Continental Philosophy

Topics: Jean-Paul Sartre, Phenomenology, Martin Heidegger Pages: 3 (932 words) Published: October 15, 2008
When beginning the study of philosophy it is hard to believe that there are so many components involved with one subject. But in reality philosophy is really a broad term for many subtopics; as is the case when discussing continental philosophy, which is the philosophical tradition of continental Europe including phenomenology and existentialism. It all began with Absolute Idealism supported by such philosophers as Fichte and Hegel. It was during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that immense amounts of historical changes taking place in the world were showing in the philosophical movements of that time period.

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel begins the historical analysis of continental philosophy since it all begins with his theories. Though Hegel’s philosophies have been described as difficult his theories form the foundation for what is now known as Hegelian idealism. His theory has four main themes. The first is dependant on the “Absolute” and states that the “Absolute” is that which is most real and true and which can also think for itself. The second is based on idealism and he speaks of the objective world being an “expression of infinite thought” (Moore & Bruder 2005) and that each individuals mind thought processes actually are reflections on themselves. The third theory is based on reality. For Hegel this was not an easy concept. To try to make it easier to understand our book tries to describe it as being similar to mathematics in that everything is coherently connected to another. So in order for something to be completely true it is dependant on all its parts to make it so. Then the forth theory is known as “The Absolute” and is the “sum total of reality; is a system of conceptual triads . . . the entire system of thought and reality . . . is an integrated whole in which each proposition is logically interconnected with the rest” (2005).

As the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth century what seemed to...

References: Moore, B. N. & Bruder, K. (2005). Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill
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