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Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst (1768-1834)

German philosopher and theologian; author of Der Christliche Glaube (The Christian Faith) (1822). In Über die Religion. Reden an Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern (On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers) (1799), Schliermacher proposed that religious experience be based on human emotions (especially the feeling of dependency) rather than on reason. He also founded the University of Berlin, translated the dialogues of Plato into German, and invented the modern study of hermeneutics.

Recommended Reading: Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, ed. by Hermann Fischer and Gerhard Ebeling (de Gruyter, 1994); Friedrich Schleiermacher, Hermeneutics and Criticism: And Other Writings, ed. by Andrew Bowie (Cambridge, 1999); Friedrich Schleiermacher, Lectures on Philosophical Ethics, ed. by Robert B. Louden, tr. by Louise Adey Huish (Cambridge, 2002); James M. Brandt, All Things New: Reform of Church and Society in Schleiermacher's Christian Ethics (Westminster, 2001); Thandeka, The Embodied Self: Friedrich Schleiermacher's Solution to Kant's Problem of the Empirical Self (SUNY, 1995); and Patricia Ellen Guenther-Gleason, On Schleiermacher and Gender Politics (Trinity, 1997).

Also see SEP and EB.

Schlick, F. A. Moritz (1882-1936)

Austrian philosopher. As the personable leader of the Vienna Circle, Schlick was instrumental in the formation of the logical positivist movement, whose work is preserved in the Gesammelte Ausätze (Collected Essays) (1938). Some of Schlick's basic principles are expressed in Allgemeine Erkentnisslehre (Epistemology & Modern Physics) (1925). Unlike many of his fellow positivists, Schlick was willing to include ethics (understood as a strictly empirical study of human desires and their consequences for human action) within the province of meaningful (verifiable) scientific discourse, as in Fragen der Ethik (Problems of Ethics) (1930).

Recommended Reading: Moritz Schlick, General Theory of Knowledge, tr. by Albert E. Blumberg and Herbert Feigl (Open Court, 1985); Moritz Schlick, ed. by Brian McGuinness (Reidel, 1986); Logical Empiricism at Its Peak: Schlick, Carnap, and Neurath, ed. by Sahotra Sarkar (Garland, 1996); and Rationality and Science: A Memorial Volume for Moritz Schlick, ed. by Eugene T. Gadol (Springer Verlag, 1983).

Also see ELC, EB, and Austria-Forum.


Philosophical study as practiced by Christian thinkers in medieval universities. The scholastics typically relied upon ancient authorities as sources of dogma and engaged in elaborate disputations over their proper interpretation. These practices were largely discontinued by philosophers of the Renaissance.

Recommended Reading: Etienne Gilson, The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy, tr. by A.H.C. Downes (Notre Dame, 1991); John W. Baldwin, The Scholastic Culture of the Middle Ages, 1000-1300 (Waveland, 1997); Individuation in Scholasticism: The Later Middle Ages and the Counter-Reformation 1150-1650, ed. by Jorge J. E. Gracia (SUNY, 1994); and Scholasticism: Cross-Cultural and Comparative Perspectives, ed. by Jose Ignacio Cebazon and Laurie L. Patton (SUNY, 1998).

Also see CE, Joseph Rickaby, EB, ISM, and Austria-Forum.

Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

German philosopher. Rejecting the idealism of Hegel, Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung and (The World as Will and Representation) (1818) employed Kant's notion of the noumenal self as the foundation for a comprehensive account of human nature, in contrast to the phenomenal realm of objects. We are, for better or (much more commonly, according to the pessimistic Schopenhauer) for worse, manifestations of our own wills, rarely exhibiting the universal compassion for others that would render our egoistic impulses aesthetically valuable. Only by eliminating desire can we hope to achieve harmony and peace, he argued, but even that is possible only in ascetic living or death. Our very name for the "world," Schopenhauer suggested, is an acronym for the characteristics of human life—woe, misery, suffering, and death. [Ger. WELT = Weh, Elend, Leid, Tod]

Recommended Reading: Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosophical Writings, ed. by Wolfgang Schirmacher (Continuum, 1994); Arthur Schopenhauer, Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will, ed. by Gunter Zoller and Eric F. J. Payne (Cambridge, 1999); Bryan Magee, The Philosophy of Schopenhauer (Oxford, 1997); Patrick Gardiner, Schopenhauer (St. Augustine, 1997); The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer, ed. by Christopher Janaway (Cambridge, 1999); Christopher Janaway, Schopenhauer (Oxford, 1994); Michael Tanner, Schopenhauer (Routledge, 1999); Rudiger Safranski, Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy (Harvard, 1991); and Christopher Janaway, Self and World in Schopenhauer's Philosophy (Oxford, 1999).

Also see SEP, Christopher Young & Andrew Brook, EB, Robert Sarkissian, ELC, and Andy Blunden.

Schrödinger, Erwin (1887-1961)

Austrian physicist who established modern wave mechanics and employed thought-experiments about the superposition of contradictory states to explore the apparently paradoxical consequences of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933.

Recommended Reading: Erwin Schrödinger, Statistical Thermodynamics (Dover, 1989); Erwin Schrödinger, Space-Time Structure (Cambridge, 1985); Erwin Schrödinger, What Is Life?: 'The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell' with 'Mind and Matter' and 'Autobiographical Sketches', ed. by Roger Penrose (Cambridge, 1992); Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (Cambridge, 1989); Jagdish Mehra and Helmut Rechenberg, Erwin Schrödinger and the Rise of Wave Mechanics: Schrödinger in Vienna and Zurich 1887-1925 (Springer Verlag, 2000); and John Gribbin, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality (Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, 1985).

Also see MMT, EB, Austria-Forum, and WSB.


Latin term for an organized body of theoretical knowledge [Gk. επιστημη [epistêmê]].

Also see PP.

scientific method

A procedure for the development and evaluation of explanatory hypotheses.

Recommended Reading: Barry Gower, Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction (Routledge, 1997); The Cognitive Basis of Science, ed. by Peter Carruthers, Michael Siegal, and Stephen Stich (Cambridge, 2002); Henry H. Bauer, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method (Illinois, 1994); and Edgar Bright Wilson, An Introduction to Scientific Research (Dover, 1991).

Also see SEP, EB, and Liana Pop.

Scotus, John Duns (1266-1308)

British Franciscan philosopher. Scotus developed the notion of a formal distinction (more than nominal but less than real) as the key to resolving problems of individuation. On this basis, Scotus distinguished intellect from volition and defended freedom of the will against the determinism of the radical Aristoteleans. His Treatise on God as First Principle employs a revision of Anselm's ontological argument in defence of the existence of god.

Recommended Reading: John Duns Scotus, Philosophical Writings: A Selection (Hackett, 1987); The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus, ed. by Thomas Williams (Cambridge, 2002); Duns Scotus on the Will and Morality, tr. by William A. Frank and Alan B. Wolter (Catholic U. of Am., 1998); Richard Cross, Duns Scotus (Oxford, 1999); William A. Frank and Allan B. Wolter, Duns Scotus, Metaphysician (Purdue, 1995); and Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham, ed. by Paul Vincent Spade (Hackett, 1994).

Also see SEP, R. J. Kilcullen, EB, CE, ELC, the Maritain Center, and WSB.


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