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presocratics

 
 
Dosed
 
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 06:52 pm
would it be fair to say that the milesians viewed the world in perhaps a metaphysical and abstract way? I come to this conclusion based on the beliefs of Anaximander andthe indefinite. However, I'm hesitant due to Thales and Anaximenes and their more scientific beliefs. Then again, they did call their principles "gods."

This is in comparison to the Pythaogreans, who I want to say viewed the world in a more logical and concrete way.

What do you think? Can the comparison stand in this way?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 720 • Replies: 6
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kennethamy
 
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Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 07:00 pm
@Dosed,
Dosed wrote:

would it be fair to say that the milesians viewed the world in perhaps a metaphysical and abstract way? I come to this conclusion based on the beliefs of Anaximander andthe indefinite. However, I'm hesitant due to Thales and Anaximenes and their more scientific beliefs. Then again, they did call their principles "gods."

This is in comparison to the Pythaogreans, who I want to say viewed the world in a more logical and concrete way.

What do you think? Can the comparison stand in this way?


I thought that Pythagoras held that the basic substance of the world was number. Whatever that means, what could be a more metaphysical and abstract "view" of the world than that?
Dosed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 07:06 pm
@kennethamy,
hmm.

It's true that the principle is number, but I looked at it as mathematics being logical and therfore more concete rather than abstract. I'll admit though that ancient greek is not my forte, so I could be and probably am wrong, which is why I came here to ask for help.

Can you possibly put that up in comparison to the Milesians?
Dosed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Aug, 2010 07:09 pm
@Dosed,
okay, so scratch that. I've realized that the Milesians viewed the world in a much more naturalistic way rather than a metaphysical way.
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jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 08:44 am
It is exceedingly difficult to understand the various presocratic philosophers from a few extant fragments or quotations preserved in later philosophic writings. Moreover, as a group, they represented a transition from a cosmological and religious explanation to a philosophic and scientific (i.e., natural) view of the world, and thus their writings contained elements of both horizons.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 10:41 am
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:

It is exceedingly difficult to understand the various presocratic philosophers from a few extant fragments or quotations preserved in later philosophic writings. Moreover, as a group, they represented a transition from a cosmological and religious explanation to a philosophic and scientific (i.e., natural) view of the world, and thus their writings contained elements of both horizons.



Since the fragments are all we have, they will have to do. I suppose the question is what it is we can understand from the data we have. The truth may be utterly different, but that is somewhat unlikely. We always have to make inferences from the available data, and, of course, as Quine tells us, all theories are underdetermined by the data however much data we have. I agree that the presocratics represent the transition from supernaturalism to naturalism. It is worth noting that Socrates himself held that we knew too little about the natural world to be able to say anything useful about it, so that philosophical investigation ought to be into what we do have information about, namely ourselves and Man himself, and what we ought to do. That is, investigate morality.
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Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 03:34 pm
Interesting paper on Plato as a Pythagorean:

http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/jay.kennedy/Kennedy_Apeiron_proofs.pdf
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