I suggest, as humbly as I can, that these are the three greatest philosophers of all time. I am not influenced by their antiquity in this assessment. I am convinced that if they were living now, teaching the same ideas as they did then, they would still be at the top of modern philosophy. These are ideas that deeply affected every great thinker. Their greatness has been untouched by time and has only been strengthened by the passage of twenty-five centuries.

It is impossible to cover in the limited space of this article, or even in the space of a…


We have all heard about Pragmatism. What does it really mean? Read on for the basics of this American philosophy and the people who made this a dominant trend in modern thinking. This is the complete version on Pragmatism previously published in three separate parts on this and other media.

This new philosophical current began to develop as nineteenth century America was coming of age culturally and intellectually. The undisputed founder of the new philosophy was Charles Sanders Peirce, one of the most original minds of the century and, in the words of Bertrand Russell, “the greatest American thinker ever”…


The history of science and philosophy in classical Greece shows that Aristotle and others, such as Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, were the first scholars to establish a scientific method, the pursuit of knowledge through systematic observation, measurement and experiment and the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses.

Aristotle recognized that empirical input rather than pure reason is the only source of new knowledge. The basic steps of the scientific method have not changed much since Aristotle’s time. There are typically four steps: (1) Observation of a natural event. (2) Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the event. (3) Use of the…


Feyerabend and Kuhn explained

In my own experience scientists are actually fascinated and thrive by their own lack of knowledge. But what about their methods? Is there such a thing as the scientific method or do scientists make great discoveries in the absence of logic and method, driven by intuition, anarchy and (mostly) uncommon sense? Is there any value in the philosophy of knowledge and the study of the scientific method?


Quest for the Holy Grail

In his introduction to The Feynman Lectures on Physics, physicist Richard Feynman wrote “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. So do not take the lecture too seriously, feeling that you really have to understand in terms of some model what I am going to describe, but just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possible avoid it, But how…


The island of Antikythera

Archaeology has always fascinated people, even before George Lucas’ fictional professor Indiana Jones achieved worldwide popularity. Our desire to know our past probably stems from our search for our inner self. The term archaeology is a Greek word meaning “the study of ancient history”. Archaeology helps us understand how and why human behavior has changed over time. Archaeologists search for patterns in the evolution of significant events such as the emergence of cities, or the collapse of major civilizations.

One of the most stunning ancient discoveries in the twentieth century, in the spring of 1900, was not achieved by archaeologists…


We often read those cliché references, such as, who is the father of philosophy, the father of science, of astronomy, and so on. Thales of Miletus has been called by scholars the father of science. Probably because he was the earliest thinker to seek naturalistic explanations of the phenomena, away from intervention by the gods, showing the way towards scientific endeavor. We might say that Thales marked the beginning of the first western enlightenment.

Miletus was a Greek city on the coast of Ionia, an ancient region on the western coast of present-day Turkey, the region nearest Smyrna or Izmir…


In a recent article titled The Most Famous Failed Experiment, we saw how Albert Michelson and Edward Morley in 1887 failed to prove the existence of ether and left scientists without a transmitting medium for light. But failure and success sometimes can co-exist. The Michelson-Morley experiment opened the path to Einstein’s relativity theory which became a cornerstone of modern physics.

We shall take a more positive outlook today and describe one of the most successful experiments of the twentieth century. …


William Shockley, Walter Brattain and John Bardeen, 1948.

Have you ever wondered what is the most important invention of all time? Or of the twentieth century? How do we measure the greatness or importance of an invention? A possible criterion is the ingenuity required for the invention. I would opt, however, for the invention’s practical consequences as a criterion of an invention’s greatness and importance.

The magical opening scene in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey shows how adult male chimpanzees learned to use as weapons and possibly as tools the bones from animal carcasses they consumed. In the next scene we see a spaceship.

From bones…


We have all heard of logical paradoxes and puzzles from the world of mathematics, logic, and philosophy. A paradox is a statement that starts from premises that appear to be true and leads to a logically unacceptable conclusion. Many paradoxes have puzzled and influenced philosophers and logicians for centuries. For most of us non-logicians who like to train our mind with some mental exercise, they can be challenging, inspiring, sometimes infuriating, and always amusing.

Achilles and the Tortoise

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher and mathematician who lived in the 5th century BC, inventor of dialectic according to Aristotle. The most famous of…

Michael Sidiropoulos

Independent consultant and author who writes about the philosophy of science and the scientific method. His most recent book is “The Mind of Science”.

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