As an infantryman, Socrates showed great physical endurance and courage, rescuing the future Athenian leader Alcibiades during the siege of Potidaea in B. Despite his intellect and connections, he rejected the sort of fame and power that Athenians were expected to strive for. His lifestyle—and eventually his death—embodied his spirit of questioning every assumption about virtue, wisdom and the good life. For both, the Socrates that appears bears the mark of the writer.
Presocratic Thought An analysis of Presocratic thought presents some difficulties. Even these purportedly verbatim words often come to us in quotation from other sources, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to attribute with certainty a definite position to any one thinker.
Presocratic thought marks a decisive turn away from mythological accounts towards rational explanations of the cosmos.
Indeed, some Presocratics openly criticize and ridicule traditional Greek mythology, while others simply explain the world and its causes in material terms.
This is not to say that the Presocratics abandoned belief in gods or things sacred, but there is a definite turn away from attributing causes of material events to gods, and at times a refiguring of theology altogether. The foundation of Presocratic thought is the preference and esteem given to rational thought over mythologizing.
This movement towards rationality and argumentation would pave the way for the course of Western thought.
The Milesians Thales c. Aristotle offers some conjectures as to why Thales might have believed this Graham First, all things seem to derive nourishment from moisture. Next, heat seems to come from or carry with it some sort of moisture.
Finally, the seeds of all things have a moist nature, and water is the source of growth for many moist and living things. Some assert that Thales held water to be a component of all things, but there is no evidence in the testimony for this interpretation. It is much more likely, rather, that Thales held water to be a primal source for all things—perhaps the sine qua non of the world.
Like Thales, Anaximander c. That he did not, like Thales, choose a typical element earth, air, water, or fire shows that his thinking had moved beyond sources of being that are more readily available to the senses. He might have thought that, since the other elements seem more or less to change into one another, there must be some source beyond all these—a kind of background upon or source from which all these changes happen.
How it is that this separation took place is unclear, but we might presume that it happened via the natural force of the boundless. The universe, though, is a continual play of elements separating and combining. If our dates are approximately correct, Anaximenes c.
However, the conceptual link between them is undeniable. Like Anaximander, Anaximenes thought that there was something boundless that underlies all other things. Unlike Anaximander, Anaximenes made this boundless thing something definite—air. For Anaximander, hot and cold separated off from the boundless, and these generated other natural phenomena Graham For Anaximenes, air itself becomes other natural phenomena through condensation and rarefaction.
Rarefied air becomes fire. When it is condensed, it becomes water, and when it is condensed further, it becomes earth and other earthy things, like stones Graham This then gives rise to all other life forms. Furthermore, air itself is divine. Air, then, changes into the basic elements, and from these we get all other natural phenomena.
Xenophanes of Colophon Xenophanes c. At the root of this poor depiction of the gods is the human tendency towards anthropomorphizing the gods. Indeed, Xenophanes famously proclaims that if other animals cattle, lions, and so forth were able to draw the gods, they would depict the gods with bodies like their own F Beyond this, all things come to be from earth F27not the gods, although it is unclear whence came the earth.
The reasoning seems to be that God transcends all of our efforts to make him like us. If everyone paints different pictures of divinity, and many people do, then it is unlikely that God fits into any of those frames.
Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism Ancient thought was left with such a strong presence and legacy of Pythagorean influence, and yet little is known with certainty about Pythagoras of Samos c. Many know Pythagoras for his eponymous theorem—the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the adjacent sides.Who Socrates really was is fundamental to virtually any interpretation of the philosophical dialogues of Plato because Socrates is the dominant figure in most of Plato’s dialogues.
1. Socrates’s strangeness. Much of Western philosophy finds its basis in the thoughts and teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. You can’t begin a study of world philosophy without talking about these guys: the Big Three ancient Greek philosophers.
Socrates: Athens’ street-corner philosopher. Socrates was the big-city philosopher in ancient Athens. Plato had also attended courses of philosophy; before meeting Socrates, he first became acquainted with Cratylus (a disciple of Heraclitus, a prominent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher) and the Heraclitean doctrines.
Ambrose believed that Plato met Jeremiah in Egypt and was influenced by his ideas. Ancient Greek Philosophy. From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition.
Brickhouse, Thomas C. and Nicholas D. Smith, Plato’s Socrates. New York: Oxford. Aug 21, · Watch video · Viewed by many as the founding figure of Western philosophy, Socrates ( B.C.) is at once the most exemplary and the strangest of the Greek philosophers.
In Plato's dialogue, the Crito, we meet a Socrates concerned with the future of his three sons. Just the same, his entire life was subordinated to "the supreme art of philosophy." Just the same, his entire life was subordinated to "the supreme art of philosophy.".