By Stephen Law & Julian Baggini
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Additional info for 30-Second Philosophies: The 50 Most Thought-provoking Philosophies, Each Explained in Half a Minute
Karl Popper died in 1994, with his reputation assured as one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. 1902 Born, Vienna, Austria-Hungary 1935 Logik der Forschung published 1937 Fled Austria for New Zealand, and took up a post at Canterbury University College 1945 The Open Society and Its Enemies published 1949 Became Professor of Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics 1957 The Poverty of Historicism published 1959 Logik der Forschung finally appears in English as The Logic of Scientific Discovery translation 1969 Retires from full-time teaching 1994 Dies in London THE BRAIN IN A VAT the 30-second philosophy The “brain in a vat” thought experiment, a version of which is the premise for The Matrix films, tends to be employed to tell us something about our knowledge of the world.
Descartes’ own view, dualist interactionism, is that in a living person mind and body are united, and each is constantly influencing the other. But how can mind affect body if the latter is governed by the laws of nature? Descartes’ answer was that mind and body interact in a human being at a point inside the pineal gland (a small gland located at the base of the brain). This answer didn’t satisfy subsequent philosophers, who have come up with many alternative theories. Among these are: physicalism, the view that mind and body are not really distinct, and mind is really physical; idealism, which holds that body is really an illusion, and only mind exists; monism, which says that reality has both mental and physical aspects; and epiphenomenalism, the view that body can affect mind, but mind cannot affect body.
Aristotle was born in 384 bce, in the Macedonian city of Stagira, now in northern Greece. He was the son of Nicomachus, a physician to the court of the king of Macedon, who sent him to Athens in 367 bce, where he joined Plato’s Academy, remaining there for 20 years, first as a student, and later as a teacher. After Plato’s death, Aristotle left Athens, eventually ending up in Macedon, where he tutored the future Alexander the Great. He then returned to Athens, and founded his own school, the Lyceum or Peripatetic school (likely so called because he taught while strolling along the covered walkways of the Lyceum).
30-Second Philosophies: The 50 Most Thought-provoking Philosophies, Each Explained in Half a Minute by Stephen Law & Julian Baggini