New Huge History of Philosophy Chart

New Huge History of Philosophy Chart


Former philosophy student Merrill Cook has created an enormous and well-designed chart of the history of philosophy. The above is just an excerpt. For the whole thing, go here.

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DC
DC
6 years ago

VERY cool! Only issue is it should really be called a history of WESTERN philosophy. Otherwise very well-done!Report

Becko
Becko
6 years ago

Neat! If Merrill Cook is taking suggestions, it would be great to have some images and names of female philosophers from throughout history in there…Cool though!Report

ZP
ZP
Reply to  Becko
6 years ago

Seconding that point about more female philosophers. And more non-white philosophers too! European adherents of Averroism are mentioned, but Averroes (Ibn Rushd) himself is conspicuously absent.Report

Merrill Cook
Merrill Cook
Reply to  ZP
6 years ago

Totally agree with all the suggestions. The chart is definitely a history of western philosophy, and one that is more of a traditionally taught roster of philosophers–there were some time and space constraints, but I agree that it needs some woman philosophers, and is completely euro-centric. I like it (i’m biased) as a basic sketch of some influential schools of thought, though.Report

Lisa
Lisa
Reply to  Merrill Cook
6 years ago

Merrill, I’m not sure how broadly or narrowly you are taking ‘schools of thought’, but your response here can imply that the people who are omitted were not influential. I think that philosophy in general has a very flat footed view of how views are influential — we look for near total causal connections. I am not sure that is so conducive to a good history of philosophy. Nonetheless, that view is good for a broad schematic picture like the one you provide here, which is both really great and misleading at the same time.Report

Mark Steen
6 years ago

I really like the section on Nagarjuna, Mencius, Confucius, and how there is a section on Ibn-Rushd (Averroes) but no pic of him. Also, nice mention of Avicenna, al-Farabi etc. Good thing we didn’t forget Zabarella and Pomponazzi, though–that would be an embarrassing lapse!Report

Shea Musgrave
Shea Musgrave
6 years ago

I’m pretty sure Nietzsche wasn’t even aware of Kierkegaard’s existence, which is probably for the best. It is not likely that he would have had very nice things to say about him.Report

DS
DS
Reply to  Shea Musgrave
6 years ago

Actually, Nietzsche was made aware of Kierkegaard’s existence. Georg Brandes encouraged Nietzsche to read Kierkegaard and Nietzsche said he would, though there is no evidence he ever did. That doesn’t change anything about your point, which presumably was that the chart might suggest an influence on Nietzsche by Kierkegaard that never existed. But it’s an interesting biographical tidbit.

Also, given that Nietzsche admired Dostoevsky for his psychological insight and in spite of Dostoevsky’s religiousness, it’s possible Nietzsche would have admired Kierkegaard for similar (and possibly other) reasons. I think it would be quite hard to settle how Nietzsche would have reacted had he read Kierkegaard.Report

Jean
Jean
6 years ago

It’s really, really beautiful, but it’s got to be possible to add some women.Report

YL
YL
6 years ago

The distinction b/t analytic & postanalytic phil, as well as the geneology of the latter, is curious. Does this reflwct the way the phil community perceives the analytic tradition now?Report

John Schwenkler
6 years ago

Descartes would be surprised to hear that the Scholastics had no further philosophical influence.Report

Nobody
Nobody
6 years ago

Sweet! Can we finish it with Non-Western areas of philosophy? Seriously, I’d love for somebody to do that- because I can’t.Report

Nobody
Nobody
Reply to  Nobody
6 years ago

Whoops. I see that the homie Mark Steen got to this point first.Report

Shea Musgrave
Shea Musgrave
6 years ago

DS: That is an interesting tidbit. My understanding was that Kierkegaard hadn’t been translated out of Danish at the time that Nietzsche was writing and so was not well known to Germans. Though the Danish itself likely would not have been a significant barrier to Nietzsche given his training as a philologist. Of course, if Nietzsche had any significant line of philosophical influence, it would have stemmed from Schopenhauer.

I suspect that if Nietzsche did write about Kierkegaard, he would have viewed him as a psychological curiosity. I could imagine Nietzsche giving Kierkegaard the backhanded compliment that he was the realization of a paradoxical self-preservative instinct on the part of Christianity, which could only ensure its survival in the modern age by inverting its prior worldview and pretending that the result was the real form of Christianity all along. So he would likely accuse him of the same sort of perverse ingenuity that resulted in the creation of Christianity a la On the Genealogy of Morals.Report

Josh Parsons
6 years ago

This is very cool, and I totally understand that it can be expanded forever. But if it were… 1) Shouldn’t there be an “agreement / influence” line connecting the Epicureans back to the atomists? 2) I would be very tempted to expand the 19th C. Moral philosophy after Kant, Marxism are notable by their absense – I’d create “schools of thought” for British Idealism (Green, Bradley, McTaggart), Benthamism(Bentham, Mill, Sidgwick), and Marxism (linked by an agreement line to German Idealism, and a disagreement to Benthamism). 3) That gives us more of the roots of “analytic philosophy”, which can be linked by a disagreement line to British Idealism; it would then be tempting to add Austrian Realism (Brentano and friends) and 19th C Mathematical logic (Boole, Venn, Hilbert).Report

Thornton Lockwood
Thornton Lockwood
6 years ago

Pretty sure the creator of this poster has never studied medieval philosophy. One would be much better off following Peter Adamson at History of Philosophy without any Gaps (sorry–no easy graphics).Report

Jay L Garfield
6 years ago

I find it deeply offensive and misleading to call this chart a chart of the”history of philosophy,” and I find it especially ironic that it is represented here adjacent to a call to “change the face of philosophy.” Only the history of European philosophy is represented here, occluding all of the philosophy produced in Asia, India, much of the Islamic world, in Africa, and by the indigenous people of North America. Imagine producing a chart of the history of literature and including only white male authors. Our profession needs to stop representing itself with a Eurocentrism that is unjustifiable intellectually and that is morally problematic as well. This chart might be used in a museum some day as a relic of a shameful past, but should hardly be celebrated.Report

iram
4 years ago

I can’t see any muslim philosopher on this chart. They have played an important role in history of philosophy I guess.Report