Some Philosophical Schools of Thought<br />Noel C. Jopson, MATSS<br />Existentialism<br /><ul><li>The doctrine that existence takes precedence over essence and holding that man is totally free and responsible for his acts. This responsibility is the source of dread and anguish that encompass mankind.
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.
Notable philosophers : Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus</li></ul>Phenomenology<br /><ul><li>Modern school of philosophy founded by Edmund Husserl. Its influence extended throughout Europe and was particularly important to the early development of existentialism. Husserl attempted to develop a universal philosophic method, devoid of presuppositions, by focusing purely on phenomena and describing them; anything that could not be seen, and thus was not immediately given to the consciousness, was excluded. The concern was with what is known, not how it is known. The phenomenological method is thus neither the deductive method of logic nor the empirical method of the natural sciences; instead it consists in realizing the presence of an object and elucidating its meaning through intuition.
Notable philosophers : Husserl, Edith Stein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger</li></ul>Analytic Philosophy<br /><ul><li>The term "Analytic Philosophy" was applied during the twentieth century to the dominant philosophical tradition in English speaking academia, and has been applied retrospectively to the philosophical tradition stretching back through millennia before it.
To analyze means to break something down into its constituent parts. Analytic philosophy attempts to clarify, by analysis, the meaning of statements and concepts. Analytic philosophy has been important in the in the English speaking academic world since the beginning of the 20th century.
Notable philosophers : Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gottlob Frege, Gilbert Ryle, Richard Rorty</li></ul>Hermeneutics<br /><ul><li>The term hermeneutics covers both the first order art and the second order theory of understanding and interpretation of linguistic and non-linguistic expressions. As a theory of interpretation, the hermeneutic tradition stretches all the way back to ancient Greek philosophy. In the course of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, hermeneutics emerges as a crucial branch of Biblical studies. Later on, it comes to include the study of ancient and classic cultures.
Notable philosophers : Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur</li></ul>Postmodernism<br /><ul><li>a term that refers to a self-conscious cultural movement that reacted against the principles and ideals of the modernist movements in literature, art, architecture, film, philosophy, etc.
Notable philosophers : Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean Francois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard</li></ul>Deconstructionism<br /><ul><li>Deconstructionism is a philosophical method most closely associated with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.
There can be, he argues, no simple, single interpretation of a text. Instead there are several (or many), all of which have validity and which are, ultimately, irreducibly different and irreconcilable. This method of thought has been applied to intellectual pursuits as diverse as literary and artistic criticism, philosophy and religion.
Notable philosophers : Jacques Derrida</li></ul>Skepticism<br /><ul><li>The term “skeptic” derives from a Greek noun, skepsis, which means examination, inquiry, consideration.
Skepticism is the Western philosophical tradition that maintains that human beings can never arrive at any kind of certain knowledge. Originating in Greece in the middle of the fourth century BC, skepticism and its derivatives are based on the following principles: (a) There is no such thing as certainty in human knowledge; (b) All human knowledge is only probably true, that is, true most of the time, or not true.
Notable philosophers : Socrates, Rene Descartes</li></ul>Pragmatism<br /><ul><li>Pragmatism was a philosophical tradition that originated in the United States around 1870.
The core of pragmatism was the pragmatist maxim, a rule for clarifying the contents of hypotheses by tracing their ‘practical consequences’.
Notable philosophers : Charles Pierce Sanders, William James, John Dewey</li></ul>Feminism<br /><ul><li>Feminism is both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms. However, there are many different kinds of feminism. Feminists disagree about what sexism consists in, and what exactly ought to be done about it; they disagree about what it means to be a woman or a man and what social and political implications gender has or should have. Nonetheless, motivated by the quest for social justice, feminist inquiry provides a wide range of perspectives on social, cultural, and political phenomena. Important topics for feminist theory and politics include: the body, class and work, disability, the family, globalization, human rights, popular culture, race and racism, reproduction, science, the self, sex work, and sexuality.
Notable philosophers : Hannah Arendt, Simone De Beauvoir</li></ul>Utilitarianism<br /><ul><li>Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. As such, it moves beyond the scope of one's own interests and takes into account the interests of others.
Notable philosophers : Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill</li></ul>Rationalism<br /><ul><li>from the Latin ratio, meaning 'reason' - is a point of view that states that reason plays the main role in understanding the world and obtaining knowledge.
Reliance on reason as the only reliable source of human knowledge. In the most general application, rationalism offers a naturalistic alternative to appeals to religious accounts of human nature and conduct. More specifically, rationalism is the epistemological theory that significant knowledge of the world can best be achieved by a priori means; it therefore stands in contrast to empiricism.
Notable philosophers : Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz</li></ul>Empiricism<br /><ul><li>from Latin empeiria which means experience.
Reliance on experience as the source of ideas and knowledge. More specifically, empiricism is the epistemological theory that genuine information about the world must be acquired by posteriori means, so that nothing can be thought without first being sensed.
Notable philosophers : John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume</li></ul>___________________________________________<br />References:<br />Analytic philosophy. http://www.philosopher.org.uk/index.htm. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Analytic philosophy. http://www.rbjones.com/rbjpub/philos/inter016.htm. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Cavalier, Robert. 2002. Utilitarianism. http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/cavalier/80130/part2/sect9.html. Accessed last December 7, 2010.<br />Demeterio, F.P.A. 2006. Understanding Postmodern Culture and Philosophy. Included in The philosophical landscape: A panoramic perspective on philosophy. Quezon City : C & E Publishing Inc.<br />Garth, Kamerling. 2002. Rationalism. An entry in the philosophy pages. http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/r.htm. Accessed last December 9, 2010.<br />Haslanger, Sally and Nancy Tuana. 2004. Topics in Feminism. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-topics/. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Hooker, Richard. 1999. Skepticism. http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/SKEPT.HTM. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Hookway, Christopher. 2008. Pragmatism. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/. Accessed last December 7, 2010.<br />Ramberg, Bjorn and Kristin Gjesdal. 2005. Hermeneutics. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hermeneutics/. Accessed December 8, 2010.<br />The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2002 by Columbia University Press<br />The Theory of Knowledge: Rationalism. http://www.philosophyonline.co.uk/tok/rationalism2.htm. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Thorsrud, Harold. 2004. Ancient Greek Skepticism. http://www.iep.utm.edu/skepanci/. Accessed last December 7, 2010.<br />Walsh, John. 2009. What is Deconstruction. http://socyberty.com/philosophy/what-is-deconstructionism/. Accessed December 8, 2010.<br />Witt, Charlotte. 2007. Feminist History of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-femhist/. Accessed last December 8, 2010.<br />Wyatt, C.S. 2010. The Existentialist lexicon. http: //www.tameri.com/ csw/exist/ ex_lexicon.html. Accessed last December 7, 2010.<br />