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Why philosophers could be the ones to transform your 2020

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20200114-why-philosophers-could-be-the-ones-to-transform-your-2020

bbc.com

Why philosophers could be the ones to transform your 2020
Can a thinker who last plied his trade two millennia ago really help? Does a controversial 19th-Century German scholar make a good life coach? Might the study of Jean-Paul Sartre be the key to a new you?

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Philosophy is Back In Fashion

Philosophy is Back In Fashion

Recent books in non-fiction points to a growing trend: 19th-century philosophy, once a specialized and highly challenging field, is now the inspiration and guiding torch behind many recent publications.

Be it Stoicism, existentialism, moral dilemmas, or theology, these new books introduce readers to old thinkers whose works were earlier considered obscure concepts, with no implications in the real world.

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Planet in Flux

Planet in Flux

The main reason for the rising interest in philosophical concepts of the 19th Century could be today's crisis-ridden world. People see that the world is in flux. There are financial, geopolitical, and climate issues throughout the planet.

Up till the year 2000, there was a sense of optimism and progress, but it vanished at the turn of the millennium.

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Stoicism

The thought system that is thriving currently is Stoicism.

Stoicism puts forth acceptance and acknowledgment that one cannot control much of what is going on in life. It states that we are part of nature, and in order to lead a good life, we have to make internal changes, like developing the right character and the right state of mind. The stuff you own and what happens to you in the external world doesn't matter.

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Existentialism

The philosophy of Existentialism can be understood by reading the works of Plato or Aristotle, while the works of Jean-Paul Sartre provide more complex interpretations.

The philosophical approach of Existentialism is about living life with passion, sincerity and courage in a world which has no meaning beyond what one gives to it.

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'Philosophy Lite'

The new philosophy books summarizing the famous philosophers may be an attempted distillation of their works, turning it into 'Lite' versions of the main works.

The books may be dumbed-down versions of complex principles, as an attempt to make it palpable to a new audience.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
  • Metaphysical nihilism ar...

Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

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What is within our control

Stoicism asserts that we don’t control and cannot rely on external events, only ourselves and our responses.

Turning obstacles into advantages

At the very root of Stoicism there is a very simple, though not easy, way of living: Take obstacles in your life and turn them into your advantage, control what you can and accept what you can’t.

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”

How we perceive philosophy

How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

In...

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.