Ancient and Hellenistic Thought (Understanding Philosophy) by Joan A Price

By Joan A Price

Historic thinkers supplied the principles of the philosophical technique, reading the universe's function, in addition to humankind's position inside of it. This name covers pre-Socratic, Classical, and Hellenistic philosophers and their theories, illuminating a few of the enduring solutions given in regards to the nature of the realm and people who dwell in it.

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Extra info for Ancient and Hellenistic Thought (Understanding Philosophy)

Sample text

When Athens surrendered to Sparta, a group of powerful aristocrats known as “the Thirty” overthrew democracy and ruled Athens for three years. Plato’s family was part of this group, and they asked Plato to join them, but Plato, disgusted by their unethical practices, refused the offer. Yet, the Thirty could not restore aristocratic rule, and soon democracy was reinstated. Plato again thought of going into politics but was repelled when two politicians, Anytus and Meletus, brought Socrates to trial on false charges, and a jury condemned Socrates to death.

Indd 38 1/9/08 3:35:28 PM The Classical Period: The Sophists and Socrates 39 citizen body. And yet possessed of such power you will make the doctor, you will make the trainer your slave, and your businessman will prove to be making money, not for himself, but for another, for you who can speak and persuade multitudes. I have often, along with my brother and with other physicians, visited one of their patients who refused to drink his medicine or submit to the surgeon’s knife or cautery [to deaden pain by burning the skin], and when the doctor was unable to persuade them, I did so, by no other art but rhetoric.

In other words, when you see a monkey, it is because “monkey atoms” enter your eyes. Monkey atoms make an impact upon your “soul atoms,” and a thought is born. For Democritus, the soul is made up of round, smooth soul atoms. At death, the soul atoms will scatter and could, like body atoms, become part of a new soul formation. This idea suggests there is no personal, immortal soul. indd 31 1/9/08 3:35:26 PM 32 ANCIENT AND HELLENISTIC THOUGHT connects to the brain. Once the brain dies, we cannot have any form of consciousness.

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