Chapter 8 - "How Should We Then Live"


Rene Descartes

1596 - 1650

Father of modern philosophy. Had the worldview of "I think, therefore I am." Also believed that mathematics would provide a unity to all knowledge.

David Hume

1711 - 1776

Criticized reason as a method of knowing truth and defended the centrality of human experience and feeling

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1712 - 1778

First of the four crucial men that shape the Western culture and society. In "Confessions" (1782), he argued that the best education is virtually the absence of education. His concept of autonomous freedom led to the Bohemian ideal, in which the hero is the man who fights all of society's standards, values and restraints.

Immanuel Kant

1724 - 1804

Second out of the four critical men that shape the Western culture and society. His book: "Critique of Pure Reason" (1781) and "Critique of Judgement" (1790) shaped the thought of this day

Marquis de Sade

1740 - 1814

Understood the logical conclusion of this deification of nature. The nature result of this was his "sadism," his cruelty, especially to women.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1749 - 1832

Equated nature and truth, and to him, nature was God.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hagel

1770 - 1831

The third of the four significant men. Most important books: "The Phenomenology of Mind" (1807), "Science of Logic" (1812-16), "Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences" (1817), "Philosophy of Right" (1821)

Ludwig van Beethoven

1770 - 1827

His compositions reflected the emphasis of modern man on self-expression.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1772 - 1834

Were in the same stream as Wordsworth.

William Wordsworth

1772 - 1834

Found his values in man's instincts rather than in learning.

Ludwig Feurbach

1804 - 1872

German Philosopher of materialism

Soren Kierkegaard

1813 - 1855

The last of the four crucial men. Wrote both devotional and philosophical books. His worldview is that non-reason equals to faith-optimism, and reason equals to pessimism. Therefore, optimism will now always be in the area of non-reason.

Herbert Spencer

1820 - 1903

"The poverty of the incapable... starvation of the idle and those shoulderings aside of the weak by the strong... are the decrees of a large, far-seeing benevolence."

Louis Pasteur

1822 - 1895

French Chemist, demonstrated the impossibility of then-accepted concept of the spontaneous generation of life - that is, life springing from nonliving things.

Thomas Huxley

1825 - 1895

Extended the theory of biological evolution to all of life, including ethics.

Charles Lyell

1830 - 1833

Wrote "Principles of Geology". In this book, he emphasized the uniformity of natural causes in the field of geology.


1848 - 1903

Rousseau's follower, French painter, and found that the ideal of the noble savage was illusory. Greatest painting: "Whence Come We? What Are We? Whither Do We Go?" (1897 & 1898)

Ludwig Buchner


German Physician, wrote the book: Force and Matter at this year

Giacomo Puccini

1858 - 1924

His most popular opera was titled "La Boheme" (1896). He led the culture to the hippie world in the 1960s.

Charles Darwin


Concept of "the survival of the fittest" in the book: "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life'

Bertnard Russell

1872 - 1970

English philosopher who believed that the final value is the biological continuity of the human race rather than holding on faith.

Ernst Hackel


A biologist at the University of Jena, Wrote: "The Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the 19th Century"

Heinrich Himmler

1900 - 1945

Leader of the Gestapo, stated that the law of nature must take its course in the survival of the fittest.

George Wald


A chemistry professor at Harvard University. Expressed that all things, including men, are merely the product of chance.

James W. Sire


Summarizes Frederick Copleston's study of Hefel in Volume 7 of "A History of Philosophy" (1963). His concept is to find truth and moral rightness in the flow of history, a synthesis of them.