Indeed, Plato, Kant, Pythagoras, Descartes, Augustine, Hume. I could go on. Unfortunately, it seems that the history of philosophy has a lot more bad philosophers than truly great ones.
Now, Plato is essentially the father of every major irrational philosopher, all of whom borrow elements from his work. Plato holds that physical reality is secondary to a world of abstract ideas, which form the true reality.
He based a comprehensive philosophy around this tenant and used it to justify many monstrous things, such as dictatorship, censorship of ideas and so on.
In holding ideas as independent of and superior to reality, Plato was the supreme rationalist and under the influence of his philosophy, man has been attempting to sever ideas from reality ever since. With ruinous consequences.
Oh and then we have Kant, the ultimate evil in philosophy. His philosophy is the ultimate conclusion of over 2000 years of irrational philosophy in the West.
It is the most blindly irrational philosophy ever invented and condemns man to the most blindly irrational fate possible, all in the name of faith and blind duty.
His philosophy has massive influences on philosophy, physics and the morality of many people. For instance, it influenced Bohr and Einstein in their notion that you cannot know reality, only mathematical appearances.
Pythagoras was a mathematical mystic. He held that reality is actually just numbers. In several ways his ideas are similar to that of Plato and Plato may have been inspired by Pythagoras in some respects.
Then there’s Descartes, who was a major rationalistic influence on modern philosophy.
Augustine helped define the philosophy of Christianity and infused it with a further heavy element of Neoplatonism. And is thus a major influence on the blindly irrational theology of Christianity.
Hume helped to sever experience from knowledge. He argued that we cannot really rely on cause and the practical impossibility of concluding anything about the future. We have plenty of skeptics like this guy around us today.
Wow, those are some seriously damaging ideas! Let’s go back to something inspiring again.
What is your favorite quote?
“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. ” – Ayn Rand.
Yes, that’s a good one!