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ANCIENT GREEK SOCIETY - Essay Example

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ANCIENT GREEK SOCIETY

Ancient Greek philosophy is a very diverse subject and the scope of this paper is limited to the key aspects focusing on philosophers from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. Presocratics Presocratics is a term used to describe philosophers that existed before Socrates. Despite the fact that the ancient Greek society did not primarily use mythological ideas to explain certain events, it is still clear that their logic to some extent was influenced by older wisdom (Anton et al., 20-45). The initial consent of pre-Socratic philosophers was to explain the entire cosmos, with the aim of identifying the underlying principle behind it (Anton et al., 20-30). The Presocratics originated from Western and Eastern Greece, where as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates were from Athens. Presocratics mainly focused on physics, a trait they were acknowledged for over the years. As they were the first philosophers, they strongly objected mythical ideologies emphasizing on rationality of things. Their main scientific interests included astronomy, mathematics, and biology (Anton et al., 20-45). Unfortunately, the original evidence of their works is absent. Their ideas and knowledge of their work is derived from proceeding literature such as The Opinions Physicists by Theophratus (Anton et al., 20-45). The first philosophers of this time originated from Ionia and aims of this great the material principle of objects, the reasons for their disappearance and also their origin. It was in this time that Thales of Miletus determined water to be the basis of living things. Other philosophical principles that proceeded include the differentiation between cold and hot, moist and dry which were derived from the principle formulated by Anaximander. Philosophy was however first introduced to everyday life by Pythagoras of Samos. He perceived the world as perfectly harmonious, dependent on number, and encouraged the population to live a life of harmony. Xenophenes of Colophon, also referred to as the father of pantheism, referred to God as an eternal unity governing the daily activities of the world with his thoughts (Anton et al., 20-45). In later years, a materialistic system was formulated by Leucippus and Democritus which involved one of the first doctrines of atoms or indivisible elements. These were assumed to be infinite, in divisible, qualitatively similar and imperishable. They were assumed to move eternally, unite and collide on several occasions. In essence it is clear that the main of objective of these philosophers was to decipher the ultimate basis of nature. In this era, the conception of human knowledge resolved around the philosophers’ theories on the constitution of things. Socrates The era between 469-399 BCE was that of Athenian Socrates (Anton et al., 20-45). Socrates rejected the previous theories formulated by his predecessors, making opinions and thoughts central in his theories. Socrates excessively questioned people on their opinions which is opposite to the approach that was taken by Sophists, who considered thoughts and beliefs of people as their standard (Kingley, 45-79). Socrates lived in a period of transition from the Athenian hegemony to its defeat in the Peloponessian War by Sparta and its allies (Kingley, ...Show more

Summary

Ancient Greek Philosophy Introduction Ancient Greece has a philosophical history dating back to the 6th century BCE. Numerous Western philosophical ideologies have been derived from Ancient Greek principles. Ancient Greek philosophy dealt with numerous subjects including ethics, political philosophy, ontology, metaphysics, logic, rhetorical, aesthetics, and biology…
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