It is about 450 BC. Athens is the cultural center of the Greek world. At the same time philosophy takes a different direction. There will be more interest in the people and the place of man in the society will be placed centrally. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are the three greatest philosophers of antiquity. These philosophers have all left their mark on the current European civilization in their own way. The information in this article comes from the book "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder. See the special Sophie's World: A History of philosophy
This has become known thanks to Plato, his disciple. All that Socrates has been alleged recorded by Plato. Socrates himself has not put a letter on paper. The core of the work of Socrates was that he was not out to teach the people. Instead, he went to people in a dialogue. Socrates saw it as his mission to help the people to give the correct understanding. He compares this "come to an understanding" with the ability to bear children. Both are a natural characteristic. All people can, if they use their minds, understand philosophical truths. If a man uses his mind, he gets something out of themselves. Precisely by complying with the dumb, Socrates forced the people he met, to use their minds. He was then stupider than he was, this is also called Socratic irony.
A divine voice
Socrates constantly said that a divine voice inside him. Socrates protested for example against the death sentences and he refused to give political opponents. Eventually he was found guilty for introducing new gods and misleading the youth. Socrates was sentenced to death. He did not protest against this and drank the hemlock itself empty. In the book, a comparison is made between Socrates and Jesus, both out of conviction have accepted their deaths, both wrote their own message persists, and both are thousands of years later valued people.
People know very little
Socrates argued that "the wisest is she who knows what she does not know." A philosopher is someone who recognizes that he does not understand many things. Socrates knew that he knew nothing, and that gave him no rest. Therefore, he was a philosopher, someone who imperturbably continues to search for the right answer. With his strong belief in human thought Socrates was an outspoken rationalist.
Correct understanding leads to right action
According to Socrates, the conscience tells us what is right. "He who knows what is good, it will also do good 'and' Only he who does the right thing is a real man," he said. He also said that when we do wrong, this is because we do not know better. Therefore, according to Socrates, is very important to increase our knowledge. Socrates argues that it is impossible to be happy, if you act against your convictions. Someone who knows how to be a happy human being, which will also try to achieve.
This teaching was concerned with the relationship between the eternal and the invariably on the one hand, and that "flows" on the other side. According to Plato, there is eternal and unchanging from mental or abstract models which all phenomena are formed. He claimed that behind the sensory world was a reality. That reality he called the 'world of ideas'. That is where the eternal and immutable 'models' of the various phenomena that we encounter in nature. This is Plato's theory of ideas. As example is given: in a bakery to be baked cookies. No cookie is identical, but they resemble each other. Because they have a common origin; all the biscuits are formed according to the same model.
Thus, the reality consists of two parts, according to Plato. One part is the sensory world. Of these, we get only a rough or imperfect knowledge by using our senses. Everything in the physical world is flowing and is not perpetual. About what we perceive we can only have vague reflections of ideas. Only about things we identify with our mind, we can be absolutely certain. For example, the sum of the angles of a triangle, will always be 180 degrees. Similarly, the "idea" horse four legs to stand on, even if all the horses in our sensory world limp. Plato also states that all natural phenomena are merely shadows of eternal forms or ideas.
The philosophy is
Finally, Plato describes the components of a harmonious state, which is a parallel to a harmonious human. These can then be compared again with the different parts of the body of a human. Plato describes as a totalitarian state with different classes. See table below.
Aristotle criticized the teachings of Plato. While Plato kept himself so busy with the eternal forms or ideas that the changes in the nature him not really noticed, Aristotle kept himself right with the changes or natural processes involved. Plato only used his mind, while Aristotle used his senses. He sat down on all fours to animals, plants, flowers and study. Unlike Plato, Aristotle thought that a man has no innate ideas. Aristotle thought that all of our thoughts and ideas have entered our consciousness by what we have seen and heard. Our innate sense we use under him to bring all sensory impressions into different groups and classes.
The final cause
Aristotle also claimed that the things in nature have different kinds of causes. He speaks of four kinds of causes: "the material cause," "moving cause" "the formal cause 'and' purpose '. The latter purpose is contrary to the thinking of modern science, in which we say that food and moisture are a precondition for animals and people to live, but not that they 'intend' have to feed us.
Aristotle laid the foundations of logic and science. For example if it first determines that all living beings and mortal than that a dog is a living being, the simple conclusion can be drawn that a dog is mortal. This example makes it clear that the logic of Aristotle is about the relationships between concepts.
The cascading structure of the nature
Aristotle divided the natural things into two main groups. On the one hand there are the lifeless things, such as stones, drops of water, and earth. These non-living things can only change by outside influence. On the other hand, the living things that have a possibility of introducing a potential for change. These living things can be divided into two groups: the living plants and living beings. Finally, living creatures can again be divided into humans and animals. For this classification of natural phenomena into groups, going from Aristotle on the properties of things, or what they 'can' or what they "do". For example, all living things have the ability to take food, to grow and reproduce themselves. All living creatures also have the ability to feel around and to move in nature. All men in addition, possess the ability to think, in other words to share in their sensory perceptions in different groups and classes.
According to Aristotle, a man is only happy when he uses all its resources and capabilities. According to Aristotle, there are three types of happiness: the first form of happiness is a life full of lust and pleasure. The second form is to live as free and responsible citizen. The third is life as a researcher and philosopher. All three conditions must be present for a human to live happily.
According to Aristotle, man is a political animal. The family and the village can provide lower necessities such as food, heat, child rearing, etc. However, the highest form of human community can only be provided by the state. Without the society around us we are not decent people Aristotle.
According to Aristotle, the woman an incomplete man. The woman is passive and receptive, whereas the man is active and formative. The child only inherits the properties of the man.
Philosophy for beginners: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle