Greece Philosophers Quotes

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Part of the hem floated loose. She spun around again—the fabric tightened like wool on a spindle. She breathed in fear. The boat was farther away. She swung her head around—so was the shore.
Yvonne Korshak (Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece)
We’re not here to argue with you about the wisdom of our alliance that has kept the Persians at bay for forty years. An argument requires a measure of equality between those in the dispute and Samos is not the equal of Athens.
Yvonne Korshak (Pericles and Aspasia: A Story of Ancient Greece)
A philosopher named Aristippus, who had quite willingly sucked up to Dionysus and won himself a spot at his court, saw Diogenes cooking lentils for a meal. "If you would only learn to compliment Dionysus, you wouldn't have to live on lentils." Diogenes replied, "But if you would only learn to live on lentils, you wouldn't have to flatter Dionysus.
Diogenes of Sinope
As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist. For many are the obstacles that impede knowledge, both the obscurity of the question and the shortness of human life.
Diogenes Laërtius
The devotee of myth is in a way a philosopher, for myth is made up of things that cause wonder. (Metaphysics, I, 982b 18–19)
Aristotle (Metaphysics)
Did you hear the story of Socrates? He was a philosopher in ancient Greece, so they killed him.
Troy DeNuthe
Our journey is one of discovery on Sicily. Like the past Greek writers.orators,historians and philosophers we are all searching for answers on Earth
Daniel Peter Buckley (Heaven Earth and Time)
At the very time that philosophers of the most enterprising benevolence were founding in Greece those institutions which have rendered it the wonder and luminary of the world, am I required to believe that the weak and wicked king of an obscure and barbarous nation, a murderer, a traitor and a tyrant, was the man after God’s own heart?
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Necessity of Atheism and Other Essays (Freethought Library))
Do you know why our poetry today and especially our philosophy are such dead issues? Because they've cut themselves off from life. Now, Greece idealized on life's own level: an artist's life was already a poetic achievement; a philosopher's life was an enactment of his philosophy; and when they were a part of life that way, instead of ignoring each other, philosophy could nourish poetry, poetry express philosophy, and together achieve an admirable persuasiveness. Today beauty no longer acts; and action no longer bothers about being beautiful; and wisdom operates on the sidelines.
André Gide (The Immoralist)
According to the Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy, Socrates never wore shoes, could bench twice his weight, and was impervious to the effects of alcohol and cold. He did not care for fashion and his gait was that of one who truly did not give a shit.
stained hanes (94,000 Wasps in a Trench Coat)
Do you know the reason why poetry and philosophy are nothing but dead-letter nowadays? It is because they have severed themselves from life. In Greece, ideas went hand-in-hand with life; so that the artist's life was already a poetic realisation, the philosopher's life a putting into action of his philosophy; in this way, as both philosophy and poetry took part in life, instead of remaining unacquainted with each other, philosophy provided food for poetry, and poetry gave expression to philosophy - and the result was admirably persuasive. Nowadays beauty no longer acts; action no longer desires to be beautiful; and wisdom works in a sphere apart.
André Gide
...(W)hat is remarkable about the Greeks--even pre-philosophically--is that despite the salience of religious rituals in their lives, when it came to the question of what it is that makes an individual human life worth living they didn't look to the immortals but rather approached the question in mortal terms. Their approaching the question of human mattering in human terms is the singularity that creates the conditions for philosophy in ancient Greece, most especially as these conditions were realized in the city-state of Athens.
Rebecca Goldstein (Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away)
It is not living that matters but living rightly. – Socrates
Larry Berg (The Best of Socrates: The Founding Philosophies of Ethics, Virtues & Life (Philosophy, Socrates, Plato, Socratic Method, Ancient Greece, Philosophers, Virtues, Ethics, Morals Book 1))
There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself. An enemy who has lost his temper & a friend who loves you.” Antisthenes
Theo Papas
Ancient Greece the philosopher Epicurus explained that worshipping gods is a waste of time, that there is no existence after death, and that happiness is the sole purpose of life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
In ancient Greece the philosopher Epicurus explained that worshipping gods is a waste of time, that there is no existence after death, and that happiness is the sole purpose of life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
It always has been and always will be the same. The old folk of our grandfathers' young days sang a song bearing exactly the same burden; and the young folk of to-day will drone out precisely similar nonsense for the aggravation of the next generation. "Oh, give me back the good old days of fifty years ago," has been the cry ever since Adam's fifty-first birthday. Take up the literature of 1835, and you will find the poets and novelists asking for the same impossible gift as did the German Minnesingers long before them and the old Norse Saga writers long before that. And for the same thing sighed the early prophets and the philosophers of ancient Greece. From all accounts, the world has been getting worse and worse ever since it was created. All I can say is that it must have been a remarkably delightful place when it was first opened to the public, for it is very pleasant even now if you only keep as much as possible in the sunshine and take the rain good-temperedly.
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
Fairest of the deathless gods. This idea the Greeks had of him is best summed up not by a poet, but by a philosopher, Plato: "Love—Eros—makes his home in men's hearts, but not in every heart, for where there is hardness he departs. His greatest glory is that he cannot do wrong nor allow it; force never comes near him. For all men serve of him their own free will. And he whom Love touches not walks in darkness.
Edith Hamilton (Mythology)
For the philosophers of ancient Babylonia and Greece the sense world was not considered an illusion. In the search for Divine, they turned towards art, towards symbols and signs within myths and legends. They created such a marvel of art that every detail became an expression of the spiritual. In mysterious ways the wisdom of the initiates poured into poets, artists, and thinkers. They awakened powers of thought and feeling that are not directly stimulated by the spiritual world. Manipulating the elements, they turned towards the Lady Science and carried her principles to the point that we are now able to manipulate the sound, the light, the matter and its manifestation.
Nataša Pantović (Spiritual Symbols (AoL Mindfulness #8))
During the age of Christ, of his apostles, and of their first disciples, the doctrine which they preached was confirmed by innumerable prodigies. The lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, daemons were expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the benefit of the church [...] But the sages of Greece and Rome turned aside from the awful spectacle, and, pursuing the ordinary occupations of life and study, appeared unconscious of any alterations in the moral or physical government of the world. Under the reign of Tiberius, the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in an age of science and history. It happened during the lifetime of Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate effects, or received the earliest intelligence, of the prodigy. Each of these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great phenomena of Nature, earthquakes, meteors, comets, and eclipses, which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe.
Edward Gibbon (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I)
How malicious philosophers can be! I know of nothing more venomous than the joke Epicurus permitted himself against Plato and the Platonists; he called them Dionysiokolakes. That means literally—and this is the foreground meaning—“flatterers of Dionysius,” in other words, tyrant’s baggage and lickspittles; but in addition to this he also wants to say, “they are all actors, there is nothing genuine about them” (for Dionysokolax was a popular name for an actor).8 And the latter is really the malice that Epicurus aimed at Plato: he was peeved by the grandiose manner, the mise en scène9 at which Plato and his disciples were so expert—at which Epicurus was not an expert—he, that old schoolmaster from Samos, who sat, hidden away, in his little garden at Athens and wrote three hundred books—who knows? perhaps from rage and ambition against Plato? It took a hundred years until Greece found out who this garden god, Epicurus, had been.—Did they find out?— 8
Friedrich Nietzsche (Basic Writings of Nietzsche)
It was modesty that invented the word "philosopher" in Greece and left the magnificent overweening presumption in calling oneself "wise" to the actors of the spirit―the modesty of such monsters of pride and sovereignty as Pythagoras, as Plato.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
Paul knew what he was talking about when he called Christians “earthen vessels.” We’re baked clay. We’re privy pots. The advance of the gospel will never occur on account of us. This helps explain why God chose none of the early preachers among the apostles because of his superior intellect, position, or prominence. As I wrote in my book Twelve Ordinary Men, these twelve were so ordinary it defies all human logic: not one teacher, not one priest, not one rabbi, not one scribe, not one Pharisee, not one Sadducee, not even a synagogue ruler—nobody from the elite. Half of them or so were fishermen, and the rest were common laborers. One, Simon the Zealot, was a terrorist, a member of a group who went around with daggers in their cloaks, trying to stab Romans. Then there was Judas, the loser of all losers. What was the Lord doing? He picked people with absolutely no influence. None of the great intellects from Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Israel was among the apostles. During the New Testament time, the greatest scholars were very likely in Egypt. The most distinguished philosophers were in Athens. The powerful were in Rome. The biblical scholars were in Jerusalem. God disdained all of them and picked clay pots instead.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
Plato Plato the philosopher lived in ancient Greece in the fourth century B.C. Plato founded a school called the Academy. In both his teachings and his writings, Plato explored the best way for a government to be set up. His ideas are still talked about today.
Mary Pope Osborne (Hour Of The Olympics (Magic Tree House #16))
The philosophers of Greece deduced their morals from the nature of man, rather than from that of God. They meditated, however, on the Divine Nature, as a very curious and important speculation; and in the profound inquiry, they displayed the strength and weakness of the human understanding. [
Edward Gibbon (The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Complete and Unabridged (With All Six Volumes, Original Maps, Working Footnotes, Links to Audiobooks and Illustrated))
A Greek invention, democracy is highly overrated. For starters, it never worked in Greece. The first philosophers were fascists and, even today, 2,500 years later, the "cradle of Western civilization" remains an incompetent state. Roman emperors and a vengeful, authoritarian God are the true European success stories.
Thorsten J. Pattberg
Maybe we should go on a holiday. What do you think? Can we go on a holiday next summer? Go away together? Greece, like some of those musty philosophers you write about? You get to see all those crumbling things from the past. And I get sun, beaches, bikinis, cocktails.” “Greece is a bit far. What about Wales?” “Wales!” “I’ve never been abroad. I need to start slowly.
Karl Drinkwater (Cold Fusion 2000)
Socratese was a famous IRL troll of pre-internets Greece credited with inventing the 1st recorded trolling technique and otherwise laying the foundation of western philosophy. Accounts of his successful trolls are in the form of TL;DR copypasta on Plato's livejournal. They have been causing all manner of butthurt and ass disaster for thousands of years in philosophy 101 classes around the world
stained hanes (94,000 Wasps in a Trench Coat)
All known great religions have had an exoteric aspect, that is, exterior, profane, for the masses of believers, and another esoteric, for a restricted select minority of initiates. So it was with the Egyptian and Greek cults. Those ignorant people who pompously speak to us about Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and the 'rational thought of the Greeks' ignore the fact that behind their ideas one finds the Eleusinian Mysteries of Delphi and elsewhere, in which these same philosophers, above all Plato, Aeschylus, Euripides took part, though they could not speak of it in public. The Orphic cults and mythology are the foundation of the philosophical thought of Ancient Greece. The word esoteric itself comes from the Greek work eisoteo and means 'to enter into' and 'to open a door' (towards the Gods: Theo, eiso-theo).
Miguel Serrano
Fairest of the deathless gods. This idea the Greeks had of him is best summed up not by a poet, but by a philosopher, Plato: "Love—Eros—makes his home in men's hearts, but not in every heart, for where there is hardness he departs. His greatest glory is that he cannot do wrong nor allow it; force never comes near him. For all men serve of him their own free will. And he whom Love touches not walks in darkness.
Edith Hamilton (Mythology)
it is only from the conception ‘ego’ that there follows, derivatively, the concept ‘being’.… At the beginning stands the great fateful error that the will is something which produces an effect – that will is a faculty.… Today we know it is merely a word.… Very much later, in a world a thousand times more enlightened, the security, the subjective certainty with which the categories of reason* could be employed came all of a sudden into philosophers’ heads: they concluded that these could not have originated in the empirical world – indeed, the entire empirical world was incompatible with them. Where then do they originate? – And in India as in Greece they committed the same blunder: ‘We must once have dwelt in a higher world’ – instead of in a very much lower one, which would have been the truth! – ‘we must have been divine, for we possess reason!’…
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of Idols and Anti-Christ)
In ancient Greece, Plutarch wrote of a wooden ship that Theseus sailed from Crete to Athens. To preserve the ship, as its old planks decayed, Athenians would replace them with new wood. Eventually all the planks had been replaced. It looked like the same ship, but none of its parts was the same. Was it still the same ship? Later, philosophers added a wrinkle: if you collected all the original planks and fashioned them into a ship, would that be the same ship?
Adam M. Grant (Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know)
Dark matter is currently thought to make up about 23 percent of the mass and energy of the universe, whereas normal matter and energy make up only about 4 percent. Worse still, most contemporary cosmologists think that the continuing expansion of the universe is driven by “dark energy,” whose nature is again obscure. According to the Standard Model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for about 73 percent of the matter and energy of the universe. How do dark matter and energy relate to regular matter and energy? And what is the zero-point energy field, also known as the quantum vacuum? Can any of this zero-point energy be tapped? The law of conservation of matter and energy was formulated before these questions arose, and has no ready answer for them. It is based on philosophical and theological theories. Historically, it is rooted in the atomistic school of philosophy in ancient Greece. From the outset it was an assumption. In its modern form, it combines a series of “laws” that have developed since the seventeenth century—the laws of conservation of matter, mass, motion, force and energy. In this chapter I look at the history of these ideas, and show how modern physics throws up questions that the old theories cannot answer. As faith in conservation comes into question, astonishing new possibilities open up in realms ranging from the generation of energy to human nutrition.
Rupert Sheldrake (Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery)
I felt convinced that however it might have been in former times, in the present stage of the world, no man's faculties could be developed, no man's moral principle be enlarged and liberal, without an extensive acquaintance with books. to me they stood in the place of an active career, of ambition, and those palpable excitements necessary to the multitude. The collation of philosophical opinions, the study of historical facts, the acquirement of languages, were at once my recreation, and the serious aim of my life.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (The Last Man)
Israel worshipped a God who could grow angry, who changed his mind, a God involved in history, who cared so much about one group of people that their apostasies drove him to fits of impatience. The greatest philosophers of Greece spoke of an unchanging divine principle, far removed from our world, without emotion, unaffected by anything beyond itself. Improbably enough, Christian theology came to identify these two as the same God; this may be the single most remarkable thing to have happened in Western intellectual history.
William C. Placher (A History of Christian Theology: An Introduction)
In the world of togas, sandals, the Parthenon, temples, and little white homes perched on hillsides overlooking the sea, discipleship permeated Greek life-from aristocrats to peasants, from philosophers to tradesmen. In the first century, the apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill and said, "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.... I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23). Paul's speech demonstrates that the Greek philosophers were confused about God. But they were also astute in passing on their confusion as they lived out discipleship and even created some of its language and technique. The Greek masters' use of mathetes, or disciple: As explored in chapter 1, mathetes is translated "disciple." We can find the concept of disciple-a person following a master-among the great masters of Greece. Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus all used disciple to mean "learner" or "one who is a diligent student." These and other Greek philosophers generally understood that the disciple's life involved apprenticeship, a relationship of submission, and a life of demanding
Bill Hull (The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ (The Navigators Reference Library 1))
Once he has recognized his invisible guide, a mystic sometimes decides to trace his own isnlld, to reveal his spiritual genealogy, that is, to disclose the "chain of transmission" culminating in his person and bear witness to the spiritual ascendancy which he invokes across the generations of mankind. He does neither more nor less than to designate by name the minds to whose family he is conscious of belonging. Read in the opposite order from their phenomenological emergence, these genealogies take on the appearance of true genealogies. Judged by the rules of _our historical criticism, the claim of these genealogies to truth seems highly precarious. Their relevance is to another "transhistoric truth," which cannot be regarded as inferior (because it is of a different order) to the material historic truth whose claim to truth, with the documentation at our disposal, is no less precarious. Suhrawardi traces the family tree of the IshrlqiyOn back to Hermes, ancestor of the Sages, (that Idris-Enoch of Islamic prophetology, whom Ibn rArabi calls the prophet of the Philosophers) ; from him are descended the Sages of Greece and Persia, who are followed by certain �ofis (Abo Yazid Bastlmi, Kharraqlni, I;Ialllj, and the choice seems particularly significant in view of what has been said above about the Uwaysis}, and all these branches converge in his own doctrine and school. This is not a history of philosophy in our sense of the term; but still less is it a mere fantasy.
Henry Corbin (Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi)
If the entire history of the Earth were condensed into a single day, one hour would equate to 200 million years, one minute to 3.3 million years and one second to 55,000 years. Life would appear as early as eight or nine o'clock in the morning, but human civilisation would not emerge until the last tenth of the last second of the day. From the morning that philosophers held the first ever debate on the steps of a temple in Ancient Greece... from the day slaves laid the first foundation stone of the Great Pyramid…… from the minute that Confucius welcomed his first disciple into the candlelit gloom of his thatched hut... right up until the moment you turned the first page of this book, only one tenth of the tick of the clock would have elapsed.
Liu Cixin (Of Ants and Dinosaurs)
The last quarter of –6C saw the opening of a two-century burst of philosophic work across the Eurasian land mass, dating roughly from –520 to –320, in which human beings thought through some large proportion of all the great philosophic issues—not in primitive forms that were later discarded, but as profound philosophic systems. Both of India’s dominating traditions were founded at the outset of this two-century seminal period—Hinduism with the assembly of the Upanishads sometime in –6C, and Buddhism with Buddha a century later. In some of the same decades when Buddha was teaching his disciples, so was Confucius in China. In Greece, the earliest thinkers to take up philosophic topics, Thales and Anaximander, were at work in the early part of –6C, followed by Pythagoras at its close.
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
The relations of philosophy and theater are not commonly treated topics. When we think of theater we tend to light on two great periods, namely, Elizabethan England and ancient Athens. The latter we associate with philosophy, of course, but it is a very one-sided perception to think of the Greeks as philosophers. We should really think of them as a people of art – ein Reich der Kunst as Hölderlin calls Greece, and Hegel speaks of greek religion as a Kunstreligion, religion in the form of art. We do not think of Elizabethan England as a high period of philosophical reflection, and yet anyone who thinks Shakespeare’s work is not saturated with philosophical significance surely has a very narrow sense of what it means to be philosophical. His dramas are, so to say, philosophy in performatives.
William Desmond
In fact, Hinduism�s pervading influence seems to go much earlier than Christianity. American mathematician, A. Seindenberg, has for example shown that the Sulbasutras, the ancient Vedic science of mathematics, constitute the source of mathematics in the Antic world, from Babylon to Greece : � the arithmetic equations of the Sulbasutras he writes, were used in the observation of the triangle by the Babylonians, as well as in the edification of Egyptian pyramids, in particular the funeral altar in form of pyramid known in the vedic world as smasana-cit (Seindenberg 1978: 329). In astronomy too, the "Indus" (from the valley of the Indus) have left a universal legacy, determining for instance the dates of solstices, as noted by 18th century French astronomer Jean-Sylvain Bailly : � the movement of stars which was calculated by Hindus 4500 years ago, does not differ even by a minute from the tables which we are using today". And he concludes: "the Hindu systems of astronomy are much more ancient than those of the Egyptians - even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge �. There is also no doubt that the Greeks heavily borrowed from the "Indus". Danielou notes that the Greek cult of Dionysos, which later became Bacchus with the Romans, is a branch of Shivaism : � Greeks spoke of India as the sacred territory of Dionysos and even historians of Alexander the Great identified the Indian Shiva with Dionysos and mention the dates and legends of the Puranas �. French philosopher and Le Monde journalist Jean-Paul Droit, recently wrote in his book "The Forgetfulness of India" that � the Greeks loved so much Indian philosophy, that Demetrios Galianos had even translated the Bhagavad Gita �.
François Gautier (A Western journalist on India: The ferengi's columns)
Throughout this long development, from 600 B.C. to the present day, philosophers have been divided into those who wished to tighten social bonds and those who wished to relax them. With this difference others have been associated. The disciplinarians have advocated some system of dogma, either old or new, and have therefore been compelled to be, in a greater or less degree, hostile to science, since their dogmas could not be proved empirically. They have almost invariably taught that happiness is not the good, but that “nobility” or “heroism” is to be preferred. They have had a sympathy with the irrational parts of human nature, since they have felt reason to be inimical to social cohesion. The libertarians, on the other hand, with the exception of the extreme anarchists, have tended to be scientific, utilitarian, rationalistic, hostile to violent passion, and enemies of all the more profound forms of religion. This conflict existed in Greece before the rise of what we recognize as philosophy, and is already quite explicit in the earliest Greek thought. In changing forms, it has persisted down to the present day, and no doubt will persist for many ages to come. It is clear that each party to this dispute—as to all that persist through long periods of time—is partly right and partly wrong. Social cohesion is a necessity, and mankind has never yet succeeded in enforcing cohesion by merely rational arguments. Every community is exposed to two opposite dangers: ossification through too much discipline and reverence for tradition, on the one hand; on the other hand, dissolution, or subjection to foreign conquest, through the growth of an individualism and personal independence that makes co-operation impossible.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy: And Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day)
You want to travel to Greece? You ask for a passport, but you discover you're not a citizen because your father or one of your relatives had fled with you during the Palestine war. You were a child. And you discover that any Arab who had left his country during that period and had stolen back in had lost his right to citizenship. You despair of the passport and ask for a laissez-passer. You find out you're not a resident of Israel because you have no certificate of residence. You think it's a joke and rush to tell it to your lawyer friend: "Here, I'm not a citizen, and I'm not a resident. Then where and who am I?" You're surprised to find the law is on their side, and you must prove you exist. You ask the Ministry of the Interior: "Am I here, or am I absent? Give me an expert in philosophy, so that I can prove to him I exist." Then you realize that philosophically you exist but legally you do not.
Mahmoud Darwish
The development of the telescope marks, indeed, a new phase in human thought, a new vision of life. It is an extraordinary thing that the Greeks, with their lively and penetrating minds, never realized the possibilities of either microscope or telescope. They made no use of the lens. Yet they lived in a world in which glass had been known and had been made beautiful for hundreds of years; they had about them glass flasks and bottles, through which they must have caught glimpses of things distorted and enlarged. But science in Greece was pursued by philosophers in an aristocratic spirit, men who, with a few such exceptions as the ingenious Archimedes and Hiero, were too proud to learn from such mere artisans as jewellers and metal- and glass-workers. Ignorance is the first penalty of pride. The philosopher had no mechanical skill and the artisan had no philosophical education, and it was left for another age, more than a thousand years later, to bring together glass and the astronomer.
H.G. Wells (The Outline of History, Vol. 1 (of 2))
I here behold a Commander in Chief who looks idle and is always busy; who has no other desk than his knees, no other comb than his fingers; constantly reclined on his couch, yet sleeping neither in night nor in daytime. A cannon shot, to which he himself is not exposed, disturbs him with the idea that it costs the life of some of his soldiers. Trembling for others, brave himself, alarmed at the approach of danger, frolicsome when it surrounds him, dull in the midst of pleasure, surfeited with everything, easily disgusted, morose, inconstant, a profound philosopher, an able minister, a sublime politician, not revengeful, asking pardon for a pain he has inflicted, quickly repairing an injustice, thinking he loves God when he fears the Devil; waving one hand to the females that please him, and with the other making the sign of the cross; receiving numberless presents from his sovereign and distributing them immediately to others; preferring prodigality in giving, to regularity in paying; prodigiously rich and not worth a farthing; easily prejudiced in favor of or against anything; talking divinity to his generals and tactics to his bishops; never reading, but pumping everyone with whom he converses; uncommonly affable or extremely savage, the most attractive or most repulsive of manners; concealing under the appearance of harshness, the greatest benevolence of heart, like a child, wanting to have everything, or, like a great man, knowing how to do without; gnawing his fingers, or apples, or turnips; scolding or laughing; engaged in wantonness or in prayers, summoning twenty aides de camp and saying nothing to any of them, not caring for cold, though he appears unable to exist without furs; always in his shirt without pants, or in rich regimentals; barefoot or in slippers; almost bent double when he is at home, and tall, erect, proud, handsome, noble, majestic when he shows himself to his army like Agamemnon in the midst of the monarchs of Greece. What then is his magic? Genius, natural abilities, an excellent memory, artifice without craft, the art of conquering every heart; much generosity, graciousness, and justice in his rewards; and a consummate knowledge of mankind. There
Robert K. Massie (Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman)
ALL POST-COMMUNIST SOCIETIES ARE uprooted ones because Communism uprooted traditions, so nothing fits with anything else,” explained the philosopher Patapievici. Fifteen years earlier, when I had last met him, he had cautioned: “The task for Romania is to acquire a public style based on impersonal rules, otherwise business and politics will be full of intrigue, and I am afraid that our Eastern Orthodox tradition is not helpful in this regard. Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Greece—all the Orthodox nations of Europe—are characterized by weak institutions. That is because Orthodoxy is flexible and contemplative, based more on the oral traditions of peasants than on texts. So there is this pattern of rumor, lack of information, and conspiracy….”11 Thus, in 1998, did Patapievici define Romanian politics as they were still being practiced a decade and a half later. Though in 2013, he added: “No one speaks of guilt over the past. The Church has made no progress despite the enormous chance of being separated from the state for almost a quarter century. The identification of religious faith with an ethnic-national group, I find, is a moral heresy.” Dressed now in generic business casual and wearing fashionable glasses, Patapievici appeared as a figure wholly of the West—more accurately of the global elite—someone you might meet at a fancy
Robert D. Kaplan (In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond)
Though Aristotle allows so many several forms of corrupted governments; yet he insists upon no one form of all those that he can define or describe, in such sort, that he is able to say that any one city in all Greece was governed just according to such a form; his diligence is only to make as many forms as the giddy or inconstant humour of a city could happen upon; he freely gives the people liberty to invent as many kinds of government as they please, provided he may have liberty to find fault with every one of them; it proved an easier work for him to find fault with every form, than to tell how to amend any one of them; he found so many imperfections in all sorts of common-weals, that he could not hold from reproving them before ever he tells us what a commonweal is, or how many sorts there are, and to this purpose he spends his whole second book in setting out, and correcting the chief commonweals of Greece, and among others the Lacedemonian, the Cretan and Carthaginian commonweals; which three he esteems to be much alike, and better than any other, yet he spares not to lay open their imperfections, and doth the like to the Athenian; wherein he breaks the rule of method, by delivering the faults of commonweals, before he teach us what a commonweal is; for in his first book, he speaks only of the parts, of which a city, or a commonweal is made, but tells us not what a city or commonweal is, until he come to his third book, and there in handling the sorts of government, he observes no method at all, but in a disorderly way, flies backward and forward from one sort to another: and howsoever there may be observed in him many rules of policy touching government in general, yet without doubt where he comes to discourse of particular forms, he is full of contradiction, or confusion, or both: it is true, he is brief and difficult, the best right a man can do him, is to confess lie understands him not; yet a diligent reader may readily discern so many irregularities and breaches in Aristotle's books of Politics, as tend to such distraction or confusion, that none of our new politicians can make advantage of his principles, for the confirmation of an original power by nature in the people, which is the only theme now in fashion: for Aristotle's discourse is of such commonweals as were founded by particular persons, as the Chalcedonian by Phaleas, the Milesian by Hippodamas, the Lacedemonian by Lycurgus, the Cretan by Minos, the Athenian by Solon, and the like: but the natural right of the people to found, or elect; their kind of government is not once disputed by him: it seems the underived majesty of the people, was such a metaphysical piece of speculation as our grand philosopher was not acquainted with; he speaks very contemptuously of the multitude in several places, he affirms that the people are base or wicked judges in their own cases, ‘οι πλειστοι φαυλοι κριται περι των οικειων and that many of them differ nothing from beasts; τι διαφερουσιν ενιοι των θηριων; and again he saith, the common people or freemen are such as are neither rich, nor in reputation for virtue; and it is not safe to commit to them great governments; for, by reason of their injustice and unskilfulness, they would do much injustice, and commit many errors and it is pleasanter to the multitude to live disorderly, than soberly, ‘ηδιον γαρ τοις πολλοις το ζην ατακτως η το σωφρονως.
Robert Filmer (Patriarcha and other Political Writings)
I have a firm hope that there is something in store for those who have died, and as we have been told for many years, something much better for the good than for the wicked. – Socrates
Larry Berg (The Best of Socrates: The Founding Philosophies of Ethics, Virtues & Life (Philosophy, Socrates, Plato, Socratic Method, Ancient Greece, Philosophers, Virtues, Ethics, Morals Book 1))
The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates
Larry Berg (The Best of Socrates: The Founding Philosophies of Ethics, Virtues & Life (Philosophy, Socrates, Plato, Socratic Method, Ancient Greece, Philosophers, Virtues, Ethics, Morals Book 1))
I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. – Socrates
Larry Berg (The Best of Socrates: The Founding Philosophies of Ethics, Virtues & Life (Philosophy, Socrates, Plato, Socratic Method, Ancient Greece, Philosophers, Virtues, Ethics, Morals Book 1))
Augustine's final verdict on the philosophers of Greece and Rome was that, although they had made various mistakes, "nature itself has not permitted them to wander too far from the path of truth" in their judgments about the supreme good (De Civitate Dei 19.1).
Alasdair MacIntyre (God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition)
A more promising hypothesis is that happiness comes from within and cannot be obtained by making the world conform to your desires. This idea was widespread in the ancient world: Buddha in India and the Stoic philosophers in ancient Greece and Rome all counseled people to break their emotional attachments to people and events, which are always unpredictable and uncontrollable, and to cultivate instead an attitude of acceptance. This ancient idea deserves respect, and it is certainly true that changing your mind is usually a more effective response to frustration than is changing the world.
Jonathan Haidt
As for Holy Scripture, the Bible was the Logos in the truest sense, the Word of God set forth “in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,” John the Evangelist wrote. “So believing, you will have life in His name”—along with that final wisdom generations of philosophers had sought in vain.18 For the Lord’s message was not just for the lovers of wisdom, but for all mankind. Christianity put what had been the privilege of the few within the grasp of everyone, even those who lived beyond the pale of empire. “Thanks to the Logos, the whole world is now Greece and Rome.”19
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
the purpose of all these rules and regulations was to end what Plato saw as the worst aspect of normal Greek politics: the bitter class conflict and clashes among competing factions. In the average Greek city, rich and poor were literally out for each other’s blood, as historian Michael Rostovtzeff has pointed out in his description of what politics was like in one city-state, the home of the philosopher Thales: At Miletus the people were at first victorious and murdered the wives and children of the aristocrats: then the aristocrats prevailed and burned their opponents alive, lighting up the open spaces of the city with live torches.16 In his stepfather’s household, he had seen the typical Athenian politician who sought to exploit rather than end these ancient antagonisms. The mission of Plato’s Philosopher Ruler was to end this kind of madness. On his mother’s side he had an ancestor who could serve as his model statesman. This was the legendary legislator Solon, whose laws ended the civil strife that had divided Athens in the sixth century BCE. Solon’s reforms, which embodied “his preference for an ordered life, with its careful gradations giving its class its proper place,” earned him pride of place among the Seven Wise Men of Greece. They
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
In his stepfather’s household, he had seen the typical Athenian politician who sought to exploit rather than end these ancient antagonisms. The mission of Plato’s Philosopher Ruler was to end this kind of madness. On his mother’s side he had an ancestor who could serve as his model statesman. This was the legendary legislator Solon, whose laws ended the civil strife that had divided Athens in the sixth century BCE. Solon’s reforms, which embodied “his preference for an ordered life, with its careful gradations giving its class its proper place,” earned him pride of place among the Seven Wise Men of Greece. They also made Solon the real-life paradigm for Plato’s Philosopher Rulers in the Republic, where “those we call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy come into the same hands.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
In his stepfather’s household, he had seen the typical Athenian politician who sought to exploit rather than end these ancient antagonisms. The mission of Plato’s Philosopher Ruler was to end this kind of madness. On his mother’s side he had an ancestor who could serve as his model statesman. This was the legendary legislator Solon, whose laws ended the civil strife that had divided Athens in the sixth century BCE. Solon’s reforms, which embodied “his preference for an ordered life, with its careful gradations giving its class its proper place,” earned him pride of place among the Seven Wise Men of Greece. They also made Solon the real-life paradigm for Plato’s Philosopher Rulers in the Republic, where “those we call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy come into the same hands.”17 A truly utopian hope, we might say—but amazingly, Plato got the chance to try it himself in 367 BCE, when he was nearly sixty. Twenty years earlier during his trip to Italy, he had visited Syracuse, Sicily’s largest city-state, and made fast friends with the brother of its ruler, a man named Dion. Two decades later Dion invited him to return as political adviser to Syracuse’s new ruler, Dion’s nephew Dionysius II.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
he pugnaciously advanced his view that the study of ‘high culture’ has to be the main aim of education. Above all, he said, we must pay attention to ancient Greece, because it provided ‘the models for modern achievement’. Bloom believed that the philosophers and poets of the classical world are those from whom we have most to learn, because the big issues they raised have not changed as the years have passed.
Peter Watson (Ideas: A history from fire to Freud)
The word ‘economics’ was coined by the philosopher Xenophon in Ancient Greece. Combining oikos meaning household with nomos meaning rules or norms, he invented the art of household management, and it could not be more relevant today.
Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist)
L’éducation et la liberté de ces dernières les distinguent des femmes honnêtes qui les méprisent et les jalousent, elles sont indépendantes, peuvent gérer elles-mêmes leurs affaires. La plupart d’entre elles sont étrangères à la cité, comme Nééra, la maîtresse de l’orateur Lysias, native de Corinthe. On les connaît parfois grâce à leurs liaisons les plus célèbres. Théodote fut la compagne d’Alcibiade, Léontion, la compagne du philosophe Épicure, Thaïs, la maîtresse d’Alexandre… La plupart des grandes hétaïres sont richissimes, telles Théodote ou Rhodopis dont une inscription à Delphes atteste de la fortune. Phryné préfère la compagnie des artistes.
Marc Lemonier (La petite histoire des courtisanes: Elles ont touché le pouvoir. Mais qui sont-elles vraiment ? (French Edition))
Early Confucian (and Chinese) classics can be read philosophically, if philosophy is understood as I suggested above. This understanding of philosophy then implies certain methods of reading these texts. It requires us to clarify and enrich the argumentation in these texts by making up the missing steps, and to tease out the hidden systems in these texts, always with their contemporary relevance in mind and with a sensibility to their original contexts simultaneously. To apply these methods to traditional texts, the first thing we need to do is to discover the apparent discrepancies and even contradiction within an argument and among different arguments in the same text or by the same author. After actively making these discoveries, however, we should not do what an analytically minded thinker of classical Chinese texts tends to do, such as claiming that the author failed to see the contradictions, he didn't know logic, and so on. Rather, we should apply the principle of respect and charity to the reading of these texts, for since ancient Greece or pre-Qin China, there haven't been many great thinkers in human history (which is why we call them 'great thinkers'). If we can easily find apparent confusion and contradictions in their works, as reasonable guess is not that they didn't think clearly but that we didn't; that is, we failed to appreciate the depth of these most profound thinkers in human history due to our own limited intellectual capacity or being confined to our own context. In this sense, to respect 'authority' (great thinkers and their texts) is to think critically and to criticize and transcend the authority of today (our own prejudices and close-mindedness). Therefore, after discovering the discrepancies, we should try to see if we can make up the missing steps, or reconstruct hidden coherence between apparently contradictory arguments.
Tongdong Bai (Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case (The Princeton-China Series, 2))
After coming to the realization that one’s inner self, or soul, is all important, Socrates believed the next step in the path towards self knowledge was to obtain knowledge of what is good and what is evil, and in the process use what one learns to cultivate the good within one’s soul and purge the evil from it. Most people dogmatically assume they know what is truly good and what is truly evil. They regard things such as wealth, status, pleasure, and social acceptance as the greatest of all goods in life, and think that poverty, death, pain, and social rejection are the greatest of all evils. However, Socrates disagreed with these answers, and also believed this view to be extremely harmful. All human beings naturally strive after happiness, thought Socrates, for happiness is the final end in life and everything we do we do because we think it will make us happy. We therefore label what we think will bring us happiness as ‘good’, and those things we think will bring us suffering and pain as ‘evil’. So it follows that if we have a mistaken conception of what is good, then we will spend our lives frantically chasing after things that will not bring us happiness even if we attain them. However, according to Socrates if one devoted themselves to self-knowledge and philosophical inquiry, they would soon be led to a more appropriate view of the good. There is one supreme good, he claimed, and possession of this good alone will secure our happiness. This supreme good, thought Socrates, is virtue. Virtue is defined as moral excellence, and an individual is considered virtuous if their character is made up of the moral qualities that are accepted as virtues. In Ancient Greece commonly accepted virtues included courage, temperance, prudence, and justice. Socrates held virtue to be the greatest good in life because it alone was capable of securing ones happiness. Even death is a trivial matter for the truly virtuous individual who realizes that the most important thing in life is the state of his soul and the actions which spring from it.
Academy of Ideas
The first thought that comes to the thinking man after he realizes the truth that the Universe is a Mental Creation of THE ALL, is that the Universe and all that it contains is a mere illusion; an unreality; against which idea his instincts revolt. But this, like all other great truths, must be considered both from the Absolute and the Relative points of view. From the Absolute viewpoint, of course, the Universe is in the nature of an illusion, a dream, a phantasmagoria, as compared to THE ALL in itself. We recognize this even in our ordinary view, for we speak of the world as "a fleeting show" that comes and goes, is born and dies-for the element of impermanence and change, finiteness and unsubstantiality, must ever be connected with the idea of a created Universe when it is contrasted with the idea of THE ALL, no matter what may he our beliefs concerning the nature of both. Philosopher, metaphysician, scientist and theologian all agree upon this idea, and the thought is found in all forms of philosophical thought and religious conceptions, as well as in the theories of the respective schools of metaphysics and theology. So, the Hermetic Teachings do not preach the unsubstantiality of the Universe in any stronger terms than those more familiar to you, although their presentation of the subject may seem somewhat more startling. Anything that has a beginning and an ending must be, in a sense, unreal and untrue, and the Universe comes under the rule, in all schools of thought. From the Absolute point of view, there is nothing Real except THE ALL, no matter what terms we may use in thinking of, or discussing the subject. Whether the Universe be created of Matter, or whether it be a Mental Creation in the Mind of THE ALL — it is unsubstantial, nonenduring, a thing of time, space and change. We want you to realize this fact thoroughly, before you pass judgment on the Hermetic conception of the Mental nature of the Universe. Think over any and all of the other conceptions, and see whether this be not true of them.
Three Initiates (Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece)
The great Third Hermetic Principle — the Principle of Vibration — embodies the truth that Motion is manifest in everything in the Universe — that nothing is at rest — that everything moves, vibrates, and circles. This Hermetic Principle was recognized by some of the early Greek philosophers who embodied it in their systems. But, then, for centuries it was lost sight of by the thinkers outside of the Hermetic ranks. But in the Nineteenth Century physical science re-discovered the truth and the Twentieth Century scientific discoveries have added additional proof of the correctness and truth of this centuries-old Hermetic doctrine. The Hermetic Teachings are that not only is everything in constant movement and vibration, but that the "differences" between the various manifestations of the universal power are due entirely to the varying rate and mode of vibrations. Not only this, but that even THE ALL, in itself, manifests a constant vibration of such an infinite degree of intensity and rapid motion that it may be practically considered as at rest, the teachers directing the attention of the students to the fact that even on the physical plane a rapidly moving object (such as a revolving wheel) seems to be at rest. The Teachings are to the effect that Spirit is at one end of the Pole of Vibration, the other Pole being certain extremely gross forms of Matter. Between these two poles are millions upon millions of different rates and modes of vibration.
Three Initiates (Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece)
In ancient Greece, Socrates was known to place a premium on knowledge. When an acquaintance visited the philosopher and began, ‘Do you know what I just heard about your friend?’ ‘Just wait for a moment,’ interrupted Socrates. ‘Before telling me anything more, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.’ ‘Triple filter?’ asked the acquaintance. ‘That’s right,’ said Socrates. ‘Before you tell me something about my friend, I wish to filter what you are about to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you ensured that what you are about to tell me is absolutely true?’ ‘No,’ replied the acquaintance. ‘I just heard about it and wanted to share it with you …’ ‘Fine,’ said Socrates. ‘So you cannot be sure whether the information is true or false. Let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Are you about to tell me something about my friend that is good?’ ‘No, actually …’ ‘So you want to share something that is bad about him. But you are not certain that it’s true. You may still pass the test because there is a third filter: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you wish to convey going to be useful to me?’ ‘No, I don’t think so …’ began the acquaintance. ‘Well,’ demanded Socrates, ‘if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?
Ashwin Sanghi (13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck)
All tradition,’ said the Professor, ‘is a type of spiritual truth. The superstitions of the East, and the mythologies of the North—the beautiful Fables of old Greece, and the bold investigations of modern science—all tend to elucidate the same principles; all take their root in those promptings and questionings which are innate in the brain and heart of man. Plato believed that the soul was immortal, and born frequently; that it knew all things; and that what we call learning is but the effort which it makes to recall the wisdom of the Past. “For to search and to learn,” said the poet-philosopher, “is reminiscence all.” At the bottom of every religious theory, however wild and savage, lies a perception—dim perhaps, and distorted, but still a perception—of God and immortality.
Amelia B. Edwards (The Phantom Coach: Collected Ghost Stories)
To what shall I compare my literary pursuits in India? Suppose Greek literature to be known in modern Greece only, and there to be in the hands of priests and philosophers; and suppose them to be still worshippers of Jupiter and Apollo; suppose Greece to have been conquered successively by Goths, Huns, Vandals, Tartars, and lastly by the English; then suppose a court of judicature to be established by the British parliament, at Athens, and an inquisitive Englishman to be one of the judges; suppose him to learn Greek there, which none of his countrymen knew, and to read Homer, Pindar, Plato, which no other Europeans had even heard of. Such am I in this country: substituting Sanscrit for Greek, the Brahmans, for the priests of Jupiter, and Vālmic, Vyāsa, Cālīdāsa, for Homer, Plato, Pindar. William Jones
Aatish Taseer (The Way Things Were)
Over most of the one thousand years of philosophy in ancient Greece and Rome, philosophy was assiduously studied in every generation by many ancient philosophers and their students as the best way to become good people and to live good human lives.
John M. Cooper (Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus)
Debates about the imagination and its role in human knowledge go back in the West to ancient Greece around the secrets and enigmas of the revealed “symbol” and its relationship to the more plodding ways of reason and rational knowledge. The most recent chapter of that larger conversation goes back to the eighteenth century and what we now call the Romantic movement. The poets and philosophers of the latter asked: What is the imagination? Is it simply a spinner of fantasies? Or can it also become a “window” of revealed truths from some other deeper part of the soul or world? Or, better yet, like some secret two-way mirror in a modern-day police station, is the imagination both, depending on whether one is looking at or through its reflecting surface, that is, depending on which side of it one is standing? Can one stand on both sides?
Whitley Strieber (The Super Natural: Why the Unexplained Is Real)
That pattern can be defined in a number of ways, but most fundamentally it is a conflict between those forces that Freud called the superego and the id. The superego – the self’s “harsh master,” Freud called it – is the angel guarding the door to Eden with a flaming sword; its archetypal religious expression is Christianity, that most social of all religions, which asks each individual to consider all others before himself. The id – the primordial raw power of instinct itself – is the force that sends us around to the back of Eden, looking for another entrance; its archetypal religious expression is Dionysianism, the cult of deliriant drugs that burst into Athens from somewhere in the East during Greece’s prehistoric period, approximately between 1000-900 BC. The German philosopher Nietzsche said that history is coming, in our time, to take the form of a final conflict between Christ and Dionysus, and that certainly seems to be the case in America today. The Reverend Billy Graham, the classic “pale Christian,” sits as an adviser to Presidents, while Dr. Timothy Leary, the Dionysian spirit of dope and ecstasy is sentenced to 40 years and flees into exile, only to be recaptured.
Robert Anton Wilson (Sex, Drugs & Magick – A Journey Beyond Limits)
The poorest Englishman who understands his Bible knows more about religion than the wisest philosophers of Greece and Rome.
J.C. Ryle (Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary)
In all the books on happiness that I’d consulted over the years, no one had ever suggested that joy might be hiding inside my closet or kitchen cabinets. Instead, countless experts agree that the kind of joy that matters is not around us but in us. This perspective has roots in ancient philosophical traditions. The teachings of Buddha, for example, advise that happiness comes only from letting go of our attachments to worldly things, while in ancient Greece the Stoic philosophers offered a similar prescription, rooted in self-denial and rigorous control over one’s thoughts.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
It will for ever remain one of the greatest triumphs of Athenian democracy that it treated slaves humanely, and that in spite of the inhuman propaganda of philosophers like Plato himself and Aristotle it came, as he witnesses, very close to abolishing slavery.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato)
Rome had been weary of poets and philosophers. It had been a city based on virtue and action, not of flowery words, intellectual speculation and books. But even Rome legion slowly established military dominance over Greece, Greek culture just as steadily began to colonize the minds of the conquerors. Skeptical as ever, of a feat intellectuals, and priding themselves on their practical intelligence, Romans nontheless acknowledges with great enthusiasm of Greek philosophers, scientists, writers and artists. They made fun of what they took to be the defects of Greek character, mocking what they saw as it's loquaciousness, it's taste for philosophizing and it's fopishness.
Stephen Greenblatt (The Swerve: How the World Became Modern)
The possibility of criticizing the state makes the at least moral or discursive rejection of the demands of the state possible; one can be a “citizen of the world,” as the Stoics declared. Here we have the “new ideas” Coulanges mentioned much earlier, but they are ideas that provide no way of thinking about how to restore civil order. Philosophical reflection seemed mostly to serve as a way of forming communities of discourse freed from the utterly disfigured language of decadent ritual and degraded public order alike. If it served any political purpose, it was that of imperial conquest, insofar as it encouraged individuals to think of themselves as having no ties and obligations, and to desire only peace for themselves.
Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges (The Ancient City - Imperium Press: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome (Traditionalist Histories))
Two thousand five hundred years ago, at dawn on a day like today, Socrates took a stroll around Piraeus with Glaucon, Plato’s older brother. Glaucon told the story of a shepherd from the kingdom of Lydia who once found a ring, slipped it on his finger and realized that no one could see him. The magic ring made him invisible in the eyes of all others. Socrates and Glaucon philosophized lengthily on the moral of the story. But neither of the two wondered why women and slaves were invisible in Greece even though they never used magic rings.
Eduardo Galeano (Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History)
In ancient Greece, he’d said, a philosopher named Zeno argued that to get from point A to point B, one had to go halfway there first. But to get from the halfway mark to point B, one would have to cross half of that distance, then halfway again, and so on. And when you piled up all the halves of halves that would have to be crossed to get from one point to another, the only conclusion to be drawn was that it couldn’t be done.
Amor Towles (The Lincoln Highway)
In Plato’s philosophical text Symposium, he implies that the men in the Sacred Band
Enthralling History (Sparta: An Enthralling Overview of the Spartans and Their City-State in Ancient Greece along with the Greco-Persian Wars, Peloponnesian War, and Other ... Spartan Army (Greek Mythology and History))
This paradox suggests that Judaism has a different understanding of language than the one that prevails in the West and had its origins in ancient Greece. The philosophers, heirs to the Greeks, tended to think of language as conveying information. What matters is whether it is true or false.
Jonathan Sacks (Leviticus:The Book of Holiness (Covenant & Conversation 3))
In (Ancient) Greece the search for knowledge was a linguistic endeavor. I suggest that in China, ideas of valid knowing derived in association with the notion of efficacious arts, or daos, and the central questions that lie behind the philosophical enterprise of early China concern control over action and events rather than understanding; the keys to understanding lay in daos rather than in theories.
Robert Eno
Allegorical interpretation was first developed in Greece in the third century B.C. to make the embarrassing elements in Homer and Hesiod philosophically correct. "The stories of the gods, and the writings of the poets, were not to be taken literally. Rather underneath is the secret or real meaning. .. ."48 This method of interpretation spread to Alexandria, Egypt, where the Jewish scholar Philo (ca. 20 B.C.-A.D. 54) used it to demonstrate that the Septuagint was consonant with Plato and the Stoics. And from Philo it spread to the Christian church via Clement of Alexandria and Origen.
Sidney Greidanus (Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method)
But inspiration can strike in many different ways ... When the philosopher Archimedes stepped into his bath and sloshed water over the sides, the people downstairs were inspired to find a new flat.
Alasdair Beckett-King (Murder at the Museum (Montgomery Bonbon #1))
Epictetus, Greek Stoic philosopher, was born into slavery at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in north-western Greece for the rest of his life. He is reputed to have said: “In the long run, every man will pay the penalty for his own misdeeds. The man who remembers this will be angry with no one, indignant with no one, revile no one, blame no one, offend no one, hate no one.” His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion. The message from Epictetus, who departed this Earth in 135 AD, is that taking personal responsibility seriously was just as relevant then as it is now!
Roger Macdonald Andrew
As to Orphism, it soon blended with the worship of the god Dionysus, who originated in Thrace, and who was worshipped there in the form of a bull. Dionysus was quickly accepted in seventh-century Greece, because he was exactly what the Greeks needed to complete their pantheon of gods; under the name Bacchus he became the god of wine, and his symbol was sometimes an enormous phallus. Frazer speaks of Thracian rites involving wild dances, thrilling music and tipsy excess, and notes that such goings-on were foreign to the clear rational nature of the Greeks. But the religion still spread like wildfire throughout Greece, especially among women—indicating, perhaps, a revolt against civilisation. It became a religion of orgies; women worked themselves into a frenzy and rushed about the hills, tearing to pieces any living creature they found. Euripides’ play The Bacchae tells how King Pentheus, who opposed the religion of Bacchus, was torn to pieces by a crowd of women, which included his mother and sisters, all in ‘Bacchic frenzy.’ In their ecstasy the worshippers of Bacchus became animals, and behaved like animals, killing living creatures and eating them raw. The profound significance of all this was recognised by the philosopher Nietzsche, who declared himself a disciple of the god Dionysus. He spoke of the ‘blissful ecstasy that rises from the innermost depths of man,’ dissolving his sense of personality: in short, the sexual or magical ecstasy. He saw Dionysus as a fundamental principle of human existence; man’s need to throw off his personality, to burst the dream-bubble that surrounds him and to experience total, ecstatic affirmation of everything. In this sense, Dionysus is fundamentally the god, or patron saint, of magic. The spirit of Dionysus pervades all magic, especially the black magic of the later witch cults, with their orgiastic witch’s sabbaths so like the orgies of Dionysus’s female worshippers, even to the use of goats, the animal sacred to Dionysus. (Is it not also significant that Dionysus is a horned god, like the Christian devil?) The ‘scent of truth’ that made Ouspensky prefer books on magic to the ‘hard facts’ of daily journalism is the scent of Dionysian freedom, man’s sudden absurd glimpse of his godlike potentialities. It is also true that the spirit of Dionysus, pushed to new extremes through frustration and egomania, permeates the work of De Sade. As Philip Vellacot remarks of Dionysus in his introduction to The Bacchae: ‘But, though in the first half of the play there is some room for sympathy with Dionysus, this sympathy steadily diminishes until at the end of the play, his inhuman cruelty inspires nothing but horror.’ But this misses the point about Dionysus—that sympathy is hardly an emotion he would appreciate. He descends like a storm wind, scattering all human emotion.
Colin Wilson (The Occult)
As animals died, the plains were scattered with the torn carcasses left by carrion feeders. Quickly, the skeletons, bleached and burned by ultraviolet light, once again became part of the whirling waltz of ecology. This was one of the great insights of ancient Greece: the world’s energy as Heraclitean fire, part of a closed system, from sky to stones, from grass to flesh, from flesh to earth, under the watchful eye of the sun that offered its photons to the nitrogen cycle. The Bardo Thodol—the Tibetan Book of the Dead—offers a similar theory to that of Heraclitus and the philosophers of flux. Everything passes, everything flows, the wild donkeys run, the wolves hunt, the vultures hover: order, equilibrium, under the sun. A crushing silence. An unforgiving light, few men. A dream.
Sylvain Tesson (The Art of Patience: Seeking the Snow Leopard in Tibet)
Confucius and Lao-Tse were living in China, all the schools of Chinese philosophy came into being, including those of Mo Ti, Chuang Tse, Lieh Tzu and a host of others; India produced the Upanishads and Buddha and, like China, ran the whole gamut of philosophical possibilities down to materialism, scepticism and nihilism; in Iran, Zarathustra taught a challenging view of the world as a struggle between good and evil; in Palestine the prophets made their appearance from Elijah by way of Isaiah and Jeremiah to Deutero-Isaiah; Greece witnessed the appearance of Homer, of the philosophers—Parmenides, Heraclitus and Plato,—of the tragedians, of Thucydides and Archimedes. Everything implied by these names developed during these few centuries almost simultaneously in China, India and the West.
Karl Jaspers (The Origin and Goal of History)
Perhaps the real question here is what is means to be a 'self-conscious political actor'. Philosophers tend to define human consciousness in terms of self-awareness; neuroscientists, not eh other hand, tell us we spend the overwhelming majority of our time effectively on autopilot, working out habitual forms of behaviour without any sort of scions reflection. When we are capable of self-awareness, it's usually for very brief periods of time: the 'window of consciousness', during which we can hold a thought or work out a problem, tends to be open on average for roughly seven seconds. What neuroscientists (and it must be said, most contemporary philosophers) almost never notice, however, is that the greatest exception to this is when we're talking to someone else. In conversation, we can hold thoughts and reflect on problems sometimes for hours on end. This is of course why so often, even if we're trying to figure something out by ourselves, we imagine arguing with or explaining it to someone else. Human thought is inherently dialogic. Ancient philosophers tended to be keenly aware of all this: that's why, whether they were in China, India or Greece, they tended to write their books in the form of dialogues. Humans were only fully self-conscious when arguing with one another, trying to sway each other's views, or working out a common problem.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
For a time it seemed that the destruction was final. It is still expressed in the amazing fact that (in the North) modern men can still write histories of philosophy, in which philosophy stops with the last little sophists of Greece and Rome; and is never heard of again until the appearance of such a third-rate philosopher as Francis Bacon.
G.K. Chesterton (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Chinese alchemy parallels European alchemy in postulating the change from watery lead (nigredo) to fiery heart (rubedo) and then to pure white (albedo) or gold (also known as the Philosopher’s Stone).22 Understandably, in ancient Greece, a “similar archetypal concept of a perfect being is that of Platonic man, round on all sides and uniting within himself the two sexes.”23
David H. Rosen (The Tao of Jung: The Way of Integrity (Compass))
Xenophon tells us that Socrates never neglected the body and did not praise those who did. We can imagine that it was because the physical body—volatile, unseen, and implicated in an automatized natural world—could seem so daemonic that entrusting life, both biological life and ethical life, to its dynamics could seem like ceding control of the human.
Brooke Holmes (The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece)
Athènes devint à partir de 450 avant Jésus-Christ la capitale culturelle du monde grec. La philosophie aussi prit un nouveau tournant. Les philosophes de la nature étaient avant tout des hommes de science qui s'intéressaient à l'analyse physique du monde et, à ce titre, ils tiennent une place importante dans l'histoire de la science. Mais, à Athènes, l'étude de la nature fut supplantée par celle de l'homme et sa place dans la société. Petit à petit, une démocratie avec des assemblées du peuple et des juges populaires vit le jour. Une condition sine qua non pour l'établissement de la démocratie était que le peuple fût assez éclairé pour pouvoir participer au processus démocratique. Qu'une jeune démocratie exige une certaine éducation du peuple, nous l'avons bien vu de nos jours.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
To the monk who has dared to contradict a fellow monk with such words as “It is not as you say,” there is a heavy penalty: “an imposition of silence or fifty blows.” The high walls that hedged about the mental life of the monks—the imposition of silence, the prohibition of questioning, the punishing of debate with slaps or blows of the whip—were all meant to affirm unambiguously that these pious communities were the opposite of the philosophical academies of Greece or Rome, places that had thrived upon the spirit of contradiction and cultivated a restless, wide-ranging curiosity.
Stephen Greenblatt (The Swerve: How the World Became Modern)
In Ancient Greece, when the philosopher Socrates was asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: ‘Know Yourself’. Self-knowledge matters so much because it is only on the basis of an accurate sense of who we are that we can make reliable decisions – particularly around love and work. The difficulty is that we seldom manage to make sense of more than a fraction of who we are.
The School of Life
As a certain philosopher of ancient Greece once put it, the difference between the historian and poet/storyteller is that where the historian relates what happened, the storyteller tells us how it might have come about.
Tomson Highway (Kiss of the Fur Queen)
After hovering in the ethereal world of mathematics and geometry, economics was forced to crash-land and take its place in the real world of political debate. Do economists wish to pursue the Good Society in the spirit of the social contract tradition which started some time in ancient Greece, reasserted itself in Europe with J.-J.Rousseau and found its apotheosis in John Rawls? Or do they wish for a social contract which effectively rules the State out as anything other than a provider of order and security—a tradition which began with Thomas Hobbes and culminated in Robert Nozick’s theory? Or, indeed can economists think of something in between? Thus economics is back into the mire courtesy of Arrow’s third theorem, which dispels any hopes of a Rational Society springing from some form of advanced utility maximisation. Economics can no longer escape the political, philosophical debates which resonate across the humanities—from literature to sociology and from politics to moral philosophy. This is a good thing. At last, economics can become interesting again after a century of continuous pedantry.
Yanis Varoufakis (Foundations of Economics)
In ancient Greece, an artist was not responsible for their artwork. It was on the head of their Daemon. This gave artists a degree of separation from their art and the critique of it. Sometimes my Daemon speaks as my voice and other times it will speak as that of the ones who you read from my fingertips. Here before you, my raw Daemon seeks your hearts and eyes.
Rhiannon D. Elton
More precisely, it is a question of dissolving contradictions in the fires of love and desire and of demolishing the walls of death. Magic rites, primitive or naïve civilizations, alchemy, the language of flowers, fire, or sleepless nights, are so many miraculous stages on the way to unity and the philosophers’ stone. If surrealism did not change the world, it furnished it with a few strange myths which partly justified Nietzsche’s announcement of the return of the Greeks. Only partly, because he was referring to unenlightened Greece, the Greece of mysteries and dark gods. Finally, just as Nietzsche’s experience culminated in the acceptance of the light of day, surrealist experience culminates in the exaltation of the darkness of night, the agonized and obstinate cult of the tempest. Breton, according to his own statements, understood that, despite everything, life was a gift. But his compliance could never shed the full light of day, the light that all of us need.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
In the Joseon Dynasty, the name of science (science) was abbreviated to science for the past, and it was called science. In 1874, the Japanese philosopher Nishi Amane (西 周) in the article "Knowledge" For the first time. It was, of course, not the meaning of science at the time, but rather the expression of 'the scholarship of each subdivision.' [1] [2] In order to convey the meaning of science, There is also a claim that it should be called " The result of this controversy is what we call today. Science is a term that was named in the 19th century, but science did not begin in the 19th century. When people say science, they are wearing a white gown. I think that the titular geniuses are drawing a formula with a symbol that is difficult to understand and I think it is the specialty of the lecturers, but in reality science includes both natural and social sciences. In spite of the fact that natural science and social science exist, it is easy to think that science is first and then divided, but in reality, there is natural philosophy first, so "nature" This is because it precedes the word "science". From an etymological point of view, science is a method derived from the philosophy of a particular region. In classifying ancient philosophies, Greek philosophy is called natural philosophy because the Greek philosophy has a very unusual nature. He had a purpose to explain things happening in the world and to be immersed in it. What other philosophies say differently is that we have already accepted the Greek natural philosophy so naturally. Let's take an example. The philosophies of East Asia do not explain the work of nature, but rather the human behavior and morality, as seen in Confucianism and Taoism. Politics. Human psychology and correct behavior in numerous philosophical systems called disciples. While there is nothing to talk about the mindset of the monarch, the interest to describe nature itself is secondary or subordinate. Therefore, they are close to thinkers rather than scientists. The philosophy of the Middle East, too, had an interest in human afterlife and morality, as you can see from the birth of three modern religions. These are God's image and intention. history. We discussed greatness and property and explored the origin of the world, but that was not the object of inquiry, but the subject of revelation. So they can be called prophets but it's hard to see them as scientists. However, the intellectual class of Greece was different from other civilizations. They were not entirely interested in humans themselves, but surprisingly indifferent to other civilizations. Their main discussion topic was what the world consists of. They know that fire is the foundation of the world. Water is the foundation of the world. 4 Whether elements are the foundation of the world. Small and tiny atoms are fundamental to the world. The Idea, a concept that can not be materialized at all, is the foundation of the world. He persistently explored not the non-existent idea but the clay, the stuff that is filling it, the element of the world.
science Technology
In his most eloquent and moving tribute to the classics, the chapter on “Reading” in Walden, he tried again to explain: The oldest Egyptian or Hindoo philosopher raised a corner of the veil from the statue of the divinity; and still the trembling robe remains raised, and I gaze upon as fresh a glory as he did, since it was I in him that was then so bold, and it is he in me that now reviews the vision. If we can see as much and as well as they saw, we can also hope to write as well as they wrote. If, as Thoreau notes in his journal in mid-February of 1838, each of the sons of Greece “created a new heaven and a new earth for Greece,” there was no compelling reason why each of the sons and daughters of Concord should not be able to do the same.4
Robert D. Richardson Jr. (Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind)
The Blasphemy of Reason To understand the relationship between Islamic and scientific modes of thought, it's useful to contrast the emergence of Islam with that of Christianity. In its first four centuries, Christianity germinated gradually within the Roman Empire, with many of its leading theologians converting to the new religion only after having spent their formative years immersed in the classical learning of ancient Greece. Islam, by contrast, spread through military conquest, expanding mostly through conversion of conquered peoples. As a result, even when Muslim rulers welcomed classical Greek knowledge, it was perceived as something alien. Tellingly, Greek science and natural philosophy were known throughout Islam as the “foreign sciences,” in contrast to the “Islamic sciences,” such as the study of the Quran, which were considered to hold the highest place in Muslim life.9 In the early years of Islamic civilization, various groups vigorously competed for the hearts and minds of the Muslim community. Those who actively pursued the Greek classical tradition of knowledge were known as the faylasuf or “philosophers.” Another group, taking a more mystical approach to Islam, were the Sufis. However, the two principal groups that emerged were the Ash'arites, traditionalists who believed in the primacy of Islamic faith, and the Mu'tazilites, who believed in a rational explication of the Quran.10 The Mu'tazilites were devout followers of Islam, while applying rational thought to their interpretation of theology. When passages in the Quran referred to “the face of God” or described God sitting on his throne, the Mu'tazilites argued that these descriptions should be interpreted metaphorically. It seemed to them equally valid to use reason as theology to make important distinctions in their lives, such as between good and evil. The Ash'arites, on the other hand, based their viewpoint on the fundamental presumption that the Quran was the direct word of God transmitted through Muhammad. As such, they viewed the Quran as something eternal and uncreated, an indivisible part of God: it wasn't just the word of God; it literally was God. How, then, to interpret statements about God's face or God sitting on his throne? The Ash'arite position was to take these statements literally, and if reason were unable
Jeremy Lent (The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning)
The vital roles that schema and pattern play in Archaic art can be considered symptoms of a larger Greek demand for regularity and order which extends beyond the realms of representational art into architecture, poetry, and philosophy and beyond the limits of the Archaic period itself. The language of Homer is highly ordered: its formulae were originally patterns for the ear. Hesiod's Theogony imposes patterns on gods and heroes by putting each in his genealogical place, and his Works and Days moves from a particular instance of injustice to universal truths and patterns of human activity. Archaic poetry in general is full of literary schemata or conventions, and Archaic poets express thought and meaning through the harmony of opposites. Archilochos detected a rhysmos (pattern) even in the rise and fall of human fortunes. The philosophers of Miletos attempted to fit nature to preconceived patterns and so to extract order from apparent chaos. Pythagoras (or his followers) ordered the world through number. The urge to impose kosmos (order) on the nature of things is not peculiar to the Archaic mind – in Xenophon's Oikonomikos Sokrates reports that all things, even pots and pans, look more beautiful when they are kept in order, and even the space between them looks beautiful – but is nonetheless particularly characteristic of it.
Jeffrey M. Hurwit (The Art and Culture of Early Greece, 1100-480 B.C.)