Philosophy

While I would not consider myself a fan of philosophy, there are certainly elements of the topic that are interesting. I was enrolled in a philosophy course in my first year of university, and I did exceptionally well in the course, but I did not particularly enjoy it. I find philosophy to be incredibly complex and confusing, and I would argue that one must possess a tremendous passion for the subject in order to pursue it.

This morning in my Creative Writing lecture, a basic summary of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were discussed. I found it beneficial to refresh my comprehension of these three famous philosophers, and I feel as though it would be adequate to discuss such philosophers here on my blog in order to educate others about their main theories and perspectives.

Socrates lived from 470/469 BC to 399 BC. The reasoning for his recognition is a result of his students recording his theories, because Socrates did not write anything down. He was anti-democracy, and his support of such philosophy concluded in him being accused of corrupting the youth and being sentenced to death. Socrates could have opted to be exiled, but he refused to acknowledge that he was wrong in his theory, and he ultimately committed suicide to rebel against his execution sentence. He questioned the collective notion of power and asked how we should live and what it means to be a good person. He furthermore questioned what the ethics at the heart of philosophy are.

Plato is arguably Socrates’ most highly recognized pupil, meaning he was devastated by Socrates’ death. He too began to challenge democracy, and believed the role of art was to perform approved plays or texts to show what it is to be good, to achieve and maintain happiness and to behave properly. He argued the artist must be monitored in producing art, and actually rejected the notion of art, stating the arts are mimesis (mimicry), are not real and that they deceive one’s emotions.

Aristotle, a student of Plato, was also accused of corrupting the youth, but as opposed to being executed he chose to be exiled. He felt as though there was enormous value in the arts, and all of Aristotle’s logic revolves around one notion titled the deduction (speech that contains specific things that have been assumed). He also believed that the human mind can convince a person to engage in things the human senses urge against.

It is common knowledge that these three men influenced the development of both philosophy and religion within early civilization, and even if their stories are not of interest to you, they are worth understanding.

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