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Trying to Make Sense of It all

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Introduction

Trying to Make Sense of It all Ask anyone to define philosophy and generally people think of the Greek culture and its numerous stories, poems and mythologies. But in fact philosophy is the love of wisdom1 and still is actively studied today. Every culture seems to have there own philosophy or set of beliefs that are crucial to the way they think about themselves and the world around them. Yet, most will admit are difficult to prove. For much of the history of our species, people have addressed the question of our origins by using these different methods of dissertation2. For a long time these supernatural philosophies, taken on faith, provided at least some satisfaction in answering the most profound questions and for many they still do. However, others have chosen to adopt the evidence that science offers, which through a different process, attempts to answer the very same things. It is interesting to think about how and why the Greeks came up with their philosophies. Both then and now, philosophical dissertations have assisted in expanding our knowledge of human and animal behavior, as well as why things occur in nature. Hesiod's myth of how the cosmos came to be, and Protagoras' story on the inception of humanity are prime example of such mentality. ...read more.

Middle

From there he speaks about "Tararos," or the underworld, which was, and still is important due to the harsh reality that is inevitable. Our desire to understand death stems from our fear of the unknown, ergo, the creation of an afterlife (or the underworld). Being an illusive piece of rhetoric4 meant that no one would be able to argue or prove this story false. Even if people didn't believe in the myth completely, it gave them a temporary excuse or reason for why things happened. This may have been one of the first myths, but it was certainly not the last. When looking at ancient Greek mythology, it's important to keep in mind that most of these philosophies have been told and re-told before they were actually written down. In some cases, the story or myth was recorded years after the philosopher had passed on (e.g. Protagoras' story was written by Plato, for the purpose of allegorizing). So when reading it one must remember that although Protagoras is said to have spoken this, the actual story is being told by Plato, so to what degree of truth and accuracy exists, is completely unknown. The Protagoras myth as told by Plato was Protagoras' method to illustrate how virtue was teachable to a young and inquisitive Socrates. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet, these people know full well this is an un-testable theory. Since the theory of god(s) has existed for as long as anyone can remember, it's taken to be an authoritative source. Today, Greek philosophy stigmatizes myth as 'irrational.' Such an approach ignores the important roles played by myth, stories and poetry in Greek philosophy, they are not just as completely obscure, but they work as a mode of philosophical thought and play an important part in learning about our past. 1 Philosophy as defined by 'dictionary.com.' Literally translated, "Philo" meaning: the love of, and "sophy" meaning the search after, wisdom. 2 Dissertation as defined by 'dictionary.com.' A formal or elaborate argumentative discourse, oral or written; a disquisition; an essay; a discussion; as, Dissertations of a philosophy. 3 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Introduction, page 2. Excerpt from author on Hesiod's Works and Days and Theogony. 4 rhetoric as defined by 'dictionary.com' is )verbal communication; discourse. 5 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato's Protagoras, page 144, paragraph d 6 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato's Protagoras, page 145, paragraph e 7 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato's Protagoras, page 145, paragraph b (bottom) 8 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato's Protagoras, page 146, paragraph c (top) 9 Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Plato's Protagoras, page 145, paragraph b (bottom) 10 Definition of myth found at 'Dictionary.com.' ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

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