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Mythological World

People had found answers to all their questions in various religion. Thus, religious explanation where
handed down from generation to generation in the form of myth.
Myth – traditional or legendary story involving gods and goddesses and explains cultural practices or
natural phenomenon
Birth of Philosophy
600 BC Philosophy takes its root
570 BC Xenophanes , one of the critics of Homer
Myths were nothing but human notions
AIM of early Greek philosophers: Find natural rather than supernatural explanations for natural
Early Greek Philosophers
- sometimes called Natural philosophers
- They are concerned with natural world and its processes
Where did everything come from?
Did something come out of nothing?
Early Greek assumptions:
1. Something has already existed
2. Nature was in constant state of transformation
3. There has to be a certain basic substance at the root of all these change
Philosophy gradually liberated itself from religion
Natural philosophers took the first step in the direction of scientific reasoning by becoming the
PRECURSOR of what was to become SCIENCE
• Three philosophers from Miletus
(Greek colony in Asia Minor)
1. THALES – the source of all things is WATER
2. ANAXIMANDER –the world is just one of the myriads of worlds that evolved and dissolved in
something called BOUNDLESS.
3. ANAXEMENES – the source of all things must be AIR or VAPOR. He thought that water was a
condensed air and when water is pressed even more it becomes earth.
• Men from Elea (Eleatics)
500 BC
How could a substance be change to something else?
( a question of transformation, state of flux, change)
1. PARMENIDES – everything that existed had always existed. NOTHING CAN COME OUT OF
NOTHING. Although he realized that nature is in constant state of flux but he cannot equate
this with what reason told him. (Rationalist)
• State of Change
2. HERACLITUS – The basic characteristic of nature is change.Every thing flows.
The world consist of the opposites.There is something that embraced the whole world –
LOGOS, a kind of universal reason guiding everything that happens in nature
3. EMPEDOCLES – Nature consisted of four elements: AIR, EARATH, FIRE and WATER. He believed
that natural processes were due to the coming together (LOVE) and separating (STRIFE) of these 4
DEMOCRITUS -LAST of the Great natural philosophers
assumed everything was built of tiny blocks, eternal and immutable called ATOM
(uncuttable) with hooks and barbs
- atoms can be round and smooth, irregular or jogged.
- when body dies and disintegrates, atoms dispersed and could be use again in new bodies
- human beings has no immortal soul
-soul is made up of special smooth “soul atom”
450 BC
ATHENS was the cultural center of Greek world.
From this time on, Philosophy took a different direction
Early philosophers focus is on the natural science.
In Athens, focus of individual was on himself and his place in society.
What is the requirement to make democracy work and to be “in” during that time?
Art of Rhetoric (saying things in convincing manner)
Sophist (wise or informed persons) – teachers from Greek colonies who flocked Athens
- Skeptics. Man cannot know the truth about the riddles of nature and the universe
PROTAGORAS , a sophist “Man is the measure of all things”
Whether a thing is right or wrong, good or bad must always be considered in relation to
person’s need.
• Who is SOCRATES?
(470 – 399 BC)
- the most enigmatic and ambiguous figure in the entire history of Philosophy
- He never wrote a single line
- Born in Athens. His father was a sculptor while his mother was midwife.
- Spent most of his time talking with people in the city squares and marketplaces called Agora
- He was ugly, potbellied, with bulging eyes
- Inside him, he was perfectly delightful
You can seek him in the present, you can seek him in the past and you will never find his equal
• Socrates
- his life is mainly known through the writings of Plato, his student
- the DIALOGUES written by Plato is a dramatized discussions on Philosophy which Plato use
Socrates as his principal character and mouthpiece.
The ART of Discourse
- discussing rather than lecturing
- started with listening, then end up asking
SOCRATIC IRONY – playing ignorant
To the many people of Athens, especially those who had status in the community SOCRATES is
His is to ‘Give birth “ to correct insights. Real understanding must come from within
The Divine Voice
There is a divine voice inside him- telling him what was right. Ethics is one of his interests.
Right insights lead to right action.
- NO one can possibly be happy if he acted against his better judgment
It always troubled him if he knows so little.
Wisest is he who knows he does not know.
It is necessary to establish solid foundation for our knowledge which lay in our reason
Year 399 BC
He was arrested and condemned to death.
1. Impiety – refuse to worship gods of the state
2. Corruption of the minds of youth who flocked around him.
He drank Hemlock ( a poison) in the presence of his friends

PLATO (427 – 347 BC)

- A pupil of Socrates
- set up his own school of Philosophy – the ACADEMY (after Greek hero ACADEMUS)
- subjects at the academy: Philosophy, Mathematics, Gymnastics
If Socrates was more focused to man and society, Plato considered both the nature and concerns to
man and society
- Plato believe that everything tangible in nature “flow’ or changes. Everything dissolves but
everything is made of timeless “form” that is eternal and immutable, unchanged called IDEAS
There is always a reality behind the material world – it is the World of ideas
True knowledge
We ca never have true knowledge of anything that is in constant change – we can only have
OPINION about that belongs to the world of changes
TRUE knowledge of things can be understood with our reason.
Man is a dual creature, the body that flows and the soul which is the realm of reason
Soul existed before the body
Philosophic State
Ideal state : Utopian state
State should be run by philosophers
Body Soul Virtue State
The Head reason aspires to wisdom Rulers
Chest will aspires to courage Auxi
Abdomen appetite aspires to temperance laborer
Women could govern just as effectively as men for the simple reason that the rulers govern by virtue
of their reason
Plato was the first philosopher to advocate state-organized nursery schools and full-time education

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)

- born in Macedonia, not a native of Athens

- Study at the Academy and became the student of Plato when Plato was 61 years old
- His father was a physician
- Not only the last of the great philosophers in Europe but also the first great biologist
- Founded the discipline of Logic

No to innate ideas
Nothing exist in consciousness that has not first been experienced by the senses.
The Goal of human life is happiness. Man ca achieve happiness using all his abilities and capabilities
3 forms of happiness (all forms must be present)
1. Life of pleasure and enjoyment
2. Life as a free and responsible citizen
3. Life as a thinker and philosopher
He rejected all forms of imbalance ;Advocated GOLDEN MEAN
Exercise balance and temperance to achieve harmonious life.
His view on Women
- not as uplifting as Plato, women according to him is passive , women are incomplete in
some ways. Child inherits only the male characteristics
Man by nature is a political animal
3 Forms of constitution
1. Monarchy (or Kingship)
2. Aristocracy
3. Democracy
• The CAUSALITY in nature
The How and the why/purpose of nature
Bakit umuulan?
1. Material cause
2. Efficient cause
3. Formal cause
4. Final cause
• The Ancient Greece
The birthplace of Western civilization
Greek culture
- creativity
- productivity
- long lasting influence
Fields of literature, arts, science, mathematics, philosophy and politics
• Geographic Location
Greece is located in the Mediterranean with good harbors but only limited arable land.
- Greeks turned to the sea for trading and colonizing
- Gave way for a cosmopolitan, open and dynamic society
BUT this geographic factor
- cause of disunity
- city states cropping (polis)
- loyalty only to local/regional community
• Hellenism
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle gave us the foundations of European philosophy
Death of Aristotle in 322 BC
- Athens lost its dominant role
Battle of city states in taking the dominant role led to the lost of Greece to Macedonian war
headed by Alexander The Great ( Alexander was one of the students being tutored by Aristotle)
Alexander the Great linked Egypt and the Orient to Greek civilization
This was the new epoch (period) in history which lasted for 300 years when Greek culture
and Greek civilization played a leading role and these prevailed in the 3 kingdoms of Macedonia,
Syria, and Egypt
The intense fusion of culture resulted in dynamic interchange and exciting achievements in
astronomy, medicine, geography, philosophy and religion.
Many experience doubt and uncertainty about their philosophy in life

Philosophy moves into the direction of serenity, hence free mankind from pessimism and fear of
Boundary of religion and philosophy is gradually eliminated
ALEXANDRIA now become the center of science with the extension of Library. It is the center for
Mathematics, Astronomy, Biology and Medicine
• From Athens to Alexandria
• Hellenistic Philosophy
The period continued to work with problems raised by 3 great pillars- How mankind should best live
and die? (Ethics/Ethical concerns)
4 Philosophical Trends
1. The cynics
2. The Stoics
3. The Epicureans
4. The Neoplatonist
The Cynics
Antisthenes (400 BC)
- founder of Cynic School of Philosophy
- a student of Socrates
- frugal
True happiness is not found in external advantages such as material luxury, political power or good
health. It is within everyone’s reach, and once attained it can never be lost
Deogenes – best known cynic
Today: Cynical or cynicism mean s sneering disbelief in human sincerity or insensitive to other
people’s suffering

The Stoics
Zeno – founder of Stoic School of Philosophy
- originally from Cyprus
- used to gather his followers under a portico (columned porch, projecting roof or walls to
protect doorway)
- comes from Greek word STOA (portico)
- like Heraclitus, Stoics believed that there is universal law (logos)
- adhered to monism (one nature), human is both matter and spirit
- cosmopolitan , more into politics
Famous Stoics: Marcus Aurelius, Cicero
- believed in DESTINY. Nothing happens by chance. Accept things as they come
Stoic calmness – someone who does not let his feeling take over

The Epicureans
Epicurus ( 341 – 270 BC)
- developed Pleasure ethics
- live in Garden (“Stranger, here you will live well. Here the highest pleasure is the highest good”)
-emphasize pleasurable results of an action must always be weighed against possible side effects
- pleasurable results in short term must be weighed against the possibility of a greater more lasting
or more intense pleasure in the long term
- Pleasure is not only sensual
Desire must be curbed
- Death is not their concern. “ As long as we exist, death is not here and when it does come,
we no longer exist”, No life after death
Epicurean Medicinal Herbs
1. Gods are not to be feared
2. Death is nothing to worry about
3. Good is easy to attain
4. The fearful is easy to endure
- not interested in politics and community
-LIVE for the moment
The Neoplatonists
Plotinus – founder
- inspired by Plato’s philosophy
- he believed that the world is a span of two poles, at one end is the divine light which he
calls the ONE or sometimes GOD. At the other end is absolute darkness which receives none of the
Darkness has no existence, it is simple an absence of light
Everything is one for everything is GOD ( pantheism)
Mystical experience – fusion of soul with God
End of Hellenism 50 BC
Strong Roman army conquered the Hellenistic kingdoms, making Roman culture and Latin
language predominant.
This marked the beginning of the Roman empire of the LATE ANTIQUITY
On the other side
• Israel
3 Great Kings
1. King Saul
2. King David
3. King Solomon
Specially under King David, Israelites experienced a period of political, military and cultural glory
But long before Israel began to lose its powers the kingdom was divided
Northern Kingdom- conquered by Assyrians (722BC)
Southern Kingdom –conquered by Babylonians (586 BC)
539 BC– people were permitted to return to Jerusalem ending Babylonian captivity
• Questions Jews asked
Why Kingdom of David was destroyed?
Why catastrophe after another happened when in fact God promised to hold Israel in His hands?
But people had promised also to keep God’s commandments
It was accepted God is punishing Israel for her disobedience.
THE Prophets
Doomsday prophecies –Day of judgment
Good news- God’s Redemption
JESUS came along…JESUS of Nazareth
Not a political figure
Not a military figure
His mission – Preach salvation and God’s forgiveness to everyone
There was a dramatic shift
Love thy neighbor
Love thy enemies
God’s mercy is boundless
Resurrection of Christ
- a convert to Christianity made missionary journey across the whole Greco-Roman world
The ACTS of the Apostles
What is new? Christian and Greeks admit that search for God is natural to man
BUT this time GOD revealed HIMSELF personally who intervenes in the course of history
The Roman Empire
The culmination of the classical period of development.
Some examples of the Roman influence and presence of Europe include till-standing examples of
the Roman propensity for building and engineering- roads, bridges, ports, aqua ducts .
The most impt. Legacy left by Roman control was the spread of Christianity from its origin in the
near east to all corners of the Roman empire
• ANNO Domini
50 AD -Hellenistic World became Christian
300 AD – Christian churches were banned
313 – Christianity was accepted
330 – Constantinople became the capital of Roman Empire
380 – Christianity became the official religion throughout Roman Empire
395- Roman empire was divided (Western and Eastern)
400 – Bishop of Rome, still the powerful head
END of Roman Empire
• The Middle Ages
1000 years of germination and growth
Period between 2 epoch
Called the dark ages or Medieval times
This is the period of two epoch- Late Antiquity and Renaissance
In the early middle ages
1. People return to bartering
2. Economy was feudal (powerful nobles own the land)
3. Population declined
St. Augustine (354 – 430)
- his life observe the transition from late antiquity to early middle ages
- He is not a Christian all his life
- A Manichean, half religion and half philosophy asserting that the world consisted of good
and evil, light and darkness, spirit and matter (Dualism)
- Also became a neoplatonist
- Have said christianized Plato
- According to him, God created the world out of void, but before God created the world , the
ideas were in the divine mind.
- There is no limit as to how far reason can get thru religious questions
- Christianity is a divine mystery that can be perceived thru faith. If we believe, God will
illumine the soul to experience spiritual knowledge of God
- There is no limit as to how far philosophy could go
- On being a Christian, he found peace in his own soul
“Our hearts are not quiet until the our hearts rest I thee”
8th C- establishment of convent schools
10 –11th C The rise of Cathedral schools, the first university
12th C The rise of Gothic cathedrals (not because of many attendees but accordingly to give Glory to
ST. THOMAS (1225 – 1274)
- from Aquino ( bet Rome and Naples)
- teacher at the University of Paris
NO great difference between philosophy and theology at that time
- have said that St. Thomas christianized Aristotle
- “Christianizing”- Greek philosophers were interpreted and explained in a way that they were
no longer threat to Christian dogma
- No conflict between what philosophy or reason teaches and what Christian revelation or
faith teaches
- Example: Truth about God
- 2 Paths to GOD: 1. Faith 2. Reason
- The theology of faith or natural philosophy
- The formal cause (the natural process)
• End of the Middle Ages
Towards the end of the Middle Ages
Cities were developed
Effective trade, commerce of new goods, monetary economy and banking rose including the rise of
middle men
• The Renaissance or Rebirth
14 C – Philosophy and science broke away from the theology of the church
Unifying culture of Christianity began to crouch in
Rich cultural development started in Italy
The motto: Go to the source.
• Humanism
Focus on individual uniqueness
Man of universal genius in life, arts,, sciences, medicine, architecture, literature and music
“The Renaissance Man” (never afraid to be bold again)
Rome as a cultural city was restored

15th C- Restoration of St. Peter (120 + 50 years to finish)

Resulted in a new view of mankind
Humanism brought new belief in man and his worth (Man is great and valuable VS. medieval
emphasis in sinful nature of man.
• Famous Renaissance Men
Nicolas Copernicus – claiming sun is the center of the universe
Johannes Kepler – elliptical movement of the earth
Galileo Galilee – Law of Inertia
Isaac Newton - Law of gravity

The Reformation of 16th C

Medieval times: Priest and monks were the persons who can read the bible written Latin
This period translated bible to Hebrew and Greek and to national languages
MARTIN LUTHER – a reformist, German priest
- did not and would not buy indulgences
- NO to intercession of the church to receive God’s forgiveness

17th C The Baroque period

Baroque- pearl of irregular shape
This period is characterized by irreconcilable contrast
Sayings: “Seize the day”. Remember that you must die
Ex. Paintings with luxurious styles but with skull in one corner
Beauty is ephemeral (beauty perish)
Conflict in political scene: 30 yrs of War (France vs. Germany), Protestants vs. Catholics, class
differences, French aristocracy

17th C
Attempted to provide philosophy with the exactness of mathematics. Set to organize system of
truth from which accurate information about the world could be deduced
- emphasize rational capacity of human
RENE DESCARTES – (1596-1650)
French, father of modern Philosophy/Analytic Geometry
Focus on man and the universe
A rationalist: Reason was the only path to knowledg
We cannot accept everything as being true unless we can clearly and distinctly perceived it
Let us go from simple to complex in our approaches.
“ I think, therefore, I exist”

18th C- Romanticism
Europe last common approach to life – cultural bloom. After this period, less of poetry, philosophy,
arts, science and music
New catch words: “Feeling”, “imagination”, experience, yearning
Rise of artistic geniuses – Beethoven
Importance of art in human expression
Philosophy center of gravity in Europe
1st half – England
Middle – France
End - Germany
• Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
True child of romanticism
Truth is subjective, rejecting truth above and below human reason
He believe that the basis of human cognition changed from generation to generation

19th C
Karl Marx
- philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist
practical politics
Material factors in society determine the way we think
Man cannot work with nothing
Advocate of socialism or classless society

20th C
- French
- Atheist
- Existentialist: Man is the only creature that is conscious of his own existence
- Man has to create himself
- Man has no eternal nature to fall back on
- He has to search for his own meaning of life

Today’s Philosophy
Environmental philosophy
Alternative lifestyle
Does technology bring new philosophy?