BERKELEY: The Principles of Human Knowledge

The Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley once said “Esse est percipi,” which means “to be is to be perceived.” According to Berkeley, only minds and ideas exist; matter does not exist. He discusses this theory, which will later be referred to as subjective idealism, in his treatise titled, The Principles of Human Knowledge. In this video, we will explore Berkeley’s radical ontology, which, if accepted, resolves many philosophical paradoxes that have haunted mankind from time immemorial. Continue reading BERKELEY: The Principles of Human Knowledge

CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part I]

Written by Miguel de Cervantes, Part One of Don Quixote was published in 1605. The character Don Quixote is obsessed with chivalric novels. He reads so many novels of this genre that he loses his senses and decides to become a knight-errant himself. To aid him in his adventures, he enlists the aid of a peasant named Sancho Panza, who becomes Don Quixote’s faithful squire. Continue reading CERVANTES: Don Quixote [Part I]

HARVEY: The Motion of the Heart and Blood

Published in 1628, On the Motion of the Heart and Blood was written by English physician William Harvey. In the treatise, Harvey introduces the doctrine of the circulatory system. He asserts that blood is pumped from the heart to the extremities, and then the blood returns from the extremities to the heart in a circular fashion. Continue reading HARVEY: The Motion of the Heart and Blood

DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Hell]

The first sentence of Dante’s Divine Comedy is, “Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.” In other words, the Divine Comedy is a product of Dante’s mid-life crisis. He is disappointed in the life he has led thus far. He has an existential crisis and asks himself the “big question” – how should one live? Continue reading DANTE: The Divine Comedy [Hell]

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 75-76, 78-79]

75 – In Question 75, Aquinas argues that the human soul is incorporeal because corporeal bodies are not the principle of life, else all bodies would be alive. We see that only bodies imbued with an incorporeal soul have life. This argument presupposes that a certain arrangement of well-functioning physical bodies cannot animate a body. Continue reading ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica [Part I, QQ 75-76, 78-79]

PLOTINUS: Sixth Ennead

Plotinus is an ancient Greek philosopher who lived from 205-270 BC. He belongs to the philosophical school of Neoplatonism, which expanded upon the metaphysical concepts of Plato. In the Sixth Ennead, Plotinus discourses on the nature of Being, and the nature of the One in particular. The One is Plato’s Form of the Good. It is that from which all existence is derived. Plotinus writes that defining the One is impossible. We must intuit its existence. In order to accomplish this union with the One, we must lead an ascetic life, in which we take little heed of the body and we focus our attention on metaphysical truths. Plotinus’ thoughts have had a significant role in the formation of Christian thought, which has dominated the West for several millennia. Continue reading PLOTINUS: Sixth Ennead

The unexamined life is not worth living.

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