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Introduction to Greek and Medieval Philosophy Schools
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Introduction to Greek and Medieval Philosophy Schools


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A presentation of a Philosophy course, 2 lectures each 3 hours long, discussing in brief schools of thought in Classical Greece. …

A presentation of a Philosophy course, 2 lectures each 3 hours long, discussing in brief schools of thought in Classical Greece.

Outline starts with general introduction to Western Philosophy, followed by simple visualization of key terms used by Presocratic philosophers, as in Doxa, Arche, Being, and Becoming.

Then, the lecture gives brief discussions on each of the Presocratics, starting with Thales, his students, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, The Sophists, till the historical Socrates.

Afterwards, Plato and Aristotle are explained in fairly detailed exposure.

The lecture then ends by briefly touching on the impact both Plato and Aristotle had on the modern world, via their direct influence on Plotinus, St. Augustine, and - later on - St. Thomas Aquinas.

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  • 1. Part 1. On Plato and the Classical World
  • 2.  So, we all know that “Philos Sophia” means the “Love of Wisdom” We all know “Love”. Ardent desire for something. But what IS wisdom?  Simply put, it’s the Knowledge itself. Any set of useful information, from Science, Humanities, Video Games, Movies, or even daily nuisance.
  • 3.  But if Wisdom encompasses all there’s to be known, it encompasses all there is to think of.  Hence, THINKING itself is Wisdom And thus, Philosophy is the Desire to THINK.. To KNOW… To UNDERSTAND…
  • 4. ( Still, some“Knowledge” ismore important Ideas than others ) Events Individuals Actions
  • 5.  So why are we all here?  It’s the thinking process that captivates us.  We all think, but we don’t discourse.  And after ages of contemplation, we reach a defining moment, where the connections become clear.  This moment is the pure idea that we’ve just grasped, and think that ONLY ME has got “it”.
  • 6. We all have great Ideas and Eureka moments.We love those moments. Welike to wave at them as they pass by.
  • 7. In fact, some thinker might have answered your • And lifelong contemplation wrote it millennia ago, in a book. Other thinkers• Studied its pros gave it a and cons, replied fancy name, to criticism and And entire created new censure. works of • But you still science have think that “I’m propagated it. the only one smart enough”
  • 8. Then, if it’s so good, why is“thinking” and discourse on ideas so scarce in current world, particularly the Middle East?
  • 9. We need a certain level of Intellectual Prosperity to examine the World.But we’ve been lacking it for far too long. We CAN’T wait any longer…
  • 10.  Philosophy can be taught as;  Historical. Through successive schools and major figures, each studied individually.  Categorical. Through topics and themes. Epistemology, Ontology, and Metaphysics. Followed by Mind, Ethics, Telos, Polis, and Subject Philosophy (Science, Biology, Spacetime)  Contextual. Discussing the historical schools, with paying attention to growing influence as History unfolds, creating a fictional linking thread.
  • 11. The World we live in
  • 12. The World we live in
  • 13. .....The World we live in
  • 14. ..... DOXAApparent Reality
  • 15. Pierre Bourdieu, in his Outline of a Theory of Practice, used the term DOXA to denote what is taken for granted in any particular society.The doxa, in his view, is the experience by which “the natural and social world appears as self-evident”.
  • 16. Process philosophy identifies DOXA with change. The change spans the experiencable realm of the Doxa. It always has a BEGINNING (Entry to perception =Birth), and an END (Exit of perception = Death)
  • 17. Becoming Becoming ..... Doxa
  • 18. Observers have posited true reality as "TIMELESS", based on permanent substances. On the other hand, processes of CHANGE are inferior to these timeless substances.
  • 19. If someone changes, as in becoming sick, or even dies, he is still the same substance – Weight wise (the composition being the same)…Yet the change (his sickness) only glidesover his substance: change is accidental, whereas the substance is essential.
  • 20. Becoming Becoming Being Doxa
  • 21.  Homer (700 BC) wrote about Trojan wars in the Iliad and Odeissy. Hoesid wrote the “THEOGONY”. It talks about Greek Gods, How they came into existence, and how they created everything else.  Hoseid admits that his poems are inspired by the Muses.
  • 22.  According to the Theogony, In the Beginning there was ONLY Chaos (Nothing). From this, came Gaia (Earth), Tarturus (Other/outer World), and Eros (Desire). Hence, Chaos is the Origin of all Beings (Timeless Substances) themselves. So, Hoseid was thus able to explain all the different “Being – Becoming” processes across all different realms of Doxa. Material, Psychological, and Metaphysical, via a SINGLE ORIGIN.
  • 23. Becoming Becoming Being Doxa
  • 24. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 25. Arche Doxa
  • 26.  This story makes little sense. Something came out of Nothing. The notion of “Nothing” itself is meaningless. Moreover, How can a single entity (Nothing) gives rise to Everything? What was the mechanism? The cause? The proof? However, Hesoid argues that he was GIVEN THE COSMOGONY by muses, thus he can’t elaborate why.
  • 27. Hence, his irrationality aims to give human beings the impulse that HUMANS CAN’T EXPLAIN THE WORLD in which they live in.
  • 28. Arche Doxa Mythos
  • 29.  When compared to other cultures at that time, the Mythos of Greece, the Greek Gods, were more of a theatrical assembly, which didn’t actually show a direct interest in the matters of individuals. Deism. But the Jew had God observing them closely at every single moment of their living life, monitoring everything people were doing and thinking.
  • 30. Thus, the Greek were given the freedom to think freely.Thinking in Cosmogony was not Heresy, as Gods didn’t explain all the inner workings to their disciples, but let them think.
  • 31. But Jews had the texts that already contained all theanswers needed, and there wasno need to discover or even look for any kind of new things or explanations.
  • 32. Arche DoxaMythos Logos
  • 33. Thales(BCE 624 to BCE 546)
  • 34.  He was the first thinker to give a “Logos” to Doxa. For Hoseid, The Arche is Chaos/Nothingness. For Thales, material origin gives you tremendous power. You have the ability to discern reality itself. His Arche was the most abundant of all things. Water.
  • 35.  Comparison between Hesiod and Thales. Can we understand the World with our own intellect? Or is the world somehow separated and distant, and we need a Muse that describes the World to us? Hence, the battle of Philosophy (Logos) vs. Poetry (Mythos)... He is thus Empirical. His information came from what he’s sensing and seeing.
  • 36.  Terms introduced by Thales, and used by the Presocratics,  ARCHE can unify all the different “many” into a single “one”. Thales develops the very first mental (0,0,0) point in the 3D realm of thinking. He opted for water.  BECOMING is the process of coming into being present, and then going out of being present. Hence, birth, life and death.  BEING is the thing that remains and endures. Things become, then exit. Hence, a thing goes into transformations to “become”, but the Being is its the ultimate reality.
  • 37. Arche DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism
  • 38. Water DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism
  • 39. Anaximander (610)
  • 40. Anaximenes (585 to 528)
  • 41. Pythagoras (49os)
  • 42.  Anaximander (550)(Shapeless entity)  The Arche is not a limited substance of Water. Rather, the indefinite, or “apeiron”.  Since we all have external limits shaping our forms, then the Arche must be limitless. Ethereal.  THUS, he is sort of a “Rationalist”. He adds thinking to the observation.
  • 43. Arche DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 44. Apeiron DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 45.  Anaximenes (540)(air)  Water can’t permeate. Yet, the notion of the indefinite is unacceptable, as it also removes the “impulse” of understanding the universe.  That is, we can’t think the “Unlimited”, as we’ll always limit it when we think about it.  Thus, to reconcile, Air is more ubiquotus than water, and it’s also the “unlimited”.
  • 46. AirDoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 47.  Pythagoreanism (Numbers)  A cult. Highly secretive.  Numbers recur from the One. A fixed value that recurs over and over.
  • 48. Numbers DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 49.  Xenophanes (God)  A critic of Greek Polytheism. He’s a “God is ONE” thinker. All of God sees, all of him thinks, and all of him hears. But without effort, he shakes all things by the thought of his mind. He always remains in the same place, MOVING NOT AT ALL.  Thus, Arche is God. Now, emerges the definition of the “Other”. This God has qualities, not organs.
  • 50. The One DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 51. But now, the new complex crisis emerges in the process of entering, and exiting, the world of becoming.How can the Being materializes in and out of experience?One of them MUST be true, and other MUST be an illusion.
  • 52. Arche Doxa
  • 53. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 54. Heraclitus (535 to 475)
  • 55.  He eliminated the concept of “Being”. It’s all “Becoming”. You can’t step in the same river twice. We step, and DO NOT step in the same river. BUT, if nothing is stable, there would be no Logos.Well. The Logos holds ALWAYS, but humans are always unable to understand it.
  • 56. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 57. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 58. Becoming Becoming Becoming Doxa
  • 59. On Logos, the road up and the road down are one and the same. The same thing is both living and dead. Sea is thepurest but most polluted water. Ultimately, Changing, it resets.
  • 60.  So, he is contradicting himself. Saying P and ~P are BOTH true. Contradiction is against reason itself. However, Heraclitus argues that if everything is in flux, then we can think that we experience (P), but the actual nature is (~P). Remember the river example. Hence, by deleting the absolute Being, and having all things transform within the realm of becoming, he created a method by which the question was answered.
  • 61. The Cosmos was always and isand shall be an ever-living FIRE.WAR is the father of all and the King of all. The KINGDOM belongs to a child playing.
  • 62.  If nothing is permanent, then nothing is absolute. Hence, Contradiction is typical, with abolition of Being. Fire for him is undulant. Same goes for War. The things that are at odds. The child imagination creates rules and abolish them. Unpredictable rule- less Kingdoms. The play of these fragments, the contradiction, the P and ~P, the + and – odds present simultaneously represent the idea of fluxing Becoming.
  • 63.  This has affected Nietzsche thought. Nietzsche wanted people to embrace the undulant + and – Nature of Life. Denial of Change, or rationalizing it via God, Destiny, Morals,.. is repulsive. Heraclitus took a step further. Is flux also in flux? That is, are the things in flux fixed in their definition? Is their Lexicon absolute? DEFINITELY NO. Nouns add stability, and thus profoundly misleading. Hence, language is deeply misleading. That’s why the writings are very contradicting and enigmatic. Hence, contradicting words put the language in motion, fluxing the meaning of the sentences over the aeons of time.
  • 64. Becoming DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 65. Parmenides (520s)
  • 66.  Parmenides argues the three “ways of Inquiry,” three basic intellectual ways to see things…  The first is that Being IS, or rather, the origins are the same.  The second way affirms the reality of non-Being. This, Parmenides argues, is a logical contradiction. (The idea of NOT encompassing the root of everything, in everything, is ridiculous, since we do have things.)  The third way asserts that both non-Being and Being are. This way is identified with what Parmenides calls DOXA, “appearance” or “the way things seem to be.” He probably associated it with the work of Heraclitus. It, too, is false.
  • 67. Being can be, Non Being can’t be, ergo Being and Non Being can’t be. Thinking and Being are the same. Non Being is NOT possible. Also Becoming is Not possible. ARCHE IS BEING.
  • 68. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 69. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa is a LIE
  • 70. All Beings Doxa is a LIE
  • 71. All is ALWAYS in the State of Being
  • 72.  DOXA is the way things appear to be. The thing we are familiar with. The essence of doxa is the belief in multiplicity and change. When we open our eyes, we see lots of things and they are moving around. This is the realm of Becoming. We believe things come into being, then pass away. Parmenides challenges this belief. DO Not let habit born from much experience compel you…to direct your sightless eye… But judge by reason (logos)
  • 73.  Parmenides’ Being is eternal, one, and indivisible — it is the notion of a pure rationalist.  Parmenides is a RATIONALIST; a strict, logical thinker who ignores empirical observation (Doxa).  By contrast, Thales was an EMPIRICIST. He reached his philosophical conclusions by means of observation of the external world.  Heraclitus, too, is an empirical thinker. His thinking is an attempt to be faithful to the flux of experience and the passage of time.  Much of the subsequent history of philosophy can be divided into empiricists (such as Locke and Hume) and rationalists (such as Descartes and Leibniz).
  • 74. Being DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 75. Democritus (460 to 370)
  • 76.  Both Heraclitus and Parmenides were extremists. The goal was to preserve the insights of Parmenides about Being without ending up in his utterly paradoxical denial of Becoming,And to affirm Heraclitus’s keen appreciation of Becoming without lapsing into his irrational form of logos.
  • 77.  Empedocles (four elements). His theory has two basic components;  There are four kinds of “roots,” or elements: FIRE, AIR, WATER, and EARTH. These combine and separate to form sensible objects.  Two basic forces in the universe govern the motion of the roots: love and strife.  When love is active, the roots combine. When strife is active, the roots repel each other and disperse. The combining is based on Chance. Similar to Darwin’s.
  • 78. Four Elements DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 79.  Leucippus and Democritus (indivisible component) can merge the Heraclitus and Parmenedis thinking in a better vision.  ATOMS are indivisible and eternal. (Being). Atoms combine to form larger, visible objects. Such objects pass away when the atoms no longer cohere and disperse.  But the atoms themselves do not pass away. They simply move on (Becoming)
  • 80. Atoms DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 81. Protagoras (490 to 420)
  • 82.  The Sophists, notably Protagoras and Gorgias, were itinerant professors, living around Socrates’ age. Athens was a vibrant democracy in the fifth century.  It was politically powerful ,very wealthy, and celebrated and protected the right for free speech.  In its primary legislative body, the Assembly, citizens could debate anything. Many would defend their land and Produce. In such an environment, Sophists were hot commodities. By teaching rhetoric, they offered the most useful skill for advancing a political agenda or guarding one’s possessions.
  • 83.  No single argument is absolutely decisive. Both sides of every issue can be argued equally. There are TWO OPPOSING ARGUMENTS (logoi) of Everthing. Protagoras was able to make the weaker argument the stronger.
  • 84.  Protagoras of Abdera, who probably lived from 485–415, challenged the Presocratics with his most famous single statement: Human being is the MEASURE of all things—of things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that they are not”
  • 85.  Protagoras was a HUMANIST. He thought kosmos or the archê were unknowable. For Protagoras, human beings were the center, the “Measure,” of all reality. Protagoras was a RELATIVIST. Compare the absolutist who believes that something can be true or good in and of itself.
  • 86.  Protagoras taught RHETORIC, the art of speaking well. Rhetoric and relativism go hand in hand. Since Relativism is the denial that there are any absolute truths or values. Hence, If nothing is absolutely true or good, then the truths and values that guide human life get their authority from human agreement or convention.
  • 87. Arche DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 88. Humanism DoxaRelativism LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 89. Socrates (469 to 399)
  • 90.  This was Athens. The city which held beauty as the most important aspect. The triad of Wealth, Beauty, and Intelligence was co-dependant. One can’t have only one of them, or else won’t be taken seriously. Socrates thus was more of a social reformist. Challenging the norms of the Society by asking fundamental questions on its values.
  • 91.  The 410s BCE was a time of reversal of power from the 30 Tyrants to Athenian Democracy. Because he asked so many questions, Socrates was perceived as being a subversive. He was critical of Athens and of democracy itself. By 399, the Athenians may just have been sick and tired of Socrates’ endless questioning. He was sentenced to death by Hemlock.
  • 92.  Why didn’t Socrates write anything?  He alleges that writing, far from enhancing our memory, only weakens it.  When we write something, Socrates says, the written work is outside of us. The work circulates in the world, fixed and indiscriminate, always subject to misinterpretation by different people.  As a result, Socrates preferred conversation to writing.
  • 93.  He was fundamentally concerned with the question of what is the best life for a human being.  He asked “what is it?” questions. For example, “What is justice?” and “What is courage?” He was, in other words, seeking definitions that could be understood in universal, not relativist, terms. Socrates himself offered no answers to his own questions. Instead, he showed other people that, even though they thought they did, they did not know what a good life really was. This side of Socrates is best depicted in Plato’s The Apology of Socrates.
  • 94. Plato (423 to 348)
  • 95.  He was born to a very wealthy and powerful family.  He was always given freedom to think, educate, and question others.  Hw didn’t fear Presocratics, like Heraclitus and Parmenides, or Sophists, like Gorgias abd Protagoras. He condemned them publicly.  Takes great pride in his humble weak teacher, Socrates, as well as his powerful influential family.  He had ample time to reflect, while at his household. The embodiment of the Rational.
  • 96.  Why did Plato wrote Dialogues?  By not expressing his own views in his own voice, Plato wanted the reader to question everything he said. Perhaps he wanted the reader to criticize Socrates himself.  One can never really know what Plato believes; the reader is always on edge.  This approach reflects Plato’s debt to Socrates, because it forces the notion of exchange or dialogue on the reader.
  • 97.  Thrasymachus argues about nature of Justice. In a monarchy, the king rules.  The thing advantageous to the king is what, according to Thrasymachus, would be counted as just.  In a democracy, the people rule. (Demos means people.) What is advantageous to the people is just. Of course, the people often change their minds about what this might be.
  • 98. Plato starts by asking, Do you think it is just to obey all laws? Thrasymachus answers yes. According to him, laws are made by, and for the advantage of, the ruling body. Therefore, he says that it is just to obey all laws. Plato then resumes, When the ruling body or ruler is creating its laws, does it sometimes make mistakes? Yes When the ruler makes a mistake, it creates a law that is actually to his disadvantage. Yes Because it is just to obey all laws, sometimes it is just to obey laws that are disadvantageous for the ruling body.
  • 99.  In the dialogue Theaetetus, Socrates uses a self- reference argument against the position of Protagoras.  If all truth is relative, if there is no absolute truth, then no one is really wiser than anyone else. Protagoras believes he is wise, as evidenced by the fact that he charges his students a great deal of money to study with him.  But Protagoras is a relativist. Therefore, by his own reckoning, he is no wiser than anyone else.
  • 100.  Plato was similar to the Reconcilers, trying to synthesize Being and Becoming.  The Forms are like Parmenidean Being.  Sensible reality is like Heraclitean Becoming Yet, Socrates’s fundamental objection was to that of Heraclitus. To him, the fluxing Becoming is similar to the Sophists’ Relativism.
  • 101. Socrates uses a self-reference argument againstHeraclitus as well. If nothing is stable, then wordsthemselves have no stable meaning. If words have no stable meaning, then there can be no true statements. But Heraclitus tries to make true statements, one of which is, “nothing is stable.” But if nothing is stable, then the very sentence “nothing is stable” is not stable and, hence, has no meaning.
  • 102.  Heraclitus’s position, as well as Sophistic relativism, self-destructs. Why Bad? Because according to the relativist, it is not possible to make a mistake. There are no wrong answers. All answers are equal, because all of them are relative to the person or group giving the answer... THUS, YOU DROP THE DESIRE TO KNOW.
  • 103. In Meno, “Even if they are many and various, all of [the virtues] have one andthe same form which makes them virtues” (pg. 193). Because we have access to the Forms and because that access cannot come from experience, we must have gotten our knowledge of the Forms before we were born. Consider the contemporary understanding of DNA: our genes contain “information” (which has “form” built into it). In other words, at conception, a human being has the form that it will eventually assume.
  • 104. The Forms DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 105.  Human beings are like prisoners in a cave.  They are shackled and forced to look at the cave’s back wall.  On this wall, they see images. These are really shadows projected by a fire behind the prisoners. The shadows are of objects that are placed before the fire.  The prisoners cannot turn their heads and, thus, cannot see the fire, only the shadows.  They think the shadows are real.
  • 106.  Plato’s teaching about the Ideas has radical political implications in his Utopia.  The Basis of his criticism of democracy.  Plato advocates censorship especially on Literature and Poetry, which teach Muthos.  The city of the Republic is authoritarian.
  • 107.  Data Collection, organization and PowerPointpresentation by Ahmed Elkhanany.
  • 108. Part 2. On Aristotle and the Medieval World
  • 109. The World we live in
  • 110. The World we live in
  • 111. .....The World we live in
  • 112. ..... DOXAApparent Reality
  • 113. Becoming Becoming ..... Doxa
  • 114. Becoming Becoming Being Doxa
  • 115. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 116. Arche Doxa
  • 117. Arche DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 118. Aristotle (384 to 322)
  • 119.  Life  Son of the court PHYSICIAN of Macedonia.  At 17, he entered Plato’s Academy, and remained for 20 years. In 343–342, Philip of Macedonia invited him to tutor Alexander. Returned to Athens in 335, and founded a school, the Lyceum, as a research centre, and a database for Manuscripts, maps, zoological samples, botanical samples, and political constitutions. In 323, when Alexander died, an anti-Macedonian backlash developed in Athens. He left town, and died a year later.
  • 120.  Logic, Ethics, Physics, Metaphysics, Biology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Mathematics, Psychology, Zoology, Rhetoric, Aesthetics, And Politics.  THEORIA literally means “looking at.”  An attempt to see the whole world as it really is. He was an empiricsist. He had a great belief in Doxa.  Endoxa, the “reputable opinions” held by all.
  • 121.  For Aristotle, human beings are at home in Nature “Phusis”.  The world is stable. It makes sense. It is a “cosmos,” a closed and HIERARCHICALLY ORDERED whole.  ALL THINGS HAVE THEIR PLACES in the world.  Moreover, everything has a cause. A function. EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A FUNCTION, or else it has no purpose. If there is no purpose, why existing?
  • 122. On the one hand, modern science understands far better than Aristotle how things really work.On the other hand, Aristotle understands far better than modern science what it is like to be a human being on earth, seeing the world through the “NAKED EYE.”
  • 123.  Edmund Husserl wrote “The Crisis of European Sciences”. Although modern science can explain how things work, it cannot explain what things mean. How we experience the World.. PHENOMENOLOGY, explaining the “appearances,” the human experience of a meaningful world, thus emphasizing the study of conscious experience.
  • 125. WHAT is in THIS WORLD?
  • 126.  Presocratics : natural in a human being is flesh, bone, and water, that is, the MATERIAL CONSTITUENTS. They neglected the Forms.. For Democritus, a dog is similar to Man, just a couple of molecules apart... Aristotle argues: Matter is associated with POTENTIALITY (wood of the bed), and Form associated with ACTUALITY, or becoming. (The shape and method of being Bed).
  • 127. Motion is the ACTUALIZATION of potentiality.Natural being has “within itself a principle [archê] of motion and rest.”
  • 128.  Presocratics, such as Thales, believed that only Arche, forming all the Beings, was the basic ingredient of nature.  On this account, what is natural about a human being is flesh, bone, and water, that is, the material constituents. A BED is nothing but Water in a certain “becoming configuration”.  For Democritus, a BED is composed of atoms in certain number and shape.
  • 129.  These thinkers were not entirely wrong. But they didn’t explain this configuration. Aristotle argues, they presented an answer to the question of what “MATTER” was used in crafting a certain being.
  • 130.  Plato, on the other hand, believed in ideal Forms, that were in NO WHERE to be experienced by our limited experience. However, these forms would be the perfect example to the question of “how did the matter turn into beings?”  Answer would simply be via following its specific form.  Thus, a BED is an instance of the “Perfect Form of Bed”.
  • 131.  Aristotle Forms.  For Plato, Forms are (mainly) of values. A Platonic Form is a UNIVERSAL in which individual instances (this beautiful painting) participate.  For Aristotle, a being has both form and matter in it. This is Aristotle’s “HYLOMORPHISM”.
  • 132. Presocratic Platonic Matter Forms (Hyelos) (Morpheus) Aristotle Hyelo- Morphism
  • 133. Presocratic Platonic Matter Forms (Hyelos) (Morpheus) Matter Form AristotlePotentiality Actuality Hyelo- Hyelos MorphMaterial Q. Morphism Formal Q. Stasis Motion
  • 134. BEING BECOMINGPresocratic Platonic Matter Forms (Hyelos) (Morpheus) Matter Form AristotlePotentiality Actuality Hyelo- Hyelos MorphMaterial Q. Morphism Formal Q. Stasis Motion
  • 135. The idea of Actuality, or more specifically MOTION, allowed Aristotle to create his long needed Hierarchy of Doxa. Aristotle defines a natural being as that which has “WITHIN ITSELF A PRINCIPLE OF MOTION AND REST.”
  • 136.  A table has its principle of motion outside of itself. A human being made the table. A natural being, such as a species of fish, would exist even if human beings didn’t. The primary instances of natural beings are animals, plants, and the simple bodies, such as earth, fire, air, and water.
  • 137.  Since all Natural Beings have an inner Motion, Aristotle gave it a name. Psyche, or soul. Aristotle defines soul as “the form of a natural body that is potentially alive”.
  • 138.  For Aristotle, a HIERARCHY OF LIVING BEINGS exists. Animals are, for example, higher than plants. A fully developed oak tree, which has reached its telos, is superior to an underdeveloped oak tree.
  • 139. Non Natural Natural Beings Beings with Outer with Inner Motion Motion Basic FOUR Complex Cosmos with a Elements Beings FIFTH ElementHuman Plants Animal
  • 141. WHY is it AS IT IS, andHOW IT ALL TIES IN?
  • 142. 4. Final, or TELEOLOGICAL (“Nature does nothing pointlessly”) 3. Formal = Forms and (Becoming) Actuality 2. Efficient = Existence1. Material (Natural vs. and (Being) Potentiality Non Natural)
  • 143.  Aristotle has a view of an orderly cosmos, a world in which all things have their proper places.  The earth is at the center of the world. Beyond the earth and its atmosphere come the moon, the sun, the planets, and the fixed stars.  The basic ingredients of the world below the moon (sublunar) are EARTH, AIR, FIRE, and WATER.  The heavenly bodies: a 5th uncorrupt element: quintessence.
  • 144.  Biological Beings are all sublunar. Since Movement is defined as the actualization of a potentiality, Prime Unmoved Mover. Aristotle argues that if there is movement in the world, there must be an original source of that movement. Because the unmoved mover is the permanent source of all movement, it is pure actuality.
  • 145.  B. Aristotle’s God HAS NO MORAL VIRTUES. It is not generous or loving or just.  To be moral implies some sort of lack.  To be courageous, one must fear something.  To be self-controlled, one must have a bad desire.  God lacks nothing. Hence, God cannot be moral.
  • 146.  For Aristotle, all human actions have a purpose.  For example, a person exercises to become healthy.  Health is the telos of exercising. Exercising is the means to attain the end of health. So, if Psyche/soul generates life, and if all natural beings are to have a Telos, it follows that to be have a soul means to have a purpose.
  • 147.  There must be some final purpose. If there weren’t, the succession of means and ends, of doing X to attain Y, would go on forever.  If the succession did go on forever, human actions would be futile, and LIFE WOULD BE MEANINGLESS.  But human life, Aristotle argues, is not meaningless.  Therefore, there must be an ultimate purpose to human existence. This is the highest good. We do not desire to be happy to attain some other good. We desire it for itself. It is good in itself.
  • 148. Saying that happiness is thehighest good is a platitude. But,WHAT EXACTLY IS IT, and how can it be achieved?
  • 149.  For this, Aristotle asks, “What is the ‘PROPER FUNCTION’ [ergon] of a human being?”  The virtue or excellence (aretê) of something depends on its “function.”  The function of a carpenter is to build houses. Knowing this, we can determine whether a given carpenter is excellent or not.  The function of the eyes is to see. Knowing this, we can determine whether someone has excellent eyes or not.  If the function of human being were known, then we could determine whether a person is excellent or not.
  • 150.  The proper function of a human being is RATIONAL ACTIVITY.  The human function cannot be the ability to nourish oneself or to procreate. This we share with plants.  It cannot be sense perception. This we share with other animals.  It must, therefore, be rational activity.  Human excellence or virtue is actualization of our potential to be rational. Thus, we can objectively determine whether an individual is happy or not.
  • 151.  For Plato, philosophy, the life of thought, is the only genuinely happy life. Aristotle agrees that rational activity is what makes us human. But for Aristotle, there is MORE THAN ONE WAY TO BE RATIONAL.  There is technical rationality: a carpenter thinks about how to build a house.  There is ethical rationality: a person wonders how best to help a friend in need.  And Political rationality, financial rationality,.. Because there is more than one kind of rationality, there is more than one kind of happy life.
  • 152. The Four Causes DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 153.  For Plato, FORM is separate and universal. For Aristotle, it is “in” particular beings. For Plato, the ONLY GOOD AND HAPPY LIFE is the philosophical life spent studying the Forms. For Aristotle, there is more than one way of being rational; therefore, there is more than one way of being happy. For Plato, only a POLIS governed by philosophers would be a good and happy one. Aristotle understands that this goal is unrealistic. For him, a polis governed by decent men who put the good of the community above their own self-interest is a good one. Aristotle loved THE NATURAL WORLD; Plato did not.
  • 154. The World we live in
  • 155. The World we live in
  • 156. .....The World we live in
  • 157. ..... DOXAApparent Reality
  • 158. Becoming Becoming ..... Doxa
  • 159. Becoming Becoming Being Doxa
  • 160. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 161. Arche Doxa
  • 162. Arche Doxa Mythos
  • 163. Arche DoxaMythos Logos
  • 164. Arche DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism
  • 165. Water DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism
  • 166. Arche DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 167. Apeiron DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 168. AirDoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 169. Numbers DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 170. The One DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 171. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 172. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 173. Becoming Becoming Becoming Doxa
  • 174. Becoming DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 175. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa
  • 176. Becoming Becoming All Beings Doxa is a LIE
  • 177. All Beings Doxa is a LIE
  • 178. All is ALWAYS in the State of Being
  • 179. Being DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 180. Four Elements DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 181. Atoms DoxaMythos Logos Empiricism Rationalism
  • 182. Arche DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 183. Humanism DoxaRelativism LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 184. The Forms DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 185. 4. Final, or TELEOLOGICAL (“Nature does nothing pointlessly”) 3. Formal = Forms and (Becoming) Actuality 2. Efficient = Existence1. Material (Natural vs. and (Being) Potentiality Non Natural)
  • 186. The Four Causes DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 187. Plotinus ( AD 204– 270)
  • 188.  Born and raised in Greek Egypt. Died 270 AD, 10 years before Constantine adoption of Christianity. Essence.  The fundamental activity of us all is to “see” the Forms with the mind’s eye.  He examplify the process of reasoning a mathematical formula, and the moment of EUREKA that ends this mental agony.  Hence, a mere human mind grasps the timeliness of the Forms.
  • 189.  NOUS. It means “Divine Intellect”. A mind present always in the state of Eureka. The entity grasping the nature, and absolute ideals, of the Platonic Forms. NOEIN is the activity of reaching Intellect. It represents the mental struggle for the enlightening moment. As mere humans, we have our own limited Intellect. It can barely stay in the realm of Nous. But we all experience Noein as a parameter indicating our existence.
  • 190.  Yet, the multiplicity of the Forms provided by Nous, as well as the Duality of Noein (the reasoner) and Nous (the reasoned entities) can’t suffice to be a Divine Entity. Thus, just like the number “1” unifying different mathematical formulae. The SUN in the allegory of the cave. The "ONE must be above the Forms themselves.
  • 191.  The One is,  SIMPLE. No parts or structures. A point rather than a line. A “1”, rather than an equation. A Sun, rather than the different lights reflected.  SUPER-ESSENTIAL. Above the forms. Hence, it’s above existence itself, as Existence is a universal Form too.  INCOMPREHENSIBLE. It’s above Noein, above understanding.
  • 192.  Plato’s influence (Ideal Forms) Aristotle’s ideology of the soul (Soul and Form is one and the same) and the HIERARCHY OF COSMOS (Body -> Soul -> Noein -> Nous -> The One).  In this Hierarchy, the soul looks outwards to the Body. If reflection and inward appreciation is maintained properly, the soul will look to the Forms. To Nous itself.
  • 193. Body. Material World. Soul. Inner World. Noein Nous. Divine Mind. The ONE
  • 194. Arche DoxaMythos LogosSophistry Empiricism Rationalism
  • 195. St. Augustine (354 to 430)
  • 196.  He was one of the Church fathers, along with St. Ambrosia, and St. Jerome. He combined Biblical teachings, with Plato’s Ideal and Plotinus’ Spiritual Philosophies. Author of Confessions. One of the earliest Autoboigraphies ever written.
  • 197.  Lost among the “Outwards”  He looks as going away from God as looking to the material.. Looking to the outside. {YOU WERE WITHIN, BUT I WAS WITHOUT}  The external things are beautiful as God made them, but they are NOT GOD. They are prisons for the wandering soul.  {The Earth is NOT my home}
  • 198.  Turning unto the “inward”  The self reflection reveals a whole inner world “The Intelligible World”  Unlike Plotinus, who identified the Eureka moment as tapping in Noeu itself, St. Augustine SEPARATED THE DIVINE FROM THE MUNDANE. He looks in, and “UP”.  Hence, he effectively separated the soul from Nous, the Forms of reality which for him represent the “Mind of God”
  • 199.  The “Eudaimonia” here lies in identifying the Noein – the struggle to look inwards to reach God. Our sins are the beauties of the Outerworld. They bring our looks to it, and cause us to be blind to God’s inward Glory. Hence, when we receive the Gift of Eternal Life, we will be able to see Nous, the One, God with all his Glory for eternal blessings. What was later called BEATIFIC VISION.
  • 200. Sins. The Outwards.Soul. The Inwards. Noein The Divine Mind. God
  • 201. St. ThomasAquinas (1225 to 1274)
  • 202.  The son of a Noble Italian house, from Kingdom of Sicily. He was well connected the Aristocrats of Europe then. Prior Aristotelians were Alexander of Aphrodisias (AD 200s), Ibn-Sina (AD 1000s), Ibn-Rushd (1100s), and Albertus Magnus (1250s)
  • 203.  St. Aquinas followed Aritotle Physics.  What we know is strictly empirical.  He embraced the Logos and Logical structures (SYLLOGISMS and MODUS PONENS) of Aristotle. He developed his Cosmology too.  The Geocentric model of the five planes of existence. Earth, Moon, Planets, Sun, and God realms.  Sublunars were all made of the four elements, as they were tained by the Original Sin.  The fifth element is still authentic, not tained entity.
  • 204.  He embraced Aritotle Ethics  Eudaimonia was teleological; to know one’s true function in the Cosmos.  God is the source of all happiness
  • 205.  The Argument of the Unmoved Mover The Argument of the First Cause The Argument from Contingency (Cosmological) The Argument from Degree. (Ontological Perfection) The Teleological (Design) Argument
  • 206.  Data Collection, organization and PowerPointpresentation by Ahmed Elkhanany.