The European Philosophy that was witnessed in the early to late seventeenth century is generally regarded as the period of enlightenment when the reaction of the empiricists replaced the Rationalists of the early seventeenth century Europe. Introduction The word philosophy has its origins from the Greek language, which means “love for wisdom”. When first used the word used to integrate all forms of love for education. It is only recently that it started being used to refer to a “special branch of inquiry” which is distinct from other sciences.
(Conway, A. 122) The British philosophy is part of the Western philosophy that was in rise during the seventeenth century Europe that was characterized by a peculiar mode of living called “bourgeois society”. (John S. 237) The mode of living was also characterized by various forms of thinking that distinctly reflected the existent living lifestyles. The lifestyle and the thinking there-in is what gave rise to what is ailing the whole of humanity today.
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It gave rise to modern-day capitalism or what was referred to as the ‘bourgeois society. ” (Conway, A. 123) Open social environment that existed in the pre-Revolutionary England heralded the beginnings of the British philosophy. During this period the social conditions were greatly influenced by various Empiricists from Britain who included Thomas Hobbes and Francis Bacon and later John Locke who played a significant role during the Restoration Period.
The development of Bourgeois thinking in Britain was greatly influenced by the growth of natural science which saw the likes of Isaac Newton the father of modern physics (1642-1727) being one of the most prominent natural scientists from Britain, influenced its growth prior to the nineteenth century before the growth of the industrial revolution. (John S. 235) British Empire is generally credited with the development of a bourgeois revolution and was the first to “make an industrial revolution.
” This being the case the British rather than facing the challenges of working through theory saw the need to “accumulate material for theory to work upon instead. ”(J. H. Muirhead 88) To achieve the revolution, the British realized the only way to challenge the existent of the feudal wisdom that was characteristic amongst the ruling class and achieve political and economic freedom, the only way out was via exploration, science technological advancement, industrial growth and profiteering. (Julian B & Jeremy S 69)
The British bourgeois is strongly interrelated with the Empiricist philosophy of the seventeenth century and because it is credited with the great changes that were accomplished by the industrial revolution in Europe, it has the tendency to distrust all other theories and instead, depend so much on accumulated observation and experience. (Francois D L 23) Because of this reason the British have not featured prominently amongst the great names in the philosophy history. “British philosophy has not traditionally taken much of an interest in the lives of its great figures ...
"(Julian B & Jeremy S 70) The only notable British philosophers are Alan Turing and Bertrand Russell who were Mathematicians others include Adela Pankhurst Juliet Mitchell and Sheila Rowbothan who were British feminists. Conclusion British philosophy therefore did not churn out great philosophers as witnessed in other parts of Europe. Nevertheless, it is credited for the development of modern day capitalism that started of during the period of the Enlightenment paving way to the Industrial revolution.
Works Cited Conway, Anne: The Principles of the most ancient and modern philosophy. Loptson. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982. P122-123 Francois De Larrard: British Philosophy in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Thoemmes Press, 1992 p23-45 J. H. Muirhead: Contemporary British Philosophy: 1953 p 88 John Stuart Brown: British Philosophy in the Age of Enlightenment: Arnold Publishers. 2003 p234-237 Julian Baggini, Jeremy Stangroom: New British Philosophy: The Interviews: Routledge (1 May 2002) p69-70
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