Book Questions: “Philosophy: The Power Of Ideas”

The view of Heraclitus regarding the nature of reality

Being a well known Greek philosopher, Heraclitus tried to explain the character of things and the nature of the world. He was sure that fire was the main element that served as the basis for all things in the universe. Due to this statement, it was easy for him to explain the changeable character of our world. The fire is very changeable, it constantly obtains new forms, and our universe changes too. However, some regularities, which determined these changes, were called by Heraclitus logos. It is a rather interesting point of view as it means that everything is changeable and it is determined by some cosmic law.

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The views of Anaximander

The way in which this world is organized and the peculiarities of its main elements are studied by Anaximander in his works. He follows his teacher Thales, suggesting that the substance, which is basic for our world, should be boundless and uncertain. He created the image of our world. According to it, the world is surrounded by fire, and stars are responsible for it. Additionally, the theory of change of seasons was also suggested by him. The change of seasons was explained by the difference in powers of heat, cold, wetness, and dryness (Moore & Bruder, 2010).

The views of Parmenides and Heraclitus

Parmenides also tried to understand the main principles of the functioning of our universe. However, his ideas differ from Heraclitus ideas. He states that the Universe is constant, denying the changeable character of the Universe suggested by Heraclitus. Additionally, he tried to discover the principles according to which our universe functioned.

The views of Protagoras, Pythagoras, and Anaxagoras

Protagoras, Pythagoras, and Anaxagoras were interested in the nature of truth, knowledge, and reality. Protagoras stated that there was no absolute knowledge in the world as people constantly added some changes to the Universe. At the same time, Pythagoras tried to see the world from another perspective, stating the fact that everything which surrounds us was numbered. Anaxagoras introduced such an issue as nous and believed that all things were made of the same particles, however, their order determined the nature of these things.

Explain, in your opinion, which, if any, of the early Greeks had a reasonable conception of the nature of reality

Taking into account a great number of ideas presented by different philosophers, it is possible to choose one point of view, which seems to be the best. With this in mind, Heraclitus point of view seems to be the most interesting. His idea of changing the Universe is close to objective reality because it is really difficult to find objects which are not influenced by time and do not change

Plato’s criticism of the views of Protagoras as others argue that knowledge is relative

There is no use denying the fact that Plato is one of the most famous ancient Greek philosophers. He is known for his interest in the theory of knowledge. That is why he opposes Protagoras and his theory that all knowledge is relative. In the work Theaetetus, he doubts Protagoras theory stating the fact that it is impossible to find real knowledge if the relative theory of knowledge is true. Additionally, it is impossible to discover some mysteries of the Universe if knowledge is changeable

Plato claims people can know the Forms

Theory of Forms is a famous Platos work. It states that in everyday life, people deal with some Forms, which are the way in which a person understands the sense of the object and analyses it. Additionally, as against objects, Forms are eternal. Analyzing the nature of objects and trying to understand their inner structure, people can obtain the image of these Forms. However, these forms should not be confused with ideas.

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Aristotle’s notion of the 4 causes

Aristotle also tried to understand the nature of our world. He states the fact that things are changeable, moreover, these changes will obviously happen. That is why, he created 4 causes of a thing. The main aim of these causes was to explain the nature of changes which happened. They are formal, material, efficient and final causes and these notions describe the nature of a thing, its material, creator and a purpose of its creation and existence (Moore, & Bruder, 2010)…

Aristotle’s third man argument and theory of forms

Being taught by Plato, Aristotle, however, did not agree with some of his ideas. That is why, the work Third Man argument was created as Aristotle’s answer to Plato. Platos idea was that the Form circularity was the thing which tied two circular coins together (Moore, & Bruder, 2010). Nevertheless, Aristotle created his own argument asking if there was a notion which served to tie these coins with the Form circularity. This question helps to understand the weak point in Platos theory.

Plato’s view of Forms and Aristotle’s view of forms

Plato theory of forms introduced a great number of debates. Aristotle also had his own point of view on the issue which was different from Platos. He preferred to call these Forms universals as their meaning was larger and more complicated. However, introducing this category, Aristotle did not explain strong points of his universals and their advantages. The debates, which resulted from Aristotle’s statement, influenced the development of the whole Ancient Greek philosophy. However, neither Plato nor Aristotle were able to explain clearly what their ideas meant and what Forms and Universals were.

Aristotle says, “Everything which comes into being is brought about by something [else].” If that were the case, then is existence a paradox (as Gorgias points out)? Explain

It is impossible to see paradox in Aristotles statement. All things and processes in the world are organized according to some regularities. That is why, if one thing changes or appear, great number of other processes and events happen. These processes, in their turn, lead to the appearance of some other thing. That is why, this statement seems to be quite logic.

Reference

Moore, B., & Bruder, K. (2010). Philosophy: The Power Of Ideas. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities.

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