As it has been for centuries, people in the modern world question various aspects of life that can be assessed from the position of philosophy. Philosophy emerges from ancient times and has been developing through the medieval ages until the modern days, providing people with answers and discussions of multiple topics. Certain philosophical views can be used to address major aspects of life, such as the pandemic crisis.
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First, there is a need to examine the development of philosophy through the ages. The history of philosophy begins in ancient Greece, with one of the most renowned philosophers of that time being Aristotle, whose philosophy reflects the thoughtful response to the matters of the world (Redding, 2017). For example, in his Metaphysics, Aristotle claims that people desire to know “by nature” and discusses such matters as first causes and principles, contradictions, and the study of being (Aristotle, 350 B.C.E/2008, p. 1). The next period that designates philosophy is the medieval times, and it can be represented by the views of Augustine of Hippo (Tantray, 2018).
In his Confessions, Saint Augustine describes his life, talks about religion, and expresses his ideas regarding memory, time, and eternity (Augustine, 400 A.D./1999). Finally, the modern era of philosophy can be represented by the ideas of Descartes (Tantray, 2018). A great logician, Descartes was a rationalist who perceived certain matters, such as mind and language, based on mathematical reasoning (Tantray, 2018). As philosophy is a rather broad science, its main ideas can be represented by looking at the views of renowned philosophers.
Next, out of the mentioned philosophers’ views, I feel most connected to Aristotle’s. The reason for my choice of this philosopher above others is due to the variety of his ideas on life. For example, I agree with his discussions on metaphysics and believe that people do desire to know by nature, which can be seen simply by children’s curiosity about the world (Aristotle, 350 B.C.E/2008). Moreover, for as long as I remember, I have been concerned about the beginning of things, and Aristotle’s opinions regarding nature interest me the most (Aristotle, 350 B.C.E/2008). While it is challenging to explain a philosopher’s theories shortly, I can say that I am mostly fascinated by Aristotle’s views.
Furthermore, I believe that even though Aristotle is a representative of ancient philosophy, his certain ideas are universal and can be applied to modern times. Research supports my belief and suggests that Aristotle’s views can be used regarding the current pandemic (Pannese, 2020). In his article, Pannese (2020) bases authorities’ regulations, such as lockdown, on Aristotle’s works on physics and metaphysics. The author uses Aristotle’s physics of natural motion in relation to the human mind and discusses the government’s measures to prevent the spread of the virus as a problem of knowledge and individual freedom (Pannese, 2020). Aristotle’s ideas provide philosophical insight into the matters of current times.
To conclude, philosophy can be used to address various aspects that concern modern society. Although it takes more research to explain the historical development of philosophical views, the main concepts can be seen by looking at the works of representatives of each period. For example, ancient times can be characterized by an interest in the origins of being, whereas the ideas of the medieval period are more closely connected to religion. Overall, my main takeaway from this online class is the confirmation that concepts from even ancient ages can be applied these days.
Aristotle. (2008). Metaphysics. (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Kessinger Publishing.
as little as 3 hours
Augustine, A. (1999). The confessions of Saint Augustine. (E. B. Pusey, Trans.). Grand Rapids.
Pannese, A. (2020). Epidemics, regulations, and Aristotle’s physics of motion: A ballistic perspective on a current debate. Journal of Interdisciplinary History of Ideas, 18(18), 1-34. Web.
Redding, P. (2017). Hegel’s lectures on the history of ancient and medieval philosophy. In Moyar, D. (ed.), The Oxford handbook of Hegel (pp. 1-24). Oxford University Press.
Tantray, M. A. (2018). How mind, logic and language, have evolved from medieval philosophy to early modern philosophy? World Wide Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, 4(5), 222-229.