Where did philosophy come from?
Somewhere around 600 b.c. we have records from a thinker named Thales. He is called the very first philosopher.
Pre-socratics 3 primary questions
- 1. Basic substance of the world.
- 2. Nature of change
- 3. Relationship between appearance and reality.
Believed water was the basic substance of the world, and since it is, change happens because water requires change.
Believed the basic substance of the world was numbers.
- Believed the basic substance of the world was fire.
- Fire is always moving, so he stated that "nothing is real except change itself"
- Said there are not things only processes
- Believed the world was run by conflict.
- Belived that for a thing to be real, it had to possess its properties for eternity
- All change is an illusion
- Gave up on the notion that everything could be boiled down to one basic substance
- Had the first scientific point of view
- Believed the sun was burning gas, and the moon was a rock
Two Criticisms of the Pre-Socratics
- 1. The pre-socratics missed asking about the human condition
- 2. Combined three lines of questioning
Started out as a movement reporting that they were able to teach wisdom.
- Though goodness could be taught.
- Believed morality could be given through knowledge.
- Believed virtue is defined by your culture.
Morality is dependent on your culture
- Famed for teaching persuasion.
- Claimed himself to be the best at teaching the art of persuasion, and proved this by making outrageous claims plausible.
Gorgia's Outrageous Claims
- 1. The world does not exist.
- 2. Even if there was a world, you could not know it.
- 3. Even if you knew something about the world, you could not communicate it to others.
- Moral Skepticism
- Political issues
- A rejection of all moral standards-Nihilism
- Religion as politics
- Believed the purpose of religion was to keep everyone in line
- Church and State are one
Plato's opinion of Athens youth as a result of Sophist teaching
- Believed they walked away with a selfish sense of morality.
- They learned to rationalize the pursuit of wealth by corrupt values.
The pursuit of truth and wisdom were more important than rhetoric.
3 groups of Socrates dialogue and examples
- Early- Euthyphro
- Middle- The Republic
- Late- Teachings of Plato
Playwrite who disliked Socrates, and wrote a sattire on him called "The Clouds"
- Student of Plato, wrote about Socrates.
- Distinguished between historical Socrates and Plato's Socrates
- A citizen of Athens, not wealthy.
- Father was a stone cutter.
- Served in the military as a foot solider.
- Was told by the oracle that he was the wisest man in the world.
- Exposed those who were considered to be the wisest men in Athens as frauds.
Central idea of "The Euthyphro"
The Socratic Method
- 1. States a thesis
- 2. Asks a series of questions
- 3. Discovers a contradiction
- 4. Gets the interlocutor to see the contradiction
This goes on until the interlocutor gets confused and leaves
The goal of Socrates, to point out that you don't know everything
The Euthyphro: What is piety?
- 1. Doing what I do
- 2. Piety is whatever is loved by the gods.
- 3. Piety is whatever is loved by all the gods.
- 4. Piety is part of justice.
- 5a. Piety is the care of the gods.
- 5b.Piety is to give service to the gods.
- 6. Piety is how to give and beg from the gods.
- 7. Whatever is loved by the gods is pious.
- 8. Euthyphro leaves.
Very first dialogue by Plato.
The charges against Socrates
- 1. Corrupting youth
- 2. Not believing in the gods
- 3. inventing new gods
Plot of the Apology
1. Meletus, can you be both a believer in gods and an athiest at the same time?