Applied Philosophy Online
Where ideas are brought down to earth!
And that is not just an empty phrase to be spoken of only in academia -- if they speak such words at all. For if ideas are of no use to us while living our lives, then why bother having them? Alas, that is the attitude most people have regarding philosophy. Perhaps it is something they had to take while they were in college; and, in part due to the way it was taught, it was thought of as something some of those guys did in ancient history -- a long time ago, in a country far, far away.
This website intends to be different.
Philosophy will be spoken of here as if it is a man's life-blood -- because it is precisely that; a means of living life on earth to the most rational ability of every man and woman. Some philosophies are so esoteric, that one may well wonder how they can possibly be applied: and the answer is that they can't be, not without a man becoming self-destructive.
If a man's most abstract ideas are not firmly connected to reality, then he will be set adrift with no guidance in his daily life. One's most abstract ideas are what makes him function as a rational being -- or not; depending on how valid those ideas are. The term "valid" in this usage means: stemming from evidence provided by the senses.
Objectivism, created by Ayn Rand, is a unique philosophy because it is described as an intellectual means of living one's life on earth (and in the universe). Unlike other philosophies, it is not just some abstract discussion of ideas that have nothing to do with real life. Novels and other works of art can depict a philosophy by being both specific and selective with regard to what is being illustrated, and Ayn Rand was the best writer who had this capability -- as demonstrated brilliantly in her most popular novels: Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
The most influential philosophers to date are Plato, Aristotle, and Kant. A new culture based on a philosophy generally takes at least one hundred years to reach its height of influence, and since Miss Rand's ideas are only a little over fifty years old, it may be a while before we reach the state of a culture that proclaims rationality as the highest virtue. This will bring about a renaissance -- a rebirth of reason -- as the primary motivational factor that individuals turn to for guidance in living their own individual lives.
The first renaissance was due to Aristotle via Thomas Aquinas; the second one will be due to rational men acting to integrate reason into productive and profitable action on a daily basis; and it is my goal to be one of those people bringing about the second renaissance. I'd like to take a moment to thank those who are acting according to reason fully, because it makes all of our lives immensely better. Though I have learned a great deal from such individuals, I take complete responsibility for the content of this website.
Philosophy has five main branches: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and esthetics. Metaphysics deals with the fundamental nature of existence; epistemology deals with the fundamental nature of man's means of knowledge and its role in understanding existence; ethics is the application of these two branches to how man ought to live; politics deals with how men ought to interact in a social context, including establishing a government; and esthetics deals with the role that art plays in presenting a philosophy in readily perceivable forms.
Along with the five main branches of philosophy, I have added a section for the special sciences.
Because these essays were not originally intended to be subdivided into philosophic categories, there is a lot of overlap in the writings. Later, I intend to write longer, more self-contained essays that I will probably sell via this website.
More recently, I've added a section for some of my favorite paintings, which includes the artists: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Albert Bierstadt, Sandro Botticelli, William Adolphe Bouguereau, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Frederick Edwin Church, Sir Frank Dicksee, Jean Leon Gerome, Edmund Blair Leighton, Lord Frederic Leighton, Thomas Moran, Raphael Sanzi, and Jan Vermeer.
There are three basic axioms: existence, identity, and consciousness; each of which is self-evident via perception or introspection -- and art is a wonderful way of concretizing (or making perceptually real) the over-all philosophy of a particular artist. Causality, and other fundamental concepts, are corollaries to the axioms; which means they are the next logical step once the axioms have been conceptualized.
Though some of the writings herein are new, most come from various discussion forums that I have participated in over the years. The complete context of an issue may be difficult to convey in a series of essays written for a discussion forum, but I will try to provide the context if that is necessary. Since, one's knowledge of any topic grows over time, I have included the date the essay was written. It should be kept in mind that the person I am responding to may not agree with my answer.
Please enjoy my discussions.
Questions, concerns, or comments ought to be sent to:
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.