Features of ancient philosophy, theoretical features., Institutional...

Features of ancient philosophy

Theoretical features.

Ancient philosophy poses questions about what exists as such. She is not interested in the origin of this existence - from Chaos or from the first generations of the gods. Ancient philosophy is occupied by beings in its own nature.

Being is conceived as Cosmos, an expedient and beautiful Order that has self-sufficiency and is an absolute value. The intelligibility and orderliness of the Cosmos is expressed in the Logos, which rules it and is reflected in the human mind. Since the world order is reasonable, the Cosmos demands from the reasonable man, that is, fair, actions and a correct political choice. Part of the Cosmos is a man, as a social intelligent animal, and even gods. The Platonic tradition introduces the theme of the transcendent into ancient culture, but it only gets significant development in the last centuries of the ancient philosophy.

Space is a kind of oecumene (from the Greek osusume - inhabited land), a single household in which people and gods dwell. Therefore, it can be comprehended by a single act of speculation. With this attitude, the theory (contemplation) of ancient philosophy is connected: the conviction in the special nature of speculative knowledge, capable in indivisible now to see the fullness of eternity.

At the same time, ancient philosophy discusses ways to achieve this state of "contemplation", it builds formal and substantial rules necessary for the education of thought (the arches of such rules can be called the "path of truth" of Parmenides, the method of the Logos of Plato, , The Organon of Aristotle, the logic of the Stoics, the canon of the Epicureans). By creating these rules, Antiquity formulated the main problem areas of the theory of knowledge that will remain relevant in the future: it is a question of what is truth-a certain state or correspondence of thought to an object, the problem of the identity of being and cognition, the question of paradoxical contradictions between speculation and sensory perception , knowledge and opinion, universal (divine) and private (human) knowledge.

Institutional features.

From the institutional point of view, ancient philosophy gravitates to the " school" form. True, we do not know anything definite about the institutional peculiarities of the Milesian school, it is negligible - about the Eleatic, and our data on the Pythagorean alliances, apparently, are full of later myths and anachronisms. The first school, of which we can reason with certainty, is the Academy of Plato. However, the ancient philosopher is almost always inscribed in some school or tradition, more or less ancient. The figures of Heraclitus and Empedocles, thinkers who do not belong to any of the schools, are exceptions, not a rule.

Since in Antiquity we see only the first steps towards the institutionalization of philosophical thought, the place of the then philosophers in public and cultural life radically differed from their role in our time. The philosopher was not only a scientist in the proper sense of the word, but also a spiritual mentor and even a political adviser. Moreover, it was within the framework of ancient philosophy that most of the future disciplines of European science (from physics and chemistry to philology and biology) were born; Thus, the sphere of activity of the ancient philosopher was much wider than the field of application of modern philosophy.

In public life, the philosopher also played a much larger role. Philosophical schools were a kind of clans, sometimes pretending to create and implement their own political programs, like the Pythagorean Union or the Academy. True, their existence as registered unions could not take place without the consent of the policy. After the emergence of powerful Hellenistic kingdoms, and then - the Roman Empire, some of these schools were included in the "imperial" system. education (enough to mention the history of the Academy, as well as the Alexandrian Library and Museion).

Ethical-behavioral features.

In those days when the ancient philosophy arose and existed, the structure of public institutions differed significantly from the modern one. In Hellas there was no special estate of clergymen (priests), as, strictly speaking, it was not in Rome either. There were no institutions responsible for the development of the "positive sciences". In other words, there was no clear division of spheres of influence between philosophy, religion and science. Of course, at times the freethinking of philosophers led to conflicts with traditional religiosity (let us recall the trials against Protagoras and Socrates and the negative attitude towards the Epicureans); nevertheless the philosopher was the "holder" and rational cognition, and spiritual experience, speaking not only as a specialist in the problems of society and scientific knowledge, but also as a spiritual mentor. It is these images of spiritual teachers that brought to us the life descriptions of Socrates, Plato, Zenon Stoic, Plotinus.

All this left a certain imprint on the lifestyle and behavioral models of ancient philosophers. In the conditions of antique publicity, the thinker needed to correspond to the protected values ​​even in the event of the threat of his own life (a vivid example - the history of the death of Socrates and Seneca). Thus, philosophy was not only a way of thinking or a source for spiritual preaching, but also a way of life as such. The philosopher was obliged to conform to the ethical standard both in deeds and even in the forms of everyday behavior, which was to have a certain symbolic-school character, the highest expression of which was the appearance of the cynic, this "philosophical punk" ancient world.

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