PHIL 100 Chapter 2: Philosophy Before Socrates: Nature Philosophy

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Colorado State University
PHIL 100
Richard B Mc Kita

Philosophy Before Socrates: Nature Philosophy Problems of Early Philosophy: Xenophanes: The Gods as Fictions • The One and The Many • Must be one god, not like mortals. “If reality is in some sense one, what accounts for Xenophanes criticizes the Homeric gods _____. the many different individual things… that we ➢ … as unworthy of our admiration and respect. experience?” (Melchert 11) Xenophanes says that with respect to the truth ______. ➢ …even if we knew it, we couldn't know for sure • Reality and Appearance that we knew it. “Might reality in fact be very different from the way it appears in our experience?” (Melchert 11). • The Place of Humans in The Universe Heraclitus: Oneness in the Logos • All things are in flux and in opposition. “Who are we, and how are we related to the rest of • The world-order, fire, the logos. what there is?” (Melchert 11). • Wisdom is understanding the logos. Thales: The One as Water • Learning via sight, hearing, understanding. • Looking to this world for explanation. • Water as the cause and element of all things. • Happiness & Moderation: Internal opposition is essential. • All things are filled with gods. What, according to Heraclitus, is wisdom? In saying that all things are full of gods, Thales ➢ Understanding the thought that steers all apparently meant that ___________. things. ➢ …explanations of events in the world could be explained in terms of events in the world. Parmenides: Only the One Anaximander: The One as the Boundless • The premises of his argument: Thought and being are the same; nothing is not; Problems with Thales' Hypothesis nothing cannot be thought. “Even though water has…unusual properties of appearing in several different states, water itself is The conclusions: not unusual. It is… just one of th
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