Classical Studies 2800A/B Chapter Notes -Phi Beta Kappa Society, Automatic Control, Cybernetics

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Published on 2 Dec 2011
Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2800A/B
Sink or Swim
Ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the disease "Hydrophobia", which is
caused by a painful spasm of the larynx when one suffering from this disease
attempts to drink
Celsus (Roman Physician) wrote about it and said the cure was to throw those
infected into water and said it was caused by being bitten by a rapid dog. He
called it "rabies" (madness) in his writing
Phi Beta Kappa
The Phi Beta Kappa society was founded in order to give a recognition to
students in American Colleges who achieved academic distinction
Members were given a key bearing initials for Philosophia Biou Kybernetes
meaning "Philosophy for the Guide of Life"
Kybernetes meant "helmsmen of a ship" and is related to L. gubernator.
From this L. word, we get E. gubernatorial and through F., governor
From Kybernetes, we also get cybernetics - "the science of automatic
control systems" and cyberspace
Philosophia meant not only the love of knowledge, but also the study and
systemic treatment of any subject.
Earliest Greek philosophers were concerned with physical science. It was
Socrates that started studying the soul of a human and is known as the father of
modern philosophy
From Socrates, the sophists appeared in Greece, we get multiple words from
Ex. sophism - an argument seemingly valid, but in actuality not
Ex. sophistic - "believable but specious"
Ex. sophistry - "the use of sophistic argumentation, deceptive reasoning"
The original meaning of the Greek noun "kosmos" was "orderly arrangement"
and meant the opposite of chaos
This term was applied to the universe for its perfect order and gave us many
From the sense of order, a verb was formed meaning "put in order" and from this
verb, a Greek adjective was formed, "kosmetikos" meaning skilled in adornment.
From this, we get
Cosmetic - "decorative or ornamental"
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