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INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY


ď Ž Thoughts

of the first philosophers


Philosophy is the love of wisdom the quest for the first causes the ultimate principles of all things


Discovery of Philosophy is attriburted to pythagoras


Both the term and the notion of philosophy are Greek in origin emerged for the first time in Ionia had important consequences for Western culture


Began 6th or 5th cent. BC originally it meant the intellectual activity that gave rise to culture


For Plato it is the search for wisdom to man it pertains to seek that wisdom to raise questions about the totality of reality and probe into its mysteries


For Aristotle it is the enquiry about the whole expanse of reality


A philosopher does not just observe reality but enquires into its causes and principles its first causes and ultimate principles


Exclusively speculative or contemplative end, it is not a science of production philosophy begins with wonder


Philosophy seeks to know no utilitarian end knowledge for its own sake source: mans natural desire to know


Before the Ionians were the poet theologians eg Homer gave a mythological explanation to the universe Ionians gave an essentially rational attempt to unravel the mysteries of reality


Favourable economic conditions at Ionia atmosphere of freedom artistic and scientific endeavours flourished


Abiding influence of Greek philosophy in Western culture not so much as to what they said but the questions they raised


Greek philosophy ended in 529 AD


a. Presocratic period cosmological what is the principle of all things?


b. Sophists man is the focus of attention (humanism) Socrates


c.Plato and Aristotle depth of thought division of philosophy into branches


d. Hellenistic Period stoicism epicureanism scepticism eclecticsim


e. Neo-Platonism confluence of various philosophies Middle Platonism Neo-Pythagoreanism School of Alexandria


Christian Philosophy began during the closing stages of Ancient Philosophy


“We study the history of Ancient Philosophy not to know what men thought in the past but to find out how they arrived at the truth.� St Thomas Aquinas


We look or truths that remain valid to the present day



Introduction to Ancient Philosophy