Greek Society

Topics: Logic, Plato, Reasoning Pages: 3 (631 words) Published: September 18, 2014
What changes did the Greek emphasis on reasoning bring to their views of nature and society?

 Greeks broke with the mythopoeic outlook and started to view the physical world and human activities through reasoning and logical thinking. What changes did it make to nature and society?

-Emphasis on reason marks a turning point for human civilization

A) Philosophy
-Marks the beginning of scientific thought, had an awareness of cause and effect, exploring the natural phenomena, principles of universe. -Traditional mythical explanations are dismissed.
-eg. Earthquakes commonly held belief that it was caused by Poseidon, god of the sea, was offered with a logical explanation on how the earth floated on water. Discovered water as an element and rainbows certainly was not the goddess Iris. -Parmenides’ concept of unchanging reality apprehended by thought alone influenced Plato and is the foundation of metaphysics- the branch of philosophy that attempts to define ultimate reality, or Being. -Democritus from Greek mainland renewed the Ionians’ concern with the world of matter and reaffirmed their confidence in knowledge derived from sense perfection- and the senses indicated that change did occur in nature. -model of universe: empty space and an infinite number of atoms- a world of colliding atoms- everything behaved according to mechanical principles.

Therefore MAIN CONCEPTS essential to scientific thought thus emerged in embryonic form with Greek philosophers: 1) Natural explanations for physical occurrences (Ionians)
2) The mathematical order of nature (Pythagoras)
3) Logical proof (Parmenides)
4) Mechanical structure of the universe (Democritus)

-with all these logical reasoning and ways of knowing, greek philosophers pushed thought in a new direction. This approached allowed critical analysis of theories, whereas myths, accepted unconditionally on faith and authority, did not promote discussion and questioning. -made possible theoretical thinking...
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