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Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of questions concerning existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is broken into four main branches of study which are epistemology, metaphysics, axiology, and logic.
Philosophy has spanned multiple eras of thought, the first of which was dubbed Pre-Socratic Philosophy because Socrates does not influence this period. It was dominated primarily by a focus on cosmological and physical speculation which contrasted with later philosophies dominated by a focus on morality spear-headed by Socrates. During this time three main schools of thought appeared: the Ionics, the Pythagoreans, and the Eleatics. The Ionics studied sensory information in nature, the Pythagoreans studied mathematics, and the Eleatics studied the science of metaphysics. The Seven Sages are known as seven wise men of Greece from this period known for their political beliefs and practical philosophical wisdom. Thales of Miletus, born 640 BC, is the best known of the Seven Sages and was known for his proposition that all things come from water.
Ancient Philosophy started in the west at the end of The Persian War against Greece in 479 BC. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are the most important Greek philosophers of this period and helped form the core foundation of philosophy as a study. Socrates, born 469 BC, is one of the founders of Western philosophy whom contributed greatly to the fields of ethics and epistemology and invented Socratic irony and the Socratic method. Plato, born 428 BC, was a student of Socrates and one of the founders of Western philosophy, Western political philosophy and Western spirituality whom contributed greatly to the bases of science and mathematics and invented the dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. He additionally added significant contributions to the fields of ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Aristotle, born 384 BC, was a student of Plato and one of the founders of Western philosophy whom contributed to a myriad of subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, theology, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government. Epicurus, born 341 BC, is the founder of a form of hedonist philosophy known as Epicureanism which promotes pleasure in a restrained high quality form. Antisthenes, born 445 BC, was another student of Socrates and is the founder of the Cynic school of thought which promotes living in virtue and agreement with nature.
Ancient Philosophy in China started at 500 BC after the Zhou state was weakened and began the Classical period of Chinese philosophy known as the Hundred Schools of Thought which is considered a Golden Age of Chinese philosophy. Confucius and Laozi (the existence of whom is debated) are the most important Chinese philosophers of this period and strongly affected the formation of Chinese culture. Confucius, born 551 BC, started a philosophy conveyed through a series of moral, social, political and religious teachings called Confucianism based on Chinese culture which promotes unity of oneself with Heaven. Laozi, born 6th Century BC, started a philosophy and religion called Taoism, also known as Daoism, which promotes the Tao (道) which is defined as "the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order." Numerous other philosophies and schools of thought appeared during this time, a few of which include Legalism, Naturalism, Mohism, Agriculturalism, Xuanxue, and Zen.
Wikipedia is noted for interestingly having the first link in 94.5% of all articles eventually link to their article on philosophy and this phenomenon has its own Wikipedia article. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy maintains a regularly updated archive of hundreds of entries on philosophy. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an archive of philosophy maintained by 30 editors and 300 doctorate-level authors which is visited 950k times per month as of July, 2016. The YouTube channel Wisecrack analyzes the philosophy and meaning underlying pieces of pop culture including shows, movies, and video games.
Politics (from Greek πολιτικός politikos, literally “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is the practice and study of influencing the policies, interpretations, and actions of government. It encompasses a range of broad topics including political science, political history, and political philosophy. Political history encompasses the evolution of ideas, leaders, movements, and entities and how these influence society especially when political entities evolve into governments. Originally there were kinships and these kinships evolved into nomadic tribes which over time evolved into early forms of government predating recorded history. Egypt’s history began around 8,000BC as a series of tribes which around 3150BC, the beginning of Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period, unified into a kingdom and was arguably the earliest recorded government in history.
Religion is a system of beliefs and worship, often including a code of ethics. Oftentimes an adherent to religion will conduct rites of worship to a higher power or powers, sometimes but not always including prayer, sermons, and/or sacrifice. The origins of religion are hotly debated.
Transhumanism is a futurist philosophy and intellectual movement with the purpose of transforming the humanity by developing technologies that greatly enhance the physical and psychological capabilities of humans. Strongly influenced by works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a technologically transformed humanity has gained a large and diverse following online.
Nihilism is a philosophical belief which asserts that the universe lacks cosmic or objective meaning and that life has no intrinsic value. Online, philosophical axioms associated with existential nihilism have been paired with various pop culture references and Internet memes for comedic effect in the form of anti-jokes.
Philosoraptor is an advice animal image macro series featuring an illustration of a Velociraptor paired with captions depicting the dinosaur as being deeply immersed in metaphysical inquiries or unraveling quirky paradoxes. On October 8th, 2008, the original illustration of the Philosoraptor was released and copyrighted by creator Sam Smith as a T-shirt design for sale on the online retailer LonelyDinosaur (shown below).
Wise Confucius (also known as “Confucius Says”) is an advice animal image macro series which features what at first glance appears to be sage piece of advice, with the second half of the image revealing it to merely be the set-up for a pun. The meme can often involve some kind of stereotypical Engrish speech pattern as well. The series is named after the famous Chinese philosopher best known for his body of work Analects of Confucius and parodies his prolific writings of axioms and wise sayings like “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BCE – 221 BCE), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a tremendous influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today.
Give Her The Dick
Give Her The Dick (also known as “Give Her the D”) is an expression used on image boards and discussion forums in reference to an infamous comment left on the adult media website Pornhub. In honoring the original commenter’s choice of avatar, the humorous quote is often accompanied by a portrait of the French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist René Descartes.