Thursday, September 15, 2016
Advancements in Philosophy: Out Dating the Giants
While Plato and Aristotle are the giants of ancient philosophy, I find much more satisfaction in the schools that came after them. Specifically, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. When reading of Plato and Aristotle, I found their ideas mainly outdated, products of their time really. While they may have been great minds, they grew up in a society founded on slave labor. This makes the idea of inequality between men central to their points. Plato’s Republic reflected this ideology. Today the ideas of the Republic have been completely forsaken. The schools following Plato and Aristotle however, have not fallen to the grips of time.
Perhaps it is due to the fact that these schools dealt with things that all men are concerned with. How to be content in the face of tragedies, how to find true happiness, and how to find the truth in anything. While Aristotle tackled question like this, the answers that these schools found seem to have more pertinence to today than the answers that he found. This is not to take away from the great importance and intelligence that Plato and Aristotle had, but to say that their philosophical
I find that the Epicurean philosophy of finding pleasure through friendship and the absence of pain rather than luxurious pleasures, and the Stoic composure in the face of tragedy, are still extremely pertinent today; yet Plato’s idea of grouping people due to intellect or other means is outdated, and seen as elitist today. I think the four schools are the first instance of pragmatic philosophy that is still applicable , and even used today.