Socrates & Plato
Socrates (469 – 399BC)
- Turned philosophy away from theory about nature towards ethics & anthropology
- Philosophy : Not the acceptance of doctrine, but a way of life
- Had many students, comprises from philosophers, politician, but he refuse to accept payment for his teaching
- He also denied that he was a teacher
- Among his famous students – Plato, Xenophanes, Aristotle
- Famous quote
“One thing only I know, and that is, I know nothing”
- Served once as a soldier during Peloponesian War (Between Greek and Persian)
- Was married
- Wife: Xantippe (“red horse”)
- 3 children
- Completely indifferent to wealth and luxury
- Was executed for introducing strange gods (denied traditional gods of Greek) and also for corrupting the youths.
- Wrote nothing, taught only via orally.
- Sources of his teaching
- Plato’s Dialog – Main character is Socrates
- Xenophanes’s Socratic Works
- Moral leading being who tried to understand himself
- Essence in a human : soul
- Main aim of soul – recognition of good
- Give answer to the question “Why human made bad actions?”
- Human didn’t know the good was
- If human knew about good, he would never made bad actions
- Achievements of good is the main aim of human
- “Good” is characterized by
- Good physical health & body forces – promotes to moral life
- Spiritual health, mental abilities, soul abilities
- Science & arts necessary for happy life
- Friendship between free citizens
- State of the city
- Distinguish 3 main virtues
- Self control
- Work out the method of teaching
- The master impacts no information, but asks a sequence of question through answering, the student will come to the true knowledge.
- Dialectic – “Art of Conversation”
Pluto (429 – 347BC)
- Greatest western philosopher
- Born in Athens, in a very rich, noble aristocratic family
- The 1st great systematic philosopher of the west
- Meet Socrates was the turning point in his life
- Became a passionate lover of wisdom
- Famous quote:
“I thank god that I was born Greek & not Barbarian, free man & not slave, man & not woman, but above all, I was born in the age of Socrates”
- Strong fighter, had twice won the sports game.
- After the death of Socrates, he traveled a lot and communicated with lots of famous scientists, philosophers, politician of his period.
- When he returned to Athens, he founded his own philosophy school – Academia (“academ”: Greek mythological hero)
- Academia: 1st institution of general higher education in the west.
- Wrote dramatic dialogs – Often use Socrates as the main character.
- All his dialogs is preserved
- Has 3 periods of writing:
- “Hippias Major”
- “Hippias Minor”
- He was deeply impressed by philosophical idea of:
- Like Pythagoras, he believe in immortality of soul & theory of reincarnation
- He also was interested in mathematical use by Pythagoras
- Like Heraclitus, he wrote about constant flux of all sensitive things.
- He tried to explain ethics & social life by using Socratic’s Philosophy
- Create the system of objective idealism
- Distinguish 2 worlds:
- Ideal Forms (Primary)
- Material Sensitive Pains (Secondary)
- Distinguish 2 worlds:
Theory of Forms
- Forms – Ideal Real: Beauty, Justice, Equality etc
- Prefer to discuss forms corresponding to virtues, moral values or mathematical concepts such as equality.
- They may be formed corresponding to all of most general terms (window, mat, bed etc)
- Example: “bed” – katil
- Many beds exists – single, double, queen size, etc
- There is something shared between all beds that makes them ‘beds’.
- That something is X
- X is relation of an ideal Bed (form of Bed)
- X exists only in human mind
- X (Bed) is the only real bed.
- Concrete visible beds are only shadow of imperfect copy of the form of ideal Bed.
- Independent, real, divine, invisible, unchangeable
- Ideal model for all concrete visible things/material
- Object of true knowledge are eternal & unchangeable.
- Plato distinguished between knowledge (episteme) & opinions (doxa)
- Knowledge: Mental state of the man whose thought recognizes a Beauty in itself (ideal form of Beauty)
- Opinion: The man who believes in beautiful things (not Beauty itself)
- Plato distinguished some level of knowledge:
- Highest: Rational intuition – directive thoughts that forms themselves
- Second: Understanding – directive thoughts of mathematical concepts/numbers
- Last: Opinion/Belief – knowledge of physical objects (is shadow of ideal forms, therefore lowest rank)
- We must have direct contact with the ideal forms when our souls were out of the body.
- We must have forgotten them at new birth, only to reconnect them later.
- All learning of general truth is the process of reconnection.
- Human can’t live alone
- Many advantages in cooperation & communal living
- Make sense to divide works according to different people’s skills.
- 3 main social classes
- Knows about ideal forms
- Therefore must be the philosophers
- Have political power, ability to make all important decisions
- Help the rulers
- Provide defense against threat from outside
- Well, workers must work. That’s all they do.
- He elaborated analogy between social structure & individual soul.
- Reasonable part of an individual à Rulers
- Spiritual part of an individual à Soldiers
- Desire part of an individual à Workers
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