Posts tagged ‘Philosopher’

February 17, 2011

Heraclitus

heraclitus

Heraclitus [her-uh-klahy-tuhs] (535 – 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the what is now the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general, he was called ‘The Obscure,’ and the ‘Weeping Philosopher.’

Heraclitus is famous for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, as stated in his famous saying, ‘You cannot step twice into the same stream.’ He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that ‘the path up and down are one and the same,’ existing things being characterized by pairs of contrary properties, and other explorations of the concept of dualism.

February 10, 2011

FM-2030

fm 2030

FM-2030 (1930 – 2000) was a transhumanist author, born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary in Brussels to an Iranian diplomat. He became notable in 1989 with the book ‘Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World.’ He also wrote a number of works of fiction under his original name. He changed his name to FM-2030  to reflect the hope and belief that he would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2030, and more importantly, to break free of the widespread practice of naming conventions that he saw as rooted in a collectivist mentality, and existing only as a relic of humankind’s tribalistic past. He viewed traditional names as almost always stamping a label of collective identity – varying from gender, to nationality – on the individual.

Many of FM-2030’s predictions about social trends from the 1970s through the early 21st century proved remarkably prescient. He argued that the inherent dynamic of the modern globalizing civilization would bring such changes about despite the best efforts of conservative elites to enforce traditional beliefs. He predicted in vitro fertilization and correcting genetic flaws in 1977; in 1980, he predicted teleconferencing, telemedicine, and teleshopping. He taught at The New School, UCLA, and Florida International University. He worked as a corporate consultant for Lockheed and J.C. Penney. He was a lifelong vegetarian and said he would not eat anything that had a mother. He died from pancreatic cancer and was placed in cryonic suspension at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona, where his body remains today.

January 11, 2011

Noam Chomsky

chomsky by shepard fairey

interventions

Avram Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is a professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT. Chomsky created one of the most important contributions to the field of linguistics made in the 20th century: the theory of generative grammar, a branch of theoretical linguistics that works to provide a set of rules that can accurately predict which combinations of words are able to make grammatically correct sentences. In the 1950’s he helped start the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner’s work.

He challenged the behaviorist way of looking at behavior and language. His natural approach to the study of language also changed the philosophy of language and mind. He invented the Chomsky hierarchy, a way of looking at formal languages in terms of their power to explain language. In the 1960s he criticized the Vietnam War. Because of that, Chomsky became more widely known for his media criticism and politics. He is a key intellectual figure within the left wing of United States politics.

December 3, 2010

Carl Jung

Yin-Jung

Carl Gustav Jung [yoong] (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker, and the founder of analytical psychology. Jung is often considered the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is ‘by nature religious’ and to explore it in depth. Though not the first to analyze dreams, he has become perhaps one of the most well known pioneers in the field of dream analysis. Although he was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician, much of his life’s work was spent exploring other areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts.

He considered the process of individuation necessary for a person to become whole. This is a psychological process of integrating the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining conscious autonomy. Individuation was the central concept of analytical psychology. Many pioneering psychological concepts were originally proposed by Jung, including the Archetype, the Collective Unconscious, the Complex, and synchronicity. A popular psychometric instrument, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), has been principally developed from Jung’s theories.