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Showing posts with the label Essays on Western Intellectual Tradition (BA 1st)


Simone de Beauvoir Simone de Beauvoir is recognized as a theorist close to the beginning of the second wave in the development of Feminist Theory.  De Beauvoir authored the text,  The Second Sex  in 1949, and the reader will recognize that much of the writing remains relevant in the twenty-second century.  The essay Woman as Other has been extracted from the book The Second Sex . Through this essay, Beauvoir identifies patriarchy against which women is defined. She thinks that women is not born but made. De Beauvoir’s primary thesis is that men fundamentally oppress women by characterizing them, on every level, as the  other , defined exclusively in opposition to men. Man occupies the role of the self, or subject; woman is the object, the other. Man creates, acts, invents; she waits for him to save her. De Beauvoir states that while it is natural for humans to understand themselves in opposition to others, this process is flawed when applied to the genders. In defining w


Susanne K. Langer From: Problems of Art Susanne Langer , one of the greatest philosophers in American tradition, was recognised for her understanding of philosophy, poetry, music, and language. Langer's work demonstrates, among other philosophical values, a broad sense of inquiry into and observations of the human experience. Her most widely read and discussed book is  Philosophy in a New Key  (1942), which is a systematic theory of art that became a standard text in numerous undergraduate philosophy classes. Susanne Langer's work is not easy to summarise, but one of her major ideas was that works of art are expressive forms, or "iconic symbols" of emotions. Expressiveness is a long essay taken out from ' Problems of Art '. This essay is important because it attempts to establish the ways in which a work of art will express emotion. She values the total experience that the work of art presents about the writer’s feelings. Art is a broad ter


John Lukacs (1885-1971) John Lukacs is among the most accomplished historians of his generation. He has written more than twenty books and hundreds of essays and reviews. In the essay Fictio or the Purpose of Historical Statements John Lukacs critically analyses about fiction, facts and truth. The same fact can be presented in different styles. By giving plausible (arguable) examples, Lukacs examines the ideas. According to Lukacs fact is dependent to other facts. No fact is absolute. Facts and truths are determined by purpose, context and expressions. For him, a fact is not separable from other facts . Fact is supposed to base on reality and truth. A fact has to be compared and contrasted with other facts. The value of facts also depends on their relationship to accuracy. When a fact is more accurate, it becomes more theoretical. The third element that is required for fact is its association. When one fact is associated with other facts, it may be judged well. Lukacs explain


Virginia Woolf “Do not dictate to your author; try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice.” How One Should Read a Book is an essay about reading strategies written by Virginia Woolf. The essay present about reading novels, biographies and poetry. The essay has written the title in the form of question though it is not the question to the readers. Different dramas, poems, novels were written in different language by man and women of different ages. After separating genres, we have to read the books. Novels and poetry may be only imaginative, biography may be flattering and history may contain prejudice. That's why the readers should keep in mind about the generic differences. Writer like Hardy, Austen present their perspective through their one vision. Reading is a process through which readers get pleasure and form their judgments. It is a lifelong process because the expectations of reader changes. Writers always catch the floating movements. They ca

RELIGION AND SCIENCE - Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) < English Philosopher, Mathematician, and Essayist. > Alfred North Whitehead believed that the future course of world history depends upon people’s decisions as to the relationship between science and religion. In fact, the force of religious intuitions and the force of scientific endeavours are the two most powerful forces in history. Whitehead’s solution to conflicts between science and religion was to suggest modifications in both science and religion, as each has been traditionally understood so that an inclusive alternative worldview might be constructed. He turned to speculative philosophy for this constructive task. Whitehead proposed that philosophy attains its chief importance by fusing religion and science into one rational scheme of thought. Whitehead is counted among the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. His philosophy of organisms is recognised as an outstanding contribution to Western thought. Whitehead's m


Sir James Frazer The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion  (1890)  written by  Sir James George Frazer  (1884-1941)  compares  and contrasts scientific and religious thoughts with events such as fertility rates and human sacrifice being compared both religiously, and scientifically. The book was originally published in two volumes in  1890  with the subtitle  A Study in Comparative Religion  and was enlarged and republished with the subtitle  A Study in Magic and Religion  (12 volumes, 1911–15).  Aftermath,  a Supplement   appeared in 1936. This massive work surveys the spiritual beliefs, practices, and institutions of  cultures  worldwide and theorises a natural progression from magic to religion to science. His overall theory is that the human race has evolved from believing in magic, going to religious belief, and now in transition to scientific thought, Frazer discusses how old cultures acted in both scientific in religious manners. Human sacrifice, as one example, was


Charles Darwin (1809-1882) From The Descent of Man (1871) In his masterpiece  The Origin of Species  he declared that human beings had developed from monkeys through a long gradual process of evolution. The Descent of Man  shows many points of similarity between the mental powers of man and lower animals. Due to man's extraordinary mental power, he differs from animals. There is a vast difference between the two members of the same species of humans. One may be savage and the other kind and civilised. Like humans, animals also express feelings of pain, pleasure, and misery. Like human beings; some animals too have a good memory. Man is supposed to be the crown of whole creation because of the power of reasoning. Many naturalists believe that some animals also show a certain amount of reason. This essay claims that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties. Summary : The text  Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lowe


Jean Jack Rousseau Jean Jacques Rousseau in his essay The Origin of Civil Society , writes about an ideal form of government. In his essay he attacks several other proposed or existing forms of government by carefully destroying their claims. This essay has been taken out from Rousseau’s book The Social Contract . Rousseau addresses freedom more than any other problem of political philosophy and aims to explain how man in the state of nature is blessed with a desirable total freedom. This freedom is total for two reasons. First, natural man is physically free because he is not constrained by a repressive state apparatus (set up) or dominated by his fellow men. Second, he is psychologically and spiritually free because he is not enslaved to any of the artificial needs that characterize modern society. This second sense of freedom, the freedom from need, makes up a particularly insightful and revolutionary component of Rousseau’s philosophy. Rousseau believed modern man’s enslavem