TOPIC03 _-_Origin_of_Scie - TOPIC 3 The Origin of...

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TOPIC 3: The Origin of Science (and Philosophy) in Ancient Greece 500/600 BC (a key time period in human affairs)
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Great Civilizations older than 500/600 BC Egypt (3200-120 BC) Sumeria (3200-1800 BC) Hittite Empire (1900-1200 BC) Minoan Empire (1900-1400 BC) Mycenean Empire (1500-1200 BC) Assyrian/Babylonian Empire (1800-600 BC) China (Shang/Chou Dynasties; 1500-200 BC) Maya/Inca Precursors (>1000 BC - 200 AD)
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Several Great Beginnings (500/600 BC) Science (Greece) Western Philosophy (Greece) History (Greece, China) Bhuddaism (India) Confucianism (China) Taoism (China)
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At The Beginning in Greece- Thales of Miletus (~585 BC) Thales tried to explain human activity (‘thought’) and the natural world (’sense’) in concrete terms subject to verification and explainable by laws that are discoverable without recourse to gods/goddesses or mythology. He also established mathematics as an integral part of science. In actuality, all of these developments were lumped under the notion of philosophy. Within a hundred years, human philosophy and natural philosophy (science of the future) were somewhat distinct from one another.
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Why and How did Philosophy Develop in Ancient Greece? Lack of kingly rule allowed more people take part in democratic or oligarchic government. Discussion and debate were key elements in government; people needed training. Rise of Middle Class living standards and wealth (not in the hands of rulers) let people contribute to government and explore education. Another factor that also may have been somewhat important in the development of early philosophy/science is the rise in literacy and writing using a new Phoenician alphabet that was simpler to use/teach than hieroglyphics or cunieform.
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What Did Early Greek Philosophers Do For a Living? The earliest philosophers (pre-Socrates) were not full-time teachers. For example, Thales engaged in both business and political affairs and was regularly included with Solon in any list of the Seven Wise Men. However, by the beginning of the 5 th century BC, dozens of schools were set up by philosophers throughout the Greek world. The most famous schools were the Academy of Plato of Athens (~380 BC) and the Lyceum of Aristotle of Stagira (~350 BC), both in Athens. Topics taught include grammar, logic, ethics, poetry, music, physics, cosmology, mathematics.
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Philosophers As Part of Society The teachings and arguments of the early philosophers were an intrinsic part of the Greek culture/society.
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