Philosophy can be incredibly dry at times, giving it a bad name. With all of its jargon, complex theories, and intricate history, philosophy is strictly scholarly, intimidating intellectuals, scaring away laypeople, and attracting very little attention, as most people prefer to stay away from the dense topic; what people tend to overlook, though, is that philosophy is not always boring, for philosophy is filled with humorous yet interesting anecdotes concerning famous philosophers. So, without further ado, I present part four of Philosophy Fun Facts, which will be a short series of quirky but educational fun facts about philosophers and philosophy.
Francis Bacon and Shakespeare
Englishman Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is credited with inventing the scientific method (technically Aristotle did first), only one facet of his accomplishments. A well-educated man, Bacon contributed to philosophy his idols and to science the scientific method. What some do not know is that deniers of Shakespeare’s authority claim instead that it was Bacon who wrote the plays. While this is a preposterous claim, it is not without merit.
If a Tree Falls in the Forest
Though he never wrote it, George Berkeley (1685-1753) is often associated with the age old question of, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Berkeley, a solipsist, believed that nothing existed outside of ourselves, that all which is beyond our perception does not exist. If you were to scroll down this page, this section would cease to be and nor does the section above this one.
For further reading:
501 Things You Should Have Learned About Philosophy by Alison Rattle (2012)
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think by Robert Arp (2013)
The Essentials of Philosophy by James Mannion (2006)
The Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche (1888)
The Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb (2000)
History of Philosophy by Julian Marias (1967)