Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, January 27, 2017

Quizzes Jan 31 & Feb 2

Quiz Jan 31, DR 3-5. Claim a base for each alternative quiz question you post from the latter half of each assigned chapter.

1. How does Gottlieb think Heraclitus would reply to Aristotle's complaint about his ambiguous syntax?

2. Why did Heraclitus compare us all to beasts, drunkards, sleepers, and children? What did he say we fail to grasp?

3. What did fire symbolize, for Heraclitus?

4. Who were Parmenides' famous teacher and student?

5. What was Parmenides' surprising claim (aside from the idea that everything is eternal)?

6. How did Parmenides say language and thought connect to the world?

7. What was Zeno trying to discredit, with his famous paradoxes of motion?

8. What did Aristotle say Zeno invented, and how did his aim differ from Socrates'?

9. How does Gottlieb solve the Achilles paradox?


DQ (Claim a base for each DQ you post and/or comment on.)

  • Should philosophers be deliberately enigmatic and impenetrable? Can an obscure epigrammatic statement be profound? Or should philosophers always strive for clarity? Do you find Heraclitus "tantalizing" or "annoying"?
  • Heraclitus was both introspective and empiricistic, valuing both the "inner stage" (45) and the evidence of the senses. Are you more introspective, more curious about the world around you, or both?
  • What do you think Heraclitus meant when he said you can't step into the same river twice?
  • Did Zeno draw the right implication when he said his paradoxes show Parmenides was right? (69)
  • What do you think of Goober's pre- and post-beard persona (see "Goober the philosopher" above), and of the why his friends react to him when he changes? What moral do you think the show's writers were trying to tell, with this story? Do you agree or disagree?
  • [Post your DQs]
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Quiz Feb 2, DR 6-7. Happy Groundhog Day! (It still casts a shadow...)

1. What was Empedocles' legendary "Faustian end"?

2. What did Empedocles identify as the universal elements whose interplay accounts for all phenomena including sexual attraction?  And, which of "our" elements does Gottlieb compare them to?

3. What fundamental principles of modern biology did Empedocles anticipate?

4. What was Empedocles' favorite scientific interest?

5. What did Anaxagoras bring to Athens, and what was his nickname?

6. Of what charge was Anaxagoras accused, like Socrates thirty years later?

7. How was Anaxagoras less extreme than Parmenides, with respect to reason and perception?

8. Was Anaxagoras a mind-matter dualist?

DQ
  • If Empedocles was a "spiritual egalitarian," believing everyone once lived happily together as immortal godlike beings, why did he exalt himself as a god? In general, how is it possible to reconcile egoistic arrogance with humane and democratic values? Or is it?
  • Is there any good reason to believe in reincarnation?
  • Does the "big bang/big crunch" cosmological hypothesis seem plausible, relevant to your life, and compatible with personal meaning and purpse?
  • Do you think you are a former daimon or spirit who's been exiled, "in an alien garment of flesh"? (86) Why or why not?
  • Are you a mind-matter dualist? Why or why not?
  • What do you think of Anaxagoras' response to the death of his sons? (97)
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From Bertrand Russell's History-

Heraclitus, though an Ionian, was not in the scientific tradition of the Milesians. * He was a mystic, but of a peculiar kind. He regarded fire as the fundamental substance; everything, like flame in a fire, is born by the death of something else. "Mortals are immortals, and immortals are mortals, the one living the other's death and dying the other's life." There is unity in the world, but it is a unity formed by the combination of opposites. "All things come out of the one, and the one out of all things"; but the many have less reality than the one, which is God. From what survives of his writings he does not appear as an amiable character. He was much addicted to contempt, and was the reverse of a democrat. Concerning his fellow-citizens he says: "The Ephesians would do well to hang themselves, every grown man of them, and leave the city to beardless lads; for they have cast out Hermodorus, the best man among them, saying: 'We will have none who is best among us; if there be any such, let him be so elsewhere and among others.'" He speaks ill of all his eminent predecessors, with a single exception. "Homer should be turned out of the lists and whipped." "Of all whose discourses I have heard, there is not one who attains to understanding that wisdom is apart from all." "The learning of many things teacheth not understanding, else would it have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras, and again Xenophanes and Hecataeus." "Pythagoras . . . claimed for his own wisdom what was but a knowledge of many things and an art of mischief." The one exception to his condemnations is Teutamus, who is signalled out as "of more account than the rest." When we inquire the reason for this praise, we find that Teutamus said "most men are bad." His contempt for mankind leads him to think that only force will compel them to act for their own good. He says: "Every beast is driven to the pasture with blows"; and again: "Asses would rather have straw than gold."

...Heraclitus believed fire to be the primordial element, out of which everything else had arisen. Thales, the reader will remember, thought everything was made of water; Anaximenes thought air was the primitive element; Heraclitus preferred fire. At last Empedocles suggested a statesmanlike compromise by allowing four elements, earth, air, fire and water. The chemistry of the ancients stopped dead at this point. No further progress was made in this science until the Mohammedan alchemists embarked upon their search for the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, and a method of transmuting base metals into gold. The metaphysics of Heraclitus are sufficiently dynamic to satisfy the most hustling of moderns: "This world, which is the same for all, no one of gods or men has made; but it was ever, is now, and ever shall be an ever-living Fire, with measures kindling and measures going out." "The transformations of Fire are, first of all, sea; and half of the sea is earth, half whirlwind." In such a world, perpetual change was to be expected, and perpetual change was what Heraclitus believed in...

"Couples are things whole and things not whole, what is drawn together and what is drawn asunder, the harmonious and the discordant. The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one." Sometimes he speaks as if the unity were more fundamental than the diversity: "Good and ill are one." "To God all things are fair and good and right, but men hold some things wrong and some right." "The way up and the way down is one and the same." "God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surfeit and hunger; but he takes various shapes, just as fire, when it is mingled with spices, is named according to the savour of each." Nevertheless, there would be no unity if there were not opposites to combine: "it is the opposite which is good for us." This doctrine contains the germ of Hegel's philosophy, which proceeds by a synthesising of opposites. The metaphysics of Heraclitus, like that of Anaximander, is dominated by a conception of cosmic justice, which prevents the strife of opposites from ever issuing in the complete victory of either. "All things are an exchange for Fire, and Fire for all things, even as wares for gold and gold for wares." "Fire lives the death of air, and air lives the death of fire; water lives the death of earth, earth that of water." "The sun will not overstep his measures; if he does, the Erinys, the handmaids of Justice, will find him out." "We must know that war is common to all, and strife is justice." Heraclitus repeatedly speaks of "God" as distinct from "the gods." "The way of man has no wisdom, but that of God has. . . . Man is called a baby by God, even as a child by a man. . . . The wisest man is an ape compared to God, just as the most beautiful ape is ugly compared to man." God, no doubt, is the embodiment of cosmic justice. The doctrine that everything is in a state of flux is the most famous of the opinions of Heraclitus, and the one most emphasised by his disciples, as described in Plato Theaetetus...

Passing from the small to the large, astronomy no longer allows us to regard the heavenly bodies as everlasting. The planets came out of the sun, and the sun came out of a nebula. It has lasted some time, and will last some time longer; but sooner or later--probably in about a million million years--it will explode, destroying all the planets, and reverting to the condition of a widelydiffused gas. So at least the astronomers say; perhaps as the fatal day draws nearer they will find some mistake in their calculations. The doctrine of the perpetual flux, as taught by Heraclitus, is painful, and science, as we have seen, can do nothing to refute it. One of the main ambitions of philosophers has been to revive hopes that science seemed to have killed. Philosophers, accordingly, have sought, with great persistence, for something not subject to the empire of Time. This search begins with Parmenides.

CHAPTER V Parmenides THE Greeks were not addicted to moderation, either in their theories or in their practice. Heraclitus maintained that everything changes; Parmenides retorted that nothing changes. Parmenides was a native of Elea, in the south of Italy, and flourished in the first half of the fifth century B.C. According to Plato, Socrates in his youth (say about the year 450 B.C.) had an interview with Parmenides, then an old man, and learnt much from him. Whether or not this interview is historical, we may at least infer, what is otherwise evident, that Plato himself was influenced by the doctrines of Parmenides. The south Italian and Sicilian philosophers were more inclined to mysticism and religion than those of Ionia, who were on the whole scientific and sceptical in their tendencies. But mathematics, under the influence of Pythagoras, flourished more in Magna Grecia than in Ionia; mathematics at that time, however, was entangled with mysticism. Parmenides was influenced by Pythagoras, but the extent of this influence is conjectural. What makes Parmenides historically important is that he invented a form of metaphysical argument that, in one form or another, is to be found in most subsequent metaphysicians down to and including Hegel. He is often said to have invented logic, but what he really invented was metaphysics based on logic. The doctrine of Parmenides was set forth in a poem On Nature. He considered the senses deceptive, and condemned the multitude of sensible things as mere illusion. The only true being is "the One," which is infinite and indivisible. It is not, as in Heraclitus, a union of opposites, since there are no opposites. He apparently thought, for instance, that "cold" means only "not hot," and "dark" means only "not light." "The One" is not conceived by Parmenides as we conceive God; he seems to think of it as material and extended, for he speaks of it as a sphere. But it cannot be divided, because the whole of it is present everywhere. Parmenides divides his teaching into two parts, called respectively "the way of truth" and "the way of opinion." We need not concern ourselves with the latter. What he says about the way of truth, so far as it has survived, is, in its essential points, as follows: "Thou canst not know what is not--that is impossible--nor utter it; for it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be." "How, then, can what is be going to be in the future? Or how could it come into being? If it came into being, it is not; nor is it if it is going to be in the future. Thus is becoming extinguished and passing away not to be heard of. "The thing that can be thought and that for the sake of which the thought exists is the same; for you cannot find thought without something that is, as to which it is uttered." * The essence of this argument is: When you think, you think of something; when you use a name, it must be the name of something. Therefore both thought and language require objects outside themselves. And since you can think of a thing or speak of it at one time as well as at another, whatever can be thought of or spoken of must exist at all times. Consequently there can be no change, since change consists in things coming into being or ceasing to be. This is the first example in philosophy of an argument from thought and language to the world at large. It cannot of course be accepted as valid, but it is worth while to see what element of truth it contains. We can put the argument in this way: if language is not just nonsense, words must mean something, and in general they must not mean just other words, but something that is there whether we talk of it or not. Suppose, for example, that you talk of George Washington. Unless there were a historical person who had that name, the name (it would seem) would be meaningless, and sentences containing the name would be nonsense. Parmenides maintains that not only must George Washington have existed in the past, but in some sense he must still exist, since we can still use his name significantly. This seems obviously untrue, but how are we to get round the argument?

Let us take an imaginary person, say Hamlet. Consider the statement "Hamlet was Prince of Denmark." In some sense this is true, but not in the plain historical sense. The true statement is "Shakespeare says that Hamlet was Prince of Denmark," or, more explicitly, "Shakespeare says there was a Prince of Denmark called ' Hamlet.'" Here there is no longer anything imaginary. Shakespeare and Denmark and the noise "Hamlet" are all real, but the noise "Hamlet" is not really a name, since nobody is really called "Hamlet." If you say "'Hamlet' is the name of an imaginary person," that is not strictly correct; you ought to say "It is imagined that 'Hamlet' is the name of a real person." Hamlet is an imagined individual; unicorns are an imagined species. Some sentences in which the word "unicorn" occurs are true, and some are false, but in each case not directly. Consider "a unicorn has one horn" and "a cow has two horns." To prove the latter, you have to look at a cow; it is not enough to say that in some book cows are said to have two horns. But the evidence that unicorns have one horn is only to be found in books, and in fact the correct statement is: "Certain books assert that there are animals with one horn called 'unicorns.'" All statements about unicorns are really about the word "unicorn," just as all statements about Hamlet are really about the word "Hamlet." But it is obvious that, in most cases, we are not speaking of words, but of what the words mean. And this brings us back to the argument of Parmenides, that if a word can be used significantly it must mean something, not nothing, and therefore what the word means must in some sense exist. What, then, are we to say about George Washington? It seems we have only two alternatives: one is to say that he still exists; the other is to say that, when we use the words "George Washington," we are not really speaking of the man who bore that name. Either seems a paradox, but the latter is less of a paradox, and I shall try to show a sense in which it is true. Parmenides assumes that words have a constant meaning; this is really the basis of his argument, which he supposes unquestionable. But although the dictionary or the encyclopaedia gives what may be called the official and socially sanctioned meaning of a word, no two people who use the same word have just the same thought in their minds. George Washington himself could use his name and the word "I" as synonyms. He could perceive his own thoughts and the movements of his body, and could therefore use his name with a fuller meaning than was possible for any one else. His friends, when in his presence, could perceive the movements of his body, and could divine his thoughts; to them, the name "George Washington" still denoted something concrete in their own experience. After his death they had to substitute memories for perceptions, which involved a change in the mental processes taking place when they used his name. For us, who never knew him, the mental processes are again different. We may think of his picture, and say to ourselves "yes, that man." We may think "the first President of the United States." If we are very ignorant, he may be to us merely "The man who was called ' George Washington.'" Whatever the name suggests to us, it must be not the man himself, since we never knew him, but something now present to sense or memory or thought. This shows the fallacy of the argument of Parmenides. This perpetual change in the meanings of words is concealed by the fact that, in general, the change makes no difference to the truth or falsehood of the propositions in which the words occur. If you take any true sentence in which the name "George Washington" occurs, it will, as a rule, remain true if you substitute the phrase "the first President of the United States." There are exceptions to this rule. Before Washington's election, a man might say "I hope George Washington will be the first President of the United States," but he would not say "I hope the first President of the United States will be the first President of the United States" unless he had an unusual passion for the law of identity. But it is easy to make a rule for excluding these exceptional cases, and in those that remain you may substitute for "George Washington" any descriptive phrase that applies to him alone. And it is only by means of such phrases that we know what we know about him. Parmenides contends that, since we can now know what is commonly regarded as past, it cannot really be past, but must, in some sense, exist now. Hence he infers that there is no such thing as change. What we have been saying about George Washington meets this argument. It may be said, in a sense, that we have no knowledge of the past. When you recollect, the recollection occurs now, and is not identical with the event recollected. But the recollection affords a description of the past event, and for most practical purposes it is unnecessary to distinguish between the description and what it describes. This whole argument shows how easy it is to draw metaphysical conclusions from language, and how the only way to avoid fallacious arguments of this kind is to push the logical and psychological study of language further than has been done by most metaphysicians. I think, however, that, if Parmenides could return from the dead and read what I have been saying, he would regard it as very superficial. "How do you know," he would ask, "that your statements about George Washington refer to a past time? By your own account, the direct reference is to things now present; your recollections, for instance, happen now, not at the time that you think you recollect. If memory is to be accepted as a source of knowledge, the past must be before the mind now, and must therefore in some sense still exist." I will not attempt to meet this argument now; it requires a discussion of memory, which is a difficult subject. I have put the argument here to remind the reader that philosophical theories, if they are important, can generally be revived in a new form after being refuted as originally stated. Refutations are seldom final; in most cases, they are only a prelude to further refinements. What subsequent philosophy, down to quite modern times, accepted from Parmenides, was not the impossibility of all change, which was too violent a paradox, but the indestructibility of substance. The word "substance" did not occur in his immediate successors, but the concept is already present in their speculations. A substance was supposed to be the persistent subject of varying predicates. As such it became, and remained for more than two thousand years, one of the fundamental concepts of philosophy, psychology, physics, and theology. I shall have much to say about it at a later stage. For the present, I am merely concerned to note that it was introduced as a way of doing justice to the arguments of Parmenides without denying obvious facts. 

CHAPTER VI Empedocles THE mixture of philosopher, prophet, man of science, and charlatan, which we found already in Pythagoras, was exemplified very completely in Empedocles, who flourished about 440 B.C., and was thus a younger contemporary of Parmenides, though his doctrine had in some ways more affinity with that of Heraclitus. He was a citizen of Acragas, on the south coast of Sicily; he was a democratic politician, who at the same time claimed to be a god. In most Greek cities, and especially in those of Sicily, there was a constant conflict between democracy and tyranny; the leaders of whichever party was at the moment defeated were executed or exiled. Those who were exiled seldom scrupled to enter into negotiations with the enemies of Greece--Persia in the East, Carthage in the West. Empedocles, in due course, was banished, but he appears, after his banishment, to have preferred the career of a sage to that of an intriguing refugee. It seems probable that in youth he was more or less Orphic; that before his exile he combined politics and science; and that it was only in later life, as an exile, that he became a prophet. Legend had much to say about Empedocles. He was supposed to have worked miracles, or what seemed such, sometimes by magic, sometimes by means of his scientific knowledge. He could control the winds, we are told; he restored to life a woman who had seemed dead for thirty days; finally, it is said, he died by leaping into the crater of Etna to prove that he was a god. In the words of the poet: Great Empedocles, that ardent soul Leapt into Etna, and was roasted whole. Matthew Arnold wrote a poem on this subject, but, although one of his worst, it does not contain the above couplet. Like Parmenides, Empedocles wrote in verse. Lucretius, who was influenced by him, praised him highly as a poet, but on this subject opinions were divided. Since only fragments of his writings have survived, his poetic merit must remain in doubt. It is necessary to deal separately with his science and his religion, as they are not consistent with each other. I shall consider first his science, then his philosophy, and finally his religion. His most important contribution to science was his discovery of air as a separate substance. This he proved by the observation that when a bucket or any similar vessel is put upside down into water, the water does not enter into the bucket. He says: "When a girl, playing with a water-clock of shining brass, puts the orifice of the pipe upon her comely hand, and dips the waterclock into the yielding mass of silvery water, the stream does not then flow into the vessel, but the bulk of the air inside, pressing upon the close-packed perforations, keeps it out till she uncovers the compressed stream; but then air escapes and an equal volume of water runs in." This passage occurs in an explanation of respiration. He also discovered at least one example of centrifugal force: that if a cup of water is whirled round at the end of a string, the water does not come out. He knew that there is sex in plants, and he had a theory (somewhat fantastic, it must be admitted) of evolution and the survival of the fittest. Originally, "countless tribes of mortal creatures were scattered abroad endowed with all manner of forms, a wonder to behold." There were heads without necks, arms without shoulders, eyes without foreheads, solitary limbs seeking for union. These things joined together as each might chance; there were shambling creatures with countless hands, creatures with faces and breasts looking in different directions, creatures with the bodies of oxen and the faces of men, and others with the faces of oxen and the bodies of men. There were hermaphrodites combining the natures of men and women, but sterile. In the end, only certain forms survived. As regards astronomy: he knew that the moon shines by reflected light, and thought that this is also true of the sun; he said that light takes time to travel, but so little time that we cannot observe it; he knew that solar eclipses are caused by the interposition of the moon, a fact which he seems to have learnt from Anaxagoras. 

He was the founder of the Italian school of medicine, and the medical school which sprang from him influenced both Plato and Aristotle. According to Burnet (p. 234), it affected the whole tendency of scientific and philosophical thinking. All this shows the scientific vigour of his time, which was not equalled in the later ages of Greece. I come now to his cosmology. It was he, as already mentioned, who established earth, air, fire, and water as the four elements (though the word "element" was not used by him). Each of these was everlasting, but they could be mixed in different proportions, and thus produce the changing complex substances that we find in the world. They were combined by Love and separated by Strife. Love and Strife were, for Empedocles, primitive substances on a level with earth, air, fire, and water. There were periods when Love was in the ascendant, and others when Strife was the stronger. There had been a golden age when Love was completely victorious. In that age, men worshipped only the Cyprian Aphrodite. The changes in the world are not governed by any purpose, but only by Chance and Necessity. There is a cycle: when the elements have been thoroughly mixed by Love, Strife gradually sorts them out again; when Strife has separated them, Love gradually reunites them. Thus every compound substance is temporary; only the elements, together with Love and Strife, are everlasting. There is a similarity to Heraclitus, but a softening, since it is not Strife alone, but Strife and Love together, that produce change. Plato couples Heraclitus and Empedocles in the Sophist (242): There are Ionian, and in more recent time Sicilian, muses, who have arrived at the conclusion that to unite the two principles (of the One and the Many), is safer, and to say that being is one and many, and that these are held together by enmity and friendship, ever parting, ever meeting, as the severer Muses assert, while the gentler ones do not insist on the perpetual strife and peace, but admit a relaxation and alternation of them; peace and unity sometimes prevailing under the sway of Aphrodite, and then again plurality and war, by reason of a principle of strife. Empedocles held that the material world is a sphere; that in the Golden Age Strife was outside and Love inside; then, gradually, Strife  

entered and Love was expelled, until, at the worst, Strife will be wholly within and Love wholly without the sphere. Then--though for what reason is not clear--an opposite movement begins, until the Golden Age returns, but not for ever. The whole cycle is then repeated. One might have supposed that either extreme could be stable, but that is not the view of Empedocles. He wished to explain motion while taking account of the arguments of Parmenides, and he had no wish to arrive, at any stage, at an unchanging universe. The views of Empedocles on religion are, in the main, Pythagorean. In a fragment which, in all likelihood, refers to Pythagoras, he says: "There was among them a man of rare knowledge, most skilled in all manner of wise works, a man who had won the utmost wealth of wisdom; for whensoever he strained with all his mind, he easily saw everything of all the things that are, in ten, yea twenty lifetimes of men." In the Golden Age, as already mentioned, men worshipped only Aphrodite, "and the altar did not reek with pure bull's blood, but this was held in the greatest abomination among men, to eat the goodly limbs after tearing out the life." At one time he speaks of himself exuberantly as a god: Friends, that inhabit the great city looking down on the yellow rock of Acragas, up by the citadel, busy in goodly works, harbour of honour for the stranger, men unskilled in meanness, all hail. I go about among you an immortal god, no mortal now, honoured among all as is meet, crowned with fillets and flowery garlands. Straightway, whenever I enter with these in my train, both men and women, into the flourishing towns, is reverence done me; they go after me in countless throngs, asking of me what is the way to gain; some desiring oracles, while some, who for many a weary day have been pierced by the grievous pangs of all manner of sickness, beg to hear from me the word of healing. . . . But why do I harp on these things, as if it were any great matter that I should surpass mortal, perishable men?" At another time he feels himself a great sinner, undergoing expiation for his impiety: There is an oracle of Necessity, an ancient ordinance of the gods, eternal and sealed fast by broad oaths, that whenever one of the daemons, whose portion is length of days, has sinfully polluted his hands with blood, or followed strife and foresworn himself, he

must wander thrice ten thousand years from the abodes of the blessed, being born throughout the time in all manners of mortal forms, changing one toilsome path of life for another. For the mighty Air drives him into the Sea, and the Sea spews him forth upon the dry Earth; Earth tosses him into the beams of the blazing Sun, and he flings him back to the eddies of Air. One takes him from the other, and all reject him. One of these I now am, an exile and a wanderer from the gods, for that I put my trust in insensate strife. What his sin had been, we do not know; perhaps nothing that we should think very grievous. For he says: "Ah, woe is me that the pitiless day of death did not destroy me ere ever I wrought evil deeds of devouring with my lips! . . . "Abstain wholly from laurel leaves . . . "Wretches, utter wretches, keep your hands from beans!" So perhaps he had done nothing worse than munching laurel leaves or guzzling beans. The most famous passage in Plato, in which he compares this world to a cave, in which we see only shadows of the realities in the bright world above, is anticipated by Empedocles; its origin is in the teaching of the Orphics. There are some--presumably those who abstain from sin through many incarnations--who at last achieve immortal bliss in the company of the gods: But, at the last, they * appear among mortal men as prophets, song-writers, physicians, and princes; and thence they rise up as gods exalted in honour, sharing the hearth of the other gods and the same table, free from human woes, safe from destiny, and incapable of hurt. In all this, it would seem, there is very little that was not already contained in the teaching of Orphism and Pythagoreanism. The originality of Empedocles, outside science, consists in the doctrine of the four elements and in the use of the two principles of Love and Strife to explain change. He rejected monism, and regarded the course of nature as regulated by chance and necessity rather than by purpose. In these respects his philosophy was more scientific than those of Parmenides, Plato, and Aristotle. In other respects, it is true, he acquiesced in current superstitions; but in this he was no worse than many more recent men of science...

CHAPTER VIII Anaxagoras THE philosopher Anaxagoras, though not the equal of Pythagoras, Heraclitus, or Parmenides, has nevertheless a considerable historical importance. He was an Ionian, and carried on the scientific, rationalist tradition of Ionia. He was the first to introduce philosophy to the Athenians, and the first to suggest mind as the primary cause of physical changes. He was born at Clazomenae, in Ionia, about the year 500 B.C., but he spent about thirty years of his life in Athens, approximately from 462 to 432 B.C. He was probably induced to come by Pericles, who was bent on civilizing his fellow-townsmen. Perhaps Aspasia, who -61- came from Miletus, introduced him to Pericles. Plato, in the Phaedrus, says: Pericles "fell in, it seems with Anaxagoras, who was a scientific man; and satiating himself with the theory of things on high, and having attained to a knowledge of the true nature of intellect and folly, which were just what the discourses of Anaxagoras were mainly about, he drew from that source whatever was of a nature to further him in the art of speech." It is said that Anaxagoras also influenced Euripides, but this is more doubtful. The citizens of Athens, like those of other cities in other ages and continents, showed a certain hostility to those who attempted to introduce a higher level of culture than that to which they were accustomed. When Pericles was growing old, his opponents began a campaign against him by attacking his friends. They accused Pheidias of embezzling some of the gold that was to be employed on his statues. They passed a law permitting impeachment of those who did not practise religion and taught theories about "the things on high." Under this law, they prosecuted Anaxagoras, who was accused of teaching that the sun was a red-hot stone and the moon was earth. (The same accusation was repeated by the prosecutors of Socrates, who made fun of them for being out of date.) What happened is not certain, except that he had to leave Athens. It seems probable that Pericles got him out of prison and managed to get him away. He returned to Ionia, where he founded a school. In accordance with his will, the anniversary of his death was kept as a schoolchildrens' holiday. Anaxagoras held that everything is infinitely divisible, and that even the smallest portion of matter contains some of each element. Things appear to be that of which they contain most. Thus, for example, everything contains some fire, but we only call it fire if that element preponderates. Like Empedocles, he argues against the void, saying that the clepsydra or an inflated skin shows that there. is air where there seems to be nothing. He differed from his predecessors in regarding mind (nous) as a substance which enters into the composition of living things, and distinguishes them from dead matter. In everything, he says, there -62- is a portion of everything except mind, and some things contain mind also. Mind has power over all things that have life; it is infinite and self-ruled, and is mixed with nothing. Except as regards mind, everything, however small, contains portions of all opposites, such as hot and cold, white and black. He maintained that snow is black (in part). Mind is the source of all motion. It causes a rotation, which is gradually spreading throughout the world, and is causing the lightest things to go to the circumference, and the heaviest to fall towards the centre. Mind is uniform, and is just as good in animals as in man. Man's apparent superiority is due to the fact that he has hands; all seeming differences of intelligence are really due to bodily differences. Both Aristotle and the Platonic Socrates complain that Anaxagoras, after introducing mind, makes very little use of it. Aristotle points out that he only introduces mind as a cause when he knows no other. Whenever he can, he gives a mechanical explanation. He rejected necessity and chance as giving the origins of things; nevertheless, there was no "Providence" in his cosmology. He does not seem to have thought much about ethics or religion; probably he was an atheist, as his prosecutors maintained. All his predecessors influenced him, except Pythagoras. The influence of Parmenides was the same in his case as in that of Empedocles. In science he had great merit. It was he who first explained that the moon shines by reflected light, though there is a cryptic fragment in Parmenides suggesting that he also knew this. Anaxagoras gave the correct theory of eclipses, and knew that the moon is below the sun. The sun and stars, he said, are fiery stones, but we do not feel the heat of the stars because they are too distant. The sun is larger than the Peloponnesus. The moon has mountains, and (he thought) inhabitants. Anaxagoras is said to have been of the school of Anaximenes; certainly he kept alive the rationalist and scientific tradition of the Ionians. One does not find in him the ethical and religious preoccupations which, passing from the Pythagoreans to Socrates and from Socrates to Plato, brought an obscurantist bias into Greek philosophy. He is not quite in the first rank, but he is important as the first to bring philosophy to Athens, and as one of the influences that helped to form Socrates. 


42 comments:

  1. 8
    Discussion Questions
    1.I think that philosophers should always strive to be clear because if they want people to understand what they are saying than they will have to be as clear as possible.
    2.I am more curious about the world around me because I find the mysteries of the world more exciting.
    3.He means that since the river water is always moving, the water that you step in is different every time which makes it a different river.
    4.I think that the only thing that Zeno proved is that some some philosophers ask the wrong questions and get wrapped up in the details when they should just focus their attention to the whole picture.
    Alternative Quiz Questions
    1.What food did Gotilebb use the help explain his solution to the Achilles paradox?
    2.In what century was the notion of a series of divisions that keep diminishing without ever quite disappearing explained satisfactorily?
    3. Who two people explained it?
    4.What did Newton and Leibniz invent?
    5.What feature of calculus was Newton unhappy with?
    6.Who attacked Newtons idea of infinitesimal quantities?
    7.What did Zenos next paradox of motion seek to show?
    8.How long is the arrow that Zeno talks about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Devin Willis7:40 PM CST

      Devin Willis-8
      1.An egg
      2.19th century
      3.Newton and Leibniz
      4.Calculus
      5.Infinitesimal quantities
      6. Bishop Berkeley
      7. That an arrow which is apparently in flight is in fact motionless, since at any given moment of its flight it occupies a space that is exactly equal to itself.
      8. 12 inches long

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    2. Dalis de la Mothe2:18 PM CST

      Reply for DQ#4
      *While yes I can see how you could take it that way that doesn't undermine the use of his paradoxes to silent the other party. Only using it as a weapon to win his argument instead of as a constructive way to further understanding.

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    3. 1. I agree that philosophers should be clear in what they are trying to get across. I even mentioned they may be too open minded at sometimes.
      2. I am more curious about the world as well, I just don't believe in things I have not been shown clear evidence. Especially with Christianity, everyone I speak to has different rules anyway.
      3. I see it as the same river but with different things going down the river. Similar to when I meet someone, they may be acting differently but that's the same person I met xyz years, weeks, etc ago.
      4. I agree that sometimes they consider too many things, or maybe we don't consider enough things? Ha philosophy making me think that way already!

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  2. Devin Willis7:42 PM CST

    Section 8
    Chap.3-5
    Alernative Quiz Questions
    1. Heraclitus referred to the alteration between between sleep and waking and between life and death to what physical elements in the living world?
    2. What is the final component of Heraclitus picture?
    3. Who is Melissus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. section 8
      1. ebb and flow
      2. the unity of things
      3. Parmenides' loyal follower

      Delete
  3. Anonymous7:48 PM CST

    Maddy Russell
    Section 10
    Alternative Quiz Question
    What is Zeno's last theory of motion say about the 12-inch arrow?

    ReplyDelete
  4. section 10
    DQ answers

    1.Philosophers should strive for clarity, so people can understand them better.

    2.I would consider myself to be both introspective and empiristic.

    3. He probably meant that the world is constantly changing with time.

    4. I don't think that Zeno drew the right implication.

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  5. Anonymous8:57 PM CST

    Maddy Russell
    Section 10
    Discussion post 3
    Heraclitus meant that the river is always changing and moving. You will never step in the same water twice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dalis de la Mothe9:38 PM CST

      Do you still think this true with what we know about the water cycle? Technically speaking no water is new, but is constantly reused in one form or another.

      Delete
  6. Dalis de la Mothe9:32 PM CST

    Did Zeno draw the right implication when he said his paradoxes show Parmenides was right? (69)
    *Yes and no. While it is my own personal belief that people should always question everything, even things that people deem as common sense, it should be done in a way that helps everyone grew intellectual and help further understanding. Zeno as told from our text uses his paradoxes as a way of silencing his opponents, beating them into submission instead of working to find answers together.

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  7. Dalis de la Mothe9:44 PM CST

    Should philosophers be deliberately enigmatic and impenetrable? Can an obscure epigrammatic statement be profound? Or should philosophers always strive for clarity? Do you find Heraclitus "tantalizing" or "annoying"?
    *If philosophers are seekers of knowledge and answers then I for one do not see the point of keeping ones knowledge to themselves. Still I for one think there is some insight to things being a little enigmatic. No knowledge in this world comes easy, and everything has a price.

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  8. Dalis de la Mothe9:52 PM CST

    What do you think Heraclitus meant when he said you can't step into the same river twice?
    *As the river moves it is literally impossible to be in the same bit of river water twice while standing in the river. It rushes passes you and continues you on through the grand cycle of things.

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  9. Section 9
    Alternative Quiz Questions
    1. Whose idea seems to have been that everything suffers from severe flux all the time?
    2. The work of which philosopher can be seen as a development of the Heraclitean theme of the connectedness of things?
    3. Who made a remark in regards to Parmenides, 'His assumption "is" is used in a single way only is false, because it is used in several.'
    4. Which two philosophers proposed the theory of 'atomism'?
    5. Who said that 'Parmenides began philosophy proper'?
    6. The vision of a realm of heavenly permanence and rest beyond the turbulence of the everyday world is reflected in the poetry of which philosopher?
    7. Which of Newton's ideas was rightly attacked by philosopher Bishop Berkeley?
    8. Zeno's paradox of motion which seeks to show that an arrow which is apparently in flight is in fact motionless is also known as what?
    9. What is one thing that Zeno's paradoxes successfully show?

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    Replies
    1. Section 9
      1. cratylus
      2. parmenides
      3. plato
      4. leucippus and democritus
      5. Hegel
      6. Xenophanes
      7. infinitesimal quantities
      8. Achilles paradox
      9. how much can be achieved by a well-informed armchair reflection

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  10. Section 9 - Stone Jones
    Alternative Quiz Questions
    1. How did Plato do Heraclitus a disservice?
    2. Who does Gottlieb credit with blotting Heraclitus out for much of the history of philosophy?
    3. Who proposed 'atomism'?
    4. What about Parmenides ideas most appealed to Hagel?
    5. What was one thing that Zeno's paradoxes successfully show?
    6. What was the immediate effect of the ideas of Parmenides and Zeno?

    DQ Answer
    When Heraclitus said you can't step into the same river twice, he is referring to the flowing water. Since the water is flowing and moving, he is stating that the water in the river is different each time you get in because the date from the previous time has moved down the river and been replaced by different water. Therefore it's a 'new' river each time you enter it.

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  11. 10
    1. Honestly I believe philosophers should strive for clarity if they want people in the future to understand what their point of view was instead of people deciphering their meaning and misinterpreting their statement.
    2.I would have to say both, because I'm not the type of person to speak with other people unless I have a purpose.
    3.It simply means that your are always changing and so is the river.
    4.I believe so he mentioned that motion is an illusion.
    5.I felt like I couldn't grasp the idea of it. They realize that he is not himself. Don't let anyone tell you how to behave or think. I agree

    Alternative Quiz Questions
    1.What were two examples of memorable impenetrability of what Heraclitus had to say?
    2.Everyone failed to grasp the true logos, which, he says, 'men ever fail to comprehend, both before hearing it and once they have heard'. So what was it that Heraclitus saw and everybody else missed?
    3. What was Heraclitus best remark? And what does it mean?
    4.Why did Parmenides did not see himself as a destroyer?
    5.Where was Parmenides from? and what did they call him?
    6.Where did Parmenides and Zeno go for four years?
    7.What did Alfred Whitehead write in 1932?
    8.The immediate effect of the ideas of Parmenides and Zeno was to stimulate some of the work of the fifth-century thinkers. Who were these thinkers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dalis de la Mothe2:23 PM CST

      DQ#2: So are you saying that you don't enjoy any kind of conversating unless it holds some sort of pupose? I find that human beings are social creatures that rely on the interactions we have day to day. So to say that you only speak to people unless you have a purpose simply negates that fact. That is unless you consider your own personal enjoyment a true purpose.

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  12. 10-
    1.Should philosophers be deliberately enigmatic and impenetrable?
    I don't think they should deliberately be so, however at times they just end up being hard to understand. If they are questioning what is hold as "common sense" then of course they will at times be confusing and hard to understand.

    2. Can an obscure epigrammatic statement be profound? Or should philosophers always strive for clarity?
    I feel like philosophers should always strive for clarity, in that they are striving to question and understand the world around them.

    3.Do you find Heraclitus "tantalizing" or "annoying"?
    A little, yes.
    4. Heraclitus was both introspective and empiricistic, valuing both the "inner stage" (45) and the evidence of the senses. Are you more introspective, more curious about the world around you, or both?
    I feel like I'm both, depending on my psychological state or mood. I'm probably more introspective, but also the more I look inward the more I feel like I just need to go outside and calm down.
    5. What do you think Heraclitus meant when he said you can't step into the same river twice?
    Maybe that everything is constantly changing? Both the river and the man?
    6. Did Zeno draw the right implication when he said his paradoxes show Parmenides was right? (69)
    He was definitely clever, and created puzzles which seems to show that he was right. However, as Gottlieb explains, there were holes in his arguments and puzzles.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Alternative quiz questions:
    1) what two poems did Parmenides write?
    2) what comparison does Parmenides conclude "Way of Truth" with?
    3) what four examples did Heraclitus give of opposite things?
    4) what philosopher did Plato use to distort Heraclitus's views!
    5) Heraclitus was a member of the extended royal family from where?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dalis de la Mothe2:30 PM CST

      1) On Nature and The Way of Truth

      Delete
    2. 8*
      2) A sphere-- the perfect shape.

      3) The way up and down are one and the same.
      The same...living and dead, and the waking and the sleeping, and young and old.
      It is disease that makes health sweet and good, hunger satiety, weariness rest.
      The sea is the purest and foulest water: for fish drinkable and life-sustaining; for men undrinkable and deadly.

      4) Cratylus
      5) Ephesus

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  14. 10-
    D.Q.
    1.) I think philosophers should always strive to be clear in their theories so that others can understand their concepts presented and gain an insight on their thought process.

    2.) I am more curious about the world around me due to excitement of it and the chance to understand concepts of my surrounding. We should want to discover the world around us due to possibility of discovering new things.

    3.) That change is inevitable, and the change is constantly taking place.

    4.) He drew the right implication, but his paradoxes of motion were absurd. He says that cant have motion due to unable to obtain transverse distance due to it being unlimited. His inability to cover that this doesn't have to be done all at once flawed his clever puzzled theory.

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  15. Answer to the first Discussion question -
    An interesting thought if what a philosopher is could be should they be clear or should they be someone who makes simple things more complicated. There are very different reasons for philposophy, and I think that both of theses ways of looking at the world would be equally interesting, and influential. On the one hand you have people who live their entire lives listening to the blinding assumptions of common sense, and not ever looking into the depths of what those things could imply. On the slip side of that coin, you find that some things of this world can be confusing in and of themselves, and it takes a thinker who can take the issue of blind common sense, and ask the right questions to clear out the confusion. It takes the hard questions to bring about the thoughts that clear up the seemingly rough concepts of common sense or not.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 8 Discussion Questions 2/2
    • I do not think it is possible to reconcile arrogance with humane and democratic values
    • I think that some people believe in reincarnation because it might comfort them to know that this is not their only life
    • I think that the big bang is relevant to everybody since it is when the universe was created
    • No I do not think that because I think it seems random and silly
    • I am not because I agree with what Anaxagoras said

    • I think that it was cold-hearted of him to not even care about his sons death.

    Alternative Quiz Questions

    1. What did Empedocles say was more likely than geometry to bring admiration from ordinary people?
    2. How many main schools of ancient medicine are there?
    3. Who was the founder of one of these schools?
    4. What was this school known as?
    5. Who shared Empedocles desire to make sense of the everyday world rather than dismiss it?
    6. How did Anaxagoras respond to an Athenians wish that he should have stayed in Clazomenae?

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  17. section 9
    DQ
    1. no philosophers should not always strive for clarity, sometimes they have too remain vague to make you think about the problem yourself.
    2. i Think i'm both introspective and look to the outside world. I think it's good to be both to reflect and look to the real world.
    3. The river changes every time you see it or step in it therefore you're never stepping into the same river.

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  18. When Heraclitus said " you never step in the same river twice", you have to look past the thought of the literal river running past you so you litteraly don't touch the same water twice. You have to realize that it talked about change in the lives of you and those around you. You are never the same person you were the day before; we are constantly learning, growing, discovering, thinking, deciding, and changing.

    It is very interesting that he doesn't make any specification in whether it was a positive or negitive thought/direction. I am interested in the thought because you can step into the river farther north, or south of where you originally stepped into the river. You can change in a positive or negitive way. You can develop good/better habits or of course negitive/worse habits than you originally set in you r mind.

    The ability to combat the inevitable negitive change with a positive change in the opposite direction is a comforting thought in and of itself. If your look at life as a downward spiral of no return, you will no longer have the spiritual willpower to bring about physical positive change in your life.

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  19. in my studies of the book, i came up with two questions:

    how does the Way of Truth relate to the teachings of Aristotle and Zeno?

    What does it mean to "judge by reason"?

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  20. Anonymous7:08 PM CST

    Maddy Russell 10
    DQ 2
    Is there a good reason to believe in reincarnation? Not really. But is there a good reason to believe in any religion. Religion and reincarnation are really something for people to believe so they purpose and motive to do good in the world.

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  21. Maddy Russell 10
    Alternate Quiz questions
    IF Anaxagoras wasn't concerned with his native land, what was he concerned with?
    How were Empepedocles and Anaxagoras differ and how were they similar?
    DQ 6
    I personally would feel a little differently if I found out my son was dead, but Anaxgoras thought that people and things on this Earth were just here to die and that included his son and himself.

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  22. 10
    When it comes to reincarnation, it boils down to what you believe in or what spiritual ideas you affiliate with. Personally, as a Christian, I do not believe we are reincarnated as physical beings in another life. Although my beliefs don't affiliate with reincarnation, think of it in a more practical sense.

    If you were reincarnated, wouldn't you remember your past life? Or perhaps if you knew that you could potentially be reincarnated as a grasshopper for example, then what's the point of this life if that is your potential destiny?

    ReplyDelete
  23. 10
    Okay. So the big bang. I don't believe in this either. Its too much to unwrap in a post like this, so ill try my best to keep it short.

    How can something be made out of nothing? It is physically impossible, and defies our fundamental laws of matter.

    Also, even if it is scientifically sound that earth was made millions of years ago, is it safe to say that because one physical being's theories from centuries ago are safe to lay upon?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Caroline Pyles9:03 AM CST

    Discussion Question Responses:
    1. It's not possible.
    2. Having the thought that after you die you will move into another life is comforting. Knowing, or thinking, that this isn't the only life you're stuck with doesn't sound too bad.
    3. Yes. I believe in the big bang because no one else has come up with a better idea. Tell me why it isn't possible and maybe I'll believe you, but so far I'm not buying that a religion's god created everything we know today.
    4. No. I just don't believe in that.
    5. No. I'm very comfortable in that my mind and body are on somewhat of the same page.

    ReplyDelete
  25. DeTrayce Sawyers Section 10
    1. I don't think it's possible.
    2. I think whatever your reason for believing in reincarnation is good enough.
    3. Yes, it seems plausible.
    4. No, I don’t think I am a spirit who has been exiled. It’s simply not what I believe, and not what I perceive as my reality.
    5. No, because I do not separate my mind or think of it as something different.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Heather Deal11:31 AM CST

    Section 9
    Answers to Discussion Questions:
    1. I don't think it is possible. You have to think of individuals as equals before you can have sincere humane and democratic values.
    2. There is good reason to believe in reincarnation for the fact that if you were good in a past life, then you will be reincarnated into something better. It gives people the hope that if they do things well the first time, they will be rewarded appropriately.
    3. His indifference was odd. I felt like his response should have had more empathy rather than just plain bluntness to it.

    Alternative Quiz Questions:
    1. What was the term for the rites of cleansing, both literal and figurative, which were necessary for those who had offended against the gods or broken some sacred rule?
    2. What could happen to an Olympian god if he misbehaved?
    3. What can 'diamones' be roughly translated as?
    4. What did the Pythagoreans exalt as the study most likely to bring salvation?
    5. Empedocles believed reincarnation came in what forms?
    6. According to Anaxagoras, the role of the mind is simply to launch what?
    7. Anaxagoras re-establishes his credentials as a latter-day member of 'physici' by doing what?
    8. Which philosopher was a practical man, unlike Anaxagoras?

    ReplyDelete
  27. section 10
    1. If you consider yourself to be above everyone else than you do not have democratic values, and probably have a skewed perception of humanity.

    2. If you are someone that believes that your mind is a collection of electrical and chemical impulses that is dependent on a functioning storage unit, the brain, then reincarnation would not be a very realistic idea if once you die your brain deteriorates and your mind shuts off so to speak.

    3.The Big Bang is a plausible idea since through several experimental tests it has been discovered that the universe is expanding from a specific source. It may not be the correct idea, but the expansion of the universe is due to some sort of force, and it is possible that it could have been due to an explosion.

    3. Until it has been proven that I am a spirit who's been exiled in an alien garment of flesh, I choose not to believe that due to my trusting in what I consider to be logical.

    4. There are monks and other people who are capable of extraordinary things do to intense training, they consider this to be a separation of their mind from their body, but what they are doing is training their blood flow and trying to train their brain as well to react to certain external stimuli in a specific way. Due to this I believe that we can train our brains to be more adaptable, but this is due to how they are hardwired.

    4. I would consider to be a mature approach of facing death. Many people when the receive the news of the death of loved one who was still young is shocking and a surreal experience. Even when the person dies of old age it can still seem strange. We know rationally that our loved ones won't live forever and may die before forever, but once it actually happens, things seem off. It's as if our brains can't truly believe that the person is gone and has to go through almost a withdrawal to readjust to how your reality actually changed too.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dalis de la Mothe12:39 PM CST

    Is there any good reason to believe in reincarnation?
    *My grandfather a very intelligent but very agnostic man once said that the root of all religion is the fear of death, and promise of some sort of life after it. While I am not as vocal about my disagreements with religion as he is I do find some truth to his words. If one fears what comes after death then that is there reason for believing in any kind of un seen force such as reincarnation. Whether this is a good enough reason is up to debate.

    ReplyDelete
  29. 10- D.Q.

    2.) I do not see there being any good reason to believe in reincarnation due to the disbelief in coming back as something else in another life based on how we live out previous life. This concept seems never ending to me on how we could keeping coming back and re-living life in a higher or lower status.

    3.) The big bang theory has been accepted and attacked by many in previous years and still years to come. I personally do not believe in the theory of how something can come from nothing, scientifically speaking.

    4.) I don't believe I am a spirit who has been exiled, again we can see the act of reincarnation in this as well as being reborn in another body living another life.

    5.) No, because everything is of matter, our minds and bodies are of one, in synch.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Discussion questions for feb 2
    1 - i think it's funny that he states such polarizing views. He wants to be a god, abut he looks at the world in a way that a humble scientist would not like he was the one who created it, or holds all the answers in his hand.
    Considering his backstory of being almost royalty, i can understand that he seemingly didn't want to give up his "life" in a way, but at the same time, he did not want to be the only one so he just said that at one time everyone was like him. He has a weird thought process in regards to how he is trying to be humble though his science, and his saying that everyone was gods at some point. But then, why would he still be a god? And not anyone else? Would he consider the people in charge of his time (the leaders and royalty) as gods ass well? Maybe that's what he is thinking, and he is out like the supreme leader in any way.

    2 - I think that the idea of reincarnation is an interesting thought. I also believe that there is a difference between knowing something, and believing in something. I guess the two could be separated by a physical representation that can be repetitively studied and quantified. You can study the physical representation of some beliefs as factual evidence, but it becomes harder to "prove" that the factual evidence leads to your personal belief. I would argue that when you are looking at religion you can actually look at that word as characteristic of many things that we do not nessesarily consider under that particular term. I would say that the tipical religions and or cultures are ways to explain the factual evidence that we study what we can observe in our world today. Considering that thought, i would venture to say that the religion of science is yet another way to explain what we observe in the world today. If we look at the history of science we find that the "reality" that this idea of science tends to explain can in fact change, and it is interesting that something that is considered so factual indeed could in fact be proven wrong.

    I say all that to say that in regards to reincarnation, if that is yet another way to explain what we see in our world then it would then fit in the category of things that one can not simply "prove".

    3 - I personally do not be believe in the creation idea of the Big Bang or the Big Crunch. I believe in an intellegent creator in whose image I believe to be created. I do not think that an accidental creation story does not naturally lead to a inspirational purpose in life for those of us living in the past, present, or future. I believe that the idea of being personally created and thought out by an intellegent creator as is stated in Jeremiah 1:5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb," is in and of itself an inspiration to how and why we should live our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  31. 10
    Alternate Quiz questions
    Who was Anaxagoras's Athenian leader friend?
    Where was Anaxagoras born?
    What did Anaxagoras oppose in general?
    What are the two distinct ideas in Empedocles' picture of perception?
    What was Empedocles' Love and Strife?
    What scientist did Empedocles' predecess with his natural selection theory?

    ReplyDelete
  32. 10-
    Discussion Questions:

    1. If everything is composed of atoms, does it follow that there is no life after death? (100)
    Yes and no. It follows, I guess, that if everything is made of atoms, even the soul, then when it's all done it's all done. However, I don't think the soul is something science can measure in atoms, therefore it doesn't seem logical to conclude that there is no life after death based on the fact that we are made up of atoms.
    2. Does atomism "liberate [us] from superstition, fear of death, and the tyranny of priests"?
    I don't think so, no. I would be terrified of death whether I believed there was nothing after death or not. The unknown is what is terrifying.
    3. If thought consists in the motion of mind-atoms, can we freely think our own thoughts? Or are we passive spectators of "our" minds?
    I'm not really sure. That question is hard to even wrap my mind around.
    4. Is it "reasonable to suppose that every sort of world crop[s] up somewhere"? (109)
    If ancient atomism were true, then yes. If our world was the world that happened to get the right combination of atoms to sustain life, its reasonable to believe there are other random worlds at different levels of sustaining life.
    5. Comment on Dawkins' "selfish gene" statement about meaning and design. (110)
    I don't agree with Dawkins. He states that because atoms randomly were able to form eventually together to create humanity, there is no need to believe in purpose or ask about the meaning of life. However, I don't see the issue in believing atoms eventually manufactured human life and yet at the same time believing in a purpose and meaning to the manufacturing.
    6. What do you think of Democritus's view of children (112)?
    He seems like a grumpy, selfish man. His statement about how teaching children is silly and indulgent hurt me.
    7. What do you think of Democritus's "preaching"? (112)
    He preached morality and virtue because he argued it made you happier. I think his idea seems plausible.
    8. By Pericles' definition, do we have a democracy? (115)
    I don't think so, no.
    9. Was Socrates a Sophist?
    I think Socrates was more concerned with philosophy, whereas Sophists were more concerned with temporal things such as power or money.
    10. Was Protagoras a relativist?
    Considering he said that man was the measure of all things, I think yes.

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  33. 10-
    Discussion questions:
    1. Is devotion to reason accurately characterized as a form of faith? How do you define faith? Is it the same as belief?
    Yes, I think so. I would define faith as believing in something, whether that be reason or science or religion.
    2. How do you personally rank the importance of making money, having a comfortable home, achieving vocational or social status, helping others, ...?
    I personally rank those all pretty high up there, if I'm being honest.
    3. Do you try to see beyond superficial qualities in friends and acquaintances, in assessing their attractiveness, or do you tend to judge by appearances? (If the latter, does that make you a shallow person?)
    At first, I normally make a snap judgment based on appearances. However, as I get to know people, my opinion or judgement of them normally totally changes. Either for better or for worse. Either way I would say I can be a shallow person, but not always and I certainly don't want to be.
    4. Must a good teacher always have some specific doctrine or factual content to teach?
    I think a good teacher asks good questions, and engages students in thinking and learning. So no.
    5. Do you think Socrates really heard the voice of an inner "guardian spirit" or daimon? Or was he talking about what we might call the voice of conscience or reason?
    I don't know! Maybe.
    6. Do you think you'd have found Socrates' arguments persuasive, if you'd been a member of his jury? (145)
    yes.
    7. Should everyone philosophize? Or are some just "called" to that vocation? How do Socrates and Plato differ on this point?
    I think everyone think for themselves, and question their beliefs, just because there is so much to question. Plato believed some people were called.
    8. Socrates says "goodness brings wealth and every other blessing"... (148) What would he say about people who achieve wealth and success by behaving badly? (Tom Brady maybe, for instance?) What would he say about our society, and those who value money-making above all? Would he agree with Wm James regarding "success"? (See sidebar quote...)
    I don't think he would categorize people who achieve temporal gains through bad means as "successful" people. I doubt he would be very pleased with our society as of now, I bet he would laugh a lot about it though.
    9. How do you rank the virtues? (152)
    1. Justice, 2. Courage, 3. Moderation, 4. wisdom, and 5. Piety.

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