Ancient Greek Philosophy Essay

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Brian Goss Mrs. Santosuosso AP Literature 6 December 2006 Ancient Greek Philosophy - The man in the cave Plato once spoke of a man who lived inside a cave. The man remained there all his life, resigned only to the shadows that slipped across the damp cave walls. One day an urge from within overcame the man and he was compelled to turn toward the entrance of the cave. The bright intensity of the sun temporarily blinded the man as he crawled forward. Gradually, the man’s eyes grew accustomed to the light and he managed to make his way out of the cave. Embracing the pure light of truth, the man in the cave no longer existed in the world of shadows, seeing things for the first time in their wholeness. According to Plato, this was philosophy (Jancar). Deeply embedded into the nature of the rational man lies the relentless desire to know - to discover - to explore the mysterious workings of the world in which he inhabits. As a product to this desire, mankind developed a systematic approach of attaining worldly knowledge through the logical study and perception of humanity. This ever-changing process came to be known by the ancient Greeks as “philosophy”. The term “philosophy” is a compound word, composed of two parts: philos, which means love, and sophia which means wisdom; therefore a philosopher is one who loves wisdom. However, for the ancient Greeks, philosophy was not merely a measure of one’s theoretical knowledge, but rather a cultural phenomenon that granted students of philosophy the divine opportunity to understand the framework of their being (Smith). Emerging as philosophical giants of their age, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are all credited with influencing minds and shaping cultures for their holistic pursuit of the truth. Known for his formidable physical stature, his iconic public reputation, and his obsession with

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