The beginning of Western philosophy
What do you think about ‘Philosophy’? I thought… philosophy is really cool. I want to be a philosopher. But…. you know. It’s very hard. I can’t understand anything. Wow… This philosophy books went over my head. After that, I was no longer interested in Western philosophy.
I think ‘philosophy’ is to learn how to think logically. Kant also made a similar remark. Are we thinking really? Have you ever thought? Let’s find out what ‘thinking’ is.
Socrates : Real philosopher
The beginning of the philosophy is the Socrates. Pre–Socratic philosophers focused on the natural world. But Socrates, sophists focused on man. Everybody knows Socratic method. It is very famous. Many entrepreneurs take advantage of it usefully. Because it go to the heart of the human nature. It can be applied anywhere.
It is like that Socrates defined philosophy as “to love wisdom”. The word philosophy comes from ancient Greece. ‘Philo-’ means ‘to love’. ‘sophy’ means ‘wisdom’.
He sacrificed his life to protect values. He verified again and again. “How to live well?” He asked again and again. What is ‘well’? What is ‘death’? Hmm… What is the best value? Can we compare values? He always talked with people on market and on street anywhere.
What’s the end of the conversation? It always resulted in Aporia. ‘Aporia’ means a dead-end alley. Finally they told Socrates. “At first I think I knew that but now I don’t know anything at all.” By doing this, Athens think Socrates have evil magic. So kill him. But Socrates were not afraid at all. Because he decided it upon his life. He didn’t chicken out. For this reason, Socrates is called ‘Real philosopher’ Everybody realized philosopher is a great man.
Socrates & Plato & Aristotle
The amazing thing is that Socrates wrote nothing. Plato went apprentice after him at 20 years old. Socrates had many students, but Plato was his best student. Surprisingly, Socrates appear mainly in the Dialogs of Plato. Also Aristotle was Plato’s student. This three people made big changes.
“The saftest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of foodnotes to Plato” – Alfred North Whitehead <Process and Reality : An Essay in Cosmology>
Therefore Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the most influential philosophers in Western philosophy. What do you think the flow of western philosophy is? We focused on the fundamentals. What’s the purpose of your reading? It is the most important. I want you to learn ‘How to think’. I think This is the philosophy. 🙂