This study of Western philosophic systems, their types, history, relations, and projected future in the next half century, stems from Robert S. Brumbaugh’s forty-year fascination with the paradox of the many consistent overarching systems of ideas that are nevertheless mutually exclusive.Brumbaugh argues that when we isolate these systems’s patterns and look at them more abstractly, they consistently fall into four main types, and the interaction of these four types of explanation and order is a dominant theme in the history of Western philosophy.In Brumbaugh’s view these four philosophic systems are not, as some critical historians and thinkers have claimed, so different that they are mutually unintelligible, forcing us to make a choice among them that is entirely arbitrary. But neither are they, as a majority of past thinkers and historians have hoped, simply parts of some single "right" or "orthodox" scheme. Their mutual understanding requires a method of transformation that interprets one to another without destroying their diversity.The history of Western philosophy from the fifth century A.D. to the present shows a pattern of alternating revolutions in systematic method and direction of explanation. Brumbaugh feels that the pattern is continuing in a change toward a revised Platonism, just beginning with the twenty-first century. He anticipates that it will be a Platonism of a new texture, one that has matured and learned a great deal in the course of the adventures of its ideas through space and time.
Politics-Social-Sciences, Philosophy, History-Surveys,