Athenian Philosophyin Ancient Greece
[1] Greek Philosophy dates as far back as 6th century BC with the Presocratic ("before Socrates") philosophers and is extremely intrinsic to modern day philosophy. This segment of the Ancient Greece wiki will explore the inner-workings of famous Greek philosophers during the age of Socrates.
external image SOCRATES.GIF[2] external image plato.gif[3] external image aristotle.jpg[4] external image 300px-Raphael_School_of_Athens.jpg[5]


Socrates
external image socrates.jpg[6]
[7] "I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing."
- Socrates

Socrates is perhaps Greece's most well known ancient philosophers. [8] He is credited for starting a new era of philosophy called the Athenian Socrates from 469 - 399 BC. [9] Socrates was the son of a sculptor and a midwife and was born in Athens, which became Greece's cultural center for philosophy. [10] Socrates developed an innovative technique for developing beliefs and ideas called the Socratic Method. Socrates would relentlessly question his students and those who opposed him on a string of topics, particularly on the virtues such as justice and courage, in order to develop a proper definition of the virtues. Most often; however, this technique more or less exposed the ignorance of people who thought they had a good understanding of their unfaltering beliefs.
[11] The Socratic Method invoked four techniques: Socratic Irony, Definition, Analysis, and Generalizations.

  • Socratic Irony: Socrates acted as if nothing had an answer. By acting ignorant of a subject, Socrates hoped to obtain a truth out of the answers others gave him.
  • Definition: The first question usually involved defining the subject.
  • Analysis: All questions had to be dissected and defined.
  • Generalizations: Once every aspect of the concept was covered, Socrates and his students used reason to reach a conclusion.

[12] Socrates had a wide array of followers, friends and students due to his charisma, worldly intelligence, and likable personality. One of his most popular students was Plato. Socrates is believed to have never written any of his philosophies or teaching styles on paper, and it is due to Plato that we know what Socrates was all about.
[13] Socrates was not incredibly involved in politics since he believed that he should "be free from ambition." Socrates was; though, was tried and sentenced to death for corruption of the youth. His philosophy more or less denounced the gods of Athens and introduced new ones to his students. Because Socrates died for his beliefs, he became a martyr to his students. Many of his students thought him to be a hero, and passed that down to their students. Even today Socrates is viewed as a respectable historical figure, and through the works of Plato, lives on for all of eternity.


[14] Check out this Socrates Encyclopedia Channel YouTube videofor more information on the life and death of Socrates!
[15] Did You Know....?
  • Socrates served in the Athenian army during the war with Sparta

  • Socrates married to 19 year old Xanthippe when he was 40 years old. His wife was known for having an ill temper.

  • When it came to his philosophy, Socrates was known for his devotion to ethics, rationalism, and for believing that the more knowledge one acquired, the more happiness one had.

  • Socrates was served poisoned hemlock when he was sentenced to die at age 70.

  • Socrates believed the best government involved a leader who exhibited the qualities of knowledge, ability, and virtue. He did not support democracy or tyranny.

  • Socrates believed a man became educated when he knew himself.



Plato

external image Plato_Raphael.jpg[16]
[17] "And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul."- Plato

[18] Plato was a philosopher born in 429 BC. He was a student of Socrates and is most notably known for his literary works and for being the founder of the "Academy."
[19] Plato's background is fairly uncertain, as the few accounts historians have come from a man named Diogenes, who apparently was known for gossip. Historians can confirm; however, that Plato had a total of four siblings and came from a wealthy and politically involved family.
In Plato's writing, it is very evident that he was inspired by Socrates. [20] Plato was also influenced, though, by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Pythagoreans. It is because of Plato's writings that we know so much about the acclaimed Socrates, yet, Plato also developed his own philosophies and discussed them in other popular works, including The Republic. [21] All of Plato's works (25 dialogues including The Republic) are still in existence today.
Plato is known for using dialogues in his writing, where he uses characters to dispel theories.[22] Plato's philosophy introduced to the public the idea of the Forms, which states that the world we see with our senses is an illusion of a much greater world called the Forms. "Platonic love," which claims that humans aim to attain the highest Form of beauty. He viewed love as a sort of motivation used to accomplish goals and somewhat discouraged physical affection of love because he believed it lead to nothing but trouble.

[23] Plato spent the last 13 years of his life at the school he founded ithe Academy, where he died a peaceful death.


Check out this Encyclopedia Channel video for more info on Plato and his philosophy!


[24] Did You Know....?

  • Plato's real name isn't actually Plato! Plato's actual name is Aristocles, but because of either the breadth of his shoulders or the way he spoke, a professor nicknamed him Plato (for platos, or, "broad"). (IEP)

  • Plato was a student of Socrates until his fated death in 399 BC.


  • When Plato died, Speusippus, his nephew, became the leader of the Acamdemy, which would stay open for several more centuries after the matter.


  • Plato was born in Athens


  • Plato wrote a parable about the ancient city of Atlantis


  • The word "academic" comes from Plato's Academy.


  • The Academy got its name based off of where it was located, which was between a sacred grove of trees that belonged to Academus, a Greek hero. (IEP)





Aristotle

external image aristotle.jpg[25]
[26] "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."- Aristotle

[27] Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) was one of Plato's most important followers. He was born in Chalcidice and attended Plato's academy. Rather than explain things using Forms, as Plato did, Aristotle sought to expose truths based off of facts that we learn through experience.[28] Philosophy was a science to Aristotle and was a tool to discover the purpose of everything in our world.
[29] Aristotle was the author other of many works that could be categorized into three categories: "early philosophical works, collections of historical and scientific facts, and philosophically based scientific treatises." [30] He wrote about his philosophies under the name of Organon and with that, set a basis that stated human understanding was in correlation with knowledge of the universe.
[31] Aristotle was the first of the philosophers to classify human knowledge into certain categories, such as mathematics, biology, and and ethics - areas of study that are taught today. Aristotle is also known as the "father of logic" and is responsible for the creation of a formalized reasoning system. Aristotle argued that the validity of any argument can be determined based on its structure and not on its content. An example of this theory is can be found in his syllogism:
All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.
As long as the initial arguments are fact, the conclusions follows through. [32] Aristotle also believed that a moral person garnered virtues through reasoning, which supports the fact that Aristotle used the power of reasoning and the scientific method as the backbone to his philosophy.
[33] Like Plato, Aristotle also opened up a school called the Lyceum.
[34] In 322 BC, Aristotle died due to stomach pains in Chalcis, where during his last year of living, he moved to in order to escape Athens and the prosecution that was placed upon him, basically for being Macedonian after the kingdom of Alexander the Great was overthrown after the late king's death.



[35] Check out this YouTube video for a basic explanation of one of Aristotle's most famous theories - Virtue Ethics.


[36] Did You Know...?
  • Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great

  • Aristotle became a teacher at Plato's Academy

  • Aristotle was born into an aristocratic family

  • Only a little of Aristotle's works remain today

  • Aristotle's father was the physician of the King of Macedon



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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTCS5-SAVIE
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