Philosophy #1 Pre-Socratic

I've completed my first lecture and seminar for Philosophy and I feel I have a greater understanding as to why it is valuable to learn as a journalist. The significance of the philosopher’s existence and there actions speculates the way we think today. When I first looked at bulky copy of ’Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy' I felt slightly lost, being that I had no previous studies of Philosophy. But who says a new start can not be hopeful? After leaving my seminar I can say I actually enjoyed discussing the significance of Greek Philosophers.

Greek Civilisation 
The Greeks supplied us with Art and literature, they invented mathematics, science and philosophy, architecture for example the domed roof structures.
To sum things up in an egg shell without the Greeks and Romans our perception of the world may be completely different.
Philosophy seems to begin with Thales. He was a scientist and mathematician. His theory was that all things on the universe were made of water. However his ideas were not put onto paper and were forgotten. His theory was controversial at the time as people believed that there were 'many Gods', whereas his theory did not account a God being linked to have the world was created. Thales is more famously known for predicting a solar eclipse in 585BC.

Pre-Socratic Thinkers…
Bertrand Russell interprets Anaximander's theories as an assertion of the necessity of an appropriate balance between earth, fire, and water. Anaximander disagreed with Thales that the world was made purely from water. His theory was that all elements make the earth. He stated the cold and wet formed condensed to form Earth. The heat and dryness caused the moon, stars and sun. Aristotle criticised him as his explanation of ' the boundless' was not clear.

Pythagoras tried to understand the nature of things through mathematics and geometry. He discovered that musical scales could be explained through mathematics and that you can link this to the form of the universe. He even had his own followers called Pythagoreans, as though he had his own religion he made claims such as ' we should not eat beans'.

Heraclitus he had a pessimistic view of human nature, that life is maintain between opposites. Unlike Pythagoras who believed in harmony. "No man ever steps in the same river twice" 

Socrates was the teacher of Aristotle. Due to his love of philosophy he began to live in poverty. He was the smartest of philosophers but due to not believing in religion he was sentenced for impiety. But he was not scared of dying and chose to kill himself by drinking hemlock, a poison.
I believe he did this because he did what to lower himself to the people who were sentencing him to death. He chose to do it out of his own good as he believed people should not fear death. By letting them kill him he would have become one of them.

Plato was the best student of Socrates. The ultimate knowledge is the form of the good. And rather learning through knowledge we had an innate knowledge of the forms. He believed we all the knowledge but we choose to learn through experiences therefore we are just are shadow of the form, like stuck in a cave. But philosophers see the light of the good form.
When reading this in Bertrand Russell’s book I felt confused what this 'good form' actually meant. But this links directly to Christianity and it may be where the idea came from. The good form is like heavenly place.

Aristotle argued with Plato as his theory was that we learn through experiences. He believed that if with can't see of touch something that it does not exist. Aristotle’s views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance.

Understanding and discussing these philosophers has made me respect all of their theories.
Put simply Philosophers are powerful people with a lot to say.

1 comment:

  1. Plato's theory of 'the forms' is one of the fundamental ideas in philosophy. You might have an idea of what a chair should look like, and I might have a slightly different idea. But there is a perfect chair, which would be the pure form of a chair. All actual chairs are just defective versions of the pure form of a chair. It is the same with beauty in art, especially in sculpture - so the statues of greek gods and godesses are the perfect forms of men and women - why one person appears to be more beautiful than another is because they are a closer approximation to the perfect form. Forms do not however exist in the realm of mortal perception. Thus as humans we only ever see the shaddows of the perfect form on the wall of the cave.

    This idea is central to 'Platonic' idealism in philosophy. Christianity is considered to be 'neo-Platonism' by Bertran Russell, because the real on the eternal, perfect forms is similar to teh Xtain idea of heaven, and God as the most perfect and all encompassing of all forms.

    By the way your purely academic studies (HCJ) are not strictly speaking directly relevant to journalism training. They do help in various ways and when there are direct connections we draw them out (this mainly in year two - but we have 'early journalism' coming up soon). The HCJ element is designed to give a good and very broad general education (important for journalists to have excellent general knowledge across all high and low culture) and also the HCJ is there to help you grow in your analytical capabilities (mind gym), Well that's the theory anyhow.