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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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The older, the smarter. Is the wisdom of time a scientifically proven fact or just human prejudices?

For example, physicists, engineers, computer scientists don't care much about ancient studies and don't mind throwing away older theories and research. Yet, in philosophy and religious studies, we ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
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1 answer
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Where in Aristotle's Metaphysics is Aquinas citing his claim about "two sorts of operations"?

In the beginning of book II of Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles, Aquinas writes Now the operation of a thing is twofold, as the Philosopher teaches in 9 Metaphysics ... A footnote is provided which ...
Doubt's user avatar
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How should I pronounce words from Ancient Greek philosophy?

A somewhat unusual question here. Naturally, while reading through Ancient Greek philosophy, I've encountered many Ancient Greek words like παιδεία, οὐσία, as well as sentences like 'πάντες ἄνθρωποι ...
John Smith's user avatar
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According to Aristotle, do all substances have final causes?

I know that in order to know something, in some cases we don't necessarily need to know its final cause, because sometimes the efficient cause might be enough to give a full explanation. But I wonder ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
3 votes
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Arguments for a Socratic Daimon and Embodiment: A Dialogue between an A-pneumatic and Pneumatic: Is this coherent? [closed]

Dear all, can you help me find any inconsistencies from theory of mind, philosophy of mind and phenomenology of percetion in this dialogue? A conversation between an a-pneumatic and a pneumatic: A-...
Wolves' Shepherd.'s user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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On Plato's Transmigration of Souls

In Plato's theory of transmigration of souls, do some souls ever make it to a place of eternal bliss or get remanded to a place of eternal punishment?
DDS's user avatar
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What are the main elements of Stoicism? [duplicate]

My question is this: What are the main elements of Stoicism? As a secondary question, it would also be nice to know how Epicureanism compares to or contrasts with Stoicism. Primary source material ...
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Where does Plato discuss "having" and "possessing"?

I'm looking for textual references in Plato's dialogues where he discusses the difference between having and possessing with respect to actuality and potentiality. I would be grateful if anybody could ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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Seeking Guidance for Reading Aristotle's Metaphysics

I've recently embarked on a journey to explore Aristotle's Metaphysics, but I must admit, I'm finding it quite challenging to grasp. As a newcomer to Aristotle's works, I wonder if there's a guide or ...
Bryan C's user avatar
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1 answer
122 views

When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body, or does it make the body as perfect as possible?

I would be grateful if you could answer the question above. When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body or does it make the body perfect [or should I say that as perfect as the body ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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1 answer
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Understanding Aristotle's argument of simultaneously and sequentially actualisable potential infinities in response to Atomism

I am reading a book about Aristotle. Aristotle lays out a potential argument against infinite divisibility by the Atomists, that infinite division would leave components of zero-magnitude which could ...
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Are there any arguments that show the genus-species distinction does not work?

I would be grateful if someone tried to answer the question above. What are some arguments that show that genus-species relation does not correctly describe the world, that it is not a correct ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
223 views

Preferred Translation of Plato's *Laws*?

I have been delving deeper into Greek philosophy lately, and I must say, I am quite fond of C.D.C Reeve's translations. His interpretations of various philosophical texts have always resonated with me....
cricket900's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
100 views

What does it mean to be a principle?

I would be grateful if you could direct me to relevant passages in Aristotle where I can read more about the nature of "principle." Not exacty about the principle of non-contradiction but ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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3 answers
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How did ancient Greeks connect transcendence and rational approach to one gender(male)?

It seems to me as a modern human difficult to connect logic (may say rational approach), material world and something that stays beyond this reality (may say emotional or religious approach), ...
chicly's user avatar
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Why is knowledge knowledge of explanations?

I am reading Aristotle. He seems to me to believe that knowledge is knowledge of explanations (causes - aitiai). But what ground is there for this belief? I cannot formulate a reason for this. I would ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
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Why did Pythagoras prohibit eating beans?

The legend says the Pythagoreans never ate beans because they contained the spirits of dead people. My maths teacher told me this was known because a bean and an embryo are about the same size and ...
Daron's user avatar
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History of creatio ex Nihilo

In the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, it is claimed that Before Philo there was no explicit theory of creation ex nihilo ever postulated in Jewish or Greek traditions. Is this correct? Were ...
kutschkem's user avatar
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Euthyphro's Dilemma

I'm current reading one of the first of plato's dialogues, Euthyphro, concerning piety. At one point in their conversation, Euthyphro proposes to Socrates the following definition, I) What all of the ...
ArielK's user avatar
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1 answer
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Where can I find Boethius' commentary on the Isagoge?

I've read and heard many times over about Boethius' commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge, that it's an interesting text about the problem of the universals and that it was very popular in the Middle Ages. ...
rmdmc89's user avatar
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What does Plato mean by kingly arts?

In Euthydemus, Plato says that "the politician’s art and the kingly art were the same" (ἔδοξε γὰρ δὴ ἡμῖν ἡ πολιτική καὶ ἡ βασιλική τέχνη ἡ αὐτὴ εἶναι, 291 c 4–5). I have difficulty ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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Is the temperance resulting from the socratic maxim "know thyself" always about knowing others?

I was just thinking about what good 'know thyself' means. There is something arguably narcissistic and unnecessary - or at least self absorbed - about examining your life just to know your own flaws ...
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3 votes
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Gnosis vs. Episteme - Is there a change over time periods in Ancient Greek Philosophy?

"Episteme" is the word of choice in Plato, generally (although there are a few instances of "Gnosis" here and there) By contrast, "Gnosis" is far more frequent among ...
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What is the distinction between Ancient Philosophy and Religion?

I'm currently reading Pierre Hadot book What is "Ancient Philosophy?" (Qu'est-ce que la philosophie antique?) and as I reach the third part of the book i can't stop thinking about, how ...
ArielK's user avatar
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What does Aristotle think about the relation between blindness, knowledge and memory?

I’m trying to understand Aristotle’s views on blindness, as given in these passages: "just as the blind remember better, being released from having their faculty of memory engaged with objects ...
Micheal's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
133 views

Where can I learn more about Ancient Egyptian philosophy?

So far, I've read the Ancient Egyptian philosophy article on wiki. Are there other sources where I can learn about this arcane and hazy subject?
november's user avatar
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6 votes
8 answers
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Does a philosophy scholar in the modern world need to study ancient philosophy?

I am a philosophy enthusiast and I study philosophy on my own. I wanted to know whether a philosophy scholar in the modern world needs to study the ancient philosophical ideas, such as those by ...
MMD's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can anyone find this Menander fragment in the original Greek?

I remember when studying ancient Greek many years ago, I was memorizing Menander monostichoi, and there was one that I now want to make a little postcard of, but can't remember exactly what the ...
Dayv87's user avatar
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0 answers
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What did the ancient philosophers think of crystals? [closed]

Does anyone have any quotes by ancient philosophers on what they thought crystals were made of?
Lauratoyos's user avatar
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1 answer
387 views

Are there visual symbols from ancient Greece that symbolize infinity?

I thought meander ornaments symbolize infinity, but I can't find any citable evidence of this. Are there any other visual symbols that are originally from ancient Greece?
Anna_B's user avatar
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What do Ancient philosophers mean by matter?

For example Stoics thought that Pneuma pervades all matter. There are several definitions of matter but I think the most reasonable is the one based on Elementary fermions. But in the ancient times ...
ArAj's user avatar
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How do we know which dialogues Plato didn't write?

I understand that there are dialogues of Plato for which the authorship is contested, with some more than others. How are the dialogues determined to be spurious? Is it a different process for ...
dfish's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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No treatise by Plato exists or ever existed

In Plato's second epistle appears the following line: For this reason I myself have never yet written anything on these subjects, and no treatise by Plato exists or will exist, but those which now ...
dfish's user avatar
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1 vote
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According to Aristotle, how many unmoved movers are there in the universe?

In On The Heavens, Aristotle described there are multiple unmoved movers in different celestial spheres as the final causes of celestial movements, however, in the Physics, Aristotle concluded there ...
user30303's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Did alchemy originate from the ancient Greeks?

Did alchemy originate from the ancient Greeks? I heard alchemy is based on ancient Greek philosophy. Is this true?
Sargon Torchrise's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
285 views

Is Thales's claim that everything starts with water/wetness, in ontological meaning, in agreement with his claim that: "Everything is full of gods"?

Thales claimed water as his arche, but Aristotle says that he also said that "Everything is full of gods". Are those two claims in agreement?
Nikola Perović's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
307 views

Who first said that he who cannot govern himself cannot govern others?

What philosopher said that he who cannot govern himself cannot govern others? I heard that Foucault said something similar, but surely Aristotle or even King Solomon may have said something similar.
Geremia's user avatar
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1 answer
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I am looking for a parable that tells about a tyrant and an honest poor man

Brief paraphrase: In a certain city there lived a tyrant and a poor man, the tyrant did not know about his tyranny and believed that he was doing the right thing, the poor man saw the tyrant's ...
kirogasa's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is known of Anaximander's reasoning behind his belief that the Earth floated?

Anaximander was the first philosopher (at least that I know of) to argue that the Earth floated in space without support and without being enveloped by the cosmic ocean. I have heard his reasoning for ...
tom894's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does the Platonic triad originate with Plato?

A Platonic triad of Good, True, and Beautiful is something I run into online and in popular philosophy books. For example: https://catholicgnosis.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-platonic-triad/ It's been ...
StudentQuestions's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
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Number of causes in Porphyry

Aristotle proposed a well known and much studied doctrine of Four causes. Seneca the Younger in the first years of the new era wrote that his quintam Plato adicit exemplar, quam ipse idean vocat (as ...
sand1's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where in Aristotle's Topics did he say there's no exact/clear way to distinguish two concepts?

I've heard that Aristotle supposed in his Topics that there's no exact/clear way to distinguish two concepts. What exactly did he say?
Daniel's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why did Aristotle claim we can't wish our friends be gods?

Aristotle asks at the close of Book VIII, Chapter 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics: Can one wish their friend the highest good, namely, to be a god? He seems to provide several reasons to think not. First, ...
John Beverley's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
258 views

Academic consensus on Egypt as origins/impetus of Ancient Greek philosophy

My question concerns the controversial thesis about Ancient Egypt being the origin or cause of Ancient Greek Philosophy. I understand that the pendulum has swung on this issue several times - my ...
tibaq's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Plato Symposium - Is Socrates's Response to Agathon Warranted?

I'm reading Plato's symposium and I had a question about the section 199b - 201c where Socrates responds to Agathon. This comes after Agathon's speech, but before Socrates tells the tale of Diotima. ...
Mikey G's user avatar
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Original Text Sources for 2 Aristotle ideas - 1/ nous on nous , 2/ sprial of knowledge - which texts did Aristotle first mention these in?

I am trying to track down the first mention original sources of some ideas of Aristotle in philosophy that some philosophy professors made in some university lectures. The first idea is 1/ Nous on ...
Anti-Tao's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
82 views

What is the most internally-consistent theory of forms?

I'm trying to construct a fictional reality out of the Socratic-era (ideally) theories of Forms, but every philosopher's attempt seems to have at least one fatal flaw (and most of them several big ...
Carduus's user avatar
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0 answers
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According to Plato, can there be forms for a certain class of particulars?

In the beginning of Parmenides, Plato seems to think that most, or possibly all, particulars do not have corresponding forms; but he is not very explicit about why. My question is, does it not make ...
Joa's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Apart from Religious content, what philosophical doctrines can be found in the Bible?

today i read the Eclesiastes, and found it quite alike of Stoicism, so i wondered, since the bible is just a compilation of books that are not necessarily related, i wanted to know what other ...
Favio Villaseñor's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
307 views

The concept of nature in the Greek philosophy

My question is: Is it possible to point to a development in the concept of "nature" in the period between pre-Socratic philosophers and Aristotle (inclusive)? Thank you very much.
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