ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.)
1. Aristotle was the son of Nicomachus, the court physician to Amyntas II, king of Macedon.
a. He was born in the Ionian city of Stageira in Chaldice (Thrace).
b. His father died when he was still a boy and he was brought up by a guardian, Proxenus.
2. In 367 B.C. at (about) the age of seventeen, he went to Athens to study at the Academy under Plato.
a. He remained at the Academy until Plato's death in 347 B.C. -after Plato's death Aristotle refers to him as the man: "whom bad men have not even the right to praise, and who showed in his life and teaching how to be happy and good at the same time."
b. Aristotle found in Plato a guide and friend for whom he had the greatest admiration and whose metaphysical and religious teachings had a lasting influence upon him.
3. After Plato's death Aristotle left Athens with Xenocrates, and founded a branch of the Academy at Assos in the Troad.
a. This move was prompted by the appointment of Speusippus (Plato's nephew) as the head of the Academy.
b. Three years later he moved to Mytilene (345/344 B.C.) on the island of Lesbos where many of his zoological investigations were done.
4. In 342 B.C. Aristotle accepted an invitation by Philip of Macedon to undertake the education of his thirteen year old son, Alexander.
a. When Alexander ascended the throne in 336/335 B.C., Aristotle left Macedon and probably returned to his native city of Stageira which Alexander rebuilt as payment of his debt to Aristotle.
b. Aristotle approved of Macedonian politics to a certain extent, but he did not approve of Alexander's tendency to regard Greeks and "barbarians" on an equal basis.
c. In 327 B.C., Callisthenes, the nephew of Aristotle, who had been taken into the service of Alexander on Aristotle's re-commendation (suspected of taking part in a conspiracy) was executed.
5. In 335/334 B.C. Aristotle had returned to Athens where he founded his own school, the Lyceum.
a. It was located in the north-east of the city, at the Lyceum, the precincts of Apollo Lyceus.
b. The Lyceum more than the Academy was a union of society in which mature thinkers carried out their studies and research.
c. It was in effect a university or scientific institute, equipped with library and teachers, in which lectures were regularly given.
6. In 323 B.C. Alexander the Great died, the Lyceum was in danger of attack from the anti-Macedonian Party in Athens.
a. He left Athens leaving Theophrates in charge of the Lyceum -Aristotle was quoted as saying that he left Athens (lest the Athenians should sin against Philosophy for the second time.)
b. He went to Chalcis on the island of Euboea, where he live on an estate of his dead mother until his own death 322/321 B.C. (at the age of 62).
The Foundation of Logic
1. The first great distinction of Aristotle is that without pre-decessors, he created a new science, Logic.
2. Logic simply means the art and method of correct thinking.
a. It is the method of every science, discipline, art and even music.
b. It is science because it can be reduced to rules and can be taught to any normal mind, and it is art because by practice it gives to thought unconscious and immediate accuracy.
3. Aristotle's treatise on Definitions shows how his logic had its origin in Socrates' insistence on definitions, and Plato's constant refining of every concept.
a. Every important term in serious discussion is subjected to the strictest scrutiny and definition.
b. Aristotle maintains that a definition must assign the object in question to class or group whose general characteristics are also its own.
4. To Aristotle -- Man is an animal but differs from his class in that he is a rational animal (specific difference).
5. Doctrine of "Universals" (Conflict with Plato):
a. A universal is any common noun, any name capable of universal application to the members of class: ie. animal, man, book,tree are universals.
b. These universals are subjective notions, not tangible objective realities (ie. names not things).
c. All that exists outside us is a world of individual and specific objects, not universal things.
6. Aristotle maintains that Plato believed that universals have objective existence.
a. Plato had said that the universal is more lasting and important and substantial than the individual.
ie. Men come and go, but man goes on forever.
b. The Socratic-Platonic demand for definitions had a tendency to move away from facts to ideas and theories, from particulars to generalities.
ie. Plato so loved the general and universal that in the Republic he destroyed the individual to make the perfect state.
c. Aristotle becomes a realist almost in the modern sense, and resolved to concern himself with the objective present reality.
7. The Doctrine of Syllogism:
a. It is the most characteristic and original contribution of Aristotle to Philosophy and specifically to Logic.
b. Syllogism: it is a trio of propositions of which the third (the conclusion) follows from the conceded (or given) truth of the other two (the major and minor premises).
c. Man is a rational animal; but Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is a rational animal.
d. Critics have maintained the major problem is that the major premise of the syllogism takes for granted precisely the point to be proven.
Metaphysics and the Nature of God
1. Everything in the world is moved by an inner urge to become something greater than it is.
2. Everything is both the form or reality which has grown out of something which was its matter or raw material.
ie. man is the form of which the child was the matter, the child is the form and its embryo the matter, and embryo the form and its egg the matter.
3. For Aristotle, everything moves naturally to a specific fulfillment.
a. Aristotle believes that development in nature is not haphazard or accidental -- everything is guided in a certain direction by its nature and structure (ie. purpose).
b. This does not mean for Aristotle that there is an external providence designing earthly structures and events.
ie. the design is internal, and arises form the type and function of the thing.
4. Question: Does motion begin or is it eternal?
a. He does not accept the possibility that motion is as beginingless as he conceives matter to be.
b. Motion has a source - there is a prime mover unmoved (incorpeal, indivisible, spaceless, sexless, passionless, changeless and eternal). ie. God
c. God does not create, but moves the world as the total purpose of all operations in the world (ie. the final cause of nature).
5. Aristotle represents God as a self-conscious spirit (a mysterious spirit that never does anything).
a. He is activity so pure that he never acts -- he is absolutely perfect that he cannot desire anything and thus does nothing.
b. Since he is the essence of all things, the form of all forms -- his sole activity is the contemplation of himself.
ie. he is a do-nothing-king (he reigns but he does not rule).
Psychology and the Nature of Art
1. Aristotle: "We cannot directly will to be different from what we are", but we can choose what we shall be, by choosing now the environment that shall mold us; so we are free in the sense that we mold our own character by our choice of friends, books, occupations and amusements.
2. Aristotle maintains that our use of praise and blame presupposes moral responsibility and free will.
3. Aristotle's Theory of the Soul:
a. The soul is the entire vital principle of any organism, the sum of its powers and processes.
b. In plants the soul is merely a nutritive and reproductive power.
In animals it is a sensitive and locomotor power.
In man it is also the power of reason and thought.
c. The soul, as the sum of the powers of the body, is one organic whole and can only exist within it.
1. Part of the rational power of the human soul is passive - it is memory and dies with the body.
2. Active Reason, the pure power of thought, is independent of memory and does not decay with the body.
d. Active Reason is the universal as distinguished from the individual element of man.
ie. What survives is the mind in its most abstract and impersonal form.
e. The immortal soul is pure thought without reality just as Aristotle's God is pure activity without action.
4. In the field of psychology, he almost creates the study of esthetics (the theory of beauty and art).
a. Aristotle says that Artistic Creation comes from a desire and craving for emotional expression.
b. Essentially the form of art is an imitation of reality (a mirror of nature) -- he says that the real purpose of art is to represent (their inward) significance of reality.
c. The noblest art appeals to the intellect as well as to feelings, and this intellectual pleasure is the highest form of joy to which a man can rise.
5. Theory of Catharsis
a. A work of art should aim at form, but above all at unity.
b. Drama should have a unity of action -- it like all art has the function of catharsis.
c. The purification or liberation of emotions and passions built up under the pressure of social restraints.
ie. to allow such release without antisocial or destructive action. * pity and fear effected by tragedy(Aristotle).
Ethics and the Nature of Happiness
1. Aristotle maintains that the aim of life is not goodness for its own sake, but happiness.
Aristotle: "For we choose happiness for itself, and never with a view to anything else. If we choose honor, pleasure, or intellect,it is because we believe that through them we shall be happy."
2. If happiness is the supreme good, one then must understand what is the nature of happiness and the way to achieve it.
a. He assumes that man's happiness will lie in the full functioning of his human quality.
b. Man is distinguished by his power of thought that separates him from and allows him to control other forms of life.
c. Thus the growth and the development of this unique human quality will give Man fulfillment and happiness.
3. There is a road or a guide by which happiness may be achieved - The Middle Way, the "golden mean".
a. These qualities of character are arranged in triads ----- in each the first and last will be extremes and vices, and the middle quality a virtue or an excellence.
b. Between cowardliness and rashness is courage; between stinginess and extravagance is liberality (generosity); between laziness and greed is ambition; between humility and pride is modesty; between secrecy and verboseness is honesty; between indecisiveness and impulsiveness is self-control.
c. It is not an average of two extremes -- it fluctuates with the circumstances of each situation, anddiscovers itself only to mature flexible reason.
4. Excellence is achieved by training and habit -- we do not act properly because we are virtuous, but we are virtuous because we act properly.
a. Virtues are formed in man by his doing these actions - we are what we repeatedly do.
b. Aristotle: "the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life; for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy."
5. The "golden mean" is not all that there is to the secret of happiness -- we must have a fair degree of the external world.
a. The noblest, most important, of these external aids to happiness is friendship.
b. Friendship is more necessary to the happy than the unhappy, for happiness is multiplied by being shared.
c. It is more important than justice, for when men are friends, justice is not necessary - but when men are just, friendship is there.
d. Friendship implies few friends rather than many:
6. External goods and relationships are necessary to happiness, but its essence remains in our knowledge of the soul.
a. Happiness must be a pleasure of the mind, and we may trust it only when it comes from the pursuit or capture of truth.
b. "The operation of the intellect aims at no end beyond itself, and finds in itself the pleasure which stimulates it to further operation."
1. Aristotle was conservative because of the turmoil and disaster that had come out of Athenian democracy -- he wanted order, security, and peace.
2. Aristotle: The power of law to secure observance, and therefore to maintain political stability, rests very largely on custom; and to pass lightly from old laws to new ones is a certain means of weakening the inmost essence of all law.
3. Aristotle opposes the realism of Plato about universals, and his idealism about government.
a. He values individual quality, privacy, and liberty above social efficiency and power.
b. He sees no value in the barrack-life style of the guardian class -- or to call his peers brother or sister or his elders father or mother.
c. Aristotle believes that true love and affection cannot exist in Plato's state.
4. A communal society breaks down because it does not provide adequate incentives for superior ability.
a. Aristotle believes that the motivation of gain (profit) and property (ownership) are necessary for industry in a society.
b. Aristotle: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least attention bestowed upon it. Everyone thinks chiefly of his own, hardly ever of the public interest."
c. Aristotle believes that evils exist within a society because of the "wickedness of human nature" and not from any political system.
5. Aristotle says that human nature, the human average, is nearer to the beast than to god -- the great majority of men are dunces and lazy; in any system of government these men will sink to the bottom.
a. Aristotle says that to help such men with state subsidies is "like pouring water into a leaking caste".
b. He maintains that such people as these must be ruled in politics and directed in industry, with their consent if possible, without it if necessary.
c. "For he who can foresee with his mind is by nature intended to be lord and master, and he who can work only with his body is by nature a slave."
1. He believed that manual labor dulls and deteriorates the mind and leaves neither time nor energy for political intelligence.
2. Even merchants and financiers are classed by Aristotle among slaves.
Marriage and Education
1. Distinctively different view of women than Plato (a more traditional concept within the Ancient World).
a. Woman is to man as the slave to the master, the manual to the mental worker, the barbarian to the Greek.
b. Woman is an unfinished man, left standing on a lower step in the scale of development.
c. The male is by nature superior, and the female inferior, the one rules and the other is ruled.
d. Woman is weak of will, and therefore incapable of independence of character or position.
e. Woman should not be made more like men, as in Plato's Republic, but the dissimilarity should be increased for nothing is so attractive as the different.
f. The courage of man and that of a woman are not the same (as Socrates supposed): the courage of a man is seen in commanding, and that of women in obeying.
2. Aristotle says that a man should not marry until he is 37 years old, and then marry a woman of only 20 years.
a. Aristotle maintains that each would lose their reproductive power and passions at the same time and avoid the quarrels and differences that would arise.
b. The union of male and female when too young is bad for creation of children -- in all animals the offspring of the young are small and ill-developed, and generally female.
c. "It conduces to temperance not to marry too soon, for women who marry early are apt to be wanton, and in men the bodily frame is stunted if they marry while they are growing."
3. Aristotle maintains that these matters should be under state supervision and control.
a. The state should determine minimum and maximum ages of marriage for each sex, the best season for conception, and the rate of increase in population.
b. If a state has too many, it becomes a nation and not a state,and is almost incapable of constitutional government, or of ethical or political unity.
4. Education should also be under state supervision and control.
a. The most effective means to maintain and preserve government and constitutions is through education.
b. Aristotle says that a citizen should be molded to the form of government under which he lives (ie. through education).
c. Aristotle: "But above all, the growing citizen must be taught obedience to law without which a state is impossible."
d. Only a state system of education can achieve social unity; the state is a plurality which must be made into a unity and a community by education.
e. Man is equipped at birth with the weapon of intelligence which can be used for either good or evil.
f. The suppression of long established habits result in the overthrow of new (revolutionary) government because old habits persist and characters are not so easily changed by law.
g. A ruler should avoid Revolution:
1. He should prevent extremes of poverty and wealth (often the result of war) by encouraging colonization to relieve over-population.
2. A ruler should foster the practice of religion -- citizens are less afraid of suffering injustice or conspiring against a ruler whom is religious and reveres the gods (ie. the gods are fighting on his side).
Democracy and Aristocracy
1. With the safeguards of religion, education, and the ordering of the family -- almost any of the traditional forms of government will serve.
2. Theoretically, the ideal form of government would be the centralization of power in the one best man.
3. The most practical form of government is aristocracy, the rule of the informed and capable few.
4. Democracy is usually the result of a revolution against plutocracy (a class ruling by virtue of its wealth).
a. It is inferior to aristocracy because it is based on a false assumption of equality.
b. The problem arises from the idea that those who are equal under the law are equal in all other respects.
c. Because people are so easily misled, and so fickle (change-able) in their views, the ballot should be limited to the intelligent.
5. Constitutional Government is not the best conceivable government (an aristocracy of education) but it is the best possible state.
a. Who would be the best to govern -- Perhaps the economic middle class who would be a golden mean just as constitutional government would be a golden mean between aristocracy and democracy.
b. The community should establish the standards (qualities) to govern -- it would be democratic in that office would be open to all who had achieved that standard, and aristocratic in that office was reserved to only those best equipped to serve (having achieved that standard).
Hellenistic (Thought) Philosophy
1. Historically it is a period from the conquests of Alexander the Great (d. 323 B.C.) to the extinction by the Romans of the Kingdoms that his successors established.
2. The end of the fourth century saw the emergence of two philosophies, Zeno's Stoicism and Epicurus' materialist hedonism which won adherents for the next five centuries and whose influence continued into modern times.
3. The Hellenistic Age was pre-eminent in its development of the sciences, particularly mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.
4. Although experiment was not unknown, the emphasis was on observation and the collection of facts.
5. The intellectual energy that marked the opening of the period was diminished with the decline in material prosperity, and the hostility of later Ptolemies to Greek learning.
6. Philosophy also suffered by reason of its separation from the sciences -- it had become to stagnate because it was no longer a subject of systematic inquiry.
7. The scope of philosophy had narrowed -- Hellenistic Philosophy did not have the range of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum.
a. It is often said that there was a concentration on ethics --because of the decline of the city state (polis) and the destructive wars of the Hellenistic Monarchs.
b. The purpose of philosophy was to provide the individual a road to follow and an assurance that it would lead him to happiness.
8. During the Hellenistic Age the idea developed that a universal humanity united all men.
a. The Cynic Diogenes called himself "a citizen of the world" -meaning that he owed no local allegiance.
b. To the Stoics the world was a city with laws made by God, and its citizens realized that they belonged to one another, were like one another, and had duties to one another.
c. A basic duty was to instruct the ignorant -- to preach the truth and show the secret of happiness.
9. In the Greco-Roman World some knowledge of philosophic doctrines was widespread -- it was even expected among the educated.
10. With the recognition of a common humanity, an increasing awareness of the importance of the individual appeared.
a. A desire emerged to find in Man's nature a norm for action (behavior) -- meaning he could discover within himself the laws he should obey and not seek them in social custom or the will of the gods.
b. The Stoics recognized a "universal nature" as something of which he was a part -- his own impulses and his own reason would carry him along the right road.
c. At no other time in antiquity were philosophers so confident of man's self-sufficiency.
d. Self-Sufficiency not only meant that man was his own arbiter,but also that he could by his own effort secure happiness.
11. Dogmatism: a characteristic feature of the Hellenistic Age is a succession of men concerned with maintaining in essentials the views of a founder.
a. The followers of Epicurus regarded him as a man of superhuman wisdom and never seriously modified his teaching.
b. Among the Stoics there was more change, but much of it consisted of a shift of emphasis.
c. Orthodoxy is more often associated with religion than with philosophy - for some men philosophy was meeting the desire for a creed that contemporary religion could not satisfy.
Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)
1. He was born of Athenian parents on the island of Samos -- at an early age he began his philosophical studies on the islands of the Aegean and the coast of Asia Minor (where he encountered followers of Plato and Democritus).
2. He first taught at Mytilene, on Lesbos, ca. 311 B.C., and soon moved to Lampasacus, a city on the Hellespont.
3. In 307-306 B.C. he established at Athens an Epicruean Community called the Garden which was the center of his activity until his death.
4. The Garden became the prototype of other Epicurean groups.
a. Its members included women and at least one slave, and their acceptance of hetaerae (prostitutes) into their circle exposed them to ridicule and abuse of their opponents.
b. Even their enemies granted an admiration to their cultivation of friendship - and the affection of Epicurus for his followers and their veneration of him.
The Philosophy of Epicurus
1. Epicurus' system attempted to establish something sure and secure in a world of uncertainty.
a. The social and political changes that followed the death of Alexander had their counterparts in the aritistic and intellectual life of Greece.
ie. a new skepticism was challenging old ideals and institutions.
b. Epicurus' aim was to build his system on a firm foundation that made no concessions either to skepticism or idealism.
2. He found his point of departure in what he called the incontestability of immediate experience.
a. Sense data are true because they are the ultimate evidence to which all questions must be referred -- to question them is to make life itself impossible.
b. The feelings of pleasure and pain that accompany sense experience are the ultimate good and evil.
3. Theory of Knowledge: Epicurus gave the name "canonic" (rule) to his theory of knowledge.
a. Knowledge arises from sense experience on several levels.
b. Repeated experiences preserved by memory give rise to "anticipations" (prolepseis) which are the equivalent to general notions or concepts.
c. These prolepseis make possible the use of language -- when we hear the word man we "anticipate" the kind of object to which the name refers.
d. Since prolepseis merely register similarities and differences found in immediate experiences, they are themselves "true"and can be used as criteria.
1. Epicurus set up an inter-relationship between words, notions, and experiences; and had no need for Platonic forms (ideas) and Aristotelian essences.
2. In general, he had little use for logic -- "we do not need to define words in order to explain the natural meaning and thus analysis of them (ie. known through experience).
e. With prolepseis we can proceed to form opinions -- the truth of opinions can be tested in two ways:
1. Where the opinion is about something by nature observable but removed in time and space, the test is verification by actual inspection.
2. Where opinion is about something by nature unobservable (physei adelon), the test is the absence of conflict with observable things.
4. Man: the human organism, for Epicurus, is composed of atoms undergoing characteristic patters of change.
a. Body and soul are interdependent -- neither can survive without the other.
b. The soul's atoms are of four kinds:
1. Three are the same kind of atoms that constitute air, wind, and heat.
2. The fourth, the smallest and most mobile, is sui generis (of its own kind) and nameless.
c. That part of the soul that thinks and feels and transmits sensation throughout the body is centered in the heart.
d. All functions of the human organism are the results of atomic processes.
1. Sight, for example, is caused by atomic films separating from the surface of objects and entering the eyes.
2. Films of very fine texture, such as those emitted by the gods, are able to impress the mind directly without sensory perception.
3. Films that have become scrambled in transmit and no longer correspond to stable physical objects account for dreams and fantasies.
e. Like all other atomic compounds, men come into being when the necessary conditions have been met.
1. Man has no creator or destiny -- his highest good is to secure a life of lasting pleasure.
2. Man forms communities and governments for his mutual advantage and protection -- these do not achieve a good life because of false opinions.
3. By seeking wealth, power, and fame Man seeks security where it cannot be found.
4. Man's empty fear of the gods and death, destroys his peace of mind.
5. Ethical Doctrines: the good life is only attainable by the philosopher.
a. The immediate experience of pleasure (although good in itself) does not bring the guarantee of permanence.
b. Intelligent choice is also needed, and practical wisdom (phroneisis), Epicurus said, is more to be prized than philosophy itself.
1. Practical wisdom measures pleasures against pain -- accepting pain that leads to greater pleasures, and rejecting pleasures that lead to greater pains.
2. Traditional virtue (ie. justice, temperance, courage etc.) are among its means of attaining happiness.
c. Pleasure is further distinguished as being "kinetic" dependent on motion and ceases when that motion ceases (ie. eating choice foods).
d. Pleasure is also "catastematic" (ie. not being hungry) which comes from a state or a stable condition that is capable of being prolonged indefinitely.
1. The good life (happiness) requires catastematic pleasures.
2. The mind as well as the body has both kinetic and catastematic pleasures.
e. The pleasures of the mind are related (more or less) directly to physical sensations.
1. The mind feels chara, delight (a kinetic pleasure) at the well being of the body.
2. With the removal of pains and cares, the mind feels ataraxia, peace of mind (a catastematic pleasure).
f. Peace of mind is achieved when the study of natural philosophy has removed the fear of the gods, when death is recognized to be simply the limit of experience and thus irrelevant to the quality of experience.
g. The mind is capable of building up a reserve of pleasures to be used against the evils of pain (and fortune).
1. The body lives in the present, but the mind (through memory and expectation) can contemplate both the past and the future.
2. The wise man stores up the memory of past pleasures and looks forward to pleasures to come.
3. The wise man then can overcome the pain of the present as Epicurus did in his final illness with the memory of past conversations with his friends.
6. Way of Life: it has its own set of rules to guide initiates to happiness.
a. Epicurus rejected much of traditional education.
1. Geometry does not describe the world as we actually experience it, and rhetoric is an abuse of language.
2. Music and poetry are fit subjects even for after dinner conversation -- although, happiness does not depend on knowing what side Hector fought.
b. Epicurus warned against assuming important responsibilities or serious involvements (whether private or public).
c. These negative features would probably be rejected by the intellectual and social elite, but they put the Epicurean life within the reach of a much wider circle of people who did not have the advantages of wealth, education, and social position.
d. To such followers - Epicurus recommended:
1. The suppression of desires that goes beyond natural needs.
2. The cultivation of friendship, the enjoyment of carefree pleasures.
Zeno of Citium (336-265 B.C.)
1. The founder of Stoicism: he was born in Citium, a small Phoenician-Greek City on Cyprus (ca. 336 B.C. - the year Alexander became king of Macedonia).
2. At the age of twenty-two he went to Athens poverty stricken as a result of a ship wreck off Piraeus.
3. Zeno was a Phoenician but he knew Greek before the ship wreck, and his merchant father may have possibly supplied him with writings about Socrates long before coming to Athens.
4. ca. 300 B.C. - Zeno started a school that was first called the Zenoians, and later the Stoics because he gave his lectures on the Painted Porch (Stoa Poikile) in the market place (agora) of Athens.
5. Epicurus had come to Athens ca. 306 B.C. celebrating pleasure as the highest good and randomness as the basic condition of the universe.
6. Zeno defended virtue as the only good and the law of nature or the logos as the dominating force in the universe.
a. Because of the fragmentary nature of the extant material of the Early Stoa it is difficult at times to distinguish him from his successors: Cleanthes and Chrysippus (called the second founder of Stoicism).
b. Most of what we know about Zeno comes from stories that were later related about him.
7. After Zeno's arrival in Athens, he read Xenophon's Memorabilia and admired the calm, rational self-control of Socrates.
a. He came under the influence of the Cynic Crates (an ascetic) who taught a beggar is a king if his power lies in virtue and self-control over his passions.
b. It is believed that Zeno, while associated with Crates, wrote his Politeia ("Republic") possibly as an alternative to Plato's work.
8. The Politeia
a. It was supposed to be the completion of the ideal state which Alexander had failed to complete because of his untimely death.
b. It envisaged a world-wide state, whose citizens were not of Athens or Sidon but of the universe.
c. It was patterned after universal nature with no laws (because there was no crime) no gymnasia for idle activity, no class system or hatred.
d. Love was the master of the state, and the wise man was no leader (guardian) but simply a citizen.
9. Zeno came to see the difficulties in defending this doctrine -people (and the philosopher) were too narrow minded, contentious, and arbitrary to find the wisdom necessary for ruling such a state.
10. Zeno hoped that the powerful logic of refutation and defense that the Megarians had developed might help him to build his doctrine on a firm foundation.
11. Under the influence of Stilpo, Zeno not only developed his formal logic but also his distinction between degrees of certainty in perceptual knowledge.
a. Phantasia or mind-picture merely suggests a statement ("That is a tree") -- Zeno represented this with an open right hand and fingers extended.
b. Synkatathesis - one gives causal assent to the mind picture -- Zeno represented this as partially contracted fingers.
c. Phantasia Kataleptike or apprehensive mind-picture is the result of very close attention to the mind-picture, and the phantasia is clear and assent is solid and complete -- Zeno represented this as a clenched fist.
d. Episteme or science is when all our firmly certain conceptions combine into a system -- Zeno represented this by his left hand firmly closed around his right fist.
12. The greatest influence on Zeno's metaphysics was Heraclitus of Ephesus.
a. He learned the doctrine or eternal fire out of which all elements come.
b. The belief in a logos or reason of the universe that gives shape in each thing and integrates (harmonizes) all things amid perpetual (constant) change.
c. The belief in a deity identical with logos and also with fire.
13. By the time his school was flourishing (after 300 B.C.), Zeno coined a word for "duty" (to Kathekon) which summarized his philosophy by referring to life according to nature or reason.
a. The wise man, simply because he knows what nature requires, has to do his duty.
b. In doing his duty, he become virtuous with spiritual sense of well being.
Cynicism: the "dog philosophers" of the Greco-Roman World -- this name came from the nickname of Diogenes of Sinope (their founder).
1. It was not a continuous school of theoretical philosophy but a succession of individuals from the fourth Century B.C. to the sixth Century A.D.
2. Through ascetic practice and preaching against established convention, they attempted to provide a way of life that would lead to happiness.
3. There is no established doctrinal canon by which to define an "orthodox" cynic.
Teaching of the Cynics
1. The Cynics believed that happiness was found in "virtuous" action - it was practical expression of self-realization (arete and "know thy self").
2. This state was produced by a rational awareness of the distinction between natural and artificial values.
a. External and physical goods (ie. wealth, reputation, pleasure, conventional duties) and all traditional inhibitions (whether social or religious) were condemned as unnatural tyrannies.
b. The "Causes of Human Misery" which imprison man are desire, indulgence, and the ignorance of a confused and corrupt society.
3. Freedom was secured by "following nature" by means of self-discipline whose end was self sufficiency (autarkeia).
a. Since man was vulnerable and perverted through his emotions and desires, happiness could be guaranteed by the understanding and strength of mind to want nothing and thus lack nothing.
b. Currency (money) was thought to be an artificial human standard -- it thus was an active corruption which had to be eradicated.
1. The Stoics (like Socrates) had wanted to devalue the coin, but the Cynics wanted to deface it (paracharattein).
2. Thus the most characteristic feature of Cynicism was an asceticism which sought to reduce physical wants to a minimum (like animals).
3. They also sought to achieve spiritual independence which they compared to the gods.
c. Independence was not achieved by the life of a hermit (withdrawl) -- the Cynic engaged in an active crusade which required constant training (askesis).
1. Purpose: to harden the body and spirit in the face of temptation -- to free the natural "perceptions" and capacities for virtuous actions.
2. The painful effort of this moral struggle (ponos) was categorized as a good -- a short cut to virtue which resulted in the only natural pleasure.
ie. The Cynic ruled himself as his own master and therefore was the ideal king among men.
4. Cyncism was individualistic and anti-social in advocating independence from the community.
a. It was the most radical philosophy of spiritual security offered to fill the social and moral vacuum created by the dissolution of the city (political unit) of the Fourth Century B.C.
b. The Cynic saw himself as the herald of God and dedicated his efforts so others could follow.
5. Cynics did not offer arguments to intellectuals, those theories they despised as useless.
a. They offered an example of autonomy of will through their own actions.
b. By their denunciation of luxury and sensual indulgence and by their justification of poverty -- they offered hope to the poor, disenchanted and oppressed.
ROMAN CONTRIBUTIONS: Horace - "The conquerors became the conquered."
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.)
1. A Roman orator and statesman who had a lifelong interest in philosophy and wrote a number of philosophical works.
2. He was well acquainted with the four main Greek schools:
ie. Epicureans, Stoics, Cynics and the Academics (a revival of Plato).
3. He identified himself primarily with the Academy, though he found much to admire in Stoicism.
4. In a famous passage in a letter to Atticus (May 21, 45 B.C.) --he refers to some of his books on philosophy as copies.
a. Modern scholars have taken the view that these writings are chiefly of value for their reconstruction of lost Greek originals.
b. A more generous view is that Cicero's philosophical writings present a coherent and modest original system of thought.
c. At a minimum Cicero took from the Academy a framework for his views.
5. The Platonism of the New Academy had abandoned the search for truth, but it was occupied with the confrontation of conflicting views.
a. Carneades, its leading spokesman, had even devised criteria for preferring one opinion to another.
b. Within such a framework Cicero examined alternative views and made his selection (not necessarily based on Carneades' criteria).
6. The views examined extended to all three commonly accepted branches of philosophy: logic, physics, and ethics.
7. Cicero's primary purpose was to offer to Roman readers a wide range of philosophical opinions rather than to construct a well integrated system.
Philosophy and Rhetoric
1. Cicero's originality does not rest in the components of his view, but in their combination.
2. The most evident feature of his thought is the union of philosophy and rhetoric.
a. This union carries with it some criticism of Socrates who had been blamed for their separation.
b. Cicero did not consider the union incompatible with Platonism -- Cicero pointed to the literary excellence of the dialogues as evidence that Plato was a master of the rhetorical art.
3. The union of rhetoric and philosophy gave Cicero the materials for the construction of humanistic ideal.
a. The highest human achievement lies in the effective use of knowledge for the guidance of human affairs.
b. Philosophy and the specialized disciplines supply the knowledge, and rhetorical persuasion makes it effective.
c. Each is useless without the other, and the great man is master of both.
4. Cicero associates this ideal with a free society -- a constitutional republic in which persuasion rather than violence is the instrument of political power.
a. He believed that Rome had the essential features of such a state but unless a great man is found to guide it -- its freedom is in jeopardy.
b. This union of eloquence and knowledge led Cicero to the view that if the statesman-philosopher is to speak persuasively on all subjects, he must have knowledge of all subjects.
5. Recognizing the impossibility of such a requirement, Cicero advocated a liberal education as the best approximation.
a. An important part of a liberal education is the study of philosophy, and Cicero's philosophical works provided material for this study.
b. In his literary works Cicero was combining wisdom and eloquence in the service of the Roman People.
Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 B.C.)
1. He was the author of De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) - beyond this very little is known about his life.
2. The purpose of his poem was to popularize the philosophy of Epicurus to the Roman People.
3. Historically, De Rerum Natura, is important as the fullest and most influential treatment of materialistic philosophy produced in classical antiquity.
a. It is also important because it made Epicureanism familiar to many readers who might otherwise scarcely have heard of it.
b. Scholars also identify aspects of his thought that cannot be traced to any earlier thinker.
4. His originality is most evident in his attitude toward religion.
a. He may have meant to end his poem with a full treatment of Epicurean Theology, but his references to religion do not suggest that he shared Epicurus' devotion to traditional Greek Gods.
b. No educated Roman believed in these "old wives tales", nor did a Roman expect to feel passionately about the gods any more than he was asked to subscribe to a creed.
c. Acceptance of the state religion meant primarily service to the state.
1. Lucretius denounced this obligation as fostering insensitive ambition and brutal militarism.
2. Finding no outlet for his religious emotions, Lucretius expressed it partly in idolizing Epicurus.
d. Epicurus spoke of Nature as both a giver of good things and a teacher of wisdom and justice.
e. Lucretius is an example of one who can investigate nature on purely materialistic lines.
ie. By rejecting divine purpose, providence, and the immortal soul (at the same time he does not sacrifice his joys of reverence and adoration of Nature).
a. Lucretius emphatically states that all knowledge is derived from sensations -- it is caused by the impact of "images" or surface-films.
b. These images come from external objects and impact upon "mind-atoms" located in the human breast.
c. Lucretius does not attempt to explain the Doctrine of Anticipation (prolepsis) with which Epicurus qualifies this doctrine.
6. Probably Lucretius' most outstanding contribution to thought has been his sociology (or his Philosophy of History).
a. Greek Philosophers agreed that the basis of human society (rational thought and human judgment) were articulate speech.
b. Epicurus argued that speech must have originated in a physical reaction (as the instinctive cries of animals).
1. The association of specific sounds with specific objects was the result of a long process (partly by coincidence and partly by agreement of the community).
2. Lucretius' account for the origin of language elaborates Epicurus' argument -- he turns it into a narrative of the growth of civilization.
c. The growth of "natural justice" was the essential step in the development of society.
1. Epicurus defined natural justice as "a bargain for mutual profit not to hurt or be hurt".
2. Lucretius maintains that not everybody kept the bargain (contract).
d. The fact that Mankind survived is proof that there was a social contract among some.
1. Communities that failed to achieve it must have perished.
2. This had been compared to Darwin's Theory of "Survival of the Fittest".
e. Lucretius maintains that social cooperation was a result of the strong taking pity on the weak -- and not motivated by the idea of self-interest.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (A.D. 121 - 180)
1. Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher -- he has been described as "by nature a saint and a sage, by profession a warrior and a ruler".
2. He was born of a patrician family in Rome as Marcus Annius Verus.
a. After the early death of his parents, he was brought up by his grandfather.
b. The industrious qualities he showed as a young boy so impressed the Emperor Hadrian that he advised Aurelius Antoninus, an uncle of Marcus, to adopt him.
c. Aurelius Antoninus is more commonly known as Antoninus Pius whom Hadrian had already designated as his successor.
3. At the age of eleven, through the philosopher Diognetus, Marcus became acquainted with the doctrines of Stoicism.
a. Marcus assumed the life-style of a Stoic giving up his other studies to dedicate himself to the principles of Stoicism.
b. When Antoninus adopted him and betrothed him to his daughter Faustina, Marcus took the name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
c. The next twenty-three years were spent in learning the arts of government as the colleague of Antoninus until he became emperor in A.D. 161.
4. Most of his life was spent in protecting the frontiers of the Empire especially the Danube in exhausting struggles against barbarian tribes.
1. The only extant work of Marcus Aurelius is the volume of Meditations (which has been called the highest ethical product of the ancient mind.
2. Written in Greek - its twelve books contain reflections on moral and religious topics, set down with little attempt at order or consecutive arrangement.
3. It is an expression and reflection of Stoicism that would scarcely have commended itself to Zeno.
a. When Stoicism moved from the East into the West -- it came to have a different emphasis.
b. The practical Roman character valued it chiefly as ethical counselling and cared little about its physical and metaphysical speculations.
4. The primary advocate or spokesman of this Neo-Stoicism was Epictetus whom Marcus often quoted.
a. To both men the great question was "how was life to be lived well".
b. For the emperor whose nature was essentially religious rather than scientific, it took the form of a preoccupation with the spiritual state of his own soul.
5. The Meditations reflect a constant struggle between science and personal faith.
a. Stoic Orthodoxy committed him to a creed that is entirely materialistic and impersonal.
b. Marcus' religious instincts moved him toward a conception of a moral and benevolent power which can feel for humanity and can concern itself with the troubles and aspirations of man.
6. Marcus appears to stand at a point of transition from a physical pantheism and the idea of self-sufficiency -- to cross the gap that divides impersonal nature from a personal god.