Class Notes (806,431)
Canada (492,249)
CLAS 201 (70)
Lecture 10

Lecture 10.docx

19 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Waterloo
Classical Studies
CLAS 201
Nicholas Maes

CLAS 201 Lecture 10 NotesReview from Last ClassThe Greeks were exceptional and phenomenal for many reasonsone of which is the philosophical system that they forced upon the worldWhen we speak of Greek philosophy we are talking about a systematic inquiryinto the nature of the world around us and a systematic inquiry into the ethical norms that guide our livesScholars appreciate Greek philosophy for its methodology and the questions are askedoSome of these questions ironically are one that are answered in a way that means moving forward 3 steps and then moving 2 steps back essentially making the journey to the answer arduousoThis is particularly true with Aristotle In speaking of philosophy the Milesian are the first to attempt to find the arche which isthe absolute foundations of this physical world they did not want to hear that god was the reason for the universeThey want to find the essentially physical underpinning of the universe oThales suggests that the arche is wateroAnaximenes suggests it is airoAnaximander suggests that it is a tantalizing substance called to apeiron meaning the infiniteAs well there are the atomists Democritus and Leucippus who come up with the idea that there are small indivisible particles that lie at the heart of the physical universeIt is not god that has created the universe or brought all of this into being but you can look at the physical trappings of the universe and that will give you insight into its composition and natureThere are people like Xenophanes who realize that different populations each will consider god in their own respective fashion and gods appearance varies accordingly oHe says they cannot all be rightoGod must be unchanginghe is not human he does not come into being or fade away the mythologies of these different populations were all wrongoGod is one he did not mean this in the monotheist tradition rather he meant it is an unchanging quantity and always thereoHe founded a school called the Eleatic SchoolAt the end of the physical philosopher the ones trying to find the elusive arche there are two branches of philosophyoThe first is Heraclitus who says that sense are absolutely essential when it comes to understand the nature of the universe but you tamper the senses with you own logos meaning reasonthis enables you to understand the world is in a constant state of flux panta rei all is changingHe said that logos enables you to understand the balance and harmony that is present so that reality is as it isAll philosophers say that we are not surrounded by chaos there is order as kosmos suggests the world is a structured oneOur senses is looking for the balancing point between opposite forces and quantities it is logos that enables us to determine how the world is constituted in a world of constant changelogos is the answeroThis is opposed to Parmenides who argues you have to push all physical reality to all of what your senses tell you to one side because that is not reality in the strict sense of the wordThis is not reality because when we talk about reality we are talking about something that is if something is it could not be at one time and then can be at another time it has to be all the timeit did not come into being and it will not fade away it is permanent and unchangingIt is completely consistent allenduring thus true reality is consist of a sphere moving off in all directions with the same density and infinite in extentThis idea is supported by Zenos paradoxesIn these paradoxes he shows that motion is impossible and if there is no motion there is no change and thus Parmenides is correct and reality is as he describesThey say that they have mundane lives but true reality consists of this unchanging model outline by ParmenidesThere is tension between the two schools of Greek philosophy the Heraclitans and Parmenidians because each is so different and there is no room for compromiseAnother school emerges and the sophists onto the scene understanding that the Greek did not have a system of formal education they are itinerant teachersoThey would come to the different cities and stay for several weeksoThey would teach anyone for a fee typically only rich people would use this serviceoTypically they would teach one how to speak they would teach literature and history and most importantly how to persuade a population and think on their feet Being able to persuade a population is so sought after because as cities having a democratic component it means people want to know how to speak in such a way so that they can actually persuade a population in one direction as opposed to another The sophists felt in the end any argument that puts you in a position of influence is a good argument they would say everything is relativeoAll that you see around you are conventions nomos and not nature physis they are there because we make it that way and want it to be that wayoThe sophists believe that conventions allow ones to construe realityoIn Protagorass words man is the measure of all things of things of the way that they are and of the way they are notThere is no general definition of justice piety truth nobility etc because the clever manipulator of arguments and words humans determines what they things areIf the critical mass believes him and his definition then that it what the definition is
More Less

Related notes for CLAS 201

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.