School of Thought

A school of thought, also known as an intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share the same opinions or outlook of a particular philosophy, discipline, belief, social movement, cultural movement, economics, or even an art movement. The phrase has become a common everyday term that is used to describe those who think alike or those who focus on a common idea. The use of the term has fairly become commonplace. There is a convention, in philosophical and political fields of thought, to have classical and modern schools of thought. An example of this would be the modern and classical liberals. However, there is rarely a case where there are just two schools in any given field.

A school of thought is often named after its founders such as the “Rinzai school” of Zen, which is named after Linji Yixuan; or the Asharite school of Muslim philosophy, which is named after Abu l’Hasan al-Ashari. They are also named after their places of origin, like the Ionian school of philosophy which originated in Ionia, or the Chicago school of architecture which originated in Chicago, Illinois. An example of a school of thought within the philosophy of Christianity and even Gnosticism is the Neoplatonic school of thought which has influenced Christian thought, from Augustinianism to Renaissance and humanism to the present day.

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