Distinguished between objects of sense perception and universal ideas / forms of which the objects are an expression.
125-202 AD approx
Best known for his Theodicy: evil is necessary to make our souls grow towards perfection
Influenced by Greek philosophy and in turn heavily influenced Catholic theology
Doctrine of original sin. All evil originated with man’s fall from grace. Heaven for all. Purgatory.
Defined God as ‘the greatest being imaginable’; proponent of the Ontological Argument
Reformulated the Greek cosmological and teleological arguments with his 5 ways.
He believed he could prove the existence of God with the cumulative weight of these rational arguments.
Best known for his Cosmological Argument
The founder of modern philosophy he tried to formulate a set of principles that one can know without any doubt.
‘dubito ergo, cogito ergo sum’ I doubt therefore I think therefore I am. He believed perception was un-reliable and deduction was the only method. He took every idea that can be doubted, rejected it and then re-established it in order to give a firm foundation for knowledge.
He believed that knowledge was restricted to what can be known by the senses. He saw problems with inductive arguments in that they infer the future from the past, the link of cause and effect but he didn’t believe these were necessarily linked. He called self ‘a bundle of changing perceptions.’
Best known for his objections to miracles.
Thought up the Categorical imperative – ethics – and credited Hume with awakening him from his ‘dogmatic slumbers.’
Man has outgrown the need for God. ‘God is dead.’
Influenced by Aquinas. Uses inductive logic to ‘prove’ that his religious beliefs best fit the evidence.
Known for his principles of credulity and testimony.
Pluralist; against Christianity’s exclusivity; believes we can experience God through categories but God himself obscures them by his very nature. God is trans-categorical.
Sceptic, rationalist (atheist) he suggested evolutionary processes were analogous to a blind watchmaker!
Popularised the term “meme” meaning a cultural unit which is passed on and spread thus explaining the spread of cultural ideas and phenomena. Religion is thus a meme.