The 11 Most Important Philosophical Currents

The philosophical currents are the different groups of philosophers that are gathered and defined according to common characteristics and shared opinions on philosophy.

Philosophical currents have been formed with the purpose of sharing and discussing various logical reasoning and methods on abstract concepts related to humanity and the context that surrounds us.

For this reason, each of the philosophical currents that exists responds to a time, a historical fact or arises from the need to express disappointment or opposition to a particular logic.

1. Realism

Realism is a philosophical current whose position is to recognize that reality is perceived through experience in order to be understood in itself. Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas were its main exponents.

That is, the truth is reality as it is, therefore it is made up of universal forms that are recognized by all individuals. Objects have an existence independent of being.

This philosophical current is opposed to idealism.

See also Realism.

2. Idealism

Idealism is a current that is characterized by interpreting the world as something dual, in this way ideas are accessed through knowledge and sensitivity. Idealism holds that reality is subjective, that is, it is based on form or idea. Idealism is opposed to realism.

Other ramifications such as objective Idealism, subjective Idealism and transcendental Idealism have emerged from this current.

Plato is considered the father of idealism and was followed by Descarte, Hegel, Fichte, Kant.

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See also Idealism.

3. Positivism

Positivism is a philosophical current proposed by the thinker August Comte and John Stuart Mill at the beginning of the 19th century. That of positivism is based on the idea of ​​focusing on objective science and the laws of inquiry.

For positivists, authentic knowledge is obtained through scientific knowledge that, in turn, arises from the theories of the scientific method, on which philosophical and scientific activities must be analyzed, starting from real facts.

See also Positivism.

4. Criticism

The theory of knowledge proposed by Immanuel Kant is known as criticism, which consists of investigating where the limits of knowledge are. Kant’s proposal is based on the fact that when knowledge is generated, it brings knowledge or elements that are prior to the result of the investigation.

It is a theory that proposes to study the previous forms of knowledge that have made the new knowledge possible. That is to say, it looks for an answer to the form by which a final knowledge is reached.

See also Criticism.

5. Rationalism

Rationalism is a philosophical current that highlights reason as the source of knowledge, while it opposes empiricism. That is, individuals possess knowledge and ideas prior to and independent of experience.

René Descartes was the leading exponent of rationalism in the 17th century. However, in ancient Greece Plato already mentioned this, and later Saint Augustine, Leibniz, Hegel, among others.

See also Rationalism.

6. Marxism

Marxism is a set of theories, ideas and concepts that have an ideological, political and economic background that derives from the proposals and doctrines formulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

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Therefore, it is a philosophical current that has been used at the base of ideologies such as communism and socialism.

See also Marxism.

7. Pragmatism

Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that originated and developed between the United States and England. Its main exponents were William James and John Dewey.

It consists of reducing what is true to what is useful, that is, the truth consists in the congruence of thoughts with practical purposes for the individual. The truth must be useful, therefore all knowledge is practical if it fulfills a function.

See also Pragmatism.

8. Existentialism

Existentialism refers to existence as something comparable to reality. It is one of the most important philosophical currents of the 20th century, its exponents were Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, among others.

For existentialists, the existence of life precedes its essence. This current seeks the metaphysical meaning of the human being.

See also Existentialism.

9. Skepticism

Skepticism is a philosophical current that defends that what is important is the happiness of the spirit, inner peace. Therefore, it states that one should not try to achieve absolute knowledge, since neither reason nor the senses are reliable.

That is, the individual should not be attached to any opinion, especially because these are changing over time.

The founder of skepticism was Pyrrho of Elis, along with his followers, around the 3rd century BC.

See also Skepticism.

10. Dogmatism

Dogmatism is a current that assumes the possibility and reality of contact between subject and object. In this current, knowledge is the ability of the individual to interpret reality.

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Its main exponent was Thales of Miletus.

See also: Dogmatism and Greek Philosophy.

11. Empiricism

Empiricism is the philosophical current that opposes rationalism. It is based on the fact that knowledge and the formation of ideas are based on, justify and sustain sensible experience. That is, experience is the basis of all knowledge.

Empiricism appears in the Modern Age, between the 17th and 18th centuries, and its main exponents were John Locke and David Hume.

see also empiricism

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