Special Sub-Topic: Ancient Greek Philosphy
|Which of the following was considered the "arkhé", origin and beginning of the universe, by Anaximander of Miletus, disciple of Thales?|
Ápeiron, the undifined. Water was Thales' option, air belonged to Anaximenes, and fire, in some way, to Heraclitus.
|In Parmenides' poem there are two paths presented; which are they?|
Being and not being. Truth was in the path of being, because there can only be being, the rest is nonexistent.
|Heraclitus thought there was one principle that directed the whole universe; which one is it?|
Lógos, reason. The "Lógos" is the reason, speech, that directs the whole universe, and those who are wise can hear it.
|Heraclitus divided humans, according to their perception of the "Lógos", into those who are "awakened" and those who are "asleep".|
true. He thought that most men were asleep, because they were unable to perceive the "Lógos", and therefore their perception of reality was as those who are "asleep".
|Who is considered the last of the "pre-Socratic philosophers", ending such period with his arrival in Athens?|
Anaxagoras. He did so in 464-462 BC. He became a friend of Pericles and one of the most important philosophers of his time.
|According to Anaxagoras, what was that which controlled the cosmos?|
Noûs, mind. This was a universal mind, which regulated all of the universe's processes, being pure and independent from the chaotic mass.
|"I only know that I know nothing". Who said it?|
Socrates. This is one of his most important lines, meaning that real knowledge can only come from humility, and the acceptance of one's own ignorance.
|Socrates called himself the "horsefly of Athens".|
True. He did so in Plato's "Apology", wanting to say that he had come to Athens to bother everyone into thinking, and practicing true philosophy.
|Which one of the following was a disciple of Socrates?|
Anthistenes. He is not very popular for the modern world, since all of his works were lost, but he became a very important philosopher for his times.
|Anthistenes, same as Plato, believed that there was a higher reality conformed by "forms".|
false. His theory was quite the opposite. There is a story, told by Diogenes Laertius, that once they argued: "I see the horse, but I don't see the horseness" said Anthistenes, "That's because you don't have what you need to see it", replied Plato... The argument ended up in violence.
|Plato thought that the human soul knew everything before falling into this world, so knowing is actually remembering. What is the process of remembering known as?|
Anámnesis, reminiscence. The human souls, in fact, lived together with gods in the "oúranos" (sky), they once fell into the earth, passing through the Letus River, the river of forgetfulness. That's why anyone can learn anything they wish to, just by reminiscing.
|In his "Republic" Plato presents what he believes to be an ideal society. In his division of classes he mentions three. Which one of the following is NOT one of them?|
Poets. Philosophers were meant to rule, Guardians to be in charge of protecting the city, and Craftsmen, in simple words, to do the hard work. Poets were banned from Plato's Republic, being considered harmful because of their ideas.
|According to Plato, "Forms" are the highest type of reality, being out of the world and out of time, and being the ones on whom all of what we know owes its dependence. Which faculty of man is the one that allows him to apprehend these Forms?|
Noésis, intuitive perception. The sensory perception is for the material world, which is ontologically inferior to ideas. Rational thinking is for mathematical principles, prudent thinking hasn't got to do much with Plato, whilst intuition remains to grasp Forms, in a sort of mystical way.
|In Plato's dialogue "Parmenides" a young and unexperienced Socrates argues with an old and wise Parmenides, who criticises most of Plato's Theory of Forms. Which of the following is NOT a problem he presents?|
Why forms can only be known by philosophers. What forms exist? Only of high principles such as love, justice and good? or also of entities such as men, animals and chairs? what about forms of hair and dust? How can a form relate with this world, without losing its Unity? These are some of the questions asked.
|Finally, in his "Sophist" Plato answers many of Parmenides' questions and deals with the old matter of being and not being, truth and falseness. How does he solve most of the problems regarding Forms?|
Symploké, combination of the forms. Participation existed before, and was one of the main problems of the theory. The other two have nothing to do with this. The combination introduced the possibility of Forms relating among themselves, therefore not being closed within themselves, and being able to relate with other types of entities.
|Enough with Plato, let's go to his most important disciple, Aristotle; where was he born?|
Stageira. It was a Greek city in the Chalcidice peninsula. He was born in 384 BC, and died in 322 BC.
|Unlike his teacher, Aristotle thought that reality and truth were on this world, and thought that Forms were unnecessary and inefficient to explain reality.|
true. He accused his teacher of duplicating reality in order to explain it, which was unnecessary; as if someone, he said, wanting to count, doubled the amount of things to count, thinking it would make it easier.
|"Being is said in many ways" is the line with which book Z of the "Metaphysics" begins. Which is NOT, one of those ways?|
God. The entity is the particular being, the "something specific", which is the highest way of being (among corruptible beings). Accidents, though inferior to entity, are a way of being (quality, quantities, place, etc.). Essence is what ultimately will identify with the entity, being now in the particular beings and not in a different world to this one. God is a being, but not a "way of being" as presented in book Z.
|"Everything, by nature, aims to an end". According to the ethics theory presented in Nichomachean Ethics, which is the last end for men's actions?|
Happiness. Happiness is the one thing wanted for itself, and not for another purpose.
|Happiness is a very general word; what does Aristotle identify Happiness as?|
Good. Goodness is what shall bring happiness to mankind.
|How is good achieved?|
By choosing the middle term between two opposites. According to one's possibilities and capabilities, one must choose what's in the middle of two opposite values, therefore choosing virtue; for instance, bravery is the middle term between a defect, cowardice, and an excess, recklessness.
|The "no contradiction principle" establishes that two things can not be and not be at the same time, at the same place, from a same thing, in the same aspect.|
true. It is the most valuable principle, which sustains any other.
|To explain movement, Aristotle uses the notions of actuality and potentiality, but in last instance, what is the cause of every movement and change in the world?|
The unmoved mover. The unmoved mover, can not be moved, but moves everything. It is a divine entity, identified with God, which is incorruptible.
|Aristotle thought that Man was a compound of matter and form, body and soul which could not be one without the other.|
True. Unlike his teacher, Aristotle didn't believe in the immortality of the soul, and though it was ontologically superior to the body, it could not exist without the body.
|At last, an historical question; Aristotle was whose teacher?|
Alexander the Great. He was his preceptor when he was young, until Alexander left to conquer the world...
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