Hum1020 for love of wisdom ancient greek philosophy
For Love Of WisdomAncient Greek Philosophy Professor Will Adams Valencia College
Greek Philosophy Philosophy as a course of study The subsequent, more cerebral attained maturity in ancient thinkers who followed them in the Greece. next centuries (the Socratics) are These early thinkers sought to the true philosophers (“lovers of uncover the nature of the physical wisdom” in Greek). world, the essential truths of life In Greek, phileo means “love” and & the purpose of human existence. sophia means “wisdom”. The earliest thinkers (the Pre- Trivia!:If sophia means “wisdom” Socratics) were traveling teachers and moron is the Greek word for called sophists (“workers of “fool”, then a sophomore is a “wise wisdom” in Greek), who moved fool.” from polis to polis lecturing.
Thales of Miletus 636 – 546 B.C.E. Thales was the earliest known philosopher. He gained basic knowledge of earlier learning by studing Egyptian & Babylonian texts concerning astronomy & mathematics. He believed that the universe was controlled by fixed laws (today called physics). He also believed the basic element was water. He was a dilettante intellectual – he got rich with olive presses!
Pythagoras 582 – 500 B.C.E. As a mathematician, Pythagoras developed the idea that the universe could only be understood through numbers. His study of astronomy led him to create a model of the universe that had the sun, moon, and earth revolving around a central fire (today this is called the heliocentric model). Funnily enough, he also thought that each planet produced a tone as it orbited! He is most famous for his Pythagorean Theorem: a2 + b2 = c2
Protagoras 485 - 410 B.C.E. He was the most famous & influential of the Pre-Socratic sophists. He developed a revolutionary idea: that reason & knowledge should be used to achieve a comfortable, safe, & happy life. His teachings were meant to equip citizens for life in the polis by teaching them: 1. Public speaking: Oratory & rhetoric 2. Politics: Laws & government 3. Grammar: Language & writing 4. Respectability: Civility to others The Socratic philosopher Plato even named one of his dialogues after him.
Hippocrates 460 - 377 B.C.E. Hippocrates founded the 1st school of medicine. Innovatively, he rejected the idea that sickness was a punishment from the gods. Instead, he said that illness could be identified through careful observations of symptoms that were either: Acute, or Chronic He recommended holistic healing to cure illnesses: Hygiene Diet Curative powers of nature He famously authored The Hippocratic Oath
Democritus c. 460 - 360 B.C.E. The mathematician Democritus developed the atomic theory. The atomic theory states that the universe was formed out of chaos through the joining of tiny, invisible, and indivisible particles of like shape and size. Atoma was the name he gave to those indivisible & invisible particles. Although the subject he studied was quiet serious, his jovial disposition earned him the nickname “the laughing philosopher”.
Euclidc. 325 - 270 B.C.E. Euclid was one of the most influential mathematicians who ever lived, & earned the nickname: “The Father of Geometry”. He wrote the most comprehensive ancient discussion of mathematics & the sciences, The Elements, which was still used as a textbook until about 1903 C.E. Today, it is 2nd only to the Bible in translations, publications, & study worldwide. It was originally written in Greek, then translated to Arabic & Latin. He once said to Pharaoh Ptolemy: “There is no Royal Road to geometry!”.
Archimedes 287 - 212 B.C.E. He was a Greek mathematician with an interest in applied geometry. He used geometry to invent war machines & other engineering devices. His discoveries include: The theory of buoyancy – He exclaimed “Eureka!” (“I’ve found it!” in Greek) when he realized it. The law of the lever The Archimedean screw
The Three Most Famous Socratic Philosophers Socrates Plato Aristotle
Socrates 469 - 399 B.C.E. He was a critic of the Sophists’ didactic method of teaching, which took a lecture- based approach. Instead, he encouraged his students to think about & respond to his lectures. This conversational approach based on reason & logic is called the dialectic method. Socrates was such a believer in the power of speech that he left no written records of his own ideas. His dialectic method was popular among the youth, but earned him the nickname “The Gadfly in Athens” among the powers that be. Aggravated, they placed him on trial for impiety & corrupting the youth. He was convicted & executed in 399 B.C.E. by drinking poison hemlock.
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.E. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates He also formulated the Socratic Method. Socratic Method: I. Admit ignorance. II. Never rely on tradition. III. Continuously question. IV. Formulate your own opinions. V. Test your opinions with others.
Socrates 469 - 399 B.C.E. Socrates’ dialectic method was a departure from earlier philosophers’ approaches. Earlier philosophers were interested in the nature of the universe and basic elements, whereas Socrates sought to discover the meaning of existence. Socrates’ approach was more rigorous, required more of his students, and was the forerunner of logic. His most famous student was Plato.
Plato 427 - 347 B.C.E. Most importantly, from a historical standpoint, Plato preserved & perpetuated the work of Socrates by writing it all down. As a result, he is the most important source of information on Socrates. He also founded the Academy – the first dedicated higher learning institution in the Western world - in Athens. He famously wrote conversationally-formatted books called dialogues.
Plato427 - 347 B.C.E. Many of his dialogues had the concept of Universal Forms – definitions of intangible ideas like beauty or truth - as a recurring theme. Today, most regard his work, The Republic – as his most important dialogue (it outlines a modern representative democratic government’s structure). He famously stated that “Those things which are beautiful are also difficult.” His most famous student was Aristotle.
Aristotle 384 - 322 B.C.E. As Plato’s most famous student, Aristotle became the private tutor of Alexander the Great (the Macedonian king who would conquer the entire known world by 323 B.C.E.). Significantly, Aristotle developed logic (organized and rational thought & analysis) as an independent field of study. He also devised a complex system of classification used in biology called taxonomy.
Aristotle 384 - 322 B.C.E. Aristotle is also remembered for his views on government. He believed there were 3 Good Governments: Monarchy Aristocracy Democracy And 3 Bad Governments: Tyranny Oligarchy Mob Rule “All things in moderation” “Man is by nature a political animal.”