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Thales Key Ideas And Way Of Thinking Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 2022 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Explain the key ideas of Thales. What was so revolutionary about his way of thinking? Thales claims that ” all things are filled with gods” Was this a religious claim? Explain in clear direct examples. Be sure to answer all questions and statements with support.

Thales is considered as one of the seven wise men of Greece. Thales traveled to Egypt to study geometry and when he came back to Melitus, he had unusual mathematical abilities, he was able to calculate the distance of a ship at sea from looking at it from two points while on land, he was also able to know the height of a pyramid through observing its shadow. Thales is mostly remembered for his theorem about right angles, this say that when a triangle is inscribed in a circle, it has a right angle. Thales was a revolutionary thinker in that he came up with many things which had not been known before and which are used up to today.

Explain the ideas of Anaximander. How is Anaximander’s thinking an improvement on the ideas of Thales? Do you think the story of science is the story of progress? Explain in clear statements and examples. Break it down clearly.

Anaximander came after Thales and his thought was that the elements: water, earth, air and fire were opposing each other as an attempt of each to increase itself in quantity. This was an improvement of Thales idea that the origin of matter is water. Thales was somehow true in that the universe is mostly consisted by Hydrogen which forms two of the three atoms of water. I think that the story of science is that of progress because of the fact that many scientific ideas are improved from one scientist to another; an example is the idea of Thales that the origin of matter is water; this was later improved to show that the water had an atom of oxygen.

Parmendides claims “Thought and being are the same”. Explain what this means. From this premise, Parmenides argues that these are not, in reality, many things, time or change. Provide the argument for one of these conclusions. Do you think there is a distinction between appearance and reality? Explain.

Parmenide came up with the theme of unchanging oneness and also is credited for coming up with the use of logical argument. He argues that change and motion must be some kind of illusion. It was only possible to have a fixed, unchanging eternal oneness.

Explain one of Zeno’s arguments against motion. How does this argument support Parmenides view of reality? What do you think is the best way to know the nature of reality? Justify your answer.

Zeno was one of Parmenide’s students and is remembered for his arguments in which he defends the clearness of the Eleatic philosophy by proving through logical means that motion and plurality are not possible. One of his arguments is the Achilles which explains that motion is mathematically impossible imagining that Achilles was chasing a tortoise. He must first come to the place where the tortoise was, but by the time he gets there, the tortoise will have moved. By the time that he makes up for this movement, the tortoise will have moved a little further. Thus, no matter how long he chases the tortoise, it seems he will never catch up with the tortoise.

For the atomists, what does reality consist of? How do they explain coming into being and passing away? What problem does atomism pose for the idea that we have a free will? Do you think there is such a thing as free will? Explain

Atomism gives a solid model of Reality. It only requires an unresisting space and moving particles. The void as an empty vessel can be overlooked so far as the reproduction of any causality goes. It may consist of a few tangible properties like existence and a crisp dimensionality but the void is causally motionless. The atomists suppose that life came out of a primeval substance, man, animals and plants. Man is seen as the microcosm of the world because he is consisted of every kind of atom. The idea of having a free will poses a problem in that this leads man to escape his moral constraints leading a life that is immoral.

Explain Protagoras’ saying “Man is a measure of all things”. Explain how this statement is relativistic. Do you agree with Protagoras? Justify your answer. Explain what the sophists claim to teach. Do you think the sophists were good for the Athenien society? Explain.

Protagoras means that the anxiety of truth is relative to a person’s perception and what sees as truth will be true to that person despite of what evidence is provided to the contrary. Relativism means that some elements of experience or culture depend on other elements. Following this definition for relativism, then Protagoras’ saying is relativistic because the element of truth depends on another element of perception. I don’t agree with him because his believe depends on the occurrence of something else and it is not always tru that when one element occurs the other will follow. The sophists claimed to base their teachings on the problem of morality and justice. They were good for the Athenien society as they taught the youth on several issues; they were admired by many people.

Section 2

In the text, there are 4 beliefs/ideas that Socrates claims to “Know”. Of these four beliefs, which do you think is the most implausible? Provide the argument and explain why it is unlikely to be true. Explain why you find it implausible. Of the four, which do you think is the most likely to be true? Provide the argument and justify that it is true.

Euthyro’s first definition of piety is “to do what I am doing now.” What is Socrates looking for in a definition? Euthyro’s second definition of piety is “what is dear to the gods.” Explain Socrates’ criticism to this definition. Does Socrates criticism still work if there is only one god?

What is the story of Chairephon and the Oracle of Delphi? Why was Socrates confused by what the oracle said? Why did Socrates go to see politicians, poets, and craftsmen? What did he learn about them? What kind of wisdom did Socrates discover he had? Do you agree that this is the only kind of wisdom available to humans? Justify your answers.

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Prompted by a person called Chairephon, the Oracle at Delphi claimed that Socrates was wisest than any man. Socrates did not believe this and so he went around to those who were known to be wise but he noticed that, although he did not know anything about what he asked them, he felt that they did not make sense in whatever they were saying. Socrates had been confused by what the oracle said because he did not believe that he was wise at all and he also knew that the oracle must have been telling the truth because it was god and gods do not lie.socrates went around to see the politicians, poets, and craftsmen because they were regarded to be the wise men. But after examining them, he found out that they were not really wise. Socrates is wiser than them because he does not believe to know what he does not know. Socrates has the true wisdom of God. I don’t believe that this is the only wisdom available to people as there are very wise people who do not believe in God in the first place.

In defending against the charge of corrupting the youth, Socrates uses an analogy of horse breeders. How is this analogy effective in his defense? Explain Socrates claim that he would not corrupt the youth willingly. Do you think Socrates is guilty of corrupting the youth? Justify your answer.

Socrates is accused of corrupting the youth but he shows that it is more likely for a group of people to corrupt a person than it is for one person to corrupt that person. He uses the analogy of horse breeders where he argues that horses are improved by their breeders, those using the horses corrupt them and that horse users are more than the breeders. Thus, those who corrupt the horses are the majority while those who improve them are the minority. Since what applies to horses applies to other animals, it is likely that the youth have been corrupted by Socrates who is the minority than by the larger number of people. The analogy is effective as it shows that the youth are likely to have been corrupted by the large number of council members and educators. It is however possible that Socrates corrupts the youth but unwillingly thus not guilty. I believe that Socrates is not guilty of corrupting the youth as he is not the only one who interacts with them. The youth interact with many other people.

What argument does Socrates give that we should not listen to the opinion of many? If Socrates is right, why is it unlikely that a democracy will produce qualified and effective leaders?

He feels that the opinion of many is considered as been right while it might not been the right thing to follow.

Provide Socrates’ reasoning that he should not escape from prison. If you were in Socrates position, would you try to escape from prison? Justify your answer.

He argued that escaping would imply that he was afraid of death, if he ran away from Athens his teaching would also not be accepted in other countries. Finally, he felt that because he had agreed to be subjected to the city’s laws knowingly, he was subjected to the possibility of being accused of crimes and judged for them according to the laws. If I was in his position, I would have tried the escape; I would run away to other places where I would continue with my objective of teaching the people. If I was arrested in this new city, I would try to escape again.

Section 3

According to Plato, knowledge is definite or certain whereas opinion is not. Also, knowledge originates from the change of impression, awareness or feeling whereas opinions originate from the change of timeless forms. Forms refer to archetypes of several kinds of things, for example property, that are visible and can be felt around us and that could only be apparent by reason. Plato argues that the material world is only a replica of the actual world but it is not the real world.

According to Plato the theory of the state originates from the theory of the soul. The theory of the soul is composed of three energies which are reason, appetite and emotion. These three energies should be ordered in ordered for one to be happy. A person who stays a life that is just and morally upright is free from any harm as opposed to the one who is immoral. For there to be happiness, there must be justice. Also, Plato thinks that the state should be ruled by a group of guardians who only consist of Philosopher-Kings because he believed that the key to a successful leader was knowledge and such guardians liked to learn. Plato’s politics make for a just community. This is because he considers having both genders in the political ruling and to avoid the jealousy among the kings; he calls for communal ownership of property. Lastly, the politics of Plato are not preferable to democracy as they did not prescribe for any laws which govern a state and this would encourage criminal activities.

Plato considers forms to be archetypes of several kinds of things and are perfect and indivisible. In reality, things are not perfect at all. Plato supposed that forms existed as archetypes in a world of inspiration; forms are cacheable and not rational. Lastly, is the criticism about the limits as to how many objects should consist a form and Socrates and Parmenides argued about it.

Teology refers to the philosophical or rational study of the thought that the ultimate origin subsist and is proof for the natural inherence of purpose and design. It was developed by both Aristotle and Plato. As said by Aristotle, entelechy’s refers to the condition for a thing whose core is wholly understood. A virtue is a quality that is taken to be good in moral sense and is therefore treasured as a measure of upright morals.


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