„Philosophy's position with regard to science, which at one time could be designated with the name "theory of knowledge," has been undermined by the movement of philosophical thought itself. Philosophy was dislodged from this position by philosophy.“

—  Jürgen Habermas, Knowledge and Human Interests, Knowledge and Human Interests, 1971, p. 4
Jürgen Habermas Foto
Jürgen Habermas15
deutscher Soziologe und Philosoph 1929
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Neil deGrasse Tyson Foto
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Miguel de Unamuno Foto

„Windelband, the historian of philosophy, in his essay on the meaning of philosophy (Was ist Philosophie? in the first volume of his Präludien) tells us that "the history of the word 'philosophy' is the history of the cultural significance of science." He continues: "When scientific thought attains an independent existence as a desire for knowledge, it takes the name of philosophy; when subsequently knowledge as a whole divides into its various branches, philosophy is the general knowledge of the world that embraces all other knowledge. As soon as scientific thought stoops again to becoming a means to ethics or religious contemplation, philosophy is transformed into an art of life or into a formulation of religious beliefs. And when afterwards the scientific life regains its liberty, philosophy acquires once again its character as an independent knowledge of the world, and in so far as it abandons the attempt to solve this problem, it is changed into a theory of knowledge itself." Here you have a brief recapitulation of the history of philosophy from Thales to Kant, including the medieval scholasticism upon which it endeavored to establish religious beliefs. But has philosophy no other office to perform, and may not its office be to reflect upon the tragic sense of life itself, such as we have been studying it, to formulate this conflict between reason and faith, between science and religion, and deliberately to perpetuate this conflict?“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), Conclusion : Don Quixote in the Contemporary European Tragi-Comedy

Charles Sanders Peirce Foto

„Philosophy, as I understand the word, is a positive theoretical science, and a science in an early stage of development.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist 1839 - 1914
Pragmatism and Pragmaticism (1903), Context: Philosophy, as I understand the word, is a positive theoretical science, and a science in an early stage of development. As such it has no more to do with belief than any other science. Indeed, I am bound to confess that it is at present in so unsettled a condition, that if the ordinary theorems of molecular physics and of archaeology are but the ghosts of beliefs, then to my mind, the doctrines of the philosophers are little better than the ghosts of ghosts. I know this is an extremely heretical opinion. Lecture II : The Universal Categories, §3. Laws: Nominalism, CP 5.61

Max Horkheimer Foto
Umberto Eco Foto

„When semiotics posits such concepts as 'sign', it does not act like a science; it acts like philosophy when it posits such abstractions as subject, good and evil, truth or revolution.“

—  Umberto Eco, Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language
Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984), Context: When semiotics posits such concepts as 'sign', it does not act like a science; it acts like philosophy when it posits such abstractions as subject, good and evil, truth or revolution. Now, a philosophy is not a science, because its assertions cannot be empirically tested … Philosophical entities exist only insofar as they have been philosophically posited. Outside their philosophical framework, the empirical data that a philosophy organizes lose every possible unity and cohesion. To walk, to make love, to sleep, to refrain from doing something, to give food to someone else, to eat roast beef on Friday — each is either a physical event or the absence of a physical event, or a relation between two or more physical events. However, each becomes an instance of good, bad, or neutral behavior within a given philosophical framework. Outside such a framework, to eat roast beef is radically different from making love, and making love is always the same sort of activity independent of the legal status of the partners. From a given philosophical point of view, both to eat roast beef on Friday and to make love to x can become instances of 'sin', whereas both to give food to someone and to make love to у can become instances of virtuous action. Good or bad are theoretical stipulations according to which, by a philosophical decision, many scattered instances of the most different facts or acts become the same thing. It is interesting to remark that also the notions of 'object', 'phenomenon', or 'natural kind', as used by the natural sciences, share the same philosophical nature. This is certainly not the case of specific semiotics or of a human science such as cultural anthropology. [O] : Introduction, 0.6

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Foto
Bertrand Russell Foto

„But if philosophy is to serve a positive purpose, it must not teach mere skepticism, for, while the dogmatist is harmful, the skeptic is useless. Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
1940s, Philosophy for Laymen (1946), Context: The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice. If you take your children for a picnic on a doubtful day, they will demand a dogmatic answer as to whether it will be fine or wet, and be disappointed in you when you cannot be sure. The same sort of assurance is demanded, in later life, of those who undertake to lead populations into the Promised Land. “Liquidate the capitalists and the survivors will enjoy eternal bliss.” “Exterminate the Jews and everyone will be virtuous.” “Kill the Croats and let the Serbs reign.” “Kill the Serbs and let the Croats reign.” These are samples of the slogans that have won wide popular acceptance in our time. Even a modicum of philosophy would make it impossible to accept such bloodthirsty nonsense. But so long as men are not trained to withhold judgment in the absence of evidence, they will be led astray by cocksure prophets, and it is likely that their leaders will be either ignorant fanatics or dishonest charlatans. To endure uncertainty is difficult, but so are most of the other virtues. For the learning of every virtue there is an appropriate discipline, and for the learning of suspended judgment the best discipline is philosophy. But if philosophy is to serve a positive purpose, it must not teach mere skepticism, for, while the dogmatist is harmful, the skeptic is useless. Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance.

Arthur Schopenhauer Foto
Karl Marx Foto

„For the world to become philosophic amounts to philosophy’s becoming world-order reality; and it means that philosophy, at the same time that it is realized, disappears.“

—  Karl Marx, Differenz der demokritischen und epikureischen Naturphilosophie
The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1841), Das Philosophisch-Werden der Welt [ist] zugleich ein Weltlich-Werden der Philosophie; ihre Verwirklichung [ist] zugleich ihr Verlust.

Albert Einstein Foto

„Philosophy is empty if it isn't based on science. Science discovers, philosophy interprets.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Attributed in posthumous publications, p. 98

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Nicholas Murray Butler Foto

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“