Pythagoras and Plato

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For the Greeks philosophy wasn’t restricted to the abstract it was also their natural science. In this way their philosophers were also their scientist. Questions such as what is the nature of reality and how do we know what is real are two of the fundamental questions they sought to answer. Pythagoras and Plato were two of the natural philosophers who sought to explain these universal principles. Pythagoras felt that all things could be explained and represented by mathematical formulae. Plato, Socrate’s most important disciple, believed that the world was divided into two realms, the visible and the intelligible. Part of the world, the visible, we could grasp with the five senses, but the intelligible we could only grasp with our minds. In their own way they both sought to explain the nature of reality and how we could know what is real. Pythagoras held that an accurate description of reality could only be expressed in mathematical formulae. “Pythagoras is the great-great-grandfather of the view that the totality of reality can be expressed in terms of mathematical laws” (Palmer 25). Based off of his discovery of a correspondence between harmonious sounds and mathematical ratios, Pythagoras deduced “the music of the spheres”. The music of the spheres was his belief that there was a mathematical harmony in the universe. This was based off of his serendipitous discovery of a correspondence between harmonious sounds and mathematical ratios. Pythagoras’ philosophical speculations follow two metaphysical ideals. First, the universe has an underlying mathematical structure. Secondly the force organizing the cosmos is harmony, not chaos or coincidence (Tubbs 2). The founder of a brotherhood of spiritual seekers Pythagoras was the mo... ... middle of paper ... ...ch one of us has a star that our soul is associated with. Our task as human is to try to live a good live so that when we reincarnate we can return to our associated star. In their own way they both sought to explain the nature of reality and how we could know what is real. Works Cited Cheney, Sheldon. The Age of Reason In Greece: Pythagoras and Plato. Baltimore,Md: Kessinger Publishing, 2008. 95. Print. Kathlyn, Gay. Science in Ancient Greece. Rev. New York,NY: Grolier Publishing, 1998. 31. Print. Maddox, Bruno. "Blinded by Science The Math Behind Beauty." Discover Magazine. 01,06,2011: n. page. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. Palmer, Donald. Looking at Philosophy. 5th. New York,NY: McGrae-Hill, 2010. 25,67. Print. Tubbs, Robert. What is a Number? Mathematical Concepts and Their Origins. Baltimore, Md: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009. 2,10,24. Print

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