Philosophy encyclopedia pre socratic wikipedia series

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The term originated in ancient Greek philosophyand was later used in Christian theology and Western philosophy. The Greek word "physis" can be considered the equivalent of the Latin natura. In this way, the emerging growth of plants, for instance is transferred into the realm of being born. In pre-Socratic philosophy, beginning with Heraclitusphysis in keeping with its etymology of "growing, becoming" is always used in the sense of the "natural" developmentalthough the focus might lie either with the origin, or the process, or the end result of the process.

There is some evidence that by the 6th century BC, beginning with the Ionian Schoolthe word could also be used in the comprehensive sense, as referring to " all things", as it were "Nature" in the sense of " Universe ".

Plato accuses even Hesiod of this, for the reason that the gods in Hesiod "grow" out of primordial entities after the physical universe had been established. Aristotle sought out the definition of "physis" to prove that there was more than one definition of "physis", and more than one way to interpret nature. A unique feature about Aristotle's definition of "physis" was his relationship between art and nature. Aristotle said that "physis" nature is dependent on techne art. Consider the process of an acorn becoming an oak tree.

This is a natural process that has its own driving force behind it. There is no external force pushing this acorn to its final state, rather it is progressively developing towards one specific end telos.

Quite different conceptions of "physis" are to be found in other Greek traditions of thought, e. This doctrine, most often associated with the names Democritus and Leucippusis known mainly from the critical reactions to it in Aristotelian writings.

It was supplemented by Epicurus in the light of developments in philosophy, in order to explain phenomena such as freedom of will. As part of the Pauline theology of salvation by gracePaul writes in Ephesians that "we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. In the next verse he writes, "by grace you have been saved.

Theologians of the early Christian period differed in the usage of this term.

Social philosophy

In Antiochene circles, it connoted the humanity or divinity of Christ conceived as a concrete set of characteristics or attributes. In Alexandrine thinking, it meant a concrete individual or independent existent and approximated to hypostasis without being a synonym. The Greek adjective physikos is represented in various forms in modern English: As physics "the study of nature", as physical via Middle Latin physicalis referring both to physics the study of nature, the material universe and to the human body.

The term physiquefor "the bodily constitution of a person", is a 19th-century loan from French. In medicine the suffix -physis occurs in such compounds as symphysisepiphysisand a few others, in the sense of "a growth".Social philosophy is the study of questions about social behavior and interpretations of society and social institutions in terms of ethical values rather than empirical relations.

There is often a considerable overlap between the questions addressed by social philosophy and ethics or value theory. Other forms of social philosophy include political philosophy and jurisprudencewhich are largely concerned with the societies of state and government and their functioning. Social philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy all share intimate connections with other disciplines in the social sciences. In turn, the social sciences themselves are of focal interest to the philosophy of social science.

The philosophy of language and social epistemology are subfields which overlap in significant ways with social philosophy. A list of philosophers that have concerned themselves, although most of them not exclusively, with social philosophy:.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Socio-philosophical. Part of a series on Philosophy.

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Plato Kant Nietzsche. Buddha Confucius Averroes. This section is in list format, but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this sectionif appropriate.

Editing help is available. April Cavite State University Main Campus. Social and political philosophy. Jurisprudence Philosophy and economics Philosophy of education Philosophy of history Philosophy of love Philosophy of sex Philosophy of social science Political ethics Social epistemology.

Animal ethics Bioethics Business ethics Discourse ethics Engineering ethics Environmental ethics Legal ethics Machine ethics Media ethics Medical ethics Nursing ethics Professional ethics Sexual ethics Ethics of artificial intelligence Ethics of eating meat Ethics of technology Ethics of terraforming Ethics of uncertain sentience.Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic philosophy that emerged in the second century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion.

Even though neoplatonism primarily circumscribes the thinkers who are now labeled Neoplatonists and not their ideas, there are some ideas that are common to neoplatonic systems; for example, the monistic idea that all of reality can be derived from a single principle, "the One".

After Plotinus there were three distinct periods in the history of neoplatonism: the work of his student Porphyry third to early fourth century ; that of Iamblichus third to fourth century and that school's later continuation in Syria; and the period in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the Academies in Alexandria and Athens flourished.

Neoplatonism had an enduring influence on the subsequent history of philosophy. In the Middle Agesneoplatonic ideas were studied and discussed by MuslimChristianand Jewish thinkers. In the Islamic cultural sphere, neoplatonic texts were available in Arabic and Persian translations, and notable thinkers such as al-FarabiSolomon ibn Gabirol AvicebronAvicennaand Moses Maimonides incorporated neoplatonic elements into their own thinking.

Neoplatonism also had a strong influence on the perennial philosophy of the Italian Renaissance thinkers Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandolaand continues through nineteenth-century Universalism and modern-day spirituality and nondualism. Neoplatonism underpins the mystical traditions in all three of the major Abrahamic religions. Neoplatonism is a modern term. On the one hand, it differentiates the philosophical doctrines of Plotinus and his successors from those of the historical Plato.

On the other, the term makes an assumption about the novelty of Plotinus's interpretation of Plato. In the nearly six centuries from Plato's time to Plotinus', there had been an uninterrupted tradition of interpreting Plato which had begun with Aristotle and with the immediate successors of Plato's academy and continued on through a period of Platonism which is now referred to as Middle Platonism.

The term neoplatonism implies that Plotinus' interpretation of Plato was so distinct from those of his predecessors that it should be thought to introduce a new period in the history of Platonism. Some contemporary scholars, however, have taken issue with this assumption and have doubted that neoplatonism constitutes a useful label. They claim that merely marginal differences separate Plotinus' teachings from those of his immediate predecessors [ citation needed ].

Whether neoplatonism is a meaningful or useful historical category is itself a central question concerning the history of the interpretation of Plato. For much of the history of Platonism, it was commonly accepted that the doctrines of the neoplatonists were essentially the same as those of Plato.

The Renaissance Platonist Marsilio Ficinofor instance, thought that the neoplatonic interpretation of Plato was an authentic and accurate representation of Plato's philosophy. Contemporary scholars often identify the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as an early thinker who took Plato's philosophy to be separate from that of his neoplatonic interpreters.

However, others have argued that the differentiation of Plato from neoplatonism was the result of a protracted historical development that preceded Schleiermacher's scholarly work on Plato.Western philosophy refers to the philosophical thought and work of the Western world.

Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culturebeginning with the ancient Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics. The scope of ancient Western philosophy included the problems of philosophy as they are understood today; but it also included many other disciplines, such as pure mathematics and natural sciences such as physicsastronomyand biology Aristotlefor example, wrote on all of these topics.


The pre-Socratic philosophers were interested in cosmology ; the nature and origin of the universe, while rejecting mythical answers to such questions. The first recognized philosopher, Thales of Miletus born ca. His use of observation and reason to derive this conclusion is the reason for distinguishing him as the first philosopher.

Following both Thales and Anaximander, Anaximenes of Miletus claimed that air was the most suitable candidate. Pythagoras born ca. Pythagoreans hold that "all is number", giving formal accounts in contrast to the previous material of the Ionians.

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The discovery of consonant intervals in music by the group enabled the concept of harmony to be established in philosophy, which suggested that opposites could together give rise to new things. Parmenides argued that, unlike the other philosophers who believed the arche was transformed into multiple things, the world must be singular, unchanging and eternal, while anything suggesting the contrary was an illusion.

These in turn were acted upon by the forces of Love and Strife, creating the mixtures of elements which form the world. Jonathan Barnes called atomism "the culmination of early Greek thought".

In addition to these philosophers, the Sophists comprised teachers of rhetoric who taught students to debate on any side of an issue. While as a group, they held no specific views, in general they promoted subjectivism and relativism. Protagorasone of the most influential Sophist philosophers, claimed that "man is the measure of all things", suggesting there is no objective truth.

philosophy encyclopedia pre socratic wikipedia series

The Classical period of ancient Greek philosophy centers on Socrates and the two generations of students following him. Socrates experienced a life-changing event when his friend, Chaerephon visited the Oracle of Delphi where the Pythia told him that no one in Athens was wiser than Socrates. Learning of this, Socrates subsequently spent much of his life questioning anyone in Athens who would engage him, in order to investigate the Pithia's claim.

He focused on issues of human life: eudaimoniajusticebeautytruthand virtue.

philosophy encyclopedia pre socratic wikipedia series

Although Socrates wrote nothing himself, two of his disciples, Plato and Xenophonwrote about some of his conversations, although Plato also deployed Socrates as a fictional character in some of his dialogues. These Socratic dialogues display the Socratic method being applied to examine philosophical problems.

Socrates's questioning earned him enemies who eventually accused him of impiety and corrupting the youth.The Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers were active before Socrates. Most of what we know about the pre-Socractic philosophers come from quotations by later philosophers and historians. While most of them produced significant texts, none of the texts have survived in complete form.

The fundamental idea which motivated most of the presocratics as they are called is naturalism. This is the idea that questions about life and the world can be answered without using mythsand that "the natural world is the whole of reality".

With the Greeks we see rational thought and scientific reasoning emerge from the mists and myths of a pre-scientific age, not suddenly, but slowly and gradually.

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Pre-Socratic. The standard reference works in English are: Gompertz, Theodor The Greek thinkers: a history of ancient philosophy.

Volume 1: the beginnings. London: Murray. Guthrie W. A history of Greek philosophy. Volume 1: The earlier presocratics and the Pythagoreans. Cambridge University Press. Pherecydes of Syros c. The dictionary of philosophy. New York:Philosophical Library, p Cambridge University Press, p1.

Pre-Socratic Philosophers. Thales Anaximander Anaximenes. Pythagoras Alcmaeon Hippasus Philolaus Archytas.Pre-Socratic philosophy is ancient Greek philosophy before Socrates and schools contemporary to Socrates that were not influenced by him. Their inquiries spanned the workings of the natural world as well as human society, ethics, and religion, seeking explanations based on natural principles rather than the actions of supernatural gods.

They introduced to the West the notion of the world as a kosmosan ordered arrangement that could be understood via rational inquiry. Aristotle was the first to call them physiologoi or physikoi "physicists", after physis" nature " and differentiate them from the earlier theologoi theologiansor mythologoi story tellers and bards who attributed these phenomena to various gods. The pre-Socratic philosophers rejected traditional mythological explanations of the phenomena they saw around them in favor of more rational explanations.

Their efforts were directed to the investigation of the ultimate basis and essential nature of the external world. The pre-Socratics saw the world as a kosmosan ordered arrangement that could be understood via rational inquiry.

It may sometimes be difficult to determine the actual line of argument some pre-Socratics used in supporting their particular views. While most of them produced significant texts, none of the texts have survived in complete form. All that is available are quotations, and testimonies by later philosophers often biased and historians, and the occasional textual fragment.

These philosophers asked questions about "the essence of things": [8]. Others concentrated on defining problems and paradoxes that became the basis for later mathematical, scientific and philosophic study. Edouard Zeller was also important in dividing thought before and after Socrates. Only fragments of the original writings of the pre-Socratics survive many entitled Peri Physeosor On Naturea title probably attributed later by other authors. Later philosophers rejected many of the answers the early Greek philosophers provided, but continued to place importance on their questions.

Furthermore, the cosmologies proposed by them have been updated by later developments in science. The first pre-Socratic philosophers were from Miletus on the western coast of Anatolia. Thales c. He assumed as the first principle an undefined, unlimited substance without qualities apeironout of which the primary opposites, hot and cold, moist and dry, became differentiated. The practical side of philosophy was introduced by Pythagoras BC. Regarding the world as perfect harmony, dependent on number, he aimed at inducing humankind likewise to lead a harmonious life.

philosophy encyclopedia pre socratic wikipedia series

His doctrine was adopted and extended by a large following of Pythagoreans who gathered at his school in south Italy in the town of Croton. The Ephesian philosophers were interested in the natural world and the properties by which it is ordered. Xenophanes and Heraclitus were able to push philosophical inquiry further than the Milesian school by examining the nature of philosophical inquiry itself. In addition, they were also invested in furthering observations and explanations regarding natural and physical process and also the functions and processes of the human subjective experience.

Heraclitus and Xenophanes both shared interests in analyzing philosophical inquiry as they contemplated morality and religious belief. This was because they wanted to figure out the proper methods of understanding human knowledge and the ways humans fit into the world. This was much different than natural philosophy that was being done by other philosophers, as it questioned the way the universe operates as well as the place of humans within it.

Heraclitus posited that all things in nature are in a state of perpetual flux, connected by logical structure or pattern, which he termed Logos. To Heraclitus, fire, one of the four classical elementsmotivates and substantiates this eternal pattern. From fire all things originate, and return to it again in a process of eternal cycles. According to one view, the series of thinkers located in Elea sometimes referred to as the Eleaticsdespite the fact that the precise nature of their relationships to one another is not well known emphasized the doctrine of the One; this is often discussed in terms of the notion of monism.

Zeno propounded a number of celebrated paradoxes, much debated by later philosophers, which try to show that supposing that there is any change or multiplicity leads to contradictions. Empedocles appears to have been partly in agreement with the Eleatic School, partly in opposition to it. On the one hand, he maintained the unchangeable nature of substance; on the other, he supposes a plurality of such substances - i.

Of these the world is built up, by the agency of two ideal motive forces - love as the cause of union, strife as the cause of separation.The term was probably coined by Pythagoras c. Philosophical methods include questioningcritical discussionrational argumentand systematic presentation.

Historically, philosophy encompassed all bodies of knowledge and a practitioner was known as a philosopher. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.

Today, major subfields of academic philosophy include metaphysicswhich is concerned with the fundamental nature of existence and reality ; epistemologywhich studies the nature of knowledge and belief ; ethicswhich is concerned with moral value ; and logicwhich studies the rules of inference that allow one to deduce conclusions from true premises.

Initially the term referred to any body of knowledge. Though it has since been classified as a book of physics, Newton 's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy uses the term natural philosophy as it was understood at the time, encompassing disciplines such as astronomymedicine and physics that later became associated with the sciences.

In section thirteen of his Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophersthe oldest surviving history of philosophy 3rd century.

philosophy encyclopedia pre socratic wikipedia series

In Against the Logicians the Pyrrhonist philosopher Sextus Empiricus detailed the variety of ways in which the ancient Greek philosophers had divided philosophy, noting that this three-part division was agreed to by Plato, Aristotle, Xenocrates, and the Stoics. This division is not obsolete, but has changed: natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences, especially physics, astronomychemistrybiologyand cosmology ; moral philosophy has birthed the social scienceswhile still including value theory e.

Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. McGinn claims that no philosophical progress has occurred during that interval. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdomintellectual culture, and a search for knowledge.

In this sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions, such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western worlddating back to pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in 6th-century Greece BCEsuch as Thales c.

Western philosophy can be divided into three eras:. While our knowledge of the ancient era begins with Thales in the 6th century BCE, little is known about the philosophers who came before Socrates commonly known as the pre-Socratics.

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The ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools. Most notable among the schools influenced by Socrates' teachings were Platowho founded the Platonic Academyand his student Aristotle[24] who founded the Peripatetic school. Other ancient philosophical traditions influenced by Socrates included CynicismCyrenaicismStoicismand Academic Skepticism. Two other traditions were influenced by Socrates' contemporary, Democritus : Pyrrhonism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics with competing theories such as atomism and monismcosmologythe nature of the well-lived life eudaimoniathe possibility of knowledgeand the nature of reason logos.

With the rise of the Roman empireGreek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca see Roman philosophy. Medieval philosophy 5th—16th centuries is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the rise of Christianity and hence reflects Judeo-Christian theological concerns as well as retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought.

Problems such as the existence and nature of Godthe nature of faith and reason, metaphysics, the problem of evil were discussed in this period. Some key Medieval thinkers include St. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to Theology ancilla theologiae and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture. This period saw the development of Scholasticisma text critical method developed in medieval universities based on close reading and disputation on key texts.

The Renaissance period saw increasing focus on classic Greco-Roman thought and on a robust Humanism.

Pre-Socratic Philosophy

The 20th century saw the split between analytic philosophy and continental philosophyas well as philosophical trends such as phenomenologyexistentialismlogical positivismpragmatism and the linguistic turn see Contemporary philosophy. The regions of the Fertile CrescentIran and Arabia are home to the earliest known philosophical wisdom literature and is today mostly dominated by Islamic culture.

Early Wisdom Literature from the Fertile Crescent was a genre which sought to instruct people on ethical action, practical living and virtue through stories and proverbs.

Thales - Wikipedia audio article

In Ancient Egyptthese texts were known as sebayt 'teachings' and they are central to our understandings of Ancient Egyptian philosophy. Babylonian astronomy also included much philosophical speculations about cosmology which may have influenced the Ancient Greeks.


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