27.11.09

The influence of Plato and Augustine

The spread of Hellenistic thought, which is somewhat different to Classical Greek thought, is less modest. Ideas become overblown.

Christians thinkers in the West were influenced by the Roman Hellenists. There was a division across the Med.

Augustine is Latin speaking and comes from N Africa to Milan.

Think of classical culture in terms of Myth and then Philosophy born out of the reflection on this. The pre-socratics dawn science - 531 Pythagoras - 468 Birth of Socrates.

Grenz - 'ontology is the critique of myth'

Demythologisation of ancient myth.
The Greek cosmologists removed its objectionable nature.
Thales is trying to find a rational, naturalistic principle behind the way we view the world.

Parmenides and Democritus and Heraclitus.

Heraclitus
'It is not possible to step twice in the same river'. Everything is in constant flux.

Nothing is permanent.

But Parmenides believes that there are permanent principles.

Democritus thinks that there is a middle way - we can marry change with permanence. Atoms take on different forms - -a synthesis between being and becoming.

Socrates questions and is critical. He calls others to account. He is accused of rebellion and before his death by poisoning, he encourages his followers that there is an after-life.

Plato's twenty-five dialogues are written as if from Socrates. In the early dialogues we have Plato's thoughts but he presents his later arguments as if they were Socrates'.

Socrates' technique was to question people's world-views, to critique the ideas inherent in people in their day. 

Birth of Alexandria
Birth of Plato 'The Republic'
Birth of Aristotle

These events were hugely influential.

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