June 4, 2013
The Influence on Western Civilization
By Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Civilization is a state of human society that that has a high level of intellectual, social, and cultural development. Civilization was not developed in this civilization, or the previous century, but hundreds of years ago by the philosophies of Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. These philosophers lived and established concepts that greatly affected Western Civilization in the years 469 – 399 BC.
Socrates was the first person who went against the beliefs of the times. He was mostly concerned with ethics. His beliefs are important to ethics today because he thought a person should act morally whether or not they were advanced by any situation in life. His ideas and philosophies were a threat to the government of the times and he was sentenced to death. Socrates stated “the unexamined life is not worthy to be lived by a man” (2). He thought that human thinking should achieve the knowledge and independence of thought to understand different world views. Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato all held the philosophy that learning is truth.
Plato and Aristotle had to meet the criticisms of their times because they were aiming at a knowledge that was reserved for the gods. The replied to their critics that they were “lovers of wisdom”(2).
Plato and Socrates were friends and Socrates’s execution greatly influenced Plato’s philosophies. He based his theories on the belief that moral virtues are universal and absolute. He was the first to believe that we had a spirit and a body and the two were separate. Plato is the basic source for much of the philosophy of Christianity in the Western World.
Aristotle was a student of Plato. Aristotle liked to teach and give lectures. He believed in common sense and self-control. He felt strongly that man should use their minds and think about what was best for the larger number of people...
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