Natural Philospohy questioning the world around us

Natural philosophers go after the questions of how the universe came to be. They are primarily curious in why the natural world that surrounds us, water, plants, the solar system, is what it is. Aristotle was a big force in natural philosophy and wrote a series of books on different topics involving natural philosophy. He entitled them Physics, and these eight books can be divided into two sections, the first four being an inquiry about nature, and the second four being about motion, place and time, and overall interactions of the forces of nature. "In this work, Aristotle sets out the conceptual apparatus for his analysis, provides definitions of his fundamental concepts, and argues for specific theses about motion, causation, place and time, and establishes in bk. 8 the existence of the unmoved mover of the universe, a supra-physical entity, without which the physical domain could not remain in existence" (Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy).

Natural Philosophy and Greek society

Natural philosophy ended up creating a disagreement among people across greek society, as some believed that reason should be widely accepted, and to examine how we became is worthwhile, where others believed that we are who we are and that reason is not worthwhile. Then a third group decided that God, Fate, and Nature should all be seen as one entity. This group was known as Stoics, a large reason why they accepted this is because they believed "most people used fate as opposite of responsibility and used as an excuse" (Darty, 3). This is understandable because if people believe that they are on a predetermined path then they will question why they have to work hard since everything that happens will just happen.

After Alexander the Great's rule, his large greek empire was separated into kingdoms, all of which were ruled under a king as possession, and therefore had political unity as opposed to there being open discussion. This made the spread of Hellenism difficult as there were essentially multiple greek cultures, making the expansion difficult.

Greek natural philosophy set in place what became the ideas of today, and a large part of our culture would not be in place where it not for ancient greek philosophy. Without Aristotle's initial search for why nature is what it is, the foundations of subjects like physics and biology would have never been realized. "Demokratia, Greek for “power of the people,” was born in Athens in the 7th century BC. As the city-state’s oligarchy exploited citizens and created economic, political and social problems, Athenians were inspired by the successful, semi-democratic model Sparta had adopted" (Hall, Huffington Post). Without the democracy set in place in the United States then many of our accepted cultural foundations would not be possible. The reach that natural philosophy had on our society is massive.

Steven Estes, WOH2012 0W59

Works cited:

“Aristotle’s Natural philosophy.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford, 26 May 2006. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.

Darty, Amy. “Hellenisitic Empire, Alexander the Great, and Rise of Stoicism.” 20 Feb. 2012

Green, John. “Alexander the Great and the Situation…The Great? Crash Course World History #8.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Mar 2012. Web. 20 Feb 2017.

Hall, Alena. “12 Gifts Ancient Greece Gave To The World.” The World Post. The Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute. 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

“Philosophy- Aristotle.” Youtube. Youtube. 29 Oct 2014. Web. 20 Feb 2017.


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