Philosophies of Sophie's World
Berkeley Signature Edition/March 1996
The Garden of Eden-pg 2
Sophie is introduced to two questions she has not really thought about, but is very important questions to philosophers. She realizes that these questions are really important but most people take these questions for granted. When we are little children, we are easily amazed by many things that older people see as bland since they are used to it. Philosophers are like children that never grew up because these things still amazes them.
Before people had actual solutions to natural phenomena, they make up stories that try to explain this. One very common story is that the world was created by God. The philosophers in Greece were one of the first to question these stories while also looking for more reasonable answers. Philosophical questions are not easily answered by mere stories, but by carefully studying them.
Natural Philosophers-pg 31
Parmenides said that the world doesn't change; it is just that our senses tell us that it has changed. Since our senses can trick us, we must only trust our reason. Heraclites' idea was the complete opposite, he said that our senses are what tells us everything about the world and that the world is changing. Empedocles' came up with the idea of four basic substances that can settle the debate over reason over senses.
Philosophy applies to everything that we do in our lives. Scientists today still depend on the philosophies of the ancient Greeks. Science is really similar to philosophies since they both try to explain things relating to the world.
The ancient Greeks believed in fate. Fate is where your life is predetermined. Philosophers that questioned fate were historians Herodotus and Thucydides and a doctor named Hippocrates. They tried to come up with more natural solutions to why things happen throughout a person's life.
Plato's teacher Socrates studied morals and human interactions while Plato himself was more into unifying the theories of the natural world and humanity. Philosopher's added their ides to ides of philosophers before them.
He showed us that you can come up with new ides by studying older ideas. He believed in sense over reason and came up with the idea of causality. We must not stop studying the ideas of philosophers just because they come up with a few that we don not agree with, like Aristotle's view towards women.
Centuries after Aristotle, ideas in religion started to mix with those of philosophers. Cynics believed that material goods do not lead to happiness in a person's life. Stoics thought that everyone was governed by a universal law. Plotinus, a Neo-Platonist, believed that the world is divided up into light, the One, and darkness. He thinks that there is light in everyone's soul, therefore we are all a part of the One.
Two Cultures-pg 151
Most of the people in Europe and India believed that there is more than one God and that the most important of our senses was sight. The Semitic culture, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, believed in only one God.
The Middle Ages-pg 167
St. Augustine bought Plato's teachings to Christianity and united the teachings of the Greeks and the Jews. He wrote a book called City of God which said that salvation is only achieved through the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas bought Aristotle's ideas to Christianity and tried to show that reason does not conflict with faith.
This is the period where Europe came out of the dark ages and culture finally began to prosper. People started to believe that God was present throughout nature. Science also began to flourish such as Newton's laws of physics.
The Baroque-pg 218
During this period, philosophy was either characterized as idealism or materialism.
He did not believe in old philosophical ideas so he...
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