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Introduction to Philosophy

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Renáta Kišoňová

The first part of this textbook introduces philosophy to the reader as a part of culture, in addition to science, religion, art. It outlines various disciplines of philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of mind etc. The second part maps the understanding of history, or the philosophical reflection of history in the history of philosophy.

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5. Philosophy and History

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“Understanding the way in which people used to perceive time in the past and existed in it is the best way to understand the society they belonged to.” Le Goff     5.1. Philosophy of History The Philosophy of History is a discipline of philosophy which refl ects history. A lot of questions are connected with the refl ection – What is history? How is history created? When does it arise? Where? What causes its movement? What is the meaning of history? Does it have any meaning at all? Where is it heading? What are the driving forces of history? It is not my goal to answer these questions in this book (although it would undoubtedly be an attractive and ambitious subject). The chosen concepts of the phi- losophy of history will be presented to the reader from “primitive human” up to present day. These concepts can be divided into several viewpoints – here, we will focus primarily on the viewpoint of the fi niteness of the 38 process of historical development and thus whether it is possible to talk about the particular approach as lin- ear or cyclical, and whether opinions about history and its tendencies are pessimistic or optimistic. The idea of a  cyclical nature is present mainly in archaic nations, it was popular in antiquity and later in the concepts of Vicus, Nietzsche, Spengler. The idea of historical linear- ity has several representatives. Its origin could be traced to patristics but certain elements can also be found in archaic nations. Most of...

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