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FSU HIS 3464 - Prescience, Greeks, and Romans

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Prescience, Greeks, and Romans (1)What early people knew (what we would call mathematics/astronomy/ medicine), how they knew it what they used it for and how they passed it on:-Driving force in early science was survival, curiosity, and religion; early science grew from Mesopotamiaand Egypt-Prehistoric people developed technologies to obtain necessities for life-Oral tradition was used to pass on what seemed to be important knowledge until writing is invented§ Mathematics:Decimal numbers were used in building the pyramids (inclined surface)-Egyptians wrote on papyrus-Mesopotamians developed the sexagesimal number system, which was used in algebra and astronomy§ Medicine-Egyptians used surgical tools for treatment of wounds, fractures, or dislocations and had pharmacology (ritual traditions)-Believed disease was caused by an evil spirit in the body-Mesopotamians did similar healings and also thought disease was spiritual or due to sin, carelessness orsorcery§ Astronomy-Mesopotamians were first real observers of heavens and calculated the path of Venus, passed on by tablets-Babylonian divination-predicting events from Gods by looking for signs in the stars-Calendar based off the moon*Both helped shape and benefit Greek Philosophy (2) Why written records were critical for knowledge development:§ The invention of writing was a prerequisite for the development of philosophy and science. Written records allowed the education of wider groups of people and also allowed information to be evaluated. Oral tradition allowed information to become skewed and unreliable; it also could not be inspected or compared to anything like written works could.(3) The new approach of the early Greek thinkers (known as Pre-Socratics) and how it differed from the explanations based on myth. What kinds of questions did they ask? What did they think the Kosmos was made of and why?Thales- attempted to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology and was tremendously influential in this respect. He believed that water is the the principle of everything. Heraclitus-The world itself consists of a law-like interchange of elements, symbolized by fire. Thus the world is not to be identified with any particular substance, but rather with an ongoing process governed by a law of change. Leucippus-everything made up of small parts or atoms, and they make change possible. Aneximes-concluded that everything in the world is composed of air All of these philosophers questioned the possibility of change. They concluded that there were elements in everything that allowed change, as opposed to the myths of God’s changing the world based on personality traits and for entertainment. They were on speculations based on rationality. They wanted scientific answers for their questions and used critical thinking. . Their subjects included the cosmos, its origins the earth & its inhabitant’s celestial bodies, natural phenomena, death and the nature of human knowledge. They believed the cosmos was made up of apeiron. The believed that apeiron was the main element that produced the others (earth,wind,fire,water etc). (4) Aristotle-Who was he and what he thought about: Born in Stagira. Attended Plato’s academy. Opened lyceum in Athens. Had a personal library. Teleolgy- purposefulness in the universe. Everything has a cause and meaning. Doesn’t explain on how reality came into being. Everything made with four causes. Cause one is material. Second is formal (shape). Third the efficient cause (How it’s made/being made). Fourth cause is final (There is a purpose). Rejectedthe theory of the form (cosmology) Unmoved mover- if universe is in constant motion unmoved mover is the stable efficient cause. (Snow globe). Eternal universe in constant motion was never created. NO COSMOLOGY.Taught Alexander the Great and opened lyceum in Athens and had a personal library.His theology-purposefulness in the universe. Everything made with four causes: Form-Formal Cause (shape-what it is), Matter-Material Cause (ingredients-what its made of), Agency-Efficient Cause (who make its),and Purpose-Final Cause (what’s its purpose). (a) the Kosmos-Rejected the theory of the form (cosmology)-universe is eternal (never ends, never began)-was a sphere, full with no void space-Earth in the center-change on Earth but nowhere else-prime mover (not like traditional God) moves spheres-if universe is in constant motion unmoved mover is the stable efficient cause(b) Elements composing the earth-system-Aristotle’s elements were: fire, air, water, and earth-Earth in center, then water, air and fire in successive order-Their shells/spheres occupy small portion of the universe-heavens around spherical Earth (eather)(c) Why objects were where they were (d) The subjects that composed meteorology(5) Roman approach to science – same as Greeks? Why or why not? What was occupying the Romans?§ Greek Philosophy continued into the Roman Empire as the foundation of education. Alexander the Great from the Italian peninsula started taking over Greek land around 330 CE.-Differed in that philosophy became a leisure activity compared to in Greece-In Greece, knowledge flourished after the creation of the alphabet and writing-Romans studied the philosophy and only used what was logical from the Greeks-the circle of Roman and Greek scholars could not go beyond Aristotle-most scholarly writings were merely commentaries on ancient texts-Aristotle’/ s Philosophy grew to be foundation of science until 15th century-Works translated from Greek to Latin-Varro identified arts but not sciences: Grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, musictheory, medicine, and law-Main figure of Polarization period-Pliney (Natural History)-Romans were occupied with economic decline from war-lead to decrease in education and literacy-Also spread of Christian religion (official religion of Romans in 400 CE) occupied time and attention-presenting serious obstacles in scientific development in Rome-the Church gained power by appealing tothe poor and uneducated (6) How did the early Christians view pagan learning? How did they adapt to it?Christians turned to education when they wanted their followers to be able to read the Holy Bible. However, most of education was based off of Greek philosophy-course determined from Aristotelian philosophy.-Some Christians regarded Greek philosophy with error and some believed it was the complete opposite.-Without the development of


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