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Chapter 6
Section 2
Philosophers and Writers
of the Golden Age
Philosophy
• The study of basic questions
of reality & human existence
• Great Greek achievement
• “Lover of Wisdom”
• Natural laws & truths could be
discovered through reason
Socrates
• Athenian - Education – key to
personal growth
• Students should learn to think for
themselves.
• Socratic Method – questions to
teach
• Critic of democracy – unskilled
rule
Socrates
• Falsely accused of denying
the existence of the gods and
corrupting the youth
• At trial refused to deny his
teachings – Found guilty and
executed
• Drank hemlock
Plato
•
•
•
•
•
•
Socrates’ greatest student
Recorded Socrates’ ideas
Taught Socrates’ teachings
The Academy – school in Athens
Dialogues or Discussions
Dealt w/ Government, religion,
justice, and education
Plato -“Theory of Forms”
• Material things an imperfect
expression of perfect ideas or
forms
• Perfection could never be
reached in physical world
• Humans consisted of two
parts: body and soul
Plato - The Republic
• Written dialogue of Plato’s
view of a perfect society and
government
• Aristocracy – governed by
upper class based on wisdom
not wealth/birth - ideal
Aristotle
• Student of Plato at the
Academy – opened school
• All subjects should be studied
logically
• Classified things (science)
• Facts organized into systems
Aristotle
• Ethics – What makes people
happy?
• Poetics – What makes a
good or bad play
• Studied politics – all forms
could be corrupt
• Wanted limited democracy
Science
 No
practical scientific knowledge
developed
 Foundations of anatomy, botany,
and zoology laid by Aristotle
 Greeks believed the world could
be explained through natural laws
 Reason v. Superstition
Math
Pythagoras:
believed
everything could be
explained by math
Developed Pythagorean
theorem
2
2
2
A +b =c
Medicine
Hippocrates:
founder of
medical science
Disease from natural sources
not a punishment from the
gods
“Hippocratic Oath”: still take
this pledge today.
• Code of Ethics
History
►Greeks
1st to take written history
seriously
►Herodotus – “father of history”
 Traveled around world
►Thucydides
– understand Human
nature through history
 History of the Peloponnesian War
 Made history accurate and fair.
Plays
Drama
containing action, dialogue,
conflict, emotion
Plays in poetic form
2-3 actors speak lines
Chorus
All
describes action
men no women
Plays performed in outdoor
theaters carved into hillside
Tragedies
Main
character struggles against
fate or events
Usually defeated in the end.
Punished for hubris (pride)
Sophocles and Euripides:
famous tragic writers
Comedies
Made
fun of ideas and people
Tragic and humorous figures
Aristophanes: most famous
writer of Greek comedy