"Bergson excoriates the spatial and static conception of the world fostered by reason, arguing instead that being is an indivisible motion, a dynamic process in which our every act is creative and free"
"Although not as radical or prophetic as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty exhibits greater psychological subtlety whilst the central role he gives to the body circumvents much of his predecessor’s latent dualism"
"Whitehead’s monolithic metaphysic is undoubtedly challenging, but in arguing that we must abandon substance for process, his system can accommodate both quantum theory and the reality of consciousness"
"Oblique certainly, but Heidegger was seeking a new methodology, one which could bridge the subjective/objective divide and recast philosophy as a study of the nature of Being and man’s relation to it"
"James dispels the philosophical illusion that thought is the zenith of human endeavour, and restores it to its place as an instrument for more abundant living, compelling us toward further experience"
"One of the lamentably few Western philosophers to be influenced by the East, Schopenhauer’s metaphysics may be pessimistic, but the profound consequences for ethics and aesthetics more than justify it"
"Nietzsche attacked the transcendentalism of religion & metaphysics as a life-denying nihilism, offering instead an existential imperative entreating us to stamp each moment with the spirit of eternity"
"There’s a mystical flavour to Jaspers’ existentialism, and if we wish to escape the alienation encountered at the limits of knowledge, we must aim at transcendence for there lies our ultimate freedom"
"More literate than many philosophers, Camus provides the most lucid introduction to existentialism as he questions how life can endure in the face of man’s realisation of his own fundamental absurdity"
"Berdyaev excoriates objectivity as a falling away from the lived experience of Spirit, asserting the primacy of the creative principle inherent to the individual personality before science and society"
"Hegelian idealism systematises Romantic pantheism in its portrayal of history as an unfolding of the Absolute Spirit, divine and infinite self-consciousness realised through the vehicle of finite man"
"Eschewing the pseudo-problems so long favoured by philosophy, Husserl takes our being in the world as given and focuses on the structures of that relation, thus founding the phenomenological tradition"
"Emerson’s transcendentalism is Romantic Idealism through the American looking-glass, revealing our relation with nature as one of pure intuition, coupled with an emphasis on self-reliance and autonomy"
"Santayana argues that in their inevitable fallibility theories of knowledge have become an intellectual straitjacket, so instead philosophy must focus on articulating the conditions for enhancing life"
"Plotinus founded the Neo-Platonic tradition and in doing so paved the way for the hermetic philosophy of the alchemists, for in the One he posits an ultimate source of mystical transcendence and unit"
"Foucault dubbed his chair ‘History of the Systems of Thought,’ and his concern is with how the historicism which ensures the finitude of knowledge must also be its condition, both founded and founding"