Theory of forms
The theory of Forms or theory of Ideas is a philosophical theory, concept, or world-view, attributed to Plato, that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, unchangeable ideas. According to this theory, ideas in this sense capitalized and translated as "Ideas" or "Forms", are the non-physical essences of all things, of which objects and matter in the physical world are imitations. Plato speaks of these entities only through the characters of his dialogues who sometimes suggest that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge; the theory itself is contested from within Plato's dialogues, it is a general point of controversy in philosophy. Whether the theory represents Plato's own views is held in doubt by modern scholarship. However, the theory is considered a classical solution to the problem of universals; the early Greek concept of form precedes attested philosophical usage and is represented by a number of words having to do with vision and appearance.
Plato uses these aspects of sight and appearance from the early Greek concept of the form in his dialogues to explain the Forms and the Good. The meaning of the term εἶδος, "visible form", related terms μορφή, "shape", φαινόμενα, "appearances", from φαίνω, "shine", Indo-European *bʰeh₂- or *bhā- remained stable over the centuries until the beginning of philosophy, when they became equivocal, acquiring additional specialized philosophic meanings; the pre-Socratic philosophers, starting with Thales, noted that appearances change, began to ask what the thing that changes "really" is. The answer was substance, which stands under the changes and is the existing thing being seen; the status of appearances now came into question. What is the form and how is that related to substance? The Forms are expounded upon in Plato's dialogues and general speech, in that every object or quality in reality has a form: dogs, human beings, colors, courage and goodness. Form answers the question, "What is that?" Plato was asking what Form itself is.
He supposed that the object was or "really" the Form and that the phenomena were mere shadows mimicking the Form. The problem of universals – how can one thing in general be many things in particular – was solved by presuming that Form was a distinct singular thing but caused plural representations of itself in particular objects. For example, in the dialogue Parmenides, Socrates states: "Nor, again, if a person were to show that all is one by partaking of one, at the same time many by partaking of many, would that be astonishing, but if he were to show me that the absolute one was many, or the absolute many one, I should be amazed." Matter is considered particular in itself. For Plato, such as beauty, are more real than any objects that imitate them. Though the forms are timeless and unchanging, physical things are in a constant change of existence. Where forms are unqualified perfection, physical things are qualified and conditioned; these Forms are the essences of various objects: they are that without which a thing would not be the kind of thing it is.
For example, there are countless tables in the world but the Form of tableness is at the core. Plato's Socrates held that the world of Forms is transcendent to our own world and is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, Forms are the most pure of all things. Furthermore, he believed that true knowledge/intelligence is the ability to grasp the world of Forms with one's mind. A Form is atemporal. Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time, it therefore formally grounds beginning and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration, it exists transcendent to time altogether. Forms are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, thus no orientation in space, nor do they have a location, they are non-physical. Forms are extra-mental. A Form is an objective "blueprint" of perfection; the Forms are unchanging representations of objects and qualities. For example the Form of beauty or the Form of a triangle.
For the form of a triangle say. A triangle is a polygon with 3 sides; the triangle as it is on the blackboard is far from perfect. However, it is only the intelligibility of the Form "triangle" that allows us to know the drawing on the chalkboard is a triangle, the Form "triangle" is perfect and unchanging, it is the same whenever anyone chooses to consider it. It follows that the same attributes would exist for all Forms; the words, εἶδος and ἰδέα come from the Indo-European root *weyd- or *weid- "see". Eidos is attested in texts of the Homeric era, the earliest Greek literature; this transliteration and the translation tradition of German and Latin lead to the expression "theory of Ideas." The word is however not the English "idea,", a mental concept only. The theory of matter and form started with Plato and germinal in some of the presocratic writings; the forms were considered as being "in" something else. The latter seemed as carved "wood", ὕλη in Greek, corresponding to m
Aristippus of Cyrene was the founder of the Cyrenaic school of Philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates, but adopted a different philosophical outlook, teaching that the goal of life was to seek pleasure by circumstances to oneself and by maintaining proper control over both adversity and prosperity, his outlook came to be called "ethical hedonism." Among his pupils was his daughter Arete. There are indications that he was conflated with Aristippus the Younger. Aristippus, the son of Aritades, was born in Cyrene, Ancient Libya, c. 435 BCE. He came to Greece to be present at the Olympic games, where he asked Ischomachus about Socrates, by his description was filled with so ardent a desire to see Socrates, that he went to Athens for the purpose, remained with him up to the time of his execution in 399. Diodorus dates him to 366, which agrees well with the facts known about him, with the statement, that Lais, the courtesan with whom he was intimate, was born in 421. Though a disciple of Socrates, Aristippus wandered far both in principle and practice from the teaching and example of his great master.
He lived luxuriously, was happy to seek sensual gratification and the company of the notorious Lais. He took money for his teaching, the first of Socrates' disciples to do so and told Socrates that he resided in a foreign land in order to escape the trouble of involving himself in the politics of his native city, he passed part of his life at the court of Dionysius I of Syracuse or Dionysius the Younger, is said to have been taken prisoner by Artaphernes, the satrap who drove the Spartans from Rhodes in 396. He appears, however, at last to have returned to Cyrene, there he spent his old age. In Book VI of De architectura, Vitruvius describes Aristippus: It is related of the Socratic philosopher Aristippus that, being shipwrecked and cast ashore on the coast of the Rhodians, he observed geometrical figures drawn thereon, cried out to his companions: "Let us be of good cheer, for I see the traces of man." With that he made for the city of Rhodes, went straight to the gymnasium. There he fell to discussing philosophical subjects, presents were bestowed upon him, so that he could not only fit himself out, but could provide those who accompanied him with clothing and all other necessaries of life.
When his companions wished to return to their country, asked him what message he wished them to carry home, he bade them say this: that children ought to be provided with property and resources of a kind that could swim with them out of a shipwreck. The anecdotes which are told of Aristippus by no means give us the notion of a person, the mere slave of his passions, but rather of one who took a pride in extracting enjoyment from all circumstances of every kind, in controlling adversity and prosperity alike, they illustrate and confirm the two statements of Horace, that to observe the precepts of Aristippus is "to endeavour to adapt circumstances to myself, not myself to circumstances" and that, "every complexion of life, every station and circumstance sat gracefully upon him." Thus when reproached for his love of bodily indulgences, he answered, that "it is not abstinence from pleasures, best, but mastery over them without being worsted". When Dionysius, provoked at some of his remarks, ordered him to take the lowest place at table, he said, "You wish to dignify the seat".
"Wise people though all laws were abolished, would still lead the same life" is the single most popular quotation of his on the Internet, where it is and erroneously, attributed to the comic poet Aristophanes. Whether Aristippus was a prisoner to a satrap, grossly insulted and spit upon by a tyrant, enjoying the pleasures of a banquet or reviled for faithlessness to Socrates by his fellow-pupils, he maintained the same calm temper, he seemed insulting to Xenophon and Plato, as seen from the Memorabilia, where he maintains a discussion against Socrates in defence of voluptuous enjoyment, from the Phaedo, where his absence at the death of Socrates, though he was only at Aegina, 200 stadia from Athens, is doubtless mentioned as a reproach. Aristotle, calls him a sophist, notices a story of Plato's speaking to him, with rather undue vehemence, of his replying with calmness. Aristippus imparted his doctrine to his daughter Arete who, in turn, imparted it to her son, Aristippus the Younger, said to have reduced it to a system.
Diogenes Laërtius, on the authority of Sotion and Panaetius, gives a long list of books whose authorship is ascribed to Aristippus, though he states that according to Sosicrates of Rhodes, Aristippus never wrote anything. Some letters attributed. Although his dubious reputation has survived into modern times, his philosophy of ethical hedonism, as its name implies, was not amoral, he admonished his students to never harm others, cautioned that the pursuit of pleasure ought to be moderated by moral self-restraint. One work attributed to "Aristippus" in ancient times was a scandalous work entitled On Ancient Luxury; this work, judging by the quotations preserved by Diogenes Laërtius, was filled with spicy anecdotes about philosophers and their supposed taste for courtesans and young boys. Thus the author supports his claims for Plato's various erotic relationships through his quotation of epigrams attributed to the philosopher, makes an extreme allegation that Periander committed incest with his own mother.
That this work cannot have been written by Aristippus of Cyrene has long been realised, not least because the author mentions Theophrastus who lived a generation af
Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things and verifying facts, applying logic, changing or justifying practices and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, language and art, is considered to be a distinguishing ability possessed by humans. Reason, or an aspect of it, is sometimes referred to as rationality. Reasoning is associated with thinking and intellect; the philosophical field of logic studies ways. Reasoning may be subdivided into forms of logical reasoning: deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning. Along these lines, a distinction is drawn between logical, discursive reasoning, intuitive reasoning, in which the reasoning process through intuition—however valid—may tend toward the personal and the subjectively opaque. In some social and political settings logical and intuitive modes of reasoning may clash, while in other contexts intuition and formal reason are seen as complementary rather than adversarial.
For example, in mathematics, intuition is necessary for the creative processes involved with arriving at a formal proof, arguably the most difficult of formal reasoning tasks. Reasoning, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking moves from one idea to a related idea. For example, reasoning is the means by which rational individuals understand sensory information from their environments, or conceptualize abstract dichotomies such as cause and effect and falsehood, or ideas regarding notions of good or evil. Reasoning, as a part of executive decision making, is closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change, in terms of goals, attitudes and institutions, therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination. In contrast to the use of "reason" as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration given which either explains or justifies events, phenomena, or behavior. Reasons justify decisions, reasons support explanations of natural phenomena. Using reason, or reasoning, can be described more plainly as providing good, or the best, reasons.
For example, when evaluating a moral decision, "morality is, at the least, the effort to guide one's conduct by reason—that is, doing what there are the best reasons for doing—while giving equal weight to the interests of all those affected by what one does."Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw. The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the question of. In the English language and other modern European languages, "reason", related words, represent words which have always been used to translate Latin and classical Greek terms in the sense of their philosophical usage; the original Greek term was "λόγος" logos, the root of the modern English word "logic" but a word which could mean for example "speech" or "explanation" or an "account". As a philosophical term logos was translated in its non-linguistic senses in Latin as ratio.
This was not just a translation used for philosophy, but was commonly a translation for logos in the sense of an account of money. French raison is derived directly from Latin, this is the direct source of the English word "reason"; the earliest major philosophers to publish in English, such as Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke routinely wrote in Latin and French, compared their terms to Greek, treating the words "logos", "ratio", "raison" and "reason" as interchangeable. The meaning of the word "reason" in senses such as "human reason" overlaps to a large extent with "rationality" and the adjective of "reason" in philosophical contexts is "rational", rather than "reasoned" or "reasonable"; some philosophers, Thomas Hobbes for example used the word ratiocination as a synonym for "reasoning". The proposal that reason gives humanity a special position in nature has been argued to be a defining characteristic of western philosophy and western modern science, starting with classical Greece.
Philosophy can be described as a way of life based upon reason, in the other direction reason has been one of the major subjects of philosophical discussion since ancient times. Reason is said to be reflexive, or "self-correcting", the critique of reason has been a persistent theme in philosophy, it has been defined at different times, by different thinkers about human nature. For many classical philosophers, nature was understood teleologically, meaning that every type of thing had a definitive purpose which fit within a natural order, itself understood to have aims. Starting with Pythagoras or Heraclitus, the cosmos is said to have reason. Reason, by this account, is not just one characteristic that humans happen to have, that influences happiness amongst other characteristics. Reason was considered of higher stature than other characteristics of human nature, such as sociability, because it is something humans share with nature itself, linking an immortal part of the human mind with the divine order of the cosmos itself.
Within the human mind or soul, reason was des
Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought, the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is considered the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher and his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato has often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality; the so-called Neoplatonism of philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry influenced Saint Augustine and thus Christianity. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato appears to have been the founder of Western political philosophy, his most famous contribution bears his name, the doctrine of the Forms known by pure reason to provide a realist solution to the problem of universals.
He is the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids. His own most decisive philosophical influences are thought to have been along with Socrates, the pre-Socratics Pythagoras and Parmenides, although few of his predecessors' works remain extant and much of what we know about these figures today derives from Plato himself. Unlike the work of nearly all of his contemporaries, Plato's entire oeuvre is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, the works of Plato have never been without readers since the time they were written. Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about education. Plato belonged to an influential family. According to a disputed tradition, reported by doxographer Diogenes Laërtius, Plato's father Ariston traced his descent from the king of Athens and the king of Messenia, Melanthus. Plato's mother was Perictione, whose family boasted of a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet Solon, one of the seven sages, who repealed the laws of Draco.
Perictione was sister of Charmides and niece of Critias, both prominent figures of the Thirty Tyrants, known as the Thirty, the brief oligarchic regime, which followed on the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War. According to some accounts, Ariston tried to force his attentions on Perictione, but failed in his purpose; the exact time and place of Plato's birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC, not long after the start of the Peloponnesian War; the traditional date of Plato's birth during the 87th or 88th Olympiad, 428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius, who says, "When was gone, joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in the manner of Parmenides. At twenty-eight, Hermodorus says, went to Euclides in Megara." However, as Debra Nails argues, the text does not state that Plato left for Megara after joining Cratylus and Hermogenes.
In his Seventh Letter, Plato notes that his coming of age coincided with the taking of power by the Thirty, remarking, "But a youth under the age of twenty made himself a laughingstock if he attempted to enter the political arena." Thus, Nails dates Plato's birth to 424/423. According to Neanthes, Plato was six years younger than Isocrates, therefore was born the same year the prominent Athenian statesman Pericles died. Jonathan Barnes regards 428 BC as the year of Plato's birth; the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens in his Chronicles argues that Plato was born in the 88th Olympiad. Both the Suda and Sir Thomas Browne claimed he was born during the 88th Olympiad. Another legend related that, when Plato was an infant, bees settled on his lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse about philosophy. Besides Plato himself and Perictione had three other children; the brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon are mentioned in the Republic as sons of Ariston, brothers of Plato, though some have argued they were uncles.
In a scenario in the Memorabilia, Xenophon confused the issue by presenting a Glaucon much younger than Plato. Ariston appears to have died in Plato's childhood, although the precise dating of his death is difficult. Perictione married Pyrilampes, her mother's brother, who had served many times as an ambassador to the Persian court and was a friend of Pericles, the leader of the democratic faction in Athens. Pyrilampes had a son from a previous marriage, famous for his beauty. Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes' second son, the half-brother of Plato, who appears in Parmenides. In contrast to his reticence about himself, Plato introduced his distinguished relatives into his dialogues, or referred to them with some precision. In addition to Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Republic, Charmides has a dialogue named after him; these and other references suggest a considerable amount of family pride and enable us to reconstruct Plato's family tree. According to Burnet, "the opening scene of the Ch
Crates of Thebes
Crates of Thebes was a Cynic philosopher. Crates gave away his money to live a life of poverty on the streets of Athens, he married Hipparchia of Maroneia. Respected by the people of Athens, he is remembered for being the teacher of Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism. Various fragments of Crates' teachings survive, including his description of the ideal Cynic state. Crates was born c. 365 BC in Thebes. He was the son of Ascondus, was the heir to a large fortune, which he is said to have renounced to live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Diogenes Laërtius preserves several different accounts of this story, he moved to Athens. Crates is described as being the student of Bryson the Achaean, of Stilpo, he lived a life of cheerful simplicity, Plutarch, who wrote a detailed biography of Crates which does not survive, records what sort of man Crates was: But Crates with only his wallet and tattered cloak laughed out his life jocosely, as if he had been always at a festival. He is said to have hunched shoulders.
He was nicknamed the Door-Opener because he would enter any house and people would receive him gladly and with honour: He used to enter the houses of his friends, without being invited or otherwise called, in order to reconcile members of a family if it was apparent that they were at odds. He would not reprove them harshly, but in a soothing way, in a manner, non-accusatory towards those whom he was correcting, because he wished to be of service to them as well as to those who were just listening, he attracted the attentions of Hipparchia of Maroneia, the sister of one of Crates' students, Metrocles. Hipparchia is said to have fallen in love with Crates and with his life and teachings, thus rejecting her wealthy upbringing in a manner similar to Crates, she married him; the marriage was remarkable for being based on mutual equality between the couple. Stories about Hipparchia appearing in public everywhere with Crates are mentioned because respectable women did not behave in that way, they had at least two children, a girl, a boy named Pasicles.
We learn that Crates is supposed to have initiated his son into sex by taking him to a brothel, he allowed his daughter a month's trial marriage to potential suitors. He was the teacher of Zeno of Citium in the last years of the century, was undoubtedly the biggest influence on Zeno in his development of Stoic philosophy. Zeno always regarded Crates with the greatest respect, some of the accounts we have of Crates have come down to us via Zeno's writings, his other pupils included Metrocles, Menippus, Cleomenes and Crates' brother Pasicles. He may have taught Cleanthes, Zeno's successor as head of the Stoic school. Crates was in Thebes in 307 BC, when Demetrius Phalereus was exiled there, he is said to have died at a great age, was buried in Boeotia. Crates wrote a book of letters on philosophical subjects, the style of, compared by Diogenes Laërtius to that of Plato. There are 36 surviving Cynic epistles attributed to Crates, but these are 1st-century, compositions. Crates was the author of some philosophical tragedies, some smaller poems called Games.
Several fragments of his thought survive. He taught a simple asceticism, which seems to have been milder than that of his predecessor Diogenes: And therefore Crates replied to the man who asked, "What will be in it for me after I become a philosopher?" "You will be able," he said, "to open your wallet and with your hand scoop out and dispense lavishly instead of, as you do now and hesitating and trembling like those with paralyzed hands. Rather, if the wallet is full, how you will view it, and once you have elected to use the money, you will be able to do so. His philosophy was infused with a rich humour, he urged people not to prefer anything but lentils in their meals, because luxury and extravagance were the chief causes of seditions and insurrections in a city. This jest would be the cause of much satire, as in book 4 of Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae where a group of Cynics sit down for a meal and are served course after course of lentil soup. One of his poems parodied a famous hymn to the Muses written by Solon.
But whereas Solon wished for prosperity, "justly acquired possessions," Crates had Cynic desires: Glorious children of Memory and Olympian Zeus,Muses of Pieria, listen to my prayer! Give me without ceasing food for my belly Which had always made my life frugal and free from slavery.... Make me useful to my friends, rather than agreeable; as for money, I do not wish to amass conspicuous wealth, But only seek the wealth of the beetle or the
The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics were a sensual hedonist Greek school of philosophy founded in the 4th century BCE by Aristippus of Cyrene, although many of the principles of the school are believed to have been formalized by his grandson of the same name, Aristippus the Younger. The school was so called after the birthplace of Aristippus, it was one of the earliest Socratic schools. The Cyrenaics taught that the only intrinsic good is pleasure, which meant not just the absence of pain, but positively enjoyable sensations. Of these, momentary pleasures physical ones, are stronger than those of anticipation or memory, they did, recognize the value of social obligation and that pleasure could be gained from altruistic behaviour. The school was replaced by the philosophy of Epicureanism; the history of the Cyrenaic school begins with Aristippus of Cyrene, born around 435 BCE. He became a pupil of Socrates. We have only limited knowledge of his movements after the execution of Socrates in 399 BCE, although he is said to have lived for a time in the court of Dionysius of Syracuse.
It is uncertain which doctrines ascribed to the Cyrenaic school were formulated by Aristippus. Diogenes Laërtius, based on the authority of Sotion and Panaetius, provided a long list of books said to have been written by Aristippus. However, Diogenes wrote that Sosicrates had stated that Aristippus had written nothing. Among Aristippus' pupils was his daughter, Arete of Cyrene, who passed on his teachings to her own son Aristippus the Younger, it was he, according to Aristocles, who turned the teachings of his grandfather into a comprehensive system. At the least, however, it can be said that the foundations of Cyrenaic philosophy were ideas originated by the elder Aristippus. After the time of the younger Aristippus, the school broke up into different factions, represented by Anniceris and Theodorus, who all developed rival interpretations of Cyrenaic doctrines, many of which were responses to the new system of hedonistic philosophy laid down by Epicurus. By the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Cyrenaic school was obsolete.
The Cyrenaics were hedonists and held that pleasure was the supreme good in life physical pleasure, which they thought more intense and more desirable than mental pleasures. Pleasure is the only good in pain is the only evil. Socrates had held that virtue was the only human good, but he had accepted a limited role for its utilitarian side, allowing pleasure to be a secondary goal of moral action. Aristippus and his followers seized upon this, made pleasure the sole final goal of life, denying that virtue had any intrinsic value; the Cyrenaics were known for their skeptical theory of knowledge. They reduced logic to a basic doctrine concerning the criterion of truth, they thought that we can know with certainty our immediate sense-experiences but can know nothing about the nature of the objects that cause these sensations. They denied that we can have knowledge of what the experiences of other people are like. All knowledge is of one's own immediate sensation; these sensations are motions which are purely subjective, are painful, indifferent or pleasant, according as they are violent, tranquil or gentle.
Further they are individual, can in no way be described as being of the world objectively. Feeling, therefore, is the only possible criterion of knowledge and of conduct. Our ways of being affected are alone knowable, thus the sole aim for everyone should be pleasure. Cyrenaicism deduces a single, universal aim for all people, pleasure. Furthermore, all feeling is homogeneous, it follows that past and future pleasure have no real existence for us, that among present pleasures there is no distinction of kind. Socrates had spoken of the higher pleasures of the intellect. Momentary pleasure, preferably of a physical kind, is the only good for humans; however some actions which give immediate pleasure can create more than their equivalent of pain. The wise person should be in control of pleasures rather than be enslaved to them, otherwise pain will result, this requires judgement to evaluate the different pleasures of life. Regard should be paid to law and custom, because though these things have no intrinsic value on their own, violating them will lead to unpleasant penalties being imposed by others.
Friendship and justice are useful because of the pleasure they provide. Thus the Cyrenaics believed in the hedonistic value of altruistic behavior. Like many of the leading modern utilitarians, they combined with their psychological distrust of popular judgments of right and wrong, their firm conviction that all such distinctions are based on law and convention, the unwavering principle that the wise person who would pursue pleasure logically must abstain from that, thought wrong or unjust; this idea, which occupies a prominent position in systems like those of Jeremy Bentham and William Paley, was of prime importance to the Cyrenaics. The Cyrenaics, Anniceris and Theodorus, all developed variations on the standard Cyrenaic doctrine. For Anniceris, pleasure is achieved through individual acts of gratification which are sought for the pleasure that they produce, but Anniceris laid great