Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Short Summary: Hellenism and the Middle Ages - History of Philosophy

Hellenism
3 kingdoms – Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. By 50 BC, the Romans dominate (late antiquity). There is some merging of culture and religion. Alexandria becomes the center of science.

Cynics – Antisthenes, Diogenes, etc. believed that happiness is not found in material goods.
Stoics – Zeno, marcus Aurelius, Cicero; Believed in universal reason and unity of nature Life w/individual is the focus(humanism). Learned to accept destiny, everything happens through necessity
Epicureans – Aristippus, Epicurus; Get the highest possible sensory enjoyment. Avoid pain of all forms. Must weight the short & long term consequences of actions.
Neoplatonism – Plotinus had a dual theory; God is light. All that exists is God, but there’s a point light can’t reach. All forms in nature have a faint glow of the one.
Mysticism – one can disappear into God. In Western mysticism, there’s a personal god. Eastern – total fusion.

**Indo-Europeans – polytheistic, good vs. evil, sight important, cyclic view of history
Semites – Arabian peninsula w/3 religions, linear view of history, did NOT picture god. goal – redeemed of sin as opposed to released from rebirth
**Jews – after David, they deteriorated, by proclamation they’d be saved by some “son of god.” Then Jesus came using that language – “kingdom of god”, “father”, forgiving sins, etc. Paul spreads the word. There is a collision between Greek philosophy and Christian redemption. Women were fervent converts. Creed – Jesus is a god and a man.

Middle Ages
Rome falls in 476. Plato’s school closes in 529. Christianity spread, and school systems started, Pope started (Christ’s deputy on earth). The old Roman Empire had 3 distinct cultures – Rome, Istanbul, and the Middle East. Old Greek Science was taken over by the Arabs. Medeval philosophers – took Christ as true. St. Augustine(430) asked where evil comes from? His answer was that all existence is divine so evil is an absence of God. There is fate. Through your soul you can know god. Started to be Church vs. State argument.

Thomas Aquinas(1225 – 74) Christianized Aristotle. You can arrive at God through either faith OR reason. Also, the Bible made sense with Aristotle’s view of women.

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