philosophy of religion greek influences

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
Philosophy of Religion ­ The God of Philosophy p3-14
Famous Philosophers
Socrates ­ The first Western philosopher; although he wrote nothing down, many of his
ideas were recorded by Plato, his student. Socrates died after drinking hemlock, a poison. He
had been condemned to death by a court in Athens for impiety and corrupting the youth of
Athens by teaching them philosophy. The duty of a citizen was to end their own life if
condemned to death. Socrates put obeying the law above him and
drank the poison. Plato records the days leading up to Socrates
death in Crito and Phaedo. These books contain ideas from Plato as
well as from Socrates. Throughout his life, Plato defended Socrates'
memory and was distrustful of all politicians because of what had
happened.
Plato ­ one of the most famous philosophers in history. His
writings influenced the development of philosophy throughout the
Western world and a large number of his books have survived. Plato
was taught by the first Western philosopher, Socrates. Most of the books he wrote have
Socrates as the leading character in them. His early books are about Socrates philosophy but
the later ones present arguments from Plato's own thinking. Plato wrote about many issues
ranging from the existence of the soul and the nature of beauty, to who should run the
government. Plato founded his own school of philosophy, like a University, called the
Academia, from which we get the word academy in English. He died in 347 BC, aged 81.
Aristotle ­ was born in Macedonia. At the age of 17 he moved to Athens where he joined
Plato's Academy. In 347 BC he moved to Turkey due to the growing political tensions
between Macedonia and Athens. He spent his time there investigating science and
particularly biology. In 341 BC he moved with his family back to Macedonia to become tutor
to King Philip II of Macedonia's son who would become Alexander the Great, when he
became king, Aristotle returned to Athens and founded a school called the Lyceum. He
remained in Athens teaching until 323 when Alexander the great died. After his death it
became difficult for Aristotle to stay in Athens as he was a Macedonian. Worried that he
might die like Socrates, Aristotle and his family moved to Chalcis, where he died a year later.
His book Metaphysics opens with the line "All men desire to know", showing his fascination
for knowledge and the world around him. He was fascinated with understanding the physical
world around him .His biology books were not superseded by anything better until 2000
years later. Aristotle also wrote about other areas of study, including drama, public speaking,
meteorology, sport and physics. Aristotle was taught by Plato and always admired Plato and
his philosophical work. Many of the areas of study that so interested Aristotle were first
worked on by Plato, but they often approached it differently.

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
Plato's Theory of Forms
The world we live in is a world of appearances, but it is not the most important or real world.
In the material world, things that exist like trees and plants will all die. What makes a tree a
tree however, or a cat a cat is the way in which it corresponds to the Form of a tree or a cat.
By Form Plato meant the idea of what a thing is.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
Plato says we recognise the Forms because we are born with a dim recollection of them
from our prior existence in the realm of the Forms. There is an inner part of us, you might
call it the soul, that does not change. The soul is the only eternal part of the person and
therefore is separate. The soul is eternal and before it became tied down in the body it was
concerned with the real world of the Forms.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
them to see the Forms. (Posterori ­ knowledge gained from the senses, Priori ­ knowledge
gained from logical reasoning)
The statues that people carry are also images of the Forms. These images are themselves
only imitations or copies of the true reality of the Forms.
The people who carry the statues are often thought to share the same views as the
prisoners. They shape the prisoners' views; because all the prisoners see is what they
present (the shadow of the statues).…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
mind in which they are preserved, (E.g. knowledge lost in the collapse of the Roman Empire
was rediscovered by Islamic cultures in the Middle Ages).
Unclear link between Forms and the physical world: The link between the two is never
explained by Plato, for example what is the link between the Form of justice and instances
of justice in the world? This is left unclear and unexplained.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
Bricks, mortar, wood, glass, metal, paint etc.
Built and designed
A roof, a door, windows, walls
To provide a shelter in which to live
Plato and Aristotle
Plato and Aristotle are often thought to represent two different approaches to philosophy,
Plato emphasising the world of ideas and reason as the source of knowledge; Aristotle
emphasising the physical world and experience.…read more

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Rhiannon Edwards C6AP
The prime mover exists by necessity - meaning that the prime mover could not fail to exist.
It is not capable of change, and so is pure actuality by nature, and so it's nature is good. The
reason for this is that the lack of goodness means that you can do better, meaning you can
change. Something that is pure actuality clearly is not lacking some quality that it should
have; it is just as it should be, i.e. it is good.…read more

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