Pre Socratic Peer Review Post

March 8, 2022
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Pre Socratic Peer Review Post

Pre Socratic Peer Review Post

Help me study for my Philosophy class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Below I am attaching both the rubric for the peer review post and the other students discussion post for the creation of pre-socratic. All you have to do is reply to the discussion post and follow the rubric.

Pre-Socratic philosophy, also known as early Greek philosophy, is ancient Greek philosophy before Socrates. Pre-Socratic philosophers were mostly interested in cosmology, the beginning and the substance of the universe, but the inquiries of these early philosophers spanned the workings of the natural world as well as human society, ethics, and religion. They sought explanations based on natural law rather than the actions of gods. Their work and writing has been almost entirely lost. Knowledge of their views comes from testimonia, i.e. later authors’ discussions of the work of pre-Socratics. Philosophy found fertile ground in the ancient Greek world because of the close ties with neighboring civilizations and the rise of autonomous civil entities, poleis.

Pre-Socratic philosophy began in the 6th century BCE with the three Milesians: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. They all attributed the arche (a word that could take the meaning of “origin,” “substance” or “principle”) of the world to, respectively, water, apeiron (the unlimited), and air governed by nous (mind or intelligence). Another three pre-Socratic philosophers came from nearby Ionian towns: Xenophanes, Heraclitus, and Pythagoras. Xenophanes is known for his critique of the anthropomorphism of gods. Heraclitus, who was notoriously difficult to understand, is known for his maxim on impermanence, ta panta rhei, and for attributing fire to be the arche of the world. Pythagoras created a cult-like following that advocated that the universe was made up of numbers. The Eleatic school (Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, and Melissus) followed in the 5th century BCE. Parmenides claimed that only one thing exists and nothing can change. Zeno and Melissus mainly defended Parmenides’ opinion. Anaxagoras and Empedocles offered a pluralistic account of how the universe was created. Leucippus and Democritus are known for their atomism, and their views that only void and matter exist. The Sophists advanced critical thinking and philosophical relativism.

The impact of the pre-Socratics has been enormous. The pre-Socratics invented some of the central concepts of Western civilization, such as naturalism and rationalism, and paved the way for scientific methodology.

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Pre-Socratic is a term adopted in the 19th century to refer to this group of philosophers. It was first used by the German philosopher J.A. Eberhard as “vorsokratische Philosophie’ in the late 18th century.[1] In earlier literature they were referred to as physikoi (“physicists”, after physis, “nature”), and their activity, as physiologoi (physical or natural philosophers), with this usage arising with Aristotle to differentiate them from theologoi (theologians) and mythologoi (storytellers and bards who conveyed Greek mythology), who attributed natural phenomena to the gods.[2]

The term was coined to highlight a fundamental change in philosophical inquiries between the philosophers who lived before Socrates, who were interested in the structure of nature and cosmos (i.e., the universe, with the implication that the universe had order to it), and Socrates and his successors, who were mostly interested in ethics and politics. The term comes with drawbacks, as several of the pre-Socratics were highly interested in ethics and how to live the best life. Further, the term implies that the pre-Socratics are less significant than Socrates, or even that they were merely a stage (implying teleology) to classical era philosophy.[3] The term is also chronologically inaccurate, as the last of the pre-Socratics were contemporaries of Socrates.[4]

According to James Warren, the distinction between the pre-Socratic philosophers and philosophers of the classical era is demarcated not so much by Socrates, but by geography and what texts survived. The shift from the pre-Socratic to the classical periods involves a shift from philosophers being dispersed throughout the Greek-speaking world to their being concentrated in Athens. Further, starting in the classical period we have complete surviving texts, whereas in the pre-Socratic era we have only fragments.[5] Scholar André Laks distinguishes two traditions of separating pre-Socratics from Socratics, dating back to the classical era and running through current times. The first tradition is the Socratic-Ciceronian, which uses the content of their philosophical inquires to divide the two groups: the pre-Socratics were interested in nature whereas Socrates focused on human affairs. The other tradition, the Platonic-Aristotelian, emphasizes method as the distinction between the two groups, as Socrates moved to a more epistemological approach of studying various concepts.[6] Because of the drawbacks of the term pre-Socratic, early Greek philosophy is also used, most commonly in Anglo-Saxon literature.

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