When it comes to explaining philosophy, sometimes less is more — and we think this arresting collection of minimalist posters encompasses that idea perfectly.
The illustrations you see featured below are from a a series entitled "Philographics," and were created by London-based graphic designer Genís Carreras. Using basic colors, simple geometric design, and concise definitions, Carreras manages to cram impressive amounts of information — on philosophical doctrines as diverse as hedonism, determinism, and existentialism — into a surprisingly simple and accessible package.
We've included a sample of the collection below, but you'll find the series in its entirety, along with plenty more examples of Carreras' work, over on his website. The posters are also available for purchase via society6.
All descriptions have been transcribed from their respective posters
Individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, dealing with his or her conditions, emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts.
Experience is ultimately based on mental activity. It is contrasted with realism, in which the external world is said to have an apparent absolute existence. The only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas.
Reality exists independently of observers. In ethics, moral realism takes the view that there are objective moral values. Representative realism claims that humans cannot perceive the external world directly.
Knowledge arises from evidence gathered via sense experience. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or tradition.
Reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organised religion, can determine that a supreme being created the universe. This deity does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the natural laws of the universe.
Human being can lead happy and functional lives, and are capable of being ethical and moral, without religion or dogma. Life stance emphasises the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.
Mind and matter are fundamentally distinct kinds of substances. Human beings have both of them, mind or soul and body. Moral dualism is the belief of the greater complement or conflict between the good and the evil.
Pleasure is the only intrinsic good. Actions can be evaluated in terms of how much pleasure they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain.
An absolute truth is always correct under any condition. An entity's ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth. Universal facts can be discovered. It is opposed to relativism, which claims that there is not an unique truth.
Points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration. Principles and ethics are regarded as aplicable in only limited context.
Agents have the ability to make choices. Individuals can be held morally accountable for their actions. An omnipotent divinity does not assert its power over the will and choices of individuals.
Events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state of an object or event is determined by prior states. Every type of event, including human cognition (behaviour, decision, and action), is causally determined by previous events.
Life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Morality does not inherently exist and any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Knowledge is not possible and some aspects of reality do not exist as such.
[Spotted on NOTCOT]
This io9 Flashback was originally published in April, 2012