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Philosophy Journey from Mythos to Logos

Pre-Socratics
- distinction became sharper and sharper as philosophy went on its way, trying its
very best to leave mythos behind and follow the path of logos
- space not enough to go into the details of mythological influences in early Greek
philosophy
- three senses in which poetics in engaged by the ancient philosophers
o explicit sense: philosophers directly spoke about poetry, its function, and
difference from philosophy
o implicit sense: early philosophers could not have done their work from a
clean slate, devoid of the great influence of the theological poets, Homer and
Hesiod; path of inquiry inevitably followed that of the poets
o immanent: philosophers chose to write their treatises in poetic meters rather
than in philosophical prose
- Plato = poetics reached their peak; ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry
are discusses; banish the poets from the Republic; philosophical myths (myths that
go under the philosophical lens)
Thales of Miletus (6th Century BCE)
- outside the erratic moods of the Divine Olympians
- what is the world made of
- propositions: earth floated on water, water to be the principle of all things or the
worlds basic element
- Milesians patron god was Poseidon
- Farther east, Sumero-Babylonian myths (Apsu and Tiamat = creation of the
universe)
- Indian myths golden egg floating in the dark waters
- Norse mythology ice melting as the warm air blew against it
- African myths watery, formless Chaos
- Egyptian myths Watery Abyss
- Japan vast oily sea of Chaos that contained a mix of all elements
- Native America nothing but water and darkness in the beginning
- Filipino myths Sky and Water and a kite that got tired of flying because there
was nowhere to land
- Greek creation myths Ouranos = Cosmic River
- Everything is full of Gods = motion
- first philosopher
Anaximenes
- something more primordial than water was the basic stuff
- Air = Homeric breath or life-soul
- archaic concept

Anaximander
- boundless or indefinite nature, the apeiron = contained all things; existed as an
empty plenitude until Time did the ordering of things
- caused injustice to other things
- governed by a system of justice (Greek Moirae the Fates)
- cosmogonic egg = breaking of which gave rise to everything in the universe
Xenophanes
- explicit attack on mythology was made and the issue on philosophical truth
against mythological lies strongly surfaced
- dissatisfied with Hesiods literary paintings of the gods
- together with Homer have attributed to the gods all things that are a shame and
blameworthy among men, stealing and committing adultery and deceiving each
other
- failure in the moral expurgation was deepened by a failure in the attempt to
bring intellectual order into the welter of primitive gods
- together with Parmenides and others started veering towards the idea of unity,
bringing the Greek minds very close to the idea of monotheism
- wrote in verse form (prose more fitting for philosophical writings)
- divests poetry of its roots in divine revelation thru his skepticism and moral
reserved
Heraclitus
- the Obscure
- pronouncements that resisted interpretation and understanding, followed
Xenophanes in his attack on the anthropomorphism of the Homeric gods
- did not reject the idea of divinity altogether
- claimed that if the rites were celebrated properly, they might still serve a
purpose as they were the indirect path to the apprehension of Logos, which is
God or Fire, as the principle according to which all things change
- resembled the oracular = reminiscent of the language of myths
Parmenides (500 BC)
- wrote in poetry form
- revelation from the Goddess who taught him to distinguish between the
common opinions of people and the truth
- more radical than either Xenophanes or Heraclitus
- doctrine on Being = major contribution to the development of Greek philosophy;
led in farther and farther away from its roots in mythology
- replace the Muse with an anonymous goddess of uncertain status
- center philosophy on reality as a whole
- terms all of reality or existence as Being
- wonders and asks what the whole of reality is like (bothered about the basic
attribute or any feature pervading all reality and existence)
- emphasizes that it is impossible for change to occur without something coming
from nothing (change is illusory)

thinks that existence itself cannot come from nothing and therefore existence
must have always been there
Being is = Being refers to all that exist (all reality) or all that which is, primary
stuff of reality

Myths of Transformation and Platos Myths


- mythic consciousness: requiring periodic renewal (fertility myths fertility
cycles); initiates who reenacted the process experienced by the characters in
myths
- Sumero-Babylonian myth = Ishtar/Inanna losing belover Tammuz/Dumuzi
(Netherworld ruled by twin sister Ereshkigal); hung on a stake and eventually
reduced to bones but sprinkled with regenerating water
- Egypt = Isis and Osiris (Seth evil-plotting brother); Seth kills Osiris (connected
to the land, became the god of the dead, ruling and judging the souls of all those
who go to the Netherworld) but was saved by Isis but was only allowed to
conceive their son Horus who defeated Seth
- India = Krishna (son of Devaki), mischievous young herder whom the gods
rescue from death by the hand of the despotic King Kansa
- Greece = Persephone abducted by Hades, mother Demeter refuses to allow
anything to grow until she sees her daughter again, eats Underworld food
- Greece = Dionysos, twice born god, son of Theban woman Semele by Zeus, Hera
contrives to have Semele ask Zeus to show himself in his full glory reducing her
to ashes, Zeus saves the child and sew him into his thigh to await the proper time
of delivery; lured by the Titans with a toy and cut his throat, cut up his body into
pieces and boil and roast them, Zeus revives him
- Platos parable of the cave
o represent the journey of the soul, from being lost in the dark material
realm, to liberation in the spiritual realm
o die to their old self and reborn into anew life with new understanding
o can walk the boundaries that divide life and death
o showing the process of education thru the allegory of the cave
o ignorance of the real world, the world of Forms, binds us to this sensible
world of Illusion
o only thru the illumination of the thinker that we are freed and reluctantly
leave this sensible world
o we are led to the realization of the real true enlightenment
o The Republic only dialogue imbued with philosophical musings on the
war between philosophy and poetry/myth (Laws, Ion, Timaeus, Phaedo,
Symposium)
o Rudolf Steiner way one approaches the Ancient Mystery Rites = myth
becomes a legitimate part of doing philosophy

Logic and Decision Making


Logic
-

study of the methods and principles used to distinguish good (or correct)
reasoning from bad (or incorrect) reasoning

Arguments
- a piece of reasoning expressed in words or symbols
- fallacy (appeal to common belief) = a mistake in reasoning
Premises and Conclusions
- for anything to be called an argument, it must have at least one conclusion and at
least one premise
- conclusion
o position or stand that a person takes regarding an issue
o conclusion indicators words or phrases that tell us that what is about to
follow is the conclusion
therefore, thus, accordingly, for this reason, in consequence,
consequently, proves that, as a result, follows from, which shows
that, which means that, it follows that, which points to the fact that
- premise
o supports or evidence given for the position that one takes regarding on a
issue
o premise indicators words or phrases that tell us that what are about to
follow are the premises
because, since, for, ass follows from, as shown by, inasmuch as, as
indicated by, the reason is that, for the reason that, in view of the
fact that
Enthymemes
- statement has been left out but is really implied in the argument and must be
identified
- argument with an unstated premise or an unstated conclusion or both
- not necessarily defective arguments simply because they have missing
statements
Propositions
- any statement which can be either true or false
- also called statements
- only propositions can be used in arguments (can be used as premises or
conclusions)
Deduction and Induction
- deduction
o reasoning from general to the specific (logic textbooks)

Validity
-

o shares something in common with all deductive arguments: in every


deductive argument, there is always a claim made that if the premises are
true, then the conclusion cannot be false
o conclusion necessarily follows from the premises
induction
o reasoning from the specific to the general
o there is no claim made that if the premises are true, then the conclusion
will be true as well
o in every inductive argument, even if all the premises are true, the
conclusion can only be probably true
has nothing to do with the content of the argument (has nothing to do with the
truth or falsity of the propositions contained in it)
form or structure
o All Xs are Ys
o All Ys are Zs
o Therefore all Xs are Zs
o if it is true that all Xs are Ys and if it is true that all Ys are Zs, it MUST
follow that all Xs are Zs
not a good form because even if the premises were true, there is no guarantee
that the conclusion would also be true = conclusion does not follow the premises

Soundness
- fulfills two conditions: argument must be valid and all its premises must be true
On Modern Ontology
- brings about the perennial debate among the ancients as to whether all reality is
changing and nothing remains the same (philosophy of change), or change is
only an illusion that and that there lies deep in reality amidst all the perceived
changes, something that truly remains the same and is unaffected by change
(philosophy of permanence)
- Christianity has taken a more dominant role in Western Philosophy (St. Thomas
Aquinas and St. Augustine), and since then the concept of Being has acquired a
more theological meaning
- Being = God, whose existence is not dependent on any other and is uncaused
o has to be necessary that it has not been caused and unconditioned
o its existence is not dependent on anything
- scholastics are more fond of using the term substance
- substance corresponds to the Greek ousia, which means being, transmitted via
the Latin substantia, which means something that stands under or grounds
things
- Medieval Ages until Renaissance = Enlightenment
o methods and approaches to philosophy acquired a more methodological
approach to all its problems
o two opposing camps

Rationalism
school of thought that believes that knowledge of reality is
brought about by the mind (logical deduction by the use of
reason)
power of the mind or intellect alone can extract/derive
knowledge of what the world is like
one basic tenet: belief in the innate knowledge
humans are born with certain kinds of knowledge that are
not sense-perceived
Empiricism
completely rely on the power of the sensed
knowledge is acquired thru the senses

Rationalism
Rene Descartes
- French philosopher of the 16th century
- Father of Modern Philosophy
- rationalist
- reliability of the objective world = before him
- focus is on the subject, one investigating the world
- places the self, subject or I (cogito) the sole focus of philosophy
- uses to doubt to the fullest, doubting practically everything = methodic doubt
(discover and establish something that is beyond doubt)
- after indubitable = something that which can no longer be doubted
- subject everything to doubt
- Meditations = by sheer logical argumentation, possibility of doubt and
uncertainty can always creep in even the most certain truths
o subjecting to doubt the reliability of senses
can never have certitude with them
Platonic argument for doubting the senses and concludes that
senses cannot give the true intimation of things
o examined the certitude of mathematics
concludes that even such certainties can still be doubted
introduced the hypothesis of a deceiving God into the argument,
such God can make the supposed certainty of mathematical
propositions doubtful
justified in doubting the whole of mathematics
it is contrary to THE GOODNESS OF GOD to be deceiving, instead
he introduces the idea of a powerful evil genius
o powerful evil genius whose sole endeavor is to deceive mankind
nothing whatsoever could ever escape his deceptions and render
all certitudes absolutely doubtful
o everything is doubtful = in reality there is actually nothing at all

o only the evil genius that makes things that we perceive appear to be real
(or existence) but in actuality there really is nothing
even own existence must be doubtful = must be nothing
finds the possibility of doubting
there must be at least one thing to where this doubt is happening = cannot be
made nothing
Cogito ergo sum = I think therefore I am
thinking thing = mind (mens sive animus)
formalizes the existence of a substance whose existence is a necessity
o necessity = it can no longer be doubted and therefore exempt from doubt
itself
Cogito must exist and must stand in its own right
there is at least something that thinks and therefore exists
Cogito is not dependent on the body = not sense-perceived, perceived by the
intellect alone
discovery of Cogito is a result of deductive reasoning = intellect/mind alone can
acquire certain truths that are indubitable
cogito must be something immaterial
bifurcation is born = mind and body problem
two different things whose natures are totally opposite and contradictory
o cogito/mind immaterial, private
o still being doubted are sense-perceived
o body/material sense-perceived, public
how both interact with one another = problem of interaction (how can 2
different contradictory natures interact or affect each other
our thoughts (in our mind) affect our body in that whatever we think our body
would be commanded to do follow (physical effects on the body)
interaction is causal (one is causing another) = causal connection
thought (immaterial) has caused the body (material) to happen
factor of necessity adds to the meaning of permanency
o in reality, 1 substance whose existence can be considered necessary
without being dependent on anything for its cause
cogito exists independently of its body and not of God = GOD IS THE TRUE
SUBSTANCE
only thru the use of mind (intellect) can one know the real nature of existence
power of mind (reason) is to have more reliability in acquiring knowledge of
reality and such knowledge is indubitable
reason = epistemology and metaphysics
ontology = study of Being