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  1. BID: Introduction

    Philosophy? What’s that? The word comes from the two Greek words philo (“love”) and sophia (“wisdom”). So philosophy is love of wisdom or knowledge. Of course, there are many kinds of wisdom and knowledge. Philosophy, however, specifical ...

  2. BID 1: Socrates

    Socrates (470?-399? BC) was a thorn in the side of the leaders of ancient Athens, who saw him as a corruptor of young men. The problem was that he was uncompromising in his search for an objective understanding of such moral virtues as justice, c ...

  3. BID 2: Plato

    Plato (428?-347 BC) was one of the most creative and influential thinkers in Western philosophy. The chief student of Socrates, he founded the Academy in Athens in 387 BC, beginning an institution that continued for almost a thousand years and ca ...

  4. BID 3: Aristotle

    Aristotle (384-322 BC) was Plato’s leading student and the teacher of Alexander the Great. Although he was one of the most brilliant minds of ancient Greece, pioneering in such fields as astronomy, meteorology, biology, and zoology, Aristotle cou ...

  5. BID 4: Origen

    Origen of Alexandria (A.D. 185?-254?) was one of the most influential founders of the Christian Church and ranks among the most prolific writers and teachers in the history of the Church. Known as the father of Christian mysticism, he taught rein ...

  6. BID 5: Augustine

    Most religious scholars regard Augustine (A.D. 354-430) as the main father of the Roman Catholic church and one of the leading formulators of Christian philosophy. He wrote, “Reincarnation is ridiculous.… There is no such thing as a return to th ...

  7. BID 6: Thomas Aquinas

    Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274) was the leading Christian philosopher of the middle ages. He led an austere life as a celibate monk, writing prolifically and teaching widely. Here Śrīla Prabhupāda explains that while many of his ideas agree with the ...

  8. BID 7: Kierkegaard

    The Danish philosopher S ṭ ren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is generally regarded as the father of existentialism. His concern with individual existence, choice, and commitment profoundly influenced modern Western theology and philosophy. Here Śrīla ...

  9. BID 8: Schopenhauer

    The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) took some of his ideas from the Indian Vedic literature but many more from Buddhist writings, and he ended up espousing an atheistic and pessimistic doctrine. Śrīla Prabhupāda shows how his i ...

  10. BID 9: Darwin

    The British scientist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory with his concept of the development of all forms of life through the slow-working process of natural selection. His work has exerted a major influe ...