Intro to Philosophy: Greek Foundations Notes Week Two
Intro to Philosophy: Greek Foundations Notes Week Two Philosophy 10200
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaitlyn Gendron on Monday February 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Philosophy 10200 at Ithaca College taught by Prof. Robert Klee in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy Greek Foundations in PHIL-Philosophy at Ithaca College.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
Intro to Philosophy Greek Foundations Notes Week Two Arche- “First Principle” o Seeds of all kinds need water/moisture to grow o Water was the only substance the Greeks knew existed in all 3 states of matter. Gas, Liquid, Solid Naturalism- The belief in the things around you (water, trees, etc.) being able to describe life and other things vs. gods Ockham’s Razor- Trying to explain the most with the least Reductionism- The act of trying to lower your error risk by explaining things in a minimalistic way “Metaphysical comments are nonsense” they don’t say anything so they can never be true or false. Greek Physics- (Backwards from modern concept) The natural state of being was to be at absolute rest. (Versus an object in motion will stay in motion until a separate force is acts upon it) There is no evidence Thales was a personally religious man (despite what is stated in some of his fragments about his beliefs discussing the gods) Anaximander (c. 610 – 540 B.C.E.) It is unknown if he was a pupil of Thales or a competing thinker His Arche: ‘To Aperion’ (completely abstract) “Unbounded” not limited by having particular properties. “The indefinite” Reading on Anaximander’s Fragments: Was said to have been the first person to construct a map of the world o (Said to have) Set up a gnomon at Sparta o (Said to have) predicted an earthquake o His Arche is indefinite, constantly moving, and eternal which qualifies it as being divine o He had theories of the origins of the heavens and why the Earth remains fixed where it is. o Made claims about the origins of things including living phenomena (ex. Humans and other things) “(aperion)…contain(s) all things and steer(s) all things as all declare who do not fashion other causes aside from the infinite (to aperion) and this is the divine. For it is deathless and indestructible…” (Aristotle, Physics 3.4 203b10-15 12A15) “He declares that what arose from the eternal and is productive of (or “capable of giving birth to”) hot and cold was separated of at the coming to be of this kosmos and a kind of sphere of flame from this grew around the dark mist about the Earth like bark about a tree. When it was broken of and enclosed in certain circles, the sun, the moon, the stars came to be.” (Pseudo- Plutarch, Miscellanies 2 12A10) “Anaximander says that the stars are borne by the circles and spheres on which each one is mounted.” (Aeitus 2.16.5 12A18) “The Earth is a lot and is not supported by anything it stays at rest because its distance from all things is equal. The Earth’s shape is curved, round, like a stone column. We walk on one of the surfaces and the other one is set opposite…The circle of the sun is 27x that of the Earth and that of the moon 18 times…” (Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies) “Anaximander says that these (thunder, lightning, thunder bolts, waterspouts, and hurricanes) all result from wind. Whenever it is enclosed in a thick cloud and forcibly escapes because it is so fine and light, then the bursting (of the cloud) creates the noise and the splitting creates the flash against the blackness of the cloud.” (Aetius 3.31 12A23) To Aperion- The indefinite Arguments against Thales’ belief in the Arche water o 1.) Everything has a definite nature- many of which are incompatible with each other o 2.) Nothing with a definite nature could become or from the foundation for (the arche of) something with an incompatible definite nature o 3.) Water has a definite nature incompatible with many things therefore, water cannot be the arche of all things Ancient Grecians believed Earth, wind (air), water, and fire, to be the elements. Fragment 17 of Anaximander is arguably the 1 philosophical discussion/conversation that has been documented. (By attempting to understand what certain concepts mean) Fragment 18 “Anaximander says that the first animals were produced in moisture, enclosed in thorny barks…” (Aetius 5.19.4 12A30) o The attempt to provide a naturalistic explanation as to how humans come about
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