Greek Classical Philosophy “Western philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato.”

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  • Greek Classical PhilosophyWestern philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato.

  • A BRIEF OverviewThe Major PlayersWhat they believeSome examples

  • The 3 Great Minds...Socrates (469 BC- 399 BC)Plato (428 BC-347 BC)Aristotle (384 BC- 322 BC)*

  • SocratesOne of the founders of Western PhilosophyNot known for his writing, but through other observers----- Platos dialoguesMajor concept: the Socratic methodGadfly of the state----Death

  • Socratic Method or ElenchusTo solve a problem, it would be broken down into multiple questions.The answer eventually comes to the forefrontPerfect for assessing personal beliefs and the extent of someones knowledgeThe highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.

  • The Steps of the MethodSocrates' interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example 'Courage is endurance of the soul', which Socrates considers false and targets for refutation. Socrates secures his interlocutor's agreement to further premises, for example 'Courage is a fine thing' and 'Ignorant endurance is not a fine thing'. Socrates then argues, and the interlocutor agrees, that these further premises imply the contrary of the original thesis, in this case it leads to: 'courage is not endurance of the soul'. Socrates then claims that he has shown that his interlocutor's thesis is false and that its contrary is true.

  • Socrates and PhilosophyA little difficult Why?The Soul & ImmortalityVirtue & Moral Stature Divine BequestKnowledge: Wrongdoing was a consequence of not knowing betterVirtue & Ideal life in search of the goodPolitics: Government of Philosophers a Philosopher King

  • PlatoStudent of Socrates & Recorder of the DialoguesFounder of the Academy in AthensPlatonism

  • PlatonismThe senses Reality???He who sees with his own eyes is blind.Physical objects and physical events are shadows of their ideal or perfect forms, and exist only to the extent that they instantiate the perfect versions of themselves.Perfect Justice exists But not clear where

  • The Theory of Forms (Ideas)The material world as it appears to us is not real, but only a shadow of the real world.The forms are unknown, because we cannot fully grasp themA Form is an Abstract Quality

  • 6 Concepts of Forms:Forms are transcendent- do not exist as a part of space or timeThe forms are pure- Are separated from all other qualitiesThe forms are archetypes- perfect models for all of the properties that are present in material objectsThe forms are ultimately real. Material objects are images or copies of the forms.The forms are the causes of all that exist in the world.Systematically Interconnected- They are all connected to one another and flow down from the form of good

  • How it works

  • The Theory of Forms Was meant to Solve:How can humans live a happy life in a changing world, where everything they attach themselves to can be taken away?How can the world appear permanent and changing?

  • An Example

  • The BasketballFor example, if you separate the roundness of a basketball from its color, its weight, etc. and consider just roundness by itself, you are thinking of the form of roundness. Plato held that this property existed apart from the basketball, in a different mode of existence than the basketball. The form is not just the idea of roundness you have in your mind. It exists independently of the basketball and independently of whether someone thinks of it. All round objects, not just this basketball, participate or copy this same form of roundness.

  • As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.


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