Why did Ancient Greek philosophy die?

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jgweed
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 09:29 am
@Eudaimon,
The influence of Plato on Augustine and Aristotle on Aquinas, and (at least to the extent of my knowledge) Greek thinking on many of the Patristics seems to suggest that Hellenic philosophy was partly absorbed into Christianity. The extent of its influence on St. Paul continues to be discussed.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 11:28 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;68529 wrote:
Well, I see thou agreest with Marxists. Does it mean that philosophy is not independent from material conditions.

Plato tried to make sense of the world he had, but even with the example of the Illiad, and the Odyssey, and surrounded by primitives, he could not make sense of the archaic gentile democracy that was their legacy of the past... We can know much more about his society than he knew, and while he was dealing with a clearly failed form, he also put forward forms that have since been tried and failed as well...He could not imagine a world without money, and Greece had a lot of it... Their smelting of lead for coins covered the globe with residue...And money always destroys democracy because democracy depends upon honor, and where money is dear, honor is cheap... The meaning of the one totally devalues the meaning of the other...So he was at a transition point, and no, he could not escape reality, or material conditions, or mental conditions, or his forms...We cannot escape our forms; and we must because people cannot change who they are or what they are or what they need...Our sole method of advance in life is through changing our forms, which are like structures of our relationships, all forms of relationship... So, Plato's form of government did not work...It did not work in his opinion because it did not allow the best to lead... Yet the best always lead, and in the case of Greece, those in control of the economy led the whole people into the toilet of history...Just as today, it is the poor that join the military, and the poor who push for war, because they hope for spoils, adventure, or an early death...The extremes of wealth and poverty among greek citizens was extreme, and so extreme that one man complained that you could not strike a slave for blocking ones path for fear of hitting a poor citizen...It did not work for the poor either...

---------- Post added at 01:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:28 PM ----------

jgweed;68555 wrote:
The influence of Plato on Augustine and Aristotle on Aquinas, and (at least to the extent of my knowledge) Greek thinking on many of the Patristics seems to suggest that Hellenic philosophy was partly absorbed into Christianity. The extent of its influence on St. Paul continues to be discussed.

Your avitar had a time with St. Paul... What he did was give equality to all in the eyes of God, an essential quality to democracy...
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 01:46 pm
@Eudaimon,
Greek philosophy isn't dead. In the Christian philosophies (at least Catholic philosophy), there is a very clear continuity. St. Augustine was a Neo-Platonist. St. Anselm, through St. Augustine, was very much a Neo-Platonist. St. Bonaventure was a Scholastic Platonist. St. Thomas Aquinas was a Scholastic Aristotelian. Scholastic philosophy isn't dead.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:49 am
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian;68598 wrote:
Greek philosophy isn't dead. In the Christian philosophies (at least Catholic philosophy), there is a very clear continuity. St. Augustine was a Neo-Platonist. St. Anselm, through St. Augustine, was very much a Neo-Platonist. St. Bonaventure was a Scholastic Platonist. St. Thomas Aquinas was a Scholastic Aristotelian. Scholastic philosophy isn't dead.

All this crap has been for nothing... It is all based upon a metaphysical conception of man... So what??? We all conceive of ourselves spiritually, and no one can account for their being; but that does not mean we are in fact spiritual beings or that spiritual beings exist... What ever life is, it can fit at some point through the end of a penus, and slide out of a vagina...It is not spiritual, but is passed as a physical reality from person to person with the stuff of being, genes...The misconception of our being, as spiritual, created by a spirit has been the end of philosophy and the beginning of religion, and it has caused all manor of pain to humanity because this conception denies the obvious facts of kin and kinship, of humanity and humans...We cannot progress beyond this mental cul de sak...We must first realize what we are to recognize what it is, what ever it might be, and all we have now are so many misconceptions of ourselves and reality...
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 02:53 pm
@Eudaimon,
I think the most important feature of Anicent Greek philosophy has been long ignored for too long--Hegel bastardizing the concept did not help--but the idea dialectical philosophy as practiced by the Greeks remains very relevant today, and maybe the most important idea that philosophy has to offer to the greater world.
 
Jay phil
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:17 pm
@Theaetetus,
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:20 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;68836 wrote:
I think the most important feature of Anicent Greek philosophy has been long ignored for too long--Hegel bastardizing the concept did not help--but the idea dialectical philosophy as practiced by the Greeks remains very relevant today, and maybe the most important idea that philosophy has to offer to the greater world.


Yes. I believe that the early Greeks (my favorite is Heraclitus) as well as the ancient Eastern philosophers, had the clearest vision into the nature of life. Of course, it is the nature of humans to make things more complex and put their own stamp on the ideas, and then it becomes more and more hidden as time goes on. It is like a game of camouflage. I thought that Socrates was unnecessarily enigmatic. By the time you get to the modern philosophers, it fringes on the hilarious. How complicated they try to make the most simple concepts.

If the way of talking, the terminology, the way of writing, it is all so unnecessarily complex and exclusioinary - as if you have to be deeply educated in order to "know". The basic ideas (even conflicting ones) are pretty straightforward - but every once in a while a fascinating new one comes along. But for the most part, I feel, most everything from the early Greeks is a re-thread cloaked in verbiage.

Rich
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:23 pm
@richrf,
richrf;68846 wrote:

If the way of talking, the terminology, the way of writing, it is all so unnecessarily complex and exclusioinary - as if you have to be deeply educated in order to "know". The basic ideas (even conflicting ones) are pretty straightforward - but every once in a while a fascinating new one comes along. But for the most part, I feel, most everything from the early Greeks is a re-thread cloaked in verbiage.

Rich


Have you studied Attic Greek before? I can guarantee that if anyone is to study the ancient Greek language, they would have a new appreciation for how beautiful the language is before it is translated and butchered into English.
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 03:30 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;68848 wrote:
Have you studied Attic Greek before? I can guarantee that if anyone is to study the ancient Greek language, they would have a new appreciation for how beautiful the language is before it is translated and butchered into English.


Hi,

Most everything translated is butchered unfortunately. Translations of Eastern philosophy are terrible as the translator's religious, philosophical, political, cultural biases necessarily influence the way they read a passage.

For me, the texts make most sense after I actually experience what the ancient Eastern philosophers must have experienced (I practice Taijiquan, Qigong, and Chinese medicine). By reading many translations, and overlaying my own experiences, I can begin to get what they are saying. I found the French authors, writing in English do the best job - for some reason.

I believe it is the same for the Greek writings. They probably have marvelous insights, and should I even learn the language, I am probably only part way there, since I still do not live in those times, and understand what the population was experiencing at those times. I believe the best way to understand philosophy is to experience it (as opposed to reading about it), and then go back and find the intersections between what has been learned with what has been written. It is fascinating.

Younger philosophers, I believe, should look forward to a life time of learning. Going back to the Greeks 40 years from now is quite a trip. I just re-visited Heraclitus, and believe his insights are marvelous.

Rich
 
William
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 05:11 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;66369 wrote:
Seems quite obvious to me, philosophy didn't use scare tactics to win over converts. The lies of Christianity and it's false promises lure in unsuspecting people who lacked education and reasoning skills.


Krumple,

Let me offer a suggestion to you. Philosophy is not easily grasped and understood by the majority of people; me included. Many of the words that were penned of that which Christ spoke held a resonant chord for most people who call themselves Christians. It brings them a peace. Yes, I do believe all that was written about his life "could" have been fabricated. I am not denying that. There is something there or there would not be billions of individuals clinging to them. I know many Christians who "do not" force their beliefs on anyone. They are good people. Don't necessarily judge what you see on television as to the people themselves. There are zealots in those what I call "power" religions orchestrated, and choreographed by those who preach it in many cases. Christians can relate to what Christ said, far better than what ancient Greek philosophers had to say,

William

---------- Post added at 06:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 PM ----------

jgweed;67986 wrote:
Greco-Roman philosophy did not die; it is very much with us today if only in the suppositions of modern civilization. At its basis was the belief that reason was a far superior guide to life than myth or superstition and that truth was both a desired end and could be attained by each of us independently of priestly intervention and guidance.


In all due respect, philosophers "preach too". IMO, much of philosophy comes from the tenets of religion. Neither has "figured out life", yet. Neither philosophy nor religion is empirical. What is so different; those of faith have at least a image of what the future holds that gives them solace. I guarantee you the powers of religion play that to the hilt. None of it makes much sense to me, philosophy or religions when one efforts to establish similarities between the two. Religion is just easier to relate to for most people, philosopy is not. IMMHO.

William
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 01:00 pm
@Eudaimon,
Fido,
I think that to say philosophy is affected by material conditions is a very seductive statement: if it is so, then OUR thinking is also conditioned, and what we are discussing here has not more to do with truth than Christian mythology.

The feature of ancient greek philosophy, I think, is freedom to express one's thoughts and doubt in every statement, not to take them on faith, unlike "Christianity", where every deviation from the "Credo" was considered to be heresy and subject to punishment or execution. And yet people prefered spiritual thraldom to freedom of thought; moreover, creative, philosophical thinking was banned for the sake of silly dogmas and belief in myths, revelations etc. Why?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 03:25 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;68836 wrote:
I think the most important feature of Anicent Greek philosophy has been long ignored for too long--Hegel bastardizing the concept did not help--but the idea dialectical philosophy as practiced by the Greeks remains very relevant today, and maybe the most important idea that philosophy has to offer to the greater world.

My book says that what the Greeks used as a method of arriving at truth the middle ages used to resolve opposites... What makes you think you are using dialectics in the same fashion as the Greeks???
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 09:20 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;69176 wrote:
Fido,
I think that to say philosophy is affected by material conditions is a very seductive statement: if it is so, then OUR thinking is also conditioned, and what we are discussing here has not more to do with truth than Christian mythology.

The feature of ancient greek philosophy, I think, is freedom to express one's thoughts and doubt in every statement, not to take them on faith, unlike "Christianity", where every deviation from the "Credo" was considered to be heresy and subject to punishment or execution. And yet people prefered spiritual thraldom to freedom of thought; moreover, creative, philosophical thinking was banned for the sake of silly dogmas and belief in myths, revelations etc. Why?


Right, because Plato totally doesn't suggest either re-education or the death penalty for heresy in the Republic. :shifty:
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 05:49 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;69176 wrote:
Fido,
I think that to say philosophy is affected by material conditions is a very seductive statement: if it is so, then OUR thinking is also conditioned, and what we are discussing here has not more to do with truth than Christian mythology.

The feature of ancient greek philosophy, I think, is freedom to express one's thoughts and doubt in every statement, not to take them on faith, unlike "Christianity", where every deviation from the "Credo" was considered to be heresy and subject to punishment or execution. And yet people prefered spiritual thraldom to freedom of thought; moreover, creative, philosophical thinking was banned for the sake of silly dogmas and belief in myths, revelations etc. Why?


If you are asking for an opinion, let me suggest that all the problems coming out of Plato represent metaphysics...The idea that we are created by a perfect being using perfect models as ideas/forms are is one that will be problematic if you conceive of God as the perfect being and all that flows from his will as perfection... All the church wanted was peace and order...Justice is given short shrift, and peace is demanded and rewarded... When the laws of the Primiative peoples were written down, the kings peace was always worth more than the average...The slave's peace was worthless... They did not outlaw blood feuds, or child marriage; but the worked against them generation after generation... Individual freedom meant nothing to them, and yet they made the argument for individual rights and responsibility....Would law function without the individual??? Does law work at all; or only creat larger problems???Could we have ended feuds without ending group responsibility??? Would we have any measure of democracy without the concept of the individual??? I doubt it; but the inability to see natural limits, and the desre to free people- as outrageous as the desire to control, so that we now have factories and wage slaves instead of slaves, and armies instead of nations and families fighting like mymadons while few actually know any sort of freedom, and only license is everywhere... It does not matter whether we are talking about the Catholics or Protestants; it is the determination of order, the determination to find and follow the celestial order that we get from Plato... I think all of our problems that we have suffered out of Greek Philosophy have come from Platonic forms based upon their metaphysics...
 
The Jester phil
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 07:57 am
@Eudaimon,
-Lapsus- Wrong Forum Very Happy
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 12:09 pm
@Fido,
Fido;69390 wrote:
If you are asking for an opinion, let me suggest that all the problems coming out of Plato represent metaphysics...The idea that we are created by a perfect being using perfect models as ideas/forms are is one that will be problematic if you conceive of God as the perfect being and all that flows from his will as perfection... All the church wanted was peace and order...Justice is given short shrift, and peace is demanded and rewarded... When the laws of the Primiative peoples were written down, the kings peace was always worth more than the average...The slave's peace was worthless... They did not outlaw blood feuds, or child marriage; but the worked against them generation after generation... Individual freedom meant nothing to them, and yet they made the argument for individual rights and responsibility....Would law function without the individual??? Does law work at all; or only creat larger problems???Could we have ended feuds without ending group responsibility??? Would we have any measure of democracy without the concept of the individual??? I doubt it; but the inability to see natural limits, and the desre to free people- as outrageous as the desire to control, so that we now have factories and wage slaves instead of slaves, and armies instead of nations and families fighting like mymadons while few actually know any sort of freedom, and only license is everywhere... It does not matter whether we are talking about the Catholics or Protestants; it is the determination of order, the determination to find and follow the celestial order that we get from Plato... I think all of our problems that we have suffered out of Greek Philosophy have come from Platonic forms based upon their metaphysics...

It seems to me that we should not overvalue the role of Platonic philosophy; as far as I know the most popular trends of Greek thought before Christianity/Neoplatonism were Stoicism and Epicureanism. All those teachings, I should even say, all philosophy both Eastern and Western is aimed at "finding and following celestial order", yet it does not necessary lead to oppression of other philosophies
 
jgweed
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 01:31 pm
@Eudaimon,
Whether or not a philosophy or a school is to be valued or not is not necessarily dependent on its popularity, even amongst the educated. What is of value in Platonic philosophy, at least insofar as the history of philosophy is concerned, is not whether or not it was widely followed or its belief in forms was true, but perhaps more for its decisive depiction of what philosophy should be about and its setting forth many of the major problems. Plato's depiction of Socrates' life and his death for corrupting the youth by encouraging them to think for themselves rings current even today.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 02:37 pm
@Eudaimon,
It is so much easier in the light of an idea to find a better idea... I remember eating up Socrates with a spoon... Then I would burn one, and think about it... I am not all that certain I get everything he was getting at...I know I have not read all of the dialogues...I may have, over all, read more about Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle along with Greek society than I have read by them...I can say; I will be eternally grateful and never slavish... I will be every day of my life more like Aristippus, who found nothing worth killing or dying for, and lived to a ripe age...I hope I never say anything so comprehensive that some church will organize upon my principals... I appreciate ideas that challenge me... It is in my nature to never strike first...I am a better counter puncher, and I have thrown more last punches than first punches by far...To me, the lessons of Aristippus, though we know little enough about them, are good... People should train children so they need carry no better tools than their minds... And; it strikes me, that among the Romans at least, there were some creditable philosophers who were once slaves, and I wonder at Plato, that having once been sold into slavery that he had no better respect for labor...Did he imagine that he was some how reduced in intelligence for having been bought and sold??? Yet he stood with the rich who dailly buy and sell the poor... I must wonder...
 
jgweed
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 03:18 pm
@Eudaimon,
"Yet he stood with the rich who dailly buy and sell the poor... I must wonder..."

Everyone knows how much Plato (and others who actually new him) idolized Socrates. One finds it hard to believe that he would side with the kinds of people who found him guilty.

In some respects, all philosophers are creatures of their own times. It seems difficult to condemn Plato for not having read Locke just as it seems difficult to condemn Jesus for not speaking out for gay rights or cruelty to animals.

One of the fundamental, and untimely, positions of Plato is that Truth can be obtained by reason, even by a slave. That reason is common to all men and that anyone can arrive at the truth surely opened the way for subsequent doctrines of equality....
 
nameless
 
Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2009 01:18 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;66368 wrote:
Ancient Greek philosophy was perhaps the greatest phenomenon in the history of thought.

In the history of western 'thought', perhaps...

Quote:
...when people started seeking oblivion in mystical practices...

You obviously have no experience in any 'mystical practice'.
What gives you the notion that ignorance is a sufficient foundation for such an exclamation?
I consider the most fruitful and beautiful manifestation of ignorance might be a well considered question or two... the least so, declarative statements.

Greek philosophy is obsolete through lack of correlation with revealed reality.
It 'suffocated' (lack of 'truth') after (unfortunately) screwing western civilization.
After a couple of millennia, I say good riddance!
 
 

 
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