Questions tagged [greeks]

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14 votes
7 answers
3k views

Are there any books about postmodernism being like sophism?

I still find myself relatively often surprised by how much of the spectrum of philosophic thought was already covered at the times of ancient Greece or ancient China (think Axial Age or think ...
Drux's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
574 views

Plato books for a philosophy newcomer

I watched a funny philosophy crash course on youtube, and I'm very curious about Plato. As a beginner, where should I start? Original work? Other author's books about his philosophy?
Alex Alonso's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
824 views

Did a lot of Greek philosophers believe lying is impossible?

As I understand it, Parmenides and Heraclitus were two pre-Socratic Greek philosophers whose views could not be farther apart. Parmenides believed that all change is illusory, and that there is just ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

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
  • 934
7 votes
2 answers
798 views

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?
Arif Burhan's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
844 views

Can I get more background on quote from Democritus?

The quote from philosopher Democritus is: [I would] rather discover one cause than gain the kingdom of Persia. or I would rather discover a single demonstration [in geometry] than become king ...
Perf Lar's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
250 views

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,...
Carduus's user avatar
  • 353
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there any Ancient Greek philosopher that we know came from an underprivileged background?

I heard the claim that Ancient Greek philosophers were generally rich guys who had too much free time on their hands and hence engaged in philosophy, while most people at the time lived very difficult ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
439 views

What did the Greeks call the "trial and error" reasoning process?

What did the Greeks call the "trial and error" reasoning process? Bruce Aune's review of Wilson's Peirce's Empiricism: Its Roots and Its Originality claims "The name 'empirici' is in fact traceable ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 7,974
5 votes
1 answer
322 views

Book recommendation for Diogenes of Sinope

I'm curious what guys have to say when I ask of a book recommendation which surrounds Diogenes of Sinope. He seems to be a truly mystical character, but there has to be a canonical representation of ...
Dominic Serpico's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
199 views

Evolution of Logos [closed]

I asked this question in linguistics but I don't know if you have a better idea So this term has had a lot of impact religiously and philosophically, yet I still do not understand why logos as ...
Lina Jane's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
113 views

Synthesis of Aristotle and Plato

I would like to know if there are any systematic and comprehensive texts on synthesising Aristotle and Plato (mainly that come from a Neoplatonism stand point since I know this joining of the two ...
Morgan's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Pandora's Box: Is hope evil? [closed]

I know, most questions here are more sophisticated, but this question sparked in my mind some time ago: Is hope a bad thing? The reason I got to this idea is that I had a hard time with lots of ...
miep's user avatar
  • 161
4 votes
2 answers
399 views

What does this excerpt from Plato's Republic mean?

This excerpt is from Book II, concerning Plato's reasoning for censoring a certain story of Hesiod's: The doings of Cronus, and the sufferings which in turn his son inflicted upon him, even if they ...
Judicaël's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
92 views

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 ...
Asker's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
1 answer
134 views

Is there a word in philosophical Greek with the meaning of "certainty" (e.g. as in Wittgenstein's "On Certainty")

It seems to me that in certain cases, the meaning of ἀλήθεια is closer to "certainty" than to "truth". Also γιγνώσκω / γίγνομαι may in certain cases mean "to be/to become ...
fi11222's user avatar
  • 173
4 votes
1 answer
238 views

Is there an “algorithm” philosophy? Perhaps between relativism and pragmatism?

I’m looking for philosophy that has the agent as central in characterizing knowledge, but is not as relative as relativism as knowledge will come from algorithms, and before pragmatism. I don’t think ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,666
4 votes
2 answers
924 views

Did any Greek or Roman philosopher(s) say that "opposites attract"?

I know that Plato formulated the law, "like attracts like", using the Greek word philia for attraction. This is mentioned somewhere in the Republic, and is easy to verify with a Google search. But ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 239
4 votes
1 answer
112 views

Reference - Heidegger on Hölderlin's translations?

Surely Heidegger was well aware of the enormous power of Hölderlin's translations, especially of Sophocles' tragedies. Did Heidegger write something about this facet of Hölderlin?
tttbase's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
3 answers
379 views

Morality of infanticide

The Spartans had a tradition of discarding infants that were physically weak or deformed. When I was younger, I thought this practice is cruel and absolutely immoral. But nowadays I'm not so sure. In ...
Daniel Li's user avatar
  • 358
3 votes
2 answers
230 views

What did Nietzsche mean when he said "There is an enormous strain and distance between envy and friendship, between self-contempt and pride"?

In the book The Dawn of Day, Aphorism 69, Nietzsche said Inimitable.—There is an enormous strain and distance between envy and friendship, between self-contempt and pride: the Greek lived in the ...
Josh W.'s user avatar
  • 379
3 votes
1 answer
148 views

Why did Parmenides rely on a fantastic fable to explain a sensitive-refusing theory?

There's one point in Parmenides' philosophy where he distinguishes between the 'Way of the Truth' and the 'Way of the Doxa' in a poem called On Nature. In said manuscript, the philosopher states the ...
xvlaze's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
0 answers
98 views

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 ...
fi11222's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
0 answers
118 views

What tends to be the opinion on Heidegger's analysis of Greek philosophy?

What tends to be the opinion on Heidegger's analysis of Greek philosophy? What do experts in the (classical) history of philosophy make of his statements about ancient Greek philosophy?
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Did Hindu thought exercise a strong influence upon the minds of early Western thinkers?

This is an excerpt form Swami Prabhavananda's The Spiritual Heritage of India (1962) The Philonic and Johannean conceptions of the Logos may conceivably owe no debt to Indian thought, for the ...
Drux's user avatar
  • 1,664
2 votes
4 answers
673 views

Why are theories of Greek philosophers so ineffectual?

The philosophy of science is to explain many natural phenomena with simple and least number of axioms(=hypothesis). As Albert Einstein writes in his book, The Evolution of Physics at page number 56: ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
9k views

Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? Are Gods subject to forms, in the sense that they are good because they are subject to the form of good, or are they independent of the forms? Because I ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
967 views

What influence did Socrates and Plato have on ancient Greece?

We know that Socrates and Plato are two of the most influential Greek philosophers in current Western society. But what influence did they have in the Greece of their time and subsequent centuries? ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
  • 1,460
2 votes
1 answer
276 views

Which Greek Philosopher talked about most men falling in between good and evil?

I am doing an assignment and I am looking to quote a Greek philosopher who said that some men are evil and some men are good but most fall in between good and evil. I don't know if it was Socrates, ...
Poor Stink's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
63 views

Where to learn about Gorgias' theory on truth and language?

The IEP writes in the article about Gorgias: In recent years, however, modernists and post-structuralists have found great value in the philosophy of Gorgias, especially his theories on truth and ...
viuser's user avatar
  • 4,761
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Did it take till the likes of Lakoff and the 20th-21st century to have truly direct naturalized reasons for logic and math?

I’m finding George Lakoff and cohorts unique (but maybe that’s my lack of looking enough) in that they seem among the first to posit a direct, naturalized account of logic and mathematics, as ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,666
2 votes
1 answer
248 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
  • 37
2 votes
1 answer
200 views

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 ...
Jake DeVries's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Nietzsche's birth of tragedy

In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche describes a Dionysian satyr as a force that impregnates an Apollonian world of images giving rise to dialogue on the Hellenic stage and henceforth the Greek ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
64 views

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
  • 47
2 votes
3 answers
135 views

Parmenides and deductions about existence

I am beginner in philosophy and have some problem following this paragraph: "From the premise that something exists (“It is”), Parmenides deduces that it cannot also not exist (“It is not”), as ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
302 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.
fic fic's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are beautiful things difficult?

As you may already know, the dialogue Hippias Major ends with the following asseveration by Socrates: So, I think, Hippias, that I have been benefited by conversation with both of you, for I think ...
José Hdz. Stgo.'s user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
698 views

Aristotle's explanation of change

I am a bit confused as to how Aristotle accounts for change (accidental and substantial). I seem to understand the idea of a substance being the compound of material and form to some degree, but how ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 377
2 votes
1 answer
72 views

Does Epictetus State "Only One Cause Motivates Us", Or "One Cause More than Others"?

1. Question: From Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11, (Perseus English Link): Is Epictetus implying there is only ever just one cause for our actions? Or, is Epictetus arguing there is one cause which ...
elika kohen's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
142 views

What does the "the same thinking thing in men" fragment of Parmenides's poem mean?

This is Fragment 16 of Parmenides's poem in full: In fact as each man governs a mixture of organs subject to errors, so a mind governs men; in fact the same thinking thing in men, both in ...
Monist's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
91 views

What is a simplistic definition of Boethius' Consolation with Philosophy?

The specific extract is where he asks Lady Philosophy about the correlation of omniscience and free will having a coherent existence together. I know the extract well, but I struggle to define it ...
Lady Philosophy's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
367 views

From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
Daniel Li's user avatar
  • 358
1 vote
3 answers
274 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
166 views

Who said, "a parliament with no opposition should be dissolved"?

I've found a reference in a Jewish text from the mid-19th century to a "gentile sage" (an expression usually referring to a Greek philosopher, but it could be any non-Jewish person really) who said ...
Zarka's user avatar
  • 79
1 vote
2 answers
80 views

Was there any philosopher named Lexiphagoras?

I am reading this book: There's A Word For It! and the author Charles Harrington Elster claims that a particular excerpt was written by an ancient Greek philosopher Lexiphagoras of Alphasia. I did ...
Ubi.B's user avatar
  • 320
1 vote
1 answer
337 views

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 ...
Lor Dan's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

What does sensible images being "not material but spatial" mean in Plato's theory?

I'm reading W. T. Jones' "A History of Western Philosophy Vol 1: The Classical Mind". In page 152 there is a passage that says (in explaining Plato's theory of Physics): It is also ...
Censi LI's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
1 answer
138 views

Socratic thought on Greek deities as metaphor

"To be a master of metaphor," Aristotle wrote in his Poetics, "is the greatest thing by far." Not, as we know from Plato, to be "used" as a form of rhetoric (which, as far as I know, he and the ...
martin's user avatar
  • 687
1 vote
2 answers
115 views

Is Socrates' wisdom intrinsically valuable?

I don't mean specifically felicity etc. at philosophy, but whether a state of ambivalence toward death, while alive, can be intrinsically valuable because of some knowledge or wisdom that ambivalence ...
user avatar