Ancient Greece In the view of most people throughout history, moral questions have objectively correct answers.
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Thales of Miletus is usually considered the first proper philosopher, although he was just as concerned with natural philosophy what we now call science as with philosophy as we know it.
Thales and most of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers i. They were Materialists they believed that all things are composed of material and nothing else and were mainly concerned with trying to establish the single underlying substance the world is made up of a kind of Monismwithout resorting to supernatural or mythological explanations.
For Criticisms of conventional ethical relativism, Thales thought the whole universe was composed of different forms of water; Anaximenes concluded it was made of air; Heraclitus thought it was fire; and Anaximander some unexplainable substance usually translated as "the infinite" or "the boundless".
Another issue the Pre-Socratics wrestled with was the so-called problem of change, how things appear to change from one form to another.
At the extremes, Heraclitus believed in an on-going process of perpetual change, a constant interplay of opposites; Parmenideson the other hand, using a complicated deductive argument, denied that there was any such thing as change at all, and argued that everything that exists is permanent, indestructible and unchanging.
This might sound like an unlikely proposition, but Parmenides 's challenge was well-argued and was important in encouraging other philosophers to come up with convincing counter-arguments.
Zeno of Elea was a student of Parmenidesand is best known for his famous paradoxes of motion the best known of which is that of the Achilles and the Harewhich helped to lay the foundations for the study of Logic.
However, Zeno 's underlying intention was really to show, like Parmenides before him, that all belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion.
Although these ideas might seem to us rather simplistic and unconvincing today, we should bear in mind that, at this time, there was really no scientific knowledge whatsoever, and even the commonest of phenomena e.
Their attempts were therefore important first steps in the development of philosophical Criticisms of conventional ethical relativism. They also set the stage for two other important Pre-Socratic philosophers: Empedocleswho combined their ideas into the theory of the four classical elements earth, air, fire and waterwhich became the standard dogma for much of the next two thousand years; and Democrituswho developed the extremely influential idea of Atomism that all of reality is actually composed of tiny, indivisible and indestructible building blocks known as atoms, which form different combinations and shapes within the surrounding void.
Another early and very influential Greek philosopher was Pythagoraswho led a rather bizarre religious sect and essentially believed that all of reality was governed by numbers, and that its essence could be encountered through the study of mathematics.
Unlike most of the Pre-Socratic philosophers before him, Socrates was more concerned with how people should behave, and so was perhaps the first major philosopher of Ethics. He developed a system of critical reasoning in order to work out how to live properly and to tell the difference between right and wrong.
His system, sometimes referred to as the Socratic Method, was to break problems down into a series of questions, the answers to which would gradually distill a solution.
Although he was careful to claim not to have all the answers himself, his constant questioning made him many enemies among the authorities of Athens who eventually had him put to death. Socrates himself never wrote anything down, and what we know of his views comes from the "Dialogues" of his student Platoperhaps the best known, most widely studied and most influential philosopher of all time.
In his writings, Plato blended EthicsMetaphysicsPolitical Philosophy and Epistemology the theory of knowledge and how we can acquire it into an interconnected and systematic philosophy. He provided the first real opposition to the Materialism of the Pre-Socraticsand he developed doctrines such as Platonic RealismEssentialism and Idealismincluding his important and famous theory of Forms and universals he believed that the world we perceive around us is composed of mere representations or instances of the pure ideal Forms, which had their own existence elsewhere, an idea known as Platonic Realism.
Plato believed that virtue was a kind of knowledge the knowledge of good and evil that we need in order to reach the ultimate good, which is the aim of all human desires and actions a theory known as Eudaimonism.
Plato 's Political Philosophy was developed mainly in his famous "Republic", where he describes an ideal though rather grim and anti-democratic society composed of Workers and Warriors, ruled over by wise Philosopher Kings. The third in the main trio of classical philosophers was Plato 's student Aristotle.
He created an even more comprehensive system of philosophy than Platoencompassing EthicsAestheticsPoliticsMetaphysicsLogic and science, and his work influenced almost all later philosophical thinking, particularly those of the Medieval period. Aristotle 's system of deductive Logicwith its emphasis on the syllogism where a conclusion, or synthesis, is inferred from two other premises, the thesis and antithesisremained the dominant form of Logic until the 19th Century.
Unlike PlatoAristotle held that Form and Matter were inseparable, and cannot exist apart from each other. Although he too believed in a kind of EudaimonismAristotle realized that Ethics is a complex concept and that we cannot always control our own moral environment.
He thought that happiness could best be achieved by living a balanced life and avoiding excess by pursuing a golden mean in everything similar to his formula for political stability through steering a middle course between tyranny and democracy.
Other Ancient Philosophical Schools Back to Top In the philosophical cauldron of Ancient Greecethough as well as the Hellenistic and Roman civilizations which followed it over the next few centuriesseveral other schools or movements also held sway, in addition to Platonism and Aristotelianism: Sophism the best known proponents being Protagoras and Gorgiaswhich held generally relativistic views on knowledge i.
Cynicismwhich rejected all conventional desires for health, wealth, power and fame, and advocated a life free from all possessions and property as the way to achieving Virtue a life best exemplified by its most famous proponent, Diogenes.
Skepticism also known as Pyrrhonism after the movement's founder, Pyrrhowhich held that, because we can never know the true innner substance of things, only how they appear to us and therefore we can never know which opinions are right or wrongwe should suspend judgment on everything as the only way of achieving inner peace.
Epicureanism named for its founder Epicuruswhose main goal was to attain happiness and tranquility through leading a simple, moderate life, the cultivation of friendships and the limiting of desires quite contrary to the common perception of the word "epicurean".Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.
Kohlberg began work on this topic while a psychology graduate student at the University of Chicago in and expanded upon the theory throughout his life.. The theory holds that moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behavior, has six.
Ethical Relativism: the prescriptive view that (1) different groups of people ought to have different ethical standards for evaluating acts as right or wrong, (2) these different beliefs are true in their respective societies, and (3) these different beliefs.
Conventional ethical relativism supports the view that the truth of moral principles is relative to cultures. Unlike the subjective view, what is right for you as an individual is dependant upon what your particular culture believes is right for you.
pontifical council for culture pontifical council for interreligious dialogue. jesus christ the bearer of the water of life. a christian reflection.
In this paper we address a number of contemporary themes concerning the analysis of qualitative data and the ethnographic representation of social realities.
A contrast is drawn. On the one hand, a diversity of representational modes and devices is currently celebrated, in response to various critiques of conventional ethnographic representation.
Relativism is the idea that views are relative to differences in perception and consideration. There is no universal, objective truth according to relativism; rather each point of view has its own truth. The major categories of relativism vary in their degree of scope and controversy.
Moral relativism encompasses the differences in moral judgments among people and cultures.