René Descartes Philosophy
Born in the 17th century, René Descartes was a French philosopher and mathematician. He is considered the father of modern philosophy. In the field of mathematics, Descartes developed the Cartesian coordinate system (Descartes, 2013). As a philosopher, he shifted the concerns of earlier philosophers, which were majorly based on theology, towards a more inclusive philosophy that would touch on interests outside of the church. Furthermore, many other significant philosophers responded to him due to the metaphysical system he developed. The philosopher is credited for the rationalist school of thought that argues that an essential form of knowledge could be gained through reason alone. Additionally, he pressed rationalism to the forces of evidence and logic to achieve real safety.
Descartes often used the language and rules of math to illustrate that his assertions were true due to his mathematical orientation and interest. Following the scientific advancements that had become popular in his time, his philosophy can be seen as a response to the skepticism that had become very prominent (Descartes, 2013). However, some people do not regard Descartes as a true Christian. Although he is termed as a believer, many argue that the philosopher has a different idea about God, as opposed to mainstream Christianity. According to Descartes, the core purpose of knowledge is to ‘make us like the possessors and master of nature.’
Thomas Hobbes Philosophy
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English Philosopher best known for his political and moral philosophy (Cooper, 2010). His main ideas revolved around attaining political and social order. According to the philosophy advanced by Hobbes, people ought to subsist to together in peace so as to lead a conflict-free life. He also envisioned a world that is relevant in contemporary politics. The philosopher poses sharp alternatives; persons ought to obey and respect the unaccountable potentate, which in this case represents a group or a person authorized to decide and arbitrate all political and social issues. If this does not happen, what befalls people is ‘state of nature,’ a situation that is marred with universal insecurity. If this state occurs, all people have the reason to get afraid of violent death and rewarding of human cooperation is impossible.
Even though Hobbes philosophy relates to the modern political world, his arguments can still be subjected to controversies and criticisms. For instance, does the philosopher view people as purely egoistic or driven by self-interest? Some scholars argue that political conclusions can be avoided if people adopt a realistic view of human nature (Cooper, 2010). Despite these criticisms, many still accept that Hobbes had a complicated picture of human motivation. A vital theory presented by Hobbes is the ‘social contract theory that tries to justify political principles that would accrue from a free, rational, and equal society.
Baruch Benedictus Philosophy
Baruch Benedictus, commonly known as Baruch Spinoza is a distinguished philosopher in the early modern period. His philosophy addresses various scopes, including political philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of mind and science, and epistemology. Spinoza’s philosophy earned him an excellent reputation as one of the most original and influential thinkers in the 17th Century (Meymandi, 2010). His articulations combine some epistemological and metaphysical principles with some elements from the ancient ideas advanced by medieval philosophers such as Stoic and Hobbes. Moreover, his naturalistic views on human beings, the world, knowledge, and God serve as a moral ground pillared on the control of the passions that lead to happiness and virtue. Similarly, they lay the foundations of strong democratic thoughts.
Cooper, J. E. (2010). Vainglory, modesty, and political agency in the political theory of Thomas Hobbes. The Review of Politics, 72(2), 241-269.
Descartes, R. (2013). René Descartes: Meditations on first philosophy: With selections from the objections and replies. Cambridge University Press.
Meymandi, A. (2010). Baruch Spinoza: The Philosopher’s Philosopher. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 7(5), 47.