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Greek Rationalism

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Garrett Churchwell

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Greek Rationalism

Greek Rationalism The Cultural Tradition of Classic Greece:
The Search for Rational Order -The classical greeks did not make an enduring religious tradition -A system of polytheism, oracles that predicted the future, Dionysus (the god of wine), fertility cults, and the gods of Mount Olympus -Greek intellectuals left behind the framework of myths and mythology -The intellectuals proclaimed that the world is a physical reality governed by natural laws and that the humans could understand those laws -They also said that human reason could work out a system for an ethical life - It is said that rationalism could of have started because of the diversity and incoherence of mythology -It was an intellectual stimulation of the great civilizations - Rationalism was a possible influence of the growing role of law in the political life of Athens The Greek Way of Knowing - Greek Rationalism, along with the Greek city-states, flourished around 600-300 B.C.E. -the significance of the Greek thinking was the way questions were asked, with its emphasis focused on argument, logic, and the questioning of received wisdom -the best example was Socrates of Athens (469-399 B.C.E. -he preferred to teach by constantly questioning assumptions - Socrates had conflict with the city authorities over the Athenian democracy -He was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth of Athens.
-At his trial, he defended himself as the "gadfly" of Athens
-This time of Greek rationalism was the earliest of classical Greek thinkers - Many of the early classical Greek thinkers applied rational questioning to nature
-Thales, for example, predicted the eclipse of the sun and that the monn reflected the sun's light
-They also applied their rational questioning to medicine
-The Greek thinkers applied rationalism to understand human behavior.
-Hippocrates came to believe that the body was made of four fluids, which, when out of balance, caused different ailments
-He also traced the origins of epilepsy (known to the Greeks as the "sacred disease" to simple heredity - The Greek Way of Knowing II: -The thinkers also applied Greek rationalism to understand human behavior
-Herodotus: wanted to know why the Greeks and Persians fought each other in the Greco-Persian Wars
-Ethics and government were also important in Greek thinking
-Plato (429-348 B.C.E.) outlined the design for a good society in "The Republic" with a philosopher-king
-Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) was a student of Plato and taught Alexander the Great
-he could have been the most complete expression of the Greek way of knowing
-he also emphasized empirical observation and cataloged 158 city-states, hundreds of animal species, and wrote about astronomy, logic, physics, weather, and more The Greek Legacy -rationalism was obviously not the whole of Greek culture
-many people still had religious beliefs and practices such as the gods of Mount Olympus and Dionysus
-Greek rationalism still spread widely after the best days of Athens ended
-The Roman Empire helped spread Greek Rationalism
-Christian theology was also expressed in the philosophical terms of the Greeks
-After the western Roman Empire fell, the eastern half, which was called Byzantium, preserved the Greek texts
-the classic scholarship was neglected in the western half of Europe, who instead favored the Christian writers
-before the European rediscovery of rationalism, it had also entered the Islamic culture The Cultural Tradition of Classical Greece:
The Search for a Rational Order -the brothers of the Greek gods -Zeus -Poseidon -Hades -map of Greece -the Parthenon -Dionysus -Aristotle -Socrates -Plato -Herodotus -Western and Eastern Roman Empire -Islamic emblem
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