If anything has characterized philosophy throughout history, it is the large number of paradigms of thought that it has created.
Among the great thinkers the most original, brilliant and even crazy philosophical theories are born, And many of them have marked our way of interpreting reality and our personal relationships.
The 10 most relevant philosophical theories
All philosophical theories have not had the same weight; some were quickly forgotten, while others, outdated or not, continue to resonate in our consciousness to help us understand parts of our experiences at times. Below we will do a brief review.
1. Plato’s theory of ideas
This ancient Greek philosopher is one of the best known for the influence he had on Western culture hundreds of years before his existence.
The belief that the senses deceive us and that reality exists regardless of our opinions and the views were formulated deep into Plato’s theory of ideas, which alienated this thinker from the Sophists, who professed a very convenient relativism for doing business with oratory courses.
On the other hand, this philosophical theory has its roots in Plato’s particular conception of reality: for him, what really perfect ideas of things are, and what we usually mean by matter is nothing more than a mirage, an imperfect reflection of these essences. try to imitate.
2. Nietzsche’s Theory of Eternal Return
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche he embodied his vitalist thought through his theory of the eternal return. This is based on the idea that the life to aspire to is one that we would like to be repeated over and over again, not only in terms of what is happening around us, but also including our thoughts and emotions in this eternal loop. .
3. The soul in the body, by René Descartes
Descartes was one of the main representatives of dualism, the doctrine that reality is composed of at least two elements of the same hierarchical category independent of each other.
This French thinker, in particular, largely developed a theory that in every human being there is a body and a spiritual substance who directs it and who is the source of our consciousness.
4. Pragmatic theory of William James
William James was not only one of the most important philosophers of his time, but he was also one of the founders of psychology as a science. One of his most revolutionary ideas was that our beliefs have a real effect on the kind of life we live. Believing in one thing or another can be what causes us to die or build very good standards of living for ourselves. His way of thinking was a call to act as if our actions made a difference to allow this standard to be met through our aspirations and beliefs.
5. Mary Wollstonecraft’s Equitable Education Theory
In the 18th century, common sense dictated that men and women should receive a different education according to their different “natures”. This idea was challenged by Mary Wollstonecraft, who did a revolutionary thing: to question the idea that the fact that men and women behave differently means that it has to be the case in all cases, if not be. socially promoted.
In short, this reference to feminism pointed out earlier that, regardless of our biological characteristics, we are all human beings and by default we deserve equal treatment regardless of any discrimination.
6. Rousseau’s Theory of the Good Savage
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the greatest critics of the Enlightenment and questioned the idea that scientific progress produced more social well-being in terms of human development and standard of living for all. Instead, he noted that the creation of societies marked by the complexity of personal relationships and the creation of hierarchies and norms could mean a step backwards.
For this thinker, the effect of the development of civilizations could do this we stop taking into account the humanity of people and we begin to treat them as resources to obey a “common good”. To this dynamic is opposed the idea of the good savage, embodied by boys and girls who, not having been fully socialized, would behave in a more ethical and purer way than adults corrupted by conventions, at least according to this author.
On the other hand, this does not mean that Rousseau believed that at some point in our history the absence of civilization betrayed peace. It is in any case a hypothetical situation which serves to illustrate the way in which, according to this philosopher, society defiles us.
Subsequently, the theory of the good savage was widely criticized by prominent figures in evolutionary psychology, such as Steven Pinker. However, this idea remains a symbolic reference in our way of thinking.
7. Hume’s Fork
David Hume is probably the most important representative of the empiricist philosophy, according to which knowledge is built through our experiences and interactions with reality, and not so much through reflection and isolation.
One of his great contributions to history has been his theory on the fork of knowledge. This states that knowledge is made up of demonstrative statements, which are taken for granted, and others which are probable and inform us about the properties of the world around us. The former are basically governed by formal logic, while the latter are generated by experience. The former are always true, but they don’t tell us anything about what is going on in nature, while the latter tell us about specific aspects of our lives, but they don’t have to be true.
For Hume, cal know the limits and advantages of each of these two forms of knowledge not to mix them up and to draw conclusions that will get us into trouble.
8. Spinoza’s metaphysical theory
Benedictus d’Espinoza was one of the great philosophers of 17th century Europe and offered a mystical view of the world around us. His conception of divinity led him to defend the idea that all elements of nature are equally sacred and spiritual, because they all form God at the same time. For Spinoza, the soul was not something exclusive to human beings, but was everywhere: in plants, in rocks, in landscapes, etc.
9. The mysticism of numbers of the Pythagoreans
The Pythagoreans were a Hellenic sect whose relation to the world of mathematics went far beyond purely intellectual interest. They believed that everything in nature follows the rules of numbers, And that the essence of all that exists is in these elements. Thus, mathematics was conceived as the sacred element structuring matter and ideas.
This devotion to numbers and their relationships can be understood if we consider that mathematics seems to describe the formal mechanics of the world: its laws apply anytime, anywhere, so they seem to believe “in form.” of the material.
10. Lao Tse’s tao theory
Lao Tse is one of the most influential figures in Chinese history, and he is for good reason; developed a conception of nature based on the idea that everything flows as it should, without human intervention. According to this philosophy, it is desirable not to interfere with the natural development of things, to moderate one’s ambitions and to live humbly without straying from the path of virtue.