Ancient philosophy consists, at least in the west, of the work by philosophers before around ~480 CE.

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What social class was Socrates from?

Its well known that Plato was from the aritocratic elite of Athenian society. In his writings Socrates figure as his pre-eminent philosophical spokesperson. There is a adage, which might be a truism ...
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Aristoi vs. Hoi Polloi - Was it a genuine division created by Heraclitus or was it somehow misinterpreted?(and its implications)

When I was looking for information about the novel The Collector, there was a paragraph on the writer's intention of writing about a division supposedly proposed by ancient Greek philosopher ...
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Why is Nietzsche so against Socrates?

Nietzsche recalls the story that Socrates says that 'he has been a long time sick', meaning that life itself is a sickness; Nietszche accuses him of being a sick man, a man against the instincts of ...
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Can Euclid's Elements be used to rigorously prove 2+2=4?

It is possible to formally prove that 2+2=4 using Peano's five axioms for the natural numbers and elementary set theory (actually a long and tedious process). Is it possible to prove it based on the ...
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Chrysippus and Strict Implicature

In A History of Ancient Philosophy, Karsten Friis Johansen claims that Chrysippus offers a theory of truth for conditionals that is a version of strict implicature and intensional semantics. However, ...
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Who were the major innovators of new types of syllogisms?

Who were the major innovators of new kinds of syllogisms (i.e. introduced disjunctive syllogisms, etc) in the ancient and medieval periods aside from Aristotle, Theophrastus, the Stoics, and ...
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Did Thales really argue this?

Neil deGrasse Tyson in “Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still” (Cosmos) says something to the following effect. The ancient Greek philosopher Thales argued that natural events such as weather patterns ...
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Element Earth in ancient Greece

Assuming that it is somehow clear what the ancient Greeks saw in their mind's eye when they talked about the elements (substances) Air, Water and Fire, I wonder what they had in mind when they talked ...
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Does entelechy have a contrary?

As I understand it, entelechy is a term that is associated with Aristotle who used it in the sense of the actualisation or complete realisation of an entity's potential. As far as we know, was ...
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What is the difference between Epicurean sense-perception and Qualia?

In the SEP, on its discussion of ancient theories of the soul, they say: Epicurus is an atomist, and in accordance with his atomism he takes the soul, like everything else that there is except for ...
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In what sense are a brown horse and a dark ox “three together”?

Confuzius started the fight against the sophists back then. After his death other sophists like Kung-sun Lung came and stated things like: "The shadow of a flying bird doesn't move." Ok, this ...
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Is there a pantheistic religion built by Xenophanes?

In my philosophical overview book its said that Xenophanes was the first to criticize the greek polytheism. He concluded that there can only be one god. My book also says that this god is omnipresent ...
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Hellenistic schools of philosophy as therapies

Martha C. Nussbaum argues in The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics that all three major Hellenistic schools (Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skeptics) shared a practical, ...
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What properties can Void have?

Parmenides suggested that void being the lack of being cannot be and cannot be theorised, from his On Nature: Come now, I will tell thee - and do thou hearken to my saying and carry it away - the ...
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136 views

Are Irrational numbers 'Irrational'?

The usual story I've heard is that Numbers were held in great esteem by the Pythagoreans, that the discovery of numbers that were not ratios were held to be contra reason and thus irrational, as ...
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If Parmenides denied the reality of void, would he then have affirmed the reality of space?

Lucretious, in his poem de rerum natura had atoms moving through the void. It seems at least from a modern perspective that his void is what we would call space. The interesting question, which I ...
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Was Newtons corpuscular theory of light influenced by that of Democritus?

Democritus theory of perception hypothesised that eidola were atom-thin images of an object carried into the eye. Of course Newton was a prominent defender of a corpuscular theory of light, as first ...
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How does democritus account for eidola in terms of his atomic theory, if in fact he does?

Eidola, is the peeling away of images from an object that then enters the eye in Democritus theory of optics. However given his atomic theory, it seems puzzlng that he doesn't attempt to explain sight ...
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In greek philosophy, what is the difference between “gnosis” and “episteme”?

In greek philosophy, Plato especially, what is the difference between "gnosis" and "episteme" ? Both apparently designate different types of knowledge, but I couldn't find any precise description of ...
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206 views

Why did the Stoics believe that both children & animals have no emotions?

In the preface to the 2nd edition of The fragility of goodness, Martha Nussbaum writes: In order to be adequate, the Stoic theory needs three major sorts of modifications. First it needs a ...
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Is Oedipus Rex as an encounter of reason with myth?

I'm interested in alternate readings of Oedipus Rex, as opposed to the orthodox modern position embedded in Philosophy since Freud. I've noticed, that the wikipedia entry on Sophocles treatment of ...
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What is the most credible picture of Plato's Academy in Plato's time?

I assume there actually was an Academy set up by Plato and not taken over by him and made famous. In the paintings I've seen of it - admittedly done in the Renaissance -, it looks rather grand, like ...
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Why were books of philosophy available in the orchestra in Platos time?

This isn't a philosophical question per se; but asking for some clarifying background information on a classic book of philosophy. In Platos dialogue Apologia Socrates mentions that Anaxagoras books ...
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Has the early part of Platos Timaeus been used as evidence for establishing the origins of philosophy?

Although admitting that there was a long-running debate on the origins of Philosophy, Diogenes Laertius asserts that Philosophy began with the Greeks. This can mean only that the debate centred around ...
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Who was the Greek philosopher that created a punctuation mark meaning “or so it seems to me at the moment”?

In high school I read about an ancient Greek philosopher who developed a punctuation mark that signified "or so it seems to me at the moment." This made it easy for this philosopher to qualify his ...
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How many Philosophers are known of during Greek Antiquity? [closed]

Will counting the number of philosophers in Diogenes Laertius's treatise be enough to give me a rough estimate?
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What was the importance of the Liars Paradox in Stoic Logic?

Chrysippus, an influential stoic philosopher wrote 21 books (chapters) in 12 works on the Liars Paradox. This implies that this paradox was of some importance to their epistomology and logic. Why?
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To what extent did the Presocratics borrow from neighbouring Babylonian & Egyptian cultures?

The IEP entry on Anaximander has: The astronomy of neighboring peoples, such as the Babylonians and the Egyptians, consists mainly of observations...In contrast, there exists only one report of an ...
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Is Parmenides a Dualist?

It's commonly understood that Parmenides denied the reality of change. That the world we perceive is an illusion. But is Parmenides better understood as the SEP indicates: Both Plato and ...
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Translation of a greek word in Stoic thought

I'm reading this article on Ariston of Chios. On the 9th page of the article Schofield uses " ἡγεμονιχόν", stating that the "What Ariston had noticed was that, although committed to a plurality of ...
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What triggered the philosophical movement in the ancient West?

The history of civilization in the West (i.e. Europe) goes back many thousands of years. Since well before 1000 BC there have been people living in what is now Turkey, Greece, and even Italy, in such ...
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Formal treatments for Stoic Logic

Philosophers such as Susanne Bobzien have provided work that provides a basis for axiomatising Stoic logic, however, the treatments I have seen focus on exposition of ancient works, with little ...
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Why did Epicureanism become “the main opponent” of Stoicism?

I was reading about Epicureanism on Wikipedia, and there I saw that, apparently, Epicureanism was in conflict with Stoicism and Platonism. I then read up on those two philosophies, and well, they do ...
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How do Neoplatonic interpretations differ from original Platonic ideas?

The Wikipedia entry on Neoplatonism says: Neoplatonists would have considered themselves simply Platonists, and the modern distinction is due to the perception that their philosophy contained ...
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96 views

Are there philosophical principles that made convincing in antiquity that the Earth was a sphere?

According to Wikipedia, there is no account of how the sphericity of the Earth was established. Though it goes on to say 'A plausible explanation is that it was "the experience of travellers that ...
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Does Plato see the tyranny as final?

Plato's Republic famously describes the decay of the regimes, a process by which a society decays from the best regime, that of aristocracy, to the lowest, that of tyranny. However, the purpose of ...
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Was Socrates a fictional character invented by Plato?

I have read a lot of websites that suggest Socrates was a fictional character created by Plato (albeit without the citation of any corroborating evidence), but I have also read the opposite (and by ...
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Is Aristotle's “Poetics” the first work of literary criticism?

Is it accurate to characterize Aristotle's Poetics as the first work of literary criticism, or does something earlier than this survive—fragmented or otherwise? Poetics goes through what a work of ...
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Are there many links from ancient philosophers to quantum mechanics? [closed]

After doing some research on Heraclitus, I noticed that a few of his views are very compatible with quantum mechanics. For example, he is paraphrased as writing: Into the same river we both step ...
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Is virtue necessary to achieve eudaimonia?

Stoics believe that virtue (ἀρετή) is necessary and sufficient to achieve happiness (εὐδαιμονία). It was the "sufficient" portion that marked Stoics out from other ancient philosophy, but I suspect ...