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It takes the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 28,250 words to explain the woolly concept of relativism. It takes Genis Carreras 32 words and a single image. If you ask me, he doesn’t even need the text.

—Co.Design

Philographics is all about explaining big ideas in simple shapes, merging the world of philosophy and graphic design. Here are ninety-five designs, each depicting a different “–ism” using a unique combination of geometric shapes, colors, and a short definition of the theory.

Genis Carreras writes:

The visuals [are] open to different interpretations, allowing the reader to draw their path to connect the idea behind each theory with its form. This plurality reflects all the different theories to see and understand the world that are compiled [in] this book. The book aims to be the starting point of deeper discussion about these theories; it’s a trigger of conversation to bring philosophy back to our daily lives.

Maria Popova from Brainpickings says: Perhaps most importantly, these minimalist graphics are designed to tickle our curiosity and spark deeper interest in influential theories of human nature and human purpose that those of us not formally trained in philosophy may not have previously been inspired to explore.

Skepticism

True knowledge or certainty in a particular area is impossible. Skeptics have an attitude of doubt or a disposition of incredulity either in general or toward a particular object.

Relativism:

Points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Principles and ethics are regarded as applicable in only limited context.

Absolutism:

An absolute truth is always correct under any condition. An entity’s ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth. Universal facts can be discovered. It is opposed to relativism, which claims that there is not an unique truth.

Positivism:
The only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense, experience and positive verification. Scientific method is the best process for uncovering the processes by which both physical and human events occur.
Empiricism:

Knowledge arises from evidence gathered via sense experience. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or tradition.

Humanism:

Human beings can lead happy and functional lives, and are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or dogma. Life stance emphasized the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.

Hedonism:
Pleasure is the only intrinsic good. Actions can be evaluated in terms of how much pleasure they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain.
Authoritarianism:
Submission to authority and opposed to individualism and democracy. An authoritarian government is one in which political power is concentrated in a leader who possesses exclusive, unaccountable, and arbitrary power.
Determinism:

Events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state of an object or event is determined by prior states. Every type of event, including human cognition (behavior, decision, and action) is causally determined by previous events.

Solipsism:

Knowledge of anything outside one’s own specific mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist.

 

 

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by Maria Popova | Brainpickings

“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the dawn of existence. Modern history alone has given us a plethora of attempted answers, including ones from Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick, David Foster Wallace, Anais Nin, Ray Bradbury, and Jackson Pollock’s dad. In 1988, the editors of LIFE magazine posed this grand question head-on to 300 “wise men and women,” from celebrated authors, actors, and artists to global spiritual leaders to everyday farmers, barbers, and welfare mothers. In 1991, they collected the results, along with a selection of striking black-and-white photographs from the magazine’s archives that answered the question visually and abstractly, in The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here (public library). Here is a selection of the answers.

Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard:

We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, things fall apart. Structures disintegrate. Buckminster Fuller hinted at a reason we are here: By creating things, by thinking up new combinations, we counteract this flow of entropy. We make new structures, new wholeness, so the universe comes out even. A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.

Ralph MorseAlbert Einstein’s study shortly after his death, Princeton, New Jersey

Legendary science writer Stephen Jay Gould:

The human species has inhabited this planet for only 250,000 years or so-roughly.0015 percent of the history of life, the last inch of the cosmic mile. The world fared perfectly well without us for all but the last moment of earthly time–and this fact makes our appearance look more like an accidental afterthought than the culmination of a prefigured plan.

Moreover, the pathways that have led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable. Human evolution is not random; it makes sense and can be explained after the fact. But wind back life’s tape to the dawn of time and let it play again–and you will never get humans a second time.

We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer — but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating. We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves — from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.

Bill OwensGraduation dance

Frank Donofrio, a barber:

I have been asking myself why I’m here most of my life. If there’s a purpose I don’t care anymore. I’m seventy-four. I’m on my way out. Let the young people learn the hard way, like I did. No one ever told me anything.

Leonard FreedHarlem summer day

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke:

A wise man once said that all human activity is a form of play. And the highest form of play is the search for Truth, Beauty and Love. What more is needed? Should there be a ‘meaning’ as well, that will be a bonus?

If we waste time looking for life’s meaning, we may have no time to live — or to play.

Franco ZecchinSicily

Literary icon John Updike:

Ancient religion and modern science agree: we are here to give praise. Or, to slightly tip the expression, to pay attention. Without us, the physicists who have espoused the anthropic principle tell us, the universe would be unwitnessed, and in a real sense not there at all. It exists, incredibly, for us. This formulation (knowing what we know of the universe’s ghastly extent) is more incredible, to our sense of things, than the Old Testament hypothesis of a God willing to suffer, coddle, instruct, and even (in the Book of Job) to debate with men, in order to realize the meager benefit of worship, of praise for His Creation. What we beyond doubt do have is our instinctive intellectual curiosity about the universe from the quasars down to the quarks, our wonder at existence itself, and an occasional surge of sheer blind gratitude for being here.

AbbasFireman at scene of bomb explosion, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Poet Charles Bukowski:

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God.

We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system.

We are here to drink beer.

We are here to kill war.

We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

We are here to read these words from all these wise men and women who will tell us that we are here for different reasons and the same reason.

Myron DavisA boy and his dog, Iowa

Avant-garde composer and philosopher John Cage:

No why. Just here.

Duane MichalsThe Human Condition

The Meaning of Life is a cultural treasure in its entirety, and the screen does the stunning photographs no justice — do grab yourself an analog copy.

Source Link: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/17/the-meaning-of-life/