Philosophy 3000c-Metaphysics

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By SunNeverCry
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Chapter I

Section 1

Philosophy in the West began, for the most part, in Ancient Greece. In the period of the Fifth Century BCE, particularly in Athens, an incredible number of remarkable thinkers, artists, politicians, etc., participated in the life of the city-state. Their accomplishments have guided and inspired the entire development of Western culture. It’s pretty obvious then, that we ought to know something of their philosopher’s ideas. The most famous are, of course, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Prior to these are the so-called Pre-Socratics. The Pre-Socratic philosophers include: the Ionians who attempted to formulate materialist explanations of reality, the Eleatics, who proposed various intellectual conundrums about the nature of being and thought and the Sophists, who taught rhetoric and were an important social force (as their contemporary intellectual descendants are today). Socrates, Plato and Aristotle represent almost a school of thought. Socrates taught Plato, though he did not write down his teachings. After he was executed, Plato did write down what Socrates had taught, in the forms of dialogues, as well as much more which Plato probably thought he might have taught had he lived. Aristotle studied in Plato’s school, the Academy, until after many years he left to form his own. One might characterize all of their philosophizing as the attempt to solve a number of problems left to them by their predecessors in a systematic way.

Western philosophy is traditionally held to have begun with Thales. Thales is said to have taught that water is the source of all things. What this means is unclear. Perhaps he was saying that the essential element out of which things arise is water. He may have thought this because of the water, or sap or blood present in living things and their need for water. It is thought that Thales would have believed…...

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