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Questions tagged [ancient-philosophy]

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

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Are there any ancient Greek philosophers with a 'complete' philosophy that never made it to prime time?

There are at least a couple-dozen Greek Philosophers (in my estimation) whose ideas were both popular and comprehensive enough that they were taught throughout antiquity. Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato,...
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Where can I access or purchase Aristotelis Opera (edited by Immanuel Bekker)?

I have been trying to find the following as I am very interested in reading Aristotle in the original Greek: Aristotle. Aristotelis opera. Edited by Immanuel Bekker, Christian August Brandis, and ...
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Aristotle's use of predicate [duplicate]

I'm currently reading categories, and I'm struggling with how Aristotle uses the word predicate in its various forms. From what I can determine, he's not using "predicate" in reference to the form of ...
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For Aristotle, how and why does friction generate heat?

I'm still a bit new to Aristotle, so this question may be imperfect: In Meteorology, Aristotle uses friction to explain how the sun generates heat. Although it's composed of aether, and not fire, ...
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Is there any evidence that Nietzsche read anything by Zarathustra?

Here are two verses of Zarathustra from his Gathas published in the The Hymns of Zoroaster: A New Translation of the Most Ancient Sacred Texts of Iran by M. L. West: 40.10 And that reward, ...
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Random Emergence

In De Caelo 300b, Aristotle introduces the idea of the random emergence of the natural: "it is possible that with this disorderly motion some of the elements might have unified in those combinations ...
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Allegory of the cave and Forms?

In my philosophy class, the professor told us about the allegory of the cave and how it relates to the Forms. From what I understood, regular people only see shadows of the Forms; but by doing ...
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What sort of philosophy does this come into?

Okay so I'm going to have a very hard time trying to convey what I want to because I myself am unsure on how to frame this question. Is there any philosophical branch that deals with 'binarial' ...
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Does the concept of Axis Mundi imply the idea of a symmetric universe?

In the mythologies of many cultures the universe is thought to have a center ( i do not mean the geographical concretisations which are obviously not accurate, i mean the philosophical conception ) ...
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Did Ancient Greeks believed that only God can give Agape Love, the unconditional love for everyone?

Ancient Greeks defined love as 6 different types. Eros, Philia, Ludus, Agape, Pragma, Philautia. Agape love is Unconditional Love. Can God only give Agape Love, the unconditional love for everyone? ...
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Did Plato really use the concept of “God” or only of “gods”? [duplicate]

In medieval philosophy texts, it seems that Plato is presented as having the concept of "eternal light" if not of "God" - I'm taking, very indirectly, from this SEP entry: The problem of universals in ...
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How similar were Epicureans and Stoics to Buddhism on suffering?

One of the main goals of the Buddhist philosophy/religion is to be free of suffering. Buddhism identifies ego, desire, non acceptance of impermanence, ignorance and all negative emotions(because the ...
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Which ancient Greeks are known to have commentated on Zeno's Paradoxes?

The Stanford Encycl. of Philosophy mentions that we know of Zeno's work only through various secondary sources, "principally through Aristotle and his commentators." I was wondering, which other ...
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Which works of Plato and Aristotle (Ancient Greek if there is more worth it) should I read to get a context to study Continental Rationalism?

I'm trying to get a better ground to get into Continental Rationalism between Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, etc. I read on the Plato Encyclopedia of Philosophy that Plato and Aristotle influenced them, ...
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How does one understand the second and third triad in Hegels Logic?

The first dialectical triad in Hegels Logic and put in a mathematical form is Being + Nothing = Becoming Although a strange sum, I find this understandable. His second dialectical triad takes the ...
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Do wholes tell us what the parts are?

According to one reading of the atomic hypothesis it is parts that are fundamental and they tell us what wholes are, and in fact, what wholes are possible. For example: A tree is made up of roots, ...
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Dasein and know thyself

Socrates famously asked the question 'know thyself'. When I first read of this it impressed me. It seemed like an important question. What could be more important than knowing your own self? It ...
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Is there an ur-philosophy behind the philosophy of Pythagoras and Lao Tze Tung?

Chapter forty-two of the Dao De Jing has the following: The Dao engenders One One engenders Two Two engenders Three And Three engenders the many myriad things This looks rather ...
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Some similarity of Leibniz and Anaxagoras

As early as 1666 Leibniz was able to compose "A Conjecture Why It Seems That Anaxagoras Could Have Said That Snow Is Black" (A II, 1, 4-5). Later, as a librarian, he became extraordinarily well read ...
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What is the meaning of the quote from Anaxogoras? “even those who have occasion for a lamp supply it with oil.”

According to Plutarch, When Pericles heard that Anaxagoras was starving himself, Pericles approached Anaxagoras begging him to stop starving himself since if Anaxagoras were to die,Pericles will lose ...
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The clay theory of the universe

The Aristotelian notion of hylomorphism involves the form/matter duality where the matter in question is not the atomist conception we learn in physics, but a kind of primordial clay that all forms ...
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According to Aristotle, can knowledge of geometry exist outside of particular subjects?

In the Categories, Aristotle gives the example of Socrates' knowledge of grammar for something that is 'present in' a subject, i.e. inseparable from it. That makes sense to me: if Socrates dies, his ...
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Why does Philo skip Genesis 1?

In Νόμων Ἱερῶν Ἀλληγορίαι, (Legum Allegoriæ), Stoic Philosopher Philo of Alexandria sets out to make an allegorical commentary on Genesis 2-3. Why does Philo choose to pick up with chapter 2 instead ...
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Marsilio Ficino' commentary on the Symposium on Love guidance

Is Marsilio Ficino's commentary on the Symposium on Love a good book to read alongside the Symposium for someone who is reading the Platonic dialogue? Does it give a good understanding of the ...
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Why is it true that anything that changes must be divisible according to Aristotle?

Aristotle states in Physics 6:4: Further, everything that changes must be divisible. For since every change is from something to something, and when a thing is at the goal of its change it is ...
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Does Aristotle think universals are identical to particulars?

In this passage: (Physics 189a7-9) For that which is universal is more easily known in the former way, since accounts are of what is universal, and that which is particular in the latter, since ...
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What does Timaeus mean in this saying?

The proportion perfectly achieves this goal. For, when three numbers, three masses or three forces whatever, the mean is to the last what the first is to the mean and to the first what the last is to ...
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How did the philosophy of Ancient Greece influence Ancient Rome?

Mostly, I'm curious about the lasting impacts of classical philosophy, but in the name of brevity and specifics I'll confine my question to the influence classical Greek philosophy had on the next ...
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Why cannot matter be infinitely divisible according to Plato?

Why cannot matter be infinitely divisible, according to Plato? Thanks in advance!
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Can somebody please give me good tips about how to write a high quality philosophy essay? [duplicate]

I am quite well read, and I understand the philosophy papers I read quite well. But I am a very sloppy writer. Whatever I write comes back with commentaries degrading my papers. What should I do to ...
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Did Greek philosophers know about Eastern philosophies?

Were the philosophers of Ancient Greece aware of Eastern Philosophies, such as Zoroastrianism or Buddhism? Is there any mention of them, either directly, or similar concepts in existing writings?
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Why does Leonardo da Vinci make the following claim?

In Excursus 6, in Agamben's book Language & Death he excerpts the following quotations from da Vinci's notebooks (Cod. Arundel. f.131r): Among the magnitude of things around us, the being of ...
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What are some contemporary debates regarding Plato's & Aristotle's writings?

What are some major contemporary issues in Plato and Aristotle scholarship in recent years?
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Must everything in time be subject to time?

Take Lucretian atoms, are they subject to time? For how they arrange themselves, when they move and collide; they are subject to time; but this is in relation to other atoms, or to the place they ...
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What was ancient Philosophy written on/with?

What did ancient philosophers, like Plato, use to write their works on/with, physically? (Tree bark, animal skin, types of writing utensils, etc)
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What Epictetus meant in “Enchiridon” XLVI?

In Enchiridon ch. XLVI Epictetus wrote: If any conversation should arise among uninstructed persons about any theorem, generally be silent [...] And when a man shall say to you, that you know ...
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What developments prompted Cliffords picture of spacetime?

In 1870, Clifford, the English mathematician and sometime philosopher wrote the following in his book, On the Space theory of Matter; I hold as a fact: That small portions of space are in ...
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Is “the mind” in Phaedo the same as “Nous” in Neoplatonic philosophy?

Phaedo 97c speaks about Anaxagoras that he says "that it is the mind that arranges and causes all things. I was pleased with this theory of cause, and it seemed to me to be somehow right that the mind ...
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Was Socrates a monotheist?

I know my question seems weird, but in Plato's books Apology, Crito, and Phaedo (and probably in other books since I read only these 3 and I am in the middle of the third one) when Socrates want to ...
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Is there a theory of time consistent with Heraclitus?

Heraclitus is recorded as saying: Upon those who step into the same river, different and again different waters flow (Arius Didymus, Dox. Gr.) It is not possible to step twice into the same ...
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Is the noumena, in a sense apeiron?

Consider Anaximanders apeiron, the indeterminate in the context of Platos theory of Forms; a form, an idea makes the indeterminate determinate in some particular way (In Anaximanders system - rotation ...
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Were there any prominent philosophers / philosophies pre-Ancient Greece?

Do most modern ways of thinking which stem back to ancient times originate in Greece, or have any important ideas come from before that time? What, if any, was the role of the philosopher in pre-...
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What Did Plotinus Mean by Contemplation?

Plotinus' philosophy is intriguing, but his use of contemplation stumps me. In particular, he speaks of non-humans (even non-living things IIRC) contemplating. So what does he mean by contemplation? ...
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Factors causing entelechia not to realize

Is there a term in Aristotle's work for the factors that cause entelechia not to realize? Does he address these somewhere? I mean, bodies work in certain energeia and can be interrupted from ...
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Can a priori principles be applied to deduce 'Principal Bundles' as principles in Modern Physics?

Kant supplied a priori arguments for Newtonian Physics in his Metaphysics of Natural Science Has something similar been done for Modern Physics; which in its geometrical intepretation are concieved ...
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Why doesn't Parmenides argument hold for fields - or does it?

The SEP points out For Descartes argued in his 1644 Principles of Philosophy (see Book II) that the essence of matter was extension (i.e., size and shape) because any other attribute of bodies ...
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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 ...