Classical Western: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern : Epistemology and Metaphysics

Pre-Socratic Philosophers: Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenies, Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus,
The Sophists and Socrates
Plato and Aristotle:
 Plato – Theory of knowledge, knowledge and opinion, theory of Ideas, the method of dialectic, soul and God.
 Aristotle – Classification of the sciences, the theoretical, the practical and the
productive, logic as an organon, critique of Plato’s theory of Ideas, theory of causation, form and matter, potentiality and actuality, soul and God.

Medieval Philosophy:

 Augustine: Problem of Evil.
 Anselm: Ontological argument.
 Thomas Aquinas: Faith and Reason, Essence and Existence, the Existence of God.
Modern Western Philosophy:
 Descartes : Conception of method , Criteria of truth, doubt and methodological
scepticism, cogito ergo sum, innate ideas, Cartesian dualism: mind and matter, proofs for the existence of God, interactionism.
 Spinoza : Substance, Attribute and Mode, the concept of ‘God or Nature’, Intellectual love of God, parallelism, pantheism, three orders of knowing.
 Leibnitz : Monadology, truths of reason and fact, innateness of ideas, proofs for the existence of God, principles of non – contradiction, sufficient reason and identity of indiscernibles, the doctrine of pre -established harmony, problem of freedom.
 Locke : Ideas and their classification, refutation of innate ideas, theory of substance,
distinction between primary and secondary qualities, theory of knowledge, three grades of knowledge.
 Berkeley : Rejection of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities,
immaterialism, critique of abstract ideas, esse est percipi, the problem of solipcism; God and self.
 Hume : Impressions and ideas, knowledge concerning relations of ideas and knowledge concerning matters of fact, induction and causality, the external world and the self, personal identity, rejection of metaphysics, scepticism, reason and the passions.
 Kant : The critical philosophy, classification of judgements, possibility of synthetic a priori judgements, the Copernican revolution, forms of sensibility, categories of understanding, the metaphysical and the transcendental deduction of the categories, phenomenon and noumenon, the Ideas of Reason – soul, God and world as a whole, rejection of speculative metaphysics.
 Hegel : The conception of Geist (spirit), the dialectical method, concepts of being, non – being and becoming, absolute idealism, Freedom.

Appearance and Reality-F. H. BRADLEY

THE fact of illusion and error is in various ways forced early upon the mind; and the ideas by which we try to understand the universe, may be considered as attempts to set right our failure. In this division of my work I shall criticize some of these, and shall endeavour to show that they have not reached their object. I shall point out that the world, as so understood, contradicts itself; and is therefore appearance, and not reality. In this chapter I will begin with the proposal to make things intelligible by the distinction between primary and secondary qualities.


The sacred books of India, the Vedas, are generally believed to be the earliest literary record of the Indo-European race. It is indeed difficult to say when the earliest portions of these compositions came into existence. Many shrewd guesses have been offered, but none of them can be proved to be incontestably true. Max Müller supposed the date to be 1200 B.C., Haug 2400 B.C. and Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak 4000 B.C.

John Locke on Property

I think, it is very easy to conceive, without any difficulty, how labour could at first begin a title of property in the common things of nature, and how the spending it upon our uses bounded it. So that there could then be no reason of quarrelling about title, nor any doubt about the largeness of possession it gave. Right and conveniency went together; for as a man had a right to all he could employ his labour upon, so he had no temptation to labour for more than he could make use of