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CLA203 Lecture 5Thursday.docx

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Jonathan Tracy

CLA203 Lecture 5 Thursday, October 10, 2013 Midterm: -short answer -supply name or tern in response to given definition or identification -list of names will be posted on portal -multiple choice -main scientific theories -long answer -choice of 3 passages (Lucretius, other authors down to and including Aristotle) -choose 1, identify author and title then discuss the passage’s significance for history of science and/or for the relationship between the science and literature -complete list of authors and texts will be posted on Blackboard -no essay structure needed, but do write in full sentences -try to connect/contrast chosen passage to other passages and ideas -sample answer will be posted on Blackboard Lecture: -Plato had an insistence on the importance of mathematical relations in the organization of the universe -‘geometry of the elements’ -Pre-Socratics only put the idea of elements out there, didn’t look at the differences between them -Atomists never went into mathematical or geometric detail -Plato’s idea of all things being composed of regular solids -triangles come together to form all elements -earth is a cube because it is so solid -why are there 4 elements -Timaeus 31b-32c -you need fire to be able to see anything and you need earth to have any kind of life -make coherent bonds between these different elements through mathematics -solids (3D objects) always need 2 connecting terms -this is the necessary glue to hold together the universe in Plato’s opinion -4 elements because this is how many terms are needed to make each proportional to the other -mathematicization of the elements -period table th 4 Century Astronomy: -Platonic Background th -sets 4 c. astronomers the problem of explaining how the array of movements we see in the sky in term of mathematical rules that we can comprehend -Planet problem -fixed stars that move in an irregular pattern vs. the sun that moves in a regular fashion across the Zodiac -assumption that earth doesn’t move is reasonable -based on their observations -assumption that humans are the centre of the universe -sense that the entire universe has been designed precisely for human beings -stars revolve in circular motion therefore all planetary bodies must do the same -reasonable -circles are perfect, so are spheres -spend time trying to make circular movements for all, unreasonable Eudoxus of Cnidus: -first great ancient Greek astronomer, also pioneer of ancient geometry -ca. 390-340 BCE -associate of Plato -studied in Egypt (solar calendar?) -had access to Babylonian records -Eudoxan System -earth still the centre -number of different speheres of movement Heraclides: -earth rotates around axis once daily from West to East -Venus and Mercury orbit the sun not earth -had weird patterns of movement so this was a way to explain their movements -neither idea was accepted in antiquity Lucretius on Purpose of Science: -Plato the purpose of science is worship, to elevate the mind -escape of the perceptual world, purify soul -fundamental purpose of science is to be comfortably locked away to think in quiet, free of danger -Epicurean Commandment -to ensure that they appreciate what nature demands -heal ourselves of unnatural feelings to enjoy this material world -Goal 1: Removal of Unnatural Desire (Book 2) -don’t need any of the pantheon of Roman luxuries, only the simple pleasures afforded by nature -in order to be able to enjoy nature you must have knowledge of nature -cannot enjoy nature if you are concerned with pursuit of wealth, political goals or wars -Goal 2: Removal of Unnecessary Fear (Book 3) -wouldn’t dream of trying to rival Epicurus, only wishes to follow his way of life -massively religious reverence for Epicurus -maxims of Epicureanism didn’t change or develop much over time -his followers did not build upon his work, they simply accepted what he said as fully true then re-taught that to new students -convey core body of ideas that has been passed down -denial of scientific progress -Goal of Book 3 -shows that Hades does not need to be feared -Atomic theory st -writes during 1 c. BCE, time of much conflict and evil -because people fear death this makes people crave security (root of all greed for wealth, political ambition), more security of the world around you -leads to horrible crime, civil war, even suicicde -only Epicurean science can heal this sickness -only through correct understanding of nature can we have inner peace and be able to live at peace with one another -remove fear of death by demonstrating soul as mortal -our soul dies when we do therefore we must not fear Hell -in order to prove the mortality of the soul Lucretius must prove the corporeality of the mind -must refute mind/body Dualism of Anaxagoras, Plato and most other ancient thinkers -much of Book 3 is committed to doing this -compare On the Sacred Disease -mind is part of the human being, just as the hands and feet are -body is physical tangible entity so how could the mind control the body unless it was also a physical tangible entity -mind suffers with the body Proofs of Mental Mortality: -mind seems to grow up with the body, ages with it -children’s minds and bodies are both weak -when the body matures so does the mind -when our body becomes frail in old age so does our mind -so when the body dies and decomposes, as does our mind -body is prone to disease and harsh pain so is our mind -grief, anxiety and fear -there are mental diseases -the mind can experience sickness -the mind can be poisoned with alcohol and other poisons -mind is seriously affected by wine, it’s a poison of the mind -if the mind can be poisoned then the mind can be killed -proof of epilepsy, a disease of the mind -if a mind can get sick enough to cause all the horrors of a epileptic seizure -proof of psychiatry -a sick mind can be restored to health by medicine, just as the body can be -shows the mind is mortal -believes in innate characteristic in different beasts -lots of heat in the souls of lions which they cannot control, explains their violent nature -biological basis for character traits in animals -applies this logic to humans
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