Topics: Aristotle, Plato, Socrates Pages: 6 (2143 words) Published: January 22, 2013
Philosophy Study Notes – Greek Philosophers
-The earliest Greek philosophers are sometimes called NATURAL PHILOSOPHERS because they were mainly concerned with the natural world and it’s processes -Pythagoras (570 B.C), Heraclitus (500 B.C), Empedocles (490 B.C.), Zeno (490 B.C.), Parmenides (470 B.C.), Democritus (460 B.C.) = Pre-Socratic -All the earliest philosophers shared the belief that there had to be a certain basic substance at the root of all change Pythagoras

-Basic Beliefs:
He held the soul to be immortal
Transmigration of the soul
Past events repeat themselves in a cyclical process
One must regard all living things as kindred
-Condemned carnavorism as unethical because he believed that the soul transmigrated into all living creatures -He stated that eating animals is the same as eating people -“You are what you eat”

-The first Western philosopher to go beyond physical theory in search of metaphysical foundations and moral applications -He observed the world as being in continual strife and chaos -Proposed that as long as the world moved according to set measures and proportions, it would go on -The only enduring realities are the recurring patterns of change itself (example: seasons) -The world is characterized by opposites – you must experience a low, to experience a high (example: you will never appreciate the value of food, unless you have starved) -CHANGE IS A FUNDAMENTAL REALITY

-Nature is constant in the state of change
-“Everything flows”
-Without a constant interplay of opposites (good vs. bad), the world would cease to exist Parmenides
-“Nothing can come from nothing”
-Held that change is an illusion and that the universe, in reality, is an unchanging object -If something changes, it must change into something that did not exist before •Something must come into being from non-being but non-being does not exist, therefore, NOTHING CAN COME FROM NON-BEING... MEANING CHANGE DOES NOT EXIST -Believed that everything that exists has always existed

-Change is an ILLUSION
-We are REAL because we came from something; even if we are dead, we are still something, therefore, we never change (the soul still lives) HeraclitusParmenides
-Everything changes (all things flow)-Nothing can change
-Sensory perceptions are reliable-Sensory perceptions must be unreliable

-Was a student of Parmenides
-Defended Parmenides teaching that the world is static and unmoving -First to use an argument style known as “reduction ad absurdum” meaning, you start off with hearing your opponents ideas, and reducing them to meaningless or obscurity -Examples of Paradoxes:

Half distance (Paradox of Movement): To get from one place to another, you must move half the distance, meaning that overall, you will never reach your end distance •Arrow (Paradox of Movement): Things do not move, they exist where they are -Comes from Parmenides idea that “change is an illusion” -Famous for his paradoxes

-Could not accept that change was unreal, but did not completely deny Parmenides thoughts on change -He believed that things change, but on a fundamental level, things stay relatively the same, in terms of their build -He argues that objects as wholes begin to be and cease to be, but they are composed of material particles and these particles are indestructible and unchanging -Believed in the notion of the four basic elements: fire, water, earth, and air -“The fundamental particles of matter are unchanging. There are elements that do not change. They do not become different kinds of things, they only conglomerate. A conglomeration is a whole, and we simply give that whole the name SUBSTANCE. There is not real substance, there are just 4 kinds of matter, and particles of that matter conglomerate to form what seems to be one distinct kind of thing.” -There is only a “mingling and interchange of what has been mingled” -This is called REDUCTIONISM...
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