All human activities seem to have dramatic, defining, pivotal moments. Take basketball : 1987 Game 5 Celtics v. Pistons. Dennis Rodman rejects Larry Bird with 5 seconds left. Pistons take the ball. All they need to do is inbound the ball and hold it and they take a 3-2 series lead home. Instead, Larry steals Isiah's inbound pass and the Celtics win. Wow.
Of course there are many such moments in sports. What are the equivalent moments in Philosophy? What Philosopher, finally, in what paper, knocked down a prevalent theory held for 1,000 years? That kind of thing. Can a few of you contribute your favorite moments in the history of philosophy?
Descartes ""cogito" ( I think, therefore, I am ) was certainly a walk off home run. It provided the foundation for a new approach to philosophy based purely on the examination of consciousness. This, however, was certainly not an uncontroversial move. Kant's transcendental approach was also a half court shot. That is, the idea of responding to problems in epistemology with the strategy of thinking - what must the cosmos be like in order for knowledge to be possible? There are actually quite a few moments like this in the history of philosophy. But few, I suppose, in which something was established in some incontrovertible fashion.