Works and Ideas of Some Prominent Philosophers

These are random notes I had written down on my old notebook. Hope it helps somebody in need.


 

Hannah Arendt

Arendt was influenced by the existentialism of Heidegger and Jaspers. She described existentialism as “thinking beyond barriers”.

Her famous work, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) drew parallels between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963) was also her famous and controversial work. It stressed the ‘binality of evil’ by  portraying Eichmann as a Nazi functionary rather than as a raving ideologue.

Her other important works include The Human Condition (1951) and On Revolution (1963).

***

Thomas Kuhn

Kuhn is known for his famous work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) in which he redefined and popularised the phrase paradigm shift.

Kuhn’s idea of paradigm

Paradigm as used by Kuhn refers to an intellectual framework comprising interrelated values, theories and assumptions within which the search for knowledge  is conducted.

***

Francis Fukuyama

He is a staunch republican. His famous article The End of History (1989) was later developed into an acclaimed book, The End of History  and the Last Man in 1992. His major claim was that the history of ideas had ended with the recognition of liberal democracy as the final form of government.

His other important works include Trust (1996) and The Great Disruption (1999) in which he discussed the relationship between economic development and social cohesion.

In After the Neocon (2006) he criticises the US foreign policy post 9/11.

His latest works include The Origins of Political Order and Political Order and Political Decay.

***

Herbert Marcuse

He belongs to the Frankfurt School. He drew upon Hegel and Freud and is a leading thinker of the New Left.

He is widely known for his famous work, One Dimensional Man (1964).

***

Edmund Burke

He is the father of the Anglo-American conservative tradition. He criticised French Revolution.

He regarded market forces as “natural law”.

***

Friedrich von Hayek

He belongs to the Austrian school. He strongly believed in individualism and market forces. He was an implacable critic of socialism.

In his The Road to Serfdom (1948), he criticised economic interventionism.

His other important works include The Constitution of Liberty (1960) and Law, Legislation and Liberty (1979).

Hayek greatly influenced the New Right theorists.

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