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Cal State Fullerton - HIST 110 - Greek Humanism - Class Notes

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Cal State Fullerton - HIST 110 - Greek Humanism - Class Notes

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background image GREEK HUMANISM –WORLD CIVILIZATIONS  Philosophy: Love of Wisdom  Pre­Socratics: Concept of Law in the universe. Believed that what happened in the 
physical cosmos was the result of laws of causations. Natural law –a set of phenomena in 
nature that explains why certain things occur. Anaximander was the father of the theory 
of natural law, and thought the physical universe had no limits. Hippocrates was the 
founder of scientific medicine and first empiricist. 
Classical Age: Socrates was the first philosopher to focus on ethical and truth­
establishing questions (How do I know?). His pupil was Plato. He defended Socrates in 
trial but he was found guilty and drank poison. Plato tried solving how the mind can 
experience and recognize Truth and ultimate reality. His pupil was Aristotle. He took 
interest in every field of science. First rate mathematician, an astronomer, founder of 
botany and student of medicine. 
Hellenistic Era: There were three philosophies. Cynicism by Diogenes, called for 
absolute simplicity and rejection of artificial divisions. 
Epicureanism was founded by  Epicurus; he taught the principal of good life was pleasure, and to focus on finding your 
own serenity and to ignore the affairs of the world. 
Stoicism (by a freed slave named  Zeno) emphasized the unity of all humanity, the privileged should help the less fortunate 
and virtue was its own reward. 
Science
Biggest center of science was Alexandria, Egypt. Science flourished during the Hellenistic 
period because rational and logical thought was useful in the sciences and because of expose of 
Babylonian mathematicians and astronomers/astrologers. 
Aristarchus proposed a heliocentric universe which was attacked; a later astronomer proposed a 
geocentric universe. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth accurately. 
Archimedes was a researcher in physics and math. Euclid, an Egyptian Greek, proposed the 
Elements of Geometry. Most discoveries and results were forgotten because the people did not 
see a need for such technology, especially with the large labor. By 200 BCE, science declined. 
Religion 
Like most, Greeks were polytheistic. 
Anthropomorphic god –creatures molded in the human  image with the foibles and strengths of men and women. Greeks were convinced that human 
beings occupied a position in the cosmos and the human race and the gods were closely related. 
Greek gods were less threatening and less powerful; a priestly class or caste was never created 
but priests were used as informal leaders of loosely organized services. Later, many of the gods 
became mere symbolic figures. 
Golden mean: middle ground between all extremes of thought and action. Distrusted hubris –a 
false overconfidence. Greeks believed in human potential but did not defy Fate. 

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School: California State University - Fullerton
Department: History
Course: World Civilization to 16th Century
Professor: Stefan Chrissanthos
Term: Winter 2016
Tags: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic, philosophy, Classical Age, Science, religion, anthropomorphic, hubris, Art, and Literature
Name: Greek Humanism
Description: Greek ideas that would later be adopted by many.
Uploaded: 02/23/2016
2 Pages 16 Views 12 Unlocks
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