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Beliefs System: Greco-Roman Philosophy and Science

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by Kayla Norris on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of Beliefs System: Greco-Roman Philosophy and Science

Aristotle was a former student of Plato. Compared to Socrates and Plato, Aristotle had little to say about knowledge, but he believed that knowledge involved systematic learning. Aristotle believed philosophers could rely on their senses to provide accurate information about the world and then work to solve any mysteries that come up. He wrote on many topics including biology, botany, chemistry, ethics, history, literary theory, logic, physics, political theory, psychology, metaphysics, rhetoric, and zoology. Aristotle was furthermore known as “the master of those who know”. (3) OWENS, J. "Greek Philosophy." New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 439-443. Gale World History In Context. Web. 19 Sep. 2012. "Greco-Roman Religion and Philosophy." World Religions Reference Library. Ed. Julie L. Carnagie, et al. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2007. 207-238. Gale World History In Context. Web. 19 Sep. 2012. Socrates With Socrates (469–399 BCE), Greek philosophy entered a new period. The Sophists had already shifted discussions away from the substance of nature, or natural science, to the realm of morality and society. Morality is a system of acceptable human behavior. Socrates deepened and expanded the trend. He dismissed the material and physical theories of earlier thinkers to focus on the thoughts and opinions of individuals. This led him to inquire into the nature of such virtues as courage, justice, and morality. He developed an ethical system of behavior rather than attempting to explain origins or the afterlife.
Socrates is understood to have lived by the principles that he created. He famously stated that he knew nothing but the fact that he knew nothing. For him, questions of metaphysics were unimportant. He believed that the soul was the source of a person's consciousness and morality, and that true understanding should lead to the living of a good life. He emphasized that one could live a good life by questioning one's own preconceived notions, particularly through a method of self-examination called elenchus. This method ultimately led to the well-known Socratic method called the dialectic, or finding the truth through questioning and considering opposing beliefs and then modifying one's own beliefs. Socrates was brought to trial and executed in 399 BCE on the charges of disbelieving in the gods and corrupting the young people of Athens through his teachings. (3) Plato and Aristotle 'Core Beliefs' Plato
Plato was born in Athens in 427 BCE just as the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta was beginning. His mother was related to one of the people who ruled Athens after the Spartan victory in 404 BCE, and his father died when Plato was very young. The most important shaping influence in Plato’s early life, however, was the philosopher Socrates (469–399 BCE). Plato was among the young men of Athens who regularly engaged Socrates in dialogue and who took the Socratic challenge to “know thyself” very seriously. Plato, then twenty-eight, was present at the trial of Socrates, an event that clearly made a deep and lasting impression on Plato and which is reflected in all of his work. Socrates is widely regarded as the hero of the Platonic dialogues, a literary form that Plato preferred for most of his works. Following Socrates’ death, Plato traveled throughout Italy, Sicily, and parts of northern Africa before returning to Athens, where he founded the Academy in about 387 BCE. (3) Three main features are found in all of Greco-Roman philosophy. The first is the attempt to understand the existence and function of the universe in natural instead of supernatural terms. The second is the desire to guide conduct by understanding the nature of reality and the place of human beings and human behavior in the greater scheme of things. The third is critical thinking. This involves a careful examination of the foundations upon which ideas rely. (5) Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics "Beginnings of Greek Philosophy." Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. Ed. Edward I. Bleiberg, et al. Vol. 2: Ancient Greece and Rome 1200 B.C.E.-476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 240. Gale World History In Context. Web. 19 Sep. 2012. "Greek Philosophy." Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. Ed. Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger. New York: Scribner's, 1988. Gale World History In Context. Web. 19 Sep. 2012. 1. 2. 3. 4. "Old" Religious Practices Incorporated into the "New" Religious Orders
Greek concepts come close to the worldviews of Buddhism and Daoism, which sees all things in life as being interconnected. The Greeks attempted to view all aspects of the universe as parts of the same whole. Though often looked down upon in their times, the early Greeks and Romans made many important philosophical advances. Greeks took some of their ideas from the ancient Minoan civilization and some from the Myceaen civilization. They also borrowed from Egyptian religions and from west-Asian civilizations. (5) WORKS CITED "The Death of Socrates" by Jacques-Louis David (1787)

The Romans greatly admired the Greek culture and therefore adapted their own deities with stories and myths as well. The Greeks and Romans worshiped these gods daily at public worshiping hours. Besides mandatory public worshiping, Greek and Roman religion left room for discussion about what a good life meant and how nature was constructed. Because of the non-strict religious beliefs, philosophers took over in the discussion of these questions. (2) Philosophers hoped to explain these questions without the use of myths but instead by using logical reasoning. Around sixth century B.C.E, the Milesian School opened which became the first school for philosophy. Many great students and logical reasonings came out of there. An example would be Pythagoras, who was credited with the Pythagorean theorem which is commonly used today. (2) system of thinking relied on logical reasoning Established the first scientific vocabulary
laid foundation for other philosophers
invented scientific method Greek and Roman religion was primarily polytheistic. Throughout the land, many gods and goddesses were worshiped. They believed that these gods influenced the natural world around them. In order to gain favor over a particular event, they would pray to these gods in hope of return that the gods would favor them. Along with worshiping these gods and goddesses, Greeks and Romans also developed myths and stories to explain how their histories and how each deities behaved. Eventually, most Greeks identified twelve gods and goddesses to be the most important deities and named them the Olympian gods. All citizens were expected to participate in public worship. Aristotle Greco-Roman Philosophy & Science Epicureans- Identified pleasure as the greatest good
Skeptics- Doubted certainty of knowledge
Stoics- Taught individuals duty to aid others and lead virtuous lives Hellenistic Philosophy The most popular Hellenistic philosophers addressed individual
needs by searching for personal tranquility and serenity. The most
respected and influential of the Hellenistic philosophers were the Stoics.
Unlike the Skeptics and Epicureans, the Stoics did not seek to withdraw from the pressures of the world. One other important early school of philosophy was formed by the Sophists of the fifth century B.C.E. Socrates was an influenced teacher at this school and his best student was Plato. Later on Plato opened his own school, Lyceum, where Aristotle was a student. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle went on the become some of the most influential and successful philosophers in ancient history. (2) Women and Philosophy Origin Philosophers Women were never recognized as the equals of men. Women took no part in political or military life, and only a few entered the world of learning and the arts. Although some women held central roles in many religious ceremonies and traditions, most Greek women had no direct influence in society. As daughters, wives, and mothers, they were expected to be quiet, well behaved, and undemanding—almost invisible. (7) Artistic Expression "Women, Greek." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 134-138. Gale World History In Context. Web. 20 Sep. 2012. 5. Plato "Art, Greek." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 67-71. Gale World History In Context. Web. 20 Sep. 2012. 6. Paintings Sculptures Mosiacs rich colors, skillful shading,
and dramatic expression wall decoration
floor tiles Pottery Some men believed strongly enough in what the philosophers taught them that statues and paintings were created and dedicated in their honor. Bett, Richard. "Epistemology: Ancient." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 687-689. Gale World History In Context. Web. 20 Sep. 2012. 7.
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