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(1,357 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
Understanding/Reason 1. Today's concept of reason is a product of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, which places reason above simple understanding as the highest capacity of the mind. This ranking reversed the translations of the medieval and early modern ages. For scholastic…

Criticism of Religion

(1,496 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
From Mythos to Logos? 1. In comparison with the various religions, philosophy and the sciences, both physical and natural, are of late appearance. As demonstrated by the emergence of Greek philosophy in the sixth century BCE, they emerged from a criticism of the religious apprehensions and praxis of their time. Philosophy, which always understands itself as, among other things, criticism of religion, sees itself confronted with the task of demythologizing the world, and of leading culture from ‘mythos to logos.’ Such…

Enlightenment (Age of)

(1,360 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
Concept of the Age 1. In an affirmation now become famous, Kant describes the Enlightenment as “the emergence of man from self-accusatory sheepishness.” This definition of ‘Enlightenment’ means a change in the human being's self-knowledge and place in the universe, and has led to the conception of a new change of the ages of the world. Kant is putting all of his emphasis here on 'self-accusatory’ (in Ger.,


(1,601 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
1. While the term ‘whole’ has been one of the fundamental concepts of Western philosophy and science from the outset, the concept of wholeness, as a scientific one, is a neologism, having come into use only toward the end of the nineteenth century. Here it is especially biology and psychology that give the concept the meaning that it still has today in scientific theory (‘holism’), medicine (‘holistic medicine’), or psychology (‘holistic psychology’). Concepts and Theories of Wholeness: Goethe 2. The concept of wholeness has a close a…


(1,011 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
1. Determinism is a Weltanschauung or worldview that holds all processes of inanimate and animate nature, together with human acts, to be causally conditioned. In other words, inorganic, organic, cultural, and psychic life presents a tight succession of cause and effect. Between causes and effects, therefore, no objective undetermined, random uncaused moment can be introduced, and this in principle. Therefore natural, cultural, and psychic processes are basically (pre-)determinable.…


(1,361 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan


(1,130 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
Assertions and Truth 1. The fifteenth-century Renaissance effected a completely new orientation of the sciences. The manner of thinking appeared that was typical of the sixteenth century: rationalism. Here, it was the philosophy of René Descartes (1596–1650) that founded a new form of thought and made it the standard of the sciences. As Descartes demonstrated in his Discours de la Méthode (Fr. “Discussion of Method”; 1637), reason was no longer satisfied that it only maintain assent to received teachings. A doubt abiding in the reason prevents the latter…

Balthasar, Hans Urs von

(521 words)

Author(s): Grätzel, Stephan
[German Version] (Aug 12, 1905, Lucerne – Jun 26, 1988, Basel), Catholic the…