The Intellectual Traditions Of The Ancient World Essay

The Intellectual Traditions Of The Ancient World Essay

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The intellectual traditions of the ancient world tend to focus on answering four questions that play into the purpose of one’s life. The four questions being, who am I, where am I, who am I with and what is necessary to be happy. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus and Epictetus all had different opinions on these questions which allowed me to develop my own understanding through dissection of their philosophies. These four questions were also addressed through several aspects of readings throughout the quarter. The purpose of good and evil, religion, civilization, government, honor, shame and pleasure all helped develop some concrete background for the philosophers to apply their thinking.
In order to begin to understand philosophers, one first needs to understand the differences of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, opinions and beliefs. Beliefs are something outside of being true or false because they can 't be proven one way or the other, they are followed by opinions which can be true or false and tend to be founded upon facts. Knowledge is the middle form and can be true or false. According to Plato there can be “no knowledge without demonstration”. Knowledge then leads to understanding which is knowing what something is good for and makes use of the knowledge that one acquires. The highest form of rational thought is wisdom which gives one the power to make sound decisions and actions based on the application of experience, knowledge and good judgement. Throughout this course, I began to look and the thoughts of philosophers with regard to where they fell on this spectrum which allowed me to give more or less credibility to the ideas of each philosopher.
The definition of happiness and what is necessary for it changed...

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...he family name. Many families would take babies outside of the city limits to die of natural causes in order to help achieve this ideal and limit the number of children that they had to provide for. Killing babies helped keep the population at a sustainable level and was not seen as immoral. During the time, this practice was seen as necessary and had a sense of sorrow attached but was not looked down upon. Overpopulation became a problem that led to the fall of many cities and attempts to solve it were largely unsuccessful.
As cities grew, they began to realize the need for government and different types began to arise. Aristotle described six types of government, three that were good and three that were the bad versions of the good. Aristotle believed that the best form of government was the benevolent monarch because there was one good judge who was able to rule.

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