Ever lose track of all those crazy ideas philosophers come up with? Do you like databases? Peter Gibson says yes, and developed philosophyideas.com. I quote the explanation on his site:
This database has been compiled by Peter Gibson from many years of philosophy reading. These studies led him to two MA’s from London University, and to teaching philosophy to teenagers for twenty-four years (at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe). He is now researching metaphysics at Birkbeck in London.
The big thought behind the project is that philosophy has became such a vast and specialised subject during the last hundred years that not even the most learned student can keep track of it. The obvious next step seems to be the production of a clear and comprehensive map of what has been achieved. PhilosophyIdeas is meant as a tiny contribution to that task, though it began as a tool for helping students to write essays.
1. Wisdom / A. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Wisdom / b. Wise people
13780 Good people are no different from wise ones [Plato]
Single Idea 13780
[catalogued under 1. Wisdom / A. Nature of Philosophy / 1. Wisdom / b. Wise people]
Socrates: Are good people any different from wise ones? No, they aren’t.
Gist of Idea
Good people are no different from wise ones
Plato (Cratylus [c.377 BCE], 398b)
This is Socrates’s ‘intellectualism’, his view that being good is entirely a matter of reason and knowledge, and not a matter of habit or emotion. Do we still accept the traditional assumption that wise people are thereby morally good?
Plato: ‘Plato Complete Works’, ed/tr. Cooper,John M. [Hackett 1997], p.116
I am perversely impressed with the level of effort necessary to create this resource (“current total ideas: 12,521”) but have yet to figure out how useful it might be, given that I’m not writing term papers.
You can run queries to include multiple philosophers and the ideas they have in some particular topic area; so, for instance, I ran a David Chalmers and Dan Dennett on Mind and Body query, which you can see here.
I especially like the “A reaction” section of each idea, where the writer (presumably Gibson) gives his quick take on the idea (demonstrating that the database is not put together in a purely mechanical way). For instance, on Dennett’s idea (which seems strangely stated to me, but the citation gives one enough to do further research on) that “We descend from robots, and our intentionality is composed of billions of crude intentional systems,” Gibson gives the reaction: “A more grand view of intentionality (such as Searle’s) seems more attractive than this, but the crucial fact about Dennett is that he takes the implications of evolution much more seriously than other philosophers. He’s probably right.”
This project as a whole seems pretty brilliant and/or obsessive/compulsive.