Fourth and fifth century B.C.E saw the rise of many new ways of thinking, and some of greatest thinkers to contribute to Greek philosophy: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Natural philosophy in Greece was a sort of "prequel" to modern science we know today. It took a new approach, straying from the traditional ideas of gods controlling everything on earth, and shifted focused to the study of the physical universe. (Philosophy of Nature)

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

The study of mathematics was one of the many subjects that was questioned during this time. Evidence of a complex reality began to surface, and sages speculated the idea of infinity and a universe without limits. With these studies came the invention of geometry. Geometry showed that certain ratios, like those used to measure a circle, are numbers that are impossible to determine exactly. This discovery showed the advancement of the human mind, and how we were able to realize our senses can only take in so much of reality. (Fernández-Armesto)

"Reality can be invisible, untouchable, and yet accessible to reason." -Felipe Fernández-Armesto

Around 350 BCE–250 CE, the culture of Hellenism arose in Afroeurasia. It was considered a "common identity of all who embraced Greek ways." (Shrinking The Afro-Eurasian World) The shift in cultures that it created helped somewhat integrate regions and create stronger trading ties. An example of this would be The Silk Route, which connected Asia and the Mediterranean regions through trade. These trade routes showed that through philosophy and the shared ideas that came with it, new cultures could form. (Shrinking The Afro-Eurasian World)

Philosophy played a huge part in the advancement of a new, naturalistic point of view. It opened the door for questions of why things were the way they were. Natural philosophy provided a mean of explaining "what is less well known by what is better known." (Shields) The ideas put in place by Greek natural philosophy can still be seen in todays day and age. Pythagoras, a mathematician, is a prime example. He was one of the first people to challenge the belief that the earth was flat. An obvious example of his work is the pythagorean theorem, which gives the formula of how to find the length of the sides on a right triangle. It is also believed that the method of deductive reasoning, which can be applied in many subjects, may have been founded by Pythagoras. (Shields)

Works Cited

Fernández-Armesto, Felipe. The world: a history. 3rd ed., vol. 1, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007.

"Philosophy of Nature." Philosophy of Nature - New World Encyclopedia. New World Encyclopedia, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

Shields, Christopher. "Aristotle." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 25 Sept. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

"Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 BCE–250 CE." Chapter 6: Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 BCE–250 CE | Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, 3e: W. W. Norton StudySpace. W. W. Norton, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.


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