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Lecture 1

PHILOS 25A Lecture 1: Intro

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Corcilius Klaus

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8/28/15 ← Understanding the universe: Milesians and Pythagoras ← ← Before philosophy ← Hesiod Theogony vss. 116ff ← “These things declare to me from the beginning, you Muses who dwell in the house of Olympus, and tell me which of them first came to be…” ← Argues by appeal to authority ← Muses told him how things are – you better believe this man! He has direct contact with higher beings. You just have to accept it. ← Narrative that lacks any logic that would make it intelligible; a sequence of events. ← The mythical and imminent go together. ← ← There is something about philosophy called “transparency”. How are you going to argue something? ← ← Presocratic Philosophy ← The history of philosophy is not only a history of answers to philosophical questions, it is also a history of the discovery of how to put philosophical questions. ← The first philosophers (as far as we know) started with a limited set of philosophical questions. ← How do we know about these philosophers? Textbooks! ← How did we get these textbooks? Some people wrote philosophers’ data down. ← Sources: ← Herman Diels / Walter Kranz ← The Presocratic Philosophers ← A collection of fragments. A fragments and B fragments. ← A fragments – testimonies about the philosopher ← B fragments – original pronouncements or quotations of the philosopher ← ← Professor is going to give us a narrative that makes philosophy a discourse. Each philosopher is simply a response to the previous. How is each philosopher coming at a later time allowed to say what they’re saying, given what came before them? ← ← The Milesians ← From Mile in eastern Greece ← Their question: ← “What is the origin (arkhé) of things?” ← What is the arkhé of the cosmos? ← “cosmos” – well-ordered, therefore beautiful; adorned; The cosmos is alive. ← the order of the whole ← Where does the order of the universe come from? ← “Arkhé” – political rule, origin, archaic, etc. ← something important. ← The Milesian Philosophers – the first ones who identified this question. ←
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