Flashcards in Chapter 2-The Early Greek Philosophers Deck (59)
The projection of human attributes onto nonhuman things
Describe the world of pre-civilized humans 15,000 years ago, including the practices of animism and anthropomorphism, as well as appeals to the concept of spirit and the use of magic.
Humans earliest attempts to explain natural events involved projecting human attributes onto nature. For example, the sky or earths could become angry or could be tranquil. The earliest humans looked at all of nature as though it were alive, animism, and projected human attributes onto nature, anthropomorphism.
It was assumed that a ghost or spirit dwelt in everything, including humans, and that the spirits were as real as anything else. The word spirit is derived from the Latin word for breath, and is what gives things life, and when it leaves a thing, death results.
They attempted to communicate with the spirits and otherwise influence them by using elaborate methods called magic. People believed that appropriate words, objects, ceremonies, or human actions could influence the spirits.
Humans have always needed to understand, predict, and control nature. Animism, anthropomorphism, magic, religion, philosophy, and science can all be seen as efforts to satisfy those needs
The Dionysiac-Orphic belief that because of some transgression, the soul is compelled to dwell in one earthly prison after another until it is purified. The soul mate be in plants, animals, and humans as it seeks redemption
Transmigration of the soul
Why is Thales considered an important philosopher?
He is often referred to as the first philosopher and had a rich intellectual heritage. He was important because he emphasized natural explanations and minimized supernatural ones.
In his cosmology, Thales said that things in the universe consist of natural substances and are governed by natural principles and do not reflect the whims of gods. The universe is therefore knowable and within the realm of human understanding
What practical accomplishments brought Thales fame?
He searched for that one substance or element from which everything else is derived, the Greeks called such a primary element or substance a physis. He concluded that the physis was water because many things seem to be a form of water. Life depends on water, water exists in many forms, and some water is found in everything
He predicted eclipses, develop methods of navigation based on the stars and planets, and applied geometric principles to the measurement of such things as the heights of buildings. Cornered the market on all of oil by predicting weather patterns.
What important critical tradition did Thales originate?
He offered his ideas as speculations and welcomed criticism. With his invitation for others to criticize and improve on his teachings, he started the critical tradition that was to characterize early Greek philosophy.
Describe the fundamental principles in Pythagoras's philosophy
Believed that an abstract world consisting of numbers and numerical relationships exerted an influence on the physical world.
Just as pleasant music results from the harmonious blending of certain tones, so too does health depend on the harmonious blending of bodily elements.
He believed that human soul to be immortal
In what respect did Pythagoras propose a dualistic universe?
One part is abstract, permanent, and intellectually knowable and the other is in empirical, changing, and known through the senses.
He created a dualistic view of humans by saying that in addition to our body, we have a mind or soul, which through reasoning could understand the abstract world of numbers.
Identify the basic features of Empedocles philosophy including his theory of perception
Postulated earth, fire, air, and water as the four basic elements from which everything is made and two forces, love and strife, that alternately synthesize and separate those elements.
He was the first philosopher to offer a theory of perception. He assumed that each of the four elements was found in the blood. Objects in the outside environment through off tiny copies of themselves called emanations, or eidola, which enter the blood through the pores of the body. Because like attracts like, the eidola Will combine with elements that are like them and the fusion of external elements with internal elements results in perception
A tiny replication that some early Greek philosophers thought emanated from the surfaces of things in the environment, allowing the things to be perceived
Describe the atomic theory of Democritus as well as his theory of perception and his beliefs about life after death
Believed that all things were made of tiny, indivisible parts called atoms. The differences among things are explained by the shape, size, number, location, and arrangement of atoms.
Everything in nature, including humans, was explained in terms of atoms and their activities
In his theory of sensation and perception, like Empedocles, he emphasized the importance of eidola or emanations. However, for Democritus, sensations and perceptions arise when Adams and not tiny replicas, emanate from the surfaces of objects and enter the body through one of the five sensory systems, not bodily pores, and are transmitted to the brain, not the heart
Life after death: because he believed that all bodily atoms scattered at death, he also believed that there was no life after death. His was the first completely naturalistic and materialistic view of the universe, devoid of any supernatural considerations
The belief that complex processes can be understood by studying the elements of which they consist. Explain how this is represented in Democritus's theory.
Democritus: his view incorporated elementism because no matter how complex something was, he believed it could be explained in terms of atoms and their activity
The attempt to explain objects or events in one domain by using terminology, concepts, laws, or principles from another domain.
Explain how this is represented in Democritus's theory.
Democritus: he attempted to explain objects and events on one level-observable phenomena-in terms of events on another level-atoms and their activity
Describe the beliefs of Hippocrates as well as his contributions to Greek medicine and physiology
Considered the father of modern medicine because he assumed that disease had natural causes, not supernatural ones. Health prevails when the four humors of the body are in balance, disease when there is an inbalance. The physicians task was to facilitate the body's natural tendency to heal itself.
The belief that because what is considered true varies from person to person, any search for universal or interpersonal truth will fail. In other words, there is no one truth, only truths.
Nihilism. The sophists were nihilists.
The belief that a person's subjective reality is the only reality that exists and can be known
Socrates used a method sometimes called this to search for truth. He examined many individual examples of a concept to discover what they all had in common.
For example, started with an examination of instances of such concepts as beauty, love, justice, or truth and then moved onto such questions as, what is it that all instances of beauty have in common?
What Socrates sought was the _______ of such things as beauty, justice, and truth. It is its basic nature, it's identifying, and during characteristics
That indispensable characteristic of a thing that gives it its unique identity
What relationship did Socrates see between knowledge and morality?
The understanding of essences constituted knowledge, and the goal of life was to gain knowledge. When one's conduct is guided by knowledge, it is necessarily moral.
For example, if one knows what justices, one acts justly.
Knowledge and morality or intimately related; knowledge is virtue, and improper conduct results from ignorance
This person was first a disciple of Socrates, then came under the influence of the Pythagoreans, and postulated the existence of an abstract world of forms or ideas that, when manifested in matter, make up the objects in the empirical world. The only true knowledge is that of the forms, a knowledge that can be gained only by reflecting on the innate contents of the soul. Sensory experience interferes with the attainment of knowledge and should be avoided
Plato's contention that ultimate reality consists of abstract ideas or forms that correspond to all objects in the empirical world. Knowledge of these abstractions is innate and can be attained only through introspection
Theory of forms
Plato's illustration of his contention that there is a hierarchy of understanding. The lowest type of understanding is based on images of empirical objects. Next highest is an understanding of empirical objects themselves, which results only in opinion. Next is an understanding of abstract mathematical principles. Then comes and understanding of the forms. The highest understanding, or true knowledge, is an understanding of the form of the good that includes a knowledge of all forms and their organization
Analogy of the divided line
Plato's description of individuals who live their lives in accordance with the shadows of reality provided by sensory experience instead of in accordance with the true reality beyond sensory experience
Allegory of the cave
Plato's belief that knowledge is attained by remembering the experiences the soul had when it dwelled among the forms before entering the body
Reminiscence theory of knowledge
Describe Plato's beliefs regarding the nature of the soul
Believe not only that the soul had a rational component that was immortal but also that it had two other components: the courageous, sometimes translated as emotional or spirited, and the appetitive
With his concept of the three-part soul, Plato postulated a situation in which humans were almost always in a state of conflict and the body has appetite such as needs in hunger thirst and sex that must be met and that play a major motivational role in every day life. If true knowledge is to be attained, the person must suppress the needs of the body and concentrate on rational pursuits, such as introspection. The supreme goal in life should be to free the soul as much as possible from the adulterations of the flesh.
Realized that not everyone is capable of intense rational thought; he believed that and some individuals the appetitive aspect of the soul would dominate (workers and slaves), and others the courageous (soldiers), and and still others the rational aspect (philosopher-Kings)
To a large extent, whether one was destined to be a slave, a soldier, or a philosopher-king was a matter of inheritance
Describe Plato's beliefs regarding the nature of sleep and dreams
Even with otherwise rational individuals, the baser appetites manifest themselves as they sleep as dreams
Describe the influence of Plato on the development of science
Because science depends on empirical observation, Plato's philosophy did little to promote science and much to inhibit it.
This person believed that sensory experience was the basis of all knowledge, although the five senses and the commonsense provided only the information from which knowledge could be derived. Also believe that everything in nature had within it an entelechy or purpose that determined its potential. Active reason, which was considered the immortal part of the human soul, provided humans with their greatest potential, and therefore fully actualized humans engage in active reason. Because everything was thought to have a cause, he postulated and unmoved mover that caused everything in the world but was not itself caused
Describe Aristotle's philosophy in terms of the basic differences he had with Plato
Both were primarily interested in essences or truth that went beyond the mirror appearance of things, but their methods for discovering those essences were distinctly different.
For Plato, essences corresponded to the forms that existed independently of nature and that could be arrived at only by ignoring sensory experience and turning ones thoughts inwards words.
For Aristotle, essences existed but could become known only by studying nature
For Plato, first principles were arrived at by thought; for Aristotle, they were obtained by examining nature directly
For Plato, all knowledge existed independently of nature; for Aristotle, nature and knowledge were inseparable. For Aristotle, therefore, the body was not a hindrance in the search for knowledge, as it was for Plato and the Pythagoreans.
Aristotle disagreed with Plato on the importance of mathematics. For Aristotle, mathematics was essentially useless, his emphasis being on the careful examination of nature by observation and classification
Playlist philosophy followed in the Pythagorean mathematical tradition and Aristotle's in the Hippocratic biological tradition