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- Greek = Love of Wisdow
- Def. = The rational pursuit of comprehensive and systematic knowledge about our world - regarding conceptual/theoretical (not empirical) matters
Theory of reality
Theory of knowledge
- Theory of value
- - Ethics/moral philosophy
- - Aesthetics
Western philosophy beginings
6th and 5th centuries, a transition from mytho-religious thinking
- What is the world made of and what holds it up?
- change and stasis
- the relation between the one and the many
- appearance and reality
- What is knowledge and how is it possible
- how should we live
Earliest questions: in east
- - tendency toward materialism
- - emphasis on constant, unstable change
Earliest questions: in west
- - formalism
- - emphasis on permanence, unchanging reality underlying the sensible world
Happiness or total well-being that is our goal
- Reacting to:
- - the failure of qualitative diversity
- - the impossibility of infinite divisibility of matter
- - postulated quantitative diversity
1st principle of atomism
there is a plurality of qualitatively indistinguishable atoms, differing quantitatively in size, shape, position and motion = measurables
- Said that there are 2 types of knowledge:
- Obscure - perception is subjective and private
- Genuine - finer knowledge of an objective public world
Reality for atomists
Atoms moving in empty space, which is not nothing
- Atomist. Translator of Epicurus
- There is no creation out of nothing
- Nothing is destroyed
- There is empty space
- the void is infinite
Democritus on motion
There is an irreducible diversity of motions = eternal jostlings
Epicurus on motion
Perceptually, rest is more natural than motion. But rest is an obstructed fall through space, so really motion is natural. The falling of atoms needs no external cause and has no beginning
Something that Epicurus came up with to explain how the first connection between atoms has occured.
Epicurus on the sensory world
Sense qualities arise from changing combinations of atoms
Democritus on the sensory world
All perception is the subjective result of atoms jostling - it IS atoms moving
- Were the first scientist-philosophers
- The movement away from the untestibel supernatural explanations to the postulations of theories about the world
- What is the world made of?
- - Water is the cause of all things. claimed by observation
- Apparent diversity (the many) can be reduced intoa real unity (the one)
- The cause must be a material thing or stuff (not god)
- The ultimate stuff is active/ has an internal principle of change.
- Denial of external supernatural agents
- Claims that The One is the Boundless
- Questions how can water be the one thing, if things that aren't water are water
- An infinite, indefinite stuff with no particular or limiting characteristics.
- Results from eddies in the reservoir
- Questions what the boundless could be.
- It exists as one thing, yet it is nothing in particular.
- Two possibilities:
- 1. the boundless is a grab bag collection of various things, but then it isn't ONE
- 2. It really is indefinite
- Concludes that the one = air
- Q:Says how can the one become the many?
- A: the unifying principle is not a thing, but a pattern or process of orderly change according to the measures
- Everything is changing - apparent stasis is unreal. One cannot step in the same river twice
- Q: How does one change into many?
- A: What is, is. What is not, is not.
- What is, is uncreated
- What is, is indestructible
- - can't change into nothing
- What is, is eternal
- What is, is unchangeable
- - Change is change into what is not, but there is no nothing to disappear into
Zeno of Elea
- Monist, defender of Parmenides.
- Uses the race cource argument
- and achilles and the tortoise argument
The view of knowledge of reality is reached by reason
Knowledge of reality is gained via sense experience
- All atomic motions are determined by antecedent motions.
- Democritus = no free will cuz above
- Epicurus = free choice cuz of swerve
- Q: one/many? motion?
- A: the world is a plenum, completely full.
- Four elements EAFW = pluralism
Empedocles on motion
- Motion is possible by displacement, motion is not moving into empty space.
- Motion consists of two types:
- - Strife = separating
- - Love = uniting
The world is made up of many things not one thing because there is change.
- Q: How can what is X become what is not X?
- A: There is an infinite diversity of qualitatively different infinitely small "seeds"
Anaxagoras on motion
There is only one type, Mind sets all things in order.
- Dualist. Was a scientist and a religious teacher.
- Pythagorean science focused on mathematics rather than physics.
- Had two basic principles = dualist
- The limit and the unlimited
- the indefinite