Jennifer Bishop October 2, 2007 ILS Notes: Hellenistic Natural Philosophy Lecture Book: Hellenistic Natural Philosophy (pgs. 69-83) Aristotle died when Alexander the Great was finishing his conquests Alexander enlarged Greek territory Alexander/successors borrowed from the conquered peoples, becoming ?Hellenistic? or ?greekish? Hellenistic Natural Philosophy- thoughts about nature among scholars throughout Greek empire Schools and Education no formal education required in ancient society only nobility found some education desirable education = paideia 2 parts Gymnastike for the body physical culture/athletics at sports ground, wrestling school, gymnasium Mousike for the mind/spirit the arts- music and poetry took place anywhere eventually there were schools for reading/writing too there was nothing like mass education in existence teachers were private, and used by the aristocrats the Sophists changed the education system more advanced education training of citizens/statesmen called for education in intellectual and political matters taught in public places to attract business Plato?s Academy- mature scholars who interacted as equals Religious undercurrent Service of Muses Religious ceremonies? Was not orthodox, accepted any student Aristotle founded a rival school called the Lycium Known for Aristotle?s ?cooperative research? method Stressed biology vs. Plato?s mathematics Taught different metaphysics than Plato 4 most prominent schools in Athens: The Academy- Plato The Lyceum- Aristotle The Stoa- Zeno The Garden of Epicurus- Epicurus Ptolemy founded the Museum Temple to the muses, religious shrine, place of learning Presided over by a priest Major research institution of the period First time advanced learning was founded by royals/public The Lyceum After Aristotle Theophrastus (friend) headed the Lyceum after Aristotle?s death Started the ?doxographic? tradition- a series of handbooks in which philosophical opinion on a variety of topics was collected The botanical works contain meticulous plant descriptions Theophrastus questioned aspects of Aristotelian natural philosophy Teleology- not everything has a purpose, some things are random 4 elements- fire may not be an element Light/vision- eyes of animals contain fire to see at night Theophrasuts aquired property for the Lyceum Strato took over the lyceum Tried to correct/extend work of Aristotle/Theophrastus Contributed in motion and structure of physical world All bodies have weight in greater or lesser degrees We must consider height when determining speed Bodies are not continuous- void spaces Didn?t think there was continual void space Epicureans and Stoics Followers of Plato and Aristotle continued discussing their philosophies Epicurus ?the aim of philosophy is to secure happiness? To be happy: eliminate fear of the unknown & supernatural Epicurus? natural philosophy The universe is eternal There is an infinite void Void made up of moving atoms Everything is reducible to atoms and the void Only genuine properties: shape, size, weight No final causes- nothing has a purpose if it has exited forever already All senses are trustworthy Epicurus? doctrine of the Swerve Atoms possess shape, size, AND WEIGHT All atoms fall at the same speed? Atoms set off chain reaction of collisions? Problem: if the world is made up of predetermined causes, then human action can?t be free; if humans can?t choose freely, they have no responsibility possibility of free will? Zeno of Citium- founder of Stoic Philosophy What Stoics and Epicureans agreed on Subordination of natural philosophy to ethics Persuit of happiness = goal of human existence Nothing else exists besides material things Different views of Stoics and Epicureans of the Universe Epicureans Matter discontinuous and passive Lifeless atoms Only real properties are size, shape, weight Mindless floating over space Stoics Organic universe Continuous and active No natural breaks and no void spaces The cosmos is surrounded by infinite space Besides matter there is an active principle to account for matter?s characteristic behavior (pneuma) Pneuma = reason = God Air/fire act, and water/earth are acted upon Various grades of pneuma HEXIS- rocks and minerals PHYSIS- plants and animals PSYCHE- humans and rationale Every living thing is permeated by soul There is a world soul) Cycle theory of the universe Universe purposeful and deterministic causal chains determine sequence of events Lecture Book: Roman and Early Midieval Science (pgs. 33-49) Greeks and Romans Rome grew into a thriving republic Rome extended its influence over Greek lands Roman control didn?t mean a loss of Greek culture and learning Rome?s aristocracy appreciated Greek achievements in literature, philosophy, politics, and the arts Became bilingual Easy to find Greek teachers anyone who couldn?t pay for education needed a patron Romans interested in education with practical value and basic appeal Science and philosophy seen as amusements Learning seen as a leisure-time pursuit Borrowed what seemed interesting or useful from the Greeks Popularizers and Encyclopedists Posidonius- a Stoic Popularizer Universal scholar Determined Earth?s circumference Used by Christopher Columbus to calculate travel distance Varro Wrote nine Books of Disciplines, a model for Roman encyclopedias Use of the liberal arts Arts: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, musical theory, medicine, architecture Defined 7 liberal arts of the medieval schools Cicero Believed in probability The best way to discover the truth is by sifting through past opinions One of the major sources of Stoic philosophy God bears the same relationship to matter as a human soul bears to the human body Didn?t care much about mathematical sciences Lucretius Wrote On the Nature of Things Infinity of worlds Astronomical data Mortality of the soul Sense perception Origins of plant and animal life Origins and history of human race Geological phenomena Pliny the Elder Wrote The Natural History Assembled note cards into a book of information Goal: create a storehouse of interesting/entertaining info Purpose: survey the universe and the natural objects that populate it Discussed cosmology, astronomy, geography, anthropology, zoology, botany, mineralogy Communicated bare essentials to the public without observational or mathematical complexity Martianus Capella North African Wrote The Marriage of Philology and Mercury Proofs of the earth?s spherical shape Earth is the center of the universe 3 continents of the world: Asia, Europe, Africa Tour of the world Defines numbers as prime/composite; even/odd etc. Basic cosmological/astronomical information Discussion of inferior planets (Mercury and Venus) which move through orbits centered on the sun Translations loss of leisure due to political turmoil/war/urban decline Empire divided into East and West bilingualism declined 2 men translated some Greek literature into Latin Calcidius Translated Plato?s Timaeus to Latin Wrote a long commentary on it Boethius Translated Aristotle?s logical works Wrote handbooks on the liberal arts West completely cut off from original Greek science and natural philosophy Course Reader: Pliny the Elder?s Natural History (pgs. 47-55) writes to Emperor Titus about his encyclopedia dedicates the book to Titus sees his books as unremarkable, a source of entertainment subject: the natural world barren topic uses ?barbarian words? says his path isn?t well-worn by writers other subjects have become over-exposed by publication, and are boring thinks his willingness to try something new is commendable irate at Livy: author who wanted to retire instead of write it would have been more meritorious to have persevered because of love of the work rather than fro his own peace of mind! ?we need works of reference, not books? added to his books things he discovered from personal experience admits that some facts eluded him; he is only human prefaced his books with the names of his authorities shows modesty feels past writers have been copied without credit made a table of index Jennifer Bishop October 2, 2007 Lecture Notes: the Hellenistic World and Hellenization Thinking of the philosophers was carried on within their schools The 4 Schools of Athens (beginning in the 3rd c. BCE) Plato?s Academy Aristotle?s Lyceum Zeno of Citium?s Stoa Stoicism- refers to painted columns, where Zeno spoke Pneuma Epicurus? Garden Plurality of philosophical thought in Athens The Rise of Alexandria (upper Egypt) change in intellectual leadership Ptolemy introduces the thought of making planetary predictions cites the people who came before him fuses Greek and non-Greek elements together to make philosophical claims good example of possibilities available in Hellenistic world Greek astronomical tradition We can approach cosmology by applying geometry to solve problems Aristarchus Tries to figure out distance between sun, moon, earth (right triangle) Apply trigonometry Ratios of sun/earth to earth/moon is 20:1 Wasn?t accurate, but he showed that philosophy wasn?t just about intellectual discussion, it was about application Eratosthenes Determines the circumference of the earth using geometry (25-30000 miles) Was a relatively accurate estimate Babylonian astronomical tradition Observational database of planets Babylonians wanted to know where the planets would be located (prediction) Greek Medicine Shift of importance- people go to Alexandria instead of Athens to learn about medicine Alexandria is a royal city Dissection of human bodies regularly practiced in Alexandria Center for discussions on human anatomy and physiology Galen- second most famous physician of all time lived in same time period as Ptolemy traveled extensively to study medicine spent lots of time in Alexandria, where he could access manuscripts in museums and participate in intellectual meetings career illustrates importance of Alexandria later career takes him to Rome new changing in thinking about natural philosophy, medicine, etc. The Roman World and Hellenization Virgil writes poem about the origins of Rome Rome was actually nothing during the time of Alexander the Great No political/economical influence on other regions Romans did a 180 and conquered Greece and Mediterranean, along with other areas that had never been explored As Rome extends its militarism, Greece extends its culture Hellenization! Greek philosophy was something educated Romans prided themselves on Greek philosophy was something the Romans thought they could gain by conquering the region Romans put a high value on Greek philosophy Roman empires were willing to support the plurality of philosophical thinking (stoicism, epicurianism, etc.) Pliny the Elder well-schooled in Greek philosophy favored stoicism The Natural History Has dedication to Titus Writes in Latin, not language of Greeks Writes for everyone Attempt at popularization Wants his book to be read by the masses Reference book to address everything Table of contents Practical interest Varro Martinius Capella The liberal arts- ?a free man? The arts any free man/woman would know to be educated Romans contributed to development of Greek philosophical traditions Imperialism In Pliny?s encyclopedia, the language used is Roman Also emphasizes practicality (a Roman value)
Want to see the other 7 page(s) in Hellenistic Natural Philosophy: hw and lecture notes?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!