticism; and Siddhantasara, a historical critique of the world's religious philosophies. His faith in Shankara's Advaita philosophy provided the fundamental underpinning for his philosophical thought. He was invited to present a paper at the first Parliament of World Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, but financial considerations made his participation there impossible. (Full article...)
Rothbard argued that all services provided by the "monopoly system of the corporate state" could be provided more efficiently by the private sector and wrote that the state is "the organization of robbery systematized and writ large". He called fractional-reserve banking a form of fraud and opposed central banking. He categorically opposed all military, political, and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations. According to his protégé Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "[t]here would be no anarcho-capitalist movement to speak of without Rothbard". (Full article...)
Ad hominem (Latin for 'to the person'), short for argumentum ad hominem (Latin for 'argument to the person'), refers to several types of arguments, some but not all of which are fallacious. Typically this term refers to a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. The most common form of ad hominem is "A makes a claim x, B asserts that A holds a property that is unwelcome, and hence B concludes that argument x is wrong".
Fallacious ad hominem reasoning occurs where the validity of an argument is not based on deduction or syllogism, but on an attribute of the person putting it forward. (Full article...)
Nishidhi, a 14th-century memorial stone depicting the observance of the vow of Sallekhana with old Kannada inscription. Found at Tavanandi forest, Karnataka, India.
Sallekhana (IAST: sallekhanā), also known as samlehna, santhara, samadhi-marana or sanyasana-marana, is a supplementary vow to the ethical code of conduct of Jainism. It is the religious practice of voluntarily fasting to death by gradually reducing the intake of food and liquids. It is viewed in Jainism as the thinning of human passions and the body, and another means of destroying rebirth-influencing karma by withdrawing all physical and mental activities. It is not considered as a suicide by Jain scholars because it is not an act of passion, nor does it employ poisons or weapons. After the sallekhana vow, the ritual preparation and practice can extend into years.
Sallekhana is a vow available to both Jain ascetics and householders. Historic evidence such as nishidhi engravings suggest sallekhana was observed by both men and women, including queens, in Jain history. However, in the modern era, death through sallekhana has been a relatively uncommon event. (Full article...)
Broad classification of Karmas as per Jain philosophy
Karma is the basic principle within an overarching psycho-cosmology in Jainism. Human moral actions form the basis of the transmigration of the soul (jīva). The soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world (saṃsāra), until it finally achieves liberation (mokṣa). Liberation is achieved by following a path of purification.
Jains believe that karma is a physical substance that is everywhere in the universe. Karma particles are attracted to the soul by the actions of that soul. Karma particles are attracted when we do, think, or say things, when we kill something, when we lie, when we steal and so on. Karma not only encompasses the causality of transmigration, but is also conceived of as an extremely subtle matter, which infiltrates the soul—obscuring its natural, transparent and pure qualities. Karma is thought of as a kind of pollution, that taints the soul with various colours (leśyā). Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnates in various states of existence—like heavens or hells, or as humans or animals. (Full article...)
The argument from morality is an argument for the existence of God. Arguments from morality tend to be based on moral normativity or moral order. Arguments from moral normativity observe some aspect of morality and argue that God is the best or only explanation for this, concluding that God must exist. Arguments from moral order are based on the asserted need for moral order to exist in the universe. They claim that, for this moral order to exist, God must exist to support it. The argument from morality is noteworthy in that one cannot evaluate the soundness of the argument without attending to almost every important philosophical issue in meta-ethics.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant devised an argument from morality based on practical reason. Kant argued that the goal of humanity is to achieve perfect happiness and virtue (the summum bonum) and believed that an afterlife must exist in order for this to be possible, and that God must exist to provide this. In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argued that "conscience reveals to us a moral law whose source cannot be found in the natural world, thus pointing to a supernatural Lawgiver." Lewis argued that accepting the validity of human reason as a given must include accepting the validity of practical reason, which could not be valid without reference to a higher cosmic moral order which could not exist without a God to create and/or establish it. A related argument is from conscience; John Henry Newman argued that the conscience supports the claim that objective moral truths exist because it drives people to act morally even when it is not in their own interest. Newman argued that, because the conscience suggests the existence of objective moral truths, God must exist to give authority to these truths. (Full article...)
In 1943, Guthrie became the chairman of graduate philosophy at Georgetown University and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In this role, he admitted the first women to the school on equal terms as men. For twenty years, he promoted the belief that intellectuals must play a central role in combatting the ideologies that led to World War II. To that end, he was a member of the drafting committee of the UNESCO charter, was a co-founder of an American academy of Catholic intellectuals, and travelled the world with the U.S. State Department, for which he received honors from several countries and organizations. (Full article...)
Fodor was known for his provocative and sometimes polemical style of argumentation. He argued that mental states, such as beliefs and desires, are relations between individuals and mental representations. He maintained that these representations can only be correctly explained in terms of a language of thought (LOT) in the mind. Furthermore, this language of thought itself is an actually existing thing that is codified in the brain and not just a useful explanatory tool. Fodor adhered to a species of functionalism, maintaining that thinking and other mental processes consist primarily of computations operating on the syntax of the representations that make up the language of thought. (Full article...)
The Kingdom of This World (Spanish: El reino de este mundo) is a novel by Cuban author Alejo Carpentier, published in 1949 in his native Spanish and first translated into English in 1957. A work of historical fiction, it tells the story of Haiti before, during, and after the Haitian Revolution led by Toussaint Louverture, as seen by its central character, Ti Noel, who serves as the novel's connecting thread. Carpentier's work has been influenced by his multi-cultural experience and his passion for the arts, as well as by authors such as Miguel de Cervantes. The novel stems from the author's desire to retrace the roots and history of the New World, and is embedded with what Carpentier calls "lo real maravilloso" or "the marvelous real"—a concept he introduced to the world of literature (not to be confused with magical realism).
Throughout the novel, varying perceptions of reality that arise due to cultural differences between its characters are emphasized and contrasted. Carpentier explores hybridization, nature, voodoo, ethnicity, history and destiny, confusion, violence, and sexuality in a style that blends history with fiction and uses repetition to emphasize the cyclical nature of events. The novel was largely well-received with much attention paid to Carpentier's inclusion of magic realism and The Kingdom of This World has been described as an important work in the development of this genre in Caribbean and Latin American literature. However, some technical aspects of his style have been ignored by the academic community, and the novel's narrative organization has been criticized. (Full article...)
Jagadguru Rambhadracharya delivering a sermon on 25 October 2009 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Rambhadracharya is the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth, a religious and social service institution in Chitrakoot named after Saint Tulsidas. He is the founder and lifelong chancellor of the Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University in Chitrakoot, which offers graduate and postgraduate courses exclusively to four types of disabled students. Rambhadracharya has been blind since the age of two months, had no formal education until the age of seventeen years, and has never used Braille or any other aid to learn or compose. (Full article...)
Childish and Thomson have issued several manifestos. The first one was The Stuckists, consisting of 20 points starting with "Stuckism is a quest for authenticity". Remodernism, the other well-known manifesto of the movement, is a criticism of postmodernism; it aims to get back to the true spirit of modernism, to produce art with spiritual value regardless of style, subject matter or medium. In another manifesto they define themselves as anti-anti-art which is against anti-art and for art. (Full article...)
A Jewish woman chased by men and youth during the pogrom
Ukrainian nationalists targeted Jews in the first pogrom on the pretext of their purported responsibility for the NKVD prisoner massacre in Lviv, which left behind thousands of corpses in three Lviv prisons. The subsequent massacres were directed by the Germans in the context of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. The pogroms were ignored or obfuscated in Ukrainian historical memory, starting with OUN's actions to purge or whitewash its own record of anti-Jewish violence. (Full article...)
Image 7Leo Tolstoy in 1897. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.
Image 8The center third of Education (1890), a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, located in Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University. It depicts Science (personified by Devotion, Labor, Truth, Research and Intuition) and Religion (personified by Purity, Faith, Hope, Reverence and Inspiration) in harmony, presided over by the central personification of "Light·Love·Life".
Image 15Oscar Wilde reclining with Poems, by Napoleon Sarony, in New York in 1882. Wilde often liked to appear idle, though in fact he worked hard; by the late 1880s he was a father, an editor, and a writer.
Philosophy ponders the most fundamental questions humankind has been able to ask. These are increasingly numerous and over time they have been arranged into the overlapping branches of the philosophy tree:
Aesthetics: What is art? What is beauty? Is there a standard of taste? Is art meaningful? If so, what does it mean? What is good art? Is art for the purpose of an end, or is "art for art's sake?" What connects us to art? How does art affect us? Is some art unethical? Can art corrupt or elevate societies?
Epistemology: What are the nature and limits of knowledge? What is more fundamental to human existence, knowing (epistemology) or being (ontology)? How do we come to know what we know? What are the limits and scope of knowledge? How can we know that there are other minds (if we can)? How can we know that there is an external world (if we can)? How can we prove our answers? What is a true statement?
Ethics: Is there a difference between ethically right and wrong actions (or values, or institutions)? If so, what is that difference? Which actions are right, and which wrong? Do divine commands make right acts right, or is their rightness based on something else? Are there standards of rightness that are absolute, or are all such standards relative to particular cultures? How should I live? What is happiness?
Logic: What makes a good argument? How can I think critically about complicated arguments? What makes for good thinking? When can I say that something just does not make sense? Where is the origin of logic?
Metaphysics: What sorts of things exist? What is the nature of those things? Do some things exist independently of our perception? What is the nature of space and time? What is the relationship of the mind to the body? What is it to be a person? What is it to be conscious? Do gods exist?
Political philosophy: Are political institutions and their exercise of power justified? What is justice? Is there a 'proper' role and scope of government? Is democracy the best form of governance? Is governance ethically justifiable? Should a state be allowed? Should a state be able to promote the norms and values of a certain moral or religious doctrine? Are states allowed to go to war? Do states have duties against inhabitants of other states?