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On this page: Philolaus – Philomela – Philosophy

480

PHILOLAUS——PHILOSOPHY.

and considerable fragments of a number of prose writings (on music, rhetoric, syllo­gisms, vices and virtues, piety, anger, etc.), which have come to light among the Hercu-lanean papyri.

Phllolaus. A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Pythagoras (q.v.). He was the first to commit to writing the doctrines of the Pythagorean school. He wrote in Doric Greek. Only a few fragments of his writ­ings remain.

PhlWmela. See procne.

Philosophy. (I) greek philosophy. The first beginnings of philosophy in Greece came from the lonians of Asia ; and it is in agreement with the character of that people, naturally inclined to the phenomenal or sensualist view, that what the Ionian philosophers sought was the material prin­ciple of things, and the mode of their origin and disappearance. thales of Miletus (about 640 b.c.) is reputed the father of Greek philosophy. He declared Water to be the basis of all things. Next came anax!mandeb of Miletus (about 611-547), the first writer on philosophy; he assumed as first principle an undefined substance without qualities, out of which the primary antitheses, hot and cold, moist and dry, be­came differentiated. His countryman and younger contemporary, ANAXlMENES, took for his principle Air; conceiving it as modi­fied, by thickening and thinning, into fire, wind, clouds, water, and earth. heracl.itus of Ephesus (about 535-475) assumed as the principle of substance aetherial Fire. From fire all things originate, and return to it again by a never-resting process of development. All things therefore are in a perpetual flux. Philosophy was first brought into con­nexion with practical life by PYTHAG6RAS of SamSs (about 582-504), from whom it received its name (" the love of wisdom "). Regarding the world as a perfect harmony, dependent on number, he aimed at inducing mankind likewise to lead a harmonious life. His doctrine was adopted and extended by a large following, especially in lower Italy. That country was also the home of the Eleatic d_octrine of The One, called after the town of Elea, the headquarters of the school. It was founded by xenophanes of C516-phon (born about 570). the father of pan­theism, who declared God to be the eternal unity, permeating the universe, and govern­ing it by his thought. His great disciple PARMfiNlDES of Elea (born about 511) affirmed the one unchanging existence to be alone true and capable of being conceived;

and multitude and change to be an appear­ance without reality. This doctrine was maintained dialectically by his younger countryman zeno in a polemic against the vulgar opinion, which sees in things multi­tude, becoming, and change. empedocles of Agrlgentum (born 492) appears to have been partly in agreement with the Eleatic school, partly in opposition to it: on the one hand, maintaining the unchangeable nature of substance; while, on the other, he supposes a plurality of such substances—to wit, the four elements, earth, water, air, and fire. Of these the world is built up, by the agency of two ideal principles as motive forces ; viz. love as the cause of union, hate as the cause of separation.

anaxagoras of Claz5men£e (born about 500) also maintained the existence of an ordering principle as well as a material substance, and while regarding the latter as an infinite multitude of imperishable primary elements, qualitatively distinguished, con­ceived divine reason as ordering them. He referred all generation and disappearance to mixture and resolution respectively. To him belongs the credit of first establishing philosophy at Athens, in which city it reached its highest development, and con­tinued to have its home for 1,000 years without intermission. The first explicitly materialistic system was formed by demo-CRlTus of Abdera (born about 460). This was the doctrine of Atoms,—small primary bodies infinite in number, indivisible and imperishable, qualitatively similar, but dis­tinguished by their shapes. Palling eter­nally through the infinite void, they collide and unite, thus generating existence, and forming objects which differ in accordance with the varieties, in number, size, shape, and arrangement, of the atoms which com­pose them.

The efforts of all these earlier philosophers had been directed somewhat exclusively to the investigation of the ultimate basis and essential nature of the external world. Hence their conceptions of human know­ledge, arising out of their theories as to the constitution of things, had been no less various. The Eleatics, for example, had been compelled to deny the existence of any objective truth, since to the world of sense, with its multitude and change, they allowed only a phenomenal existence. This incon­sistency led to the position taken up by the class of persons known as sophists (q.v.), that all thought rests solely on the appre­hensions of the senses and on subjective

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