Thursday, October 11, 2012

Greek Philosophy: Midterm Review

Origins of Ancient Greece: Cosmology, interconnected ancient world, polytheism to monotheism/monism, stack of elements, Egypt and slavery, chemistry, Plato loves Egypt, Greece between Persia and Egypt, Persian and Phoenician influence, Cyrus, Zoroastrianism, Renaissance gives way to idea of the West, modern mythology of reason/freedom/History/Science

Identity, Mythology & Tragedy: Dogmatism vs. Skepticism, philosophy/wisdom as deep questioning, Ionians and Dorians, Dorian invasion theory, Ionian rebellion, Miletus as center, Delian League, political vs. personal freedom, poets Homer and Hesiod, common Homeric culture, prose vs. lyrical poetry/song, epiphany and theory, Archilochos and rhythm of life, Sappho and what one loves, tragedy & hamartia, Agamemnon & Antigone

Thales: Milesian school, trade center, falls into well, olive press monopoly, easy travel to Egypt, all things are full of gods, teleological view, magnets & amber, water as arche

Anaximander: injustice & retribution, infinite/apeiron as arche, element arche would have unbalanced cosmos, hot/cold & wet/dry, gnomon, steady earth vs. Aristotle’s hungry/thirsty man, map of world with Med/Delphi center, mythic snow/fire people, water cycle & life

Anaximenes: air as arche, dissipation and concentration, blowing on hand hot/cold, felt

Pythagoras: theorem & pyramids, first ‘philosopher’, influenced Plato, supposedly divine, reincarnation, secret society, mathematics as origin, harmony of the spheres, the One & the tetractys, ratios/rational & intervals, set of opposites, sayings w/ secret morals, pythagorean y

Xenophanes: ridicules fellow philosophers, critical of honoring athletes, Homeric gods are immoral, incapable of cosmic order, Ethiopians/Thracians/Horses/Oxen, gods unborn, no hierarchy, one immobile infinite that shakes all things, no one will know the truth, optimistic skepticism, figs & honey, water/earth & fossils

Heraclitus: renounces throne, similar to Buddha, weeping philosopher, critical of Ephesians/experts/poets/philosophers, wet vs. dry soul, never same river twice, we are & are not, flux/becoming as being & nonbeing, fire as arche, desire & satisfaction, thunderbolt, Logos, awake vs. asleep, criticism of experts, wisdom as unity of mind, inquire within, opposites work together, influence on Nietzsche, humans as apes

Parmenides: Eleatic school, agrees with Xenophanes being doesn’t move, Plato reveres, apocalyptic journey, ways of night/day, truth vs. opinion, oneness shared by all, ex nihilo, time/motion/difference as illusion, Einstein & block time

Zeno: beloved of Parmenides, reductio ad absurdum, dialectic shows we can’t understand without contradiction, paradox of nonbeing, paradox of place, paradox of motion, Tortoise & Achilles, arrow in flight

Melissus: return to Xenophanes, source of Eleatics, One is full/eternal, Neoplatonic hyperousia, similarity with Buddhist thought

Anaxagoras: sided with Persians, brought philosophy to Athens, heretical idea of sun/moon as blazing stone, charged with impiety, everything contains traces of everything, Parmenides is right about total difference as relative illusion, arche as self-ruled nous/mind, no splits with an axe, deus ex machina, parallel criticism of Euripides, mind/body problem

Empedocles: champion of the poor, healing powers, god rebirth via volcano, fall of souls from original pure state, Zeus/Hera - Hades/Persephone, four classical elements, love & strife in cosmic cycles, pre-human pairs, vegetarian, cycles of reincarnation, critical of animal sacrifice, reason superior to perception as wisdom superior to knowledge, Badiou vs. Dawkins

Democritus: laughing philosopher, the mocker, atomism, infinite beings & void/nonbeing, reaction to Eleatic challenge, mind as many fire atoms, impressions as images/idols, critical of animal omens, man is what we know, wisdom as medicine, much thought over much learning, balance and moderation, improve rather than pray, skepticism, truth is in the depths/opinion

Diogenes: defacing the currency, Antisthenes after Socrates, cosmopolitan, begging in tub at center of town, toughens self, smashes bowl, carries lamp, practice over theory, cynics are ‘dog-like’, bites his friends, courage/nature/reason over wealth/custom/passion, obscenity, criticism of Plato’s idealism, criticism of Alexander, Christians & shamelessness


Short Answers
Pick four topics from the list below.  For each of your choices, write a third to a half page in each of the spaces provided below.  You should demonstrate that you 1) understand the meaning of the concept, 2) that you can connect it to other material from the class, and 3) that you can apply it to examples from your own experience or outside material (print or video, fictional or nonfictional).  If you demonstrate each of these three things and complete the required page length, you will get full points for your answer.

Stack of the Elements                                Dogmatism vs. Skepticism   
Political vs. Personal Freedom                 Hamartia & Antigone           
Anaximander vs. an Element as Arche    Xenophanes’ Horses & Oxen       
Heraclitus’ Being & Nonbeing                 Heraclitus vs. Experts who Separate
Parmenides Eleatic Challenge                  Parmenides Truth vs. Opinion
Parmenides vs. Heraclitus                        Zeno’s Paradoxes of Motion
Anaxagoras vs. Democritus                      Anaxagoras’ Deus Ex Machina
Empedocles’ 4 Elements/Gods                Empedocles’ Cosmic Love & Strife
Empedocles’ Reason over Perception     Atomists vs. Eleatics
Diogenes’ Live as a Dog                           Diogenes’ Criticism of Plato