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(Greek Wisdom of Human

ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY o The Greeks have one of the oldest cultures in the world (not to mention the first known democracy) o Arose in the 6th century BCE and continued throughout .

They called themselves seekers and lovers of wisdom and often studied a wide variety of subjects. and biology. sociology. mathematics. including history. Interestingly enough. these philosophers helped create modern civilization. politics. The famous philosophers were also teachers. By asking questions about themselves and the world around them. educating wealthy children and operating . law. physics. the Greek philosophers thought of themselves as scientists rather than thinkers.The famous Greek philosophers were among the most influential people in history because they invented both philosophy and science.


Pythagoras is a famous mathematician who is credited with inventing the Pythagorean Theorem. they will kill each other. for as long as men massacre animals. . one of the key computations in geometry.Pythagoras of Samos (570-495 BCE) As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. He was also one of the first people to express musical notes through mathematics.

Some sources indicate that Pythagoras was the first person to call himself a philosopher and to organize a school of philosophy. The Pythagoreans were reputedly vegetarians and pacifists who believed in reincarnation. He was also a mystic and a religious thinker who founded a sect called the Pythagoreans. . but some legends indicate that he was the first to teach that the Earth was round. Little is known of Pythagoras.

. which is considered one of the key the same time). 490-430 BCE) “In a race. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes and for attempting to kill a tyrant named Demylus but failed. such as Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle regarded Zeno as the A paradox is a statement that apparently inventor of the dialectic or dialectical method of contradicts itself and yet might be true (or wrong at argument. so that the slower must always hold a lead. since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started. the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest. Demylus then The term dialectics is Zeno. Some logical paradoxes are known to Dialectic or dialectics   also known as methodologies in Western and Islamic philosophy. more people holding different points of view about a inventor of rhetoric and the father of debate.” Comes from other famous Greek philosophers. He be invalid arguments but are still valuable in two or the dialectical method.Zeno of Elea (c. is a discourse between was also regarded as the promoting critical thinking. not synonymous with the term  might have murdered debate. subject but wishing to establish the truth through  reasoned arguments.

460-370 BCE) o Democritus was one of the first advocates of democracy. anticipating the discoveries of modern physics. . o First person to advance the hypothesis that all matter is composed of small invisible particles called atoms. equality. and liberty. o One of the first known critics and a proponent of the just theory—the idea that people should take up arms to defend themselves from tyrants.Democritus (c. o One of the first people to advance the idea that there are worlds besides the Earth.

. o Socrates eventually gave his life for liberty. and dialogue are used to discern the truth. 469399 BCE) o He was a master stonemason and social critic. argument. o Socrates became famous for encouraging people to critically question everything. o Socrates then chose death by suicide over exile from his homeland of Athens.Socrates (c. o His greatest contribution to philosophy was the Socratic Method in which discussion. o Socrates' most famous student was Plato. o He was tried and convicted for criticizing the government and religion.

also to control the bad. o Plato is regarded as the father of political science and the founder of one of the world's first known institutions of higher learning. and in the hope that there may be no need of them. the Academy in Athens. . The Academy created formal philosophy by teaching students the Socratic Method. whose hardness of heart will not be hindered from crime.Plato (428-327 BCE) o Laws are made to instruct the good.

Plato was a critic of democracy. Like his mentor Socrates. and mathematics. He created an influential school of philosophy called Platonism. which described an ideal or Utopian society. including philosophy. The Republic. religion. which influenced Christianity. ethics. Plato wrote one of the first and most influential works on politics.Plato wrote widely on many subjects. .

. 384-322 BCE) It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. and wrote extensively on them. and politics. Aristotle studied a wide variety of subjects. including science. ethics. He is also known as the teacher of Alexander the Great.Aristotle (c. physics. government. Aristotle is famous as one of the three founding fathers of Greek philosophy along with Plato and Socrates.

Aristotle's ideas on science were widely believed for centuries and had a profound influence on Islamic thinkers. . Aristotle was one of the first people to try to classify animals and to study psychology.

412-323 BCE) “Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards. Instead. “ Diogenes was known as Diogenes the cynic because he was one of the founders of the Cynic school of philosophy. Diogenes was a radical who rejected all political and social organizations and even the idea of private property. including Alexander the Great and Plato. he believed that simplicity was the . Legend has it that he lived in a barrel and mocked authority figures. Diogenes used stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime to express his philosophy and refused to write. Diogenes rejected society as corrupt and hypocritical and lived a simple lifestyle instead.Diogenes of Sinope (c.

Pyrrho (c. Pyrrho believed that people were incapable of telling the truth. instead. 360-270 BCE) “By suspending judgment. one can escape the perplexities of life and attain an imperturbable peace of mind. Pyrrho rejected education and regarded knowledge as impossible because everything is unmeasurable. Among other things. and by asserting nothing definite as to how they really are.” Pyrrho was known as the first skeptical philosopher because he believed that humans can never know the truth. by confining oneself to phenomena or objects as they appear. they can only grasp the appearance of things. There are no known writings of Pyrrho. . but he inspired a school of philosophy called Pyrrhonism or skepticism that taught happiness could achieved by rejecting the search for knowledge.

in the modern world.Epicurus (c. 341-270 BCE) “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. Even though he thought that a simple lifestyle was the key to happiness. which taught an opinion that a peaceful life free of pain was the path to happiness. the term Epicurean is known as a lover of fine things. Epicurus founded a school that is based in the garden of his house and thus called: "The Garden".” Epicurus might be the most misunderstood Greek philosopher. .

He also refused to believe in the gods and taught that the universe had no purpose. . none of his writings are known to have survived. Even though Epicurus is believed to have written 300 works.Epicurus believed in atoms and taught that the humans had no control over fate. Epicurus believed in equality: he educated slaves and women in his school when most Greeks believed they were incapable of learning.

334262 BCE) “Fate is the endless chain of causation. Zeno believed. the reason or formula by which the world goes on. Zeno's major belief was logic. He was also deeply interested in ethics.” Zeno of Citium was the founder of one of the most influential schools of Greek and Roman philosophy: the Stoics. which he believed existed to help people avoid deception. whereby things are. The purpose of ethics was to achieve happiness by living according to nature. .Zeno of Citium (c.

Zeno's most interesting belief was his physics or theology: he believed that the universe itself was god and conforming to its will was the ultimate goal of human life. Zeno also believed that human beings lacked free will. the universe directed their behavior. instead. .