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PHIL 1361 Reading Notes for all classes

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Western University
Philosophy 1020

Reading 1 Notes Pages 316Thales He left no writingsDiscovered ways of navigationHe opened up a new area of thoughtis classified as the First PhilosopherQuestions he asked What is everything made of or what kind of stuff goes into the composition of thingsThere are many different kinds of things earth cloudsoceans From time to time some of these things change into something elseyet they still resemble each other in certain ways AnaximanderA pupil of ThalesSaid basic stuff is neither water or any other specific elementSomething but not sure whatvague Anaximenes Disagreed with Anaximander Said all things come from air Introduced an important new idea that difference in quality are caused by differences in quantity Real Significance of all 3 for the first time they raised the question about the ultimate nature of thingsmade the first direct inquiry into what nature really consists ofPythagoras Believed all things consisted of numbersHad an interest in must They considered music as therapeutic for certain nervous disordersmainly dyslexiaDiscovered that musical intervals between the notes could be expressed numerically They built numbers out of individual units using pebbles to count ex 1 pebble was a single pebble as you add more they start to form linesshapes Discovered a relation between arithmeticgeometryThey saw that pebbles made linesshapesall things are made up of linesshapes therefor all things are numbersHeraclitus the problem of change His idea all things are in flux ex You cant step in the same river twice fresh water is always flowing upon youHe related this to all thingsHe described change as unity in diversityArgued that fire changesfire behaves in such a way as to suggest how the process of change operatesFire needs to be fedits always giving off something ashes heat etc Reason as the Universal Law the process of change is not a haphazard movement but the product of gods universe reason The process stays the same over time but material changes Calls fire one godAll people share this universal law to the degree that they possess firegod in their own waysReading 2 Notes The SophistsSocratesPage 2640SophistsSocrates shifted philosophy concerns to the study of humansThey started asking questions related to good behaviour Asked ethical scientific questionsAsked if it was possible to discover universal truth The SophistsSocrates debated Could there be a universal concept of goodness if people were incapable of knowing any universal truthThe Sophists3 most outstanding sophists from Athens Protagoras GorgiasThrasymachusThey called themselves sophists or intellectuals They all came from different cultures They say the truth is not realThey forced Athenians to consider if their ideascustoms were founded upon truth or simply upon conventional ways of behavingWas the Athenian distinction between Greeksbarbarians as well as that between mastersslaves based on evidence or on prejudice They forced Athenians to consider whether Hellenic culture was based on artificial rules nomos or on nature physisThey had them question whether their religiousmoral codes were conventionschangeable or naturalpermanent How knowledge is acquiredhow we might order behaviour They all excelled in grammar writingpublic discourseHaving them teach in the community became a need but you had to be wealthy to be able to afford the educationThey especially taught persuasive speechPlato labeled them as shopkeepers with spiritual waresThey believe life is only about points of viewonly appearancesno truth SocratesWants to know what it is to lead a good lifeSays whether we know what the truth is there is still such thing as the truthThink that you believe what you believe I believe what I believe thats itnothing but appearancescant see past appearancesWants to know if appearances look good but are really badHes doing in the area of morals as naturalist are with natureAppearances can be deceiving Make a judgment based on an illusion Tried to help us see past illusionsmisleading appearances so we dont mess up our lives by following misleading appearances He was one of the Sophists keenest criticsHe was committed to the pursuit of truthconsidered it his mission to seek out the basis for stablecertain knowledgeHe devised a method for arriving at truth he linked knowingdoing so that to know the good is to do the goodknowledge is virtue
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