Download The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance (New Edition) PDF

TitleThe Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance (New Edition)
TagsReasoning Book
LanguageEnglish
File Size3.0 MB
Total Pages425
Table of Contents
                            Cover
Title
Contents
Introduction
Part One
	1. The Archetypes: The Milesians
	2. The Harmony of the World: The Pythagoreans
	3. The Man Who Searched for Himself: Heraclitus
	4. The Truth About Nothing: Parmenides
	5. The Ways of Paradox: Zeno
	6. Love and Strife: Empedocles
	7. Mind and Matter: Anaxagoras
	8. He Who Laughs Last: Democritus
	9. Opening Pandora’s Box: The Sophists
Part Two
	10. Philosophy’s Martyr: Socrates and the Socratics
	11. The Republic of Reason: Plato
	12. The Master of Those Who Know: Aristotle
Part Three
	13. Three Roads to Tranquillity: Epicureans, Stoics and Sceptics
	14. The Haven of Piety: Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
	15. Voyages of Rediscovery: the Renaissance
Notes
Acknowledgements
Index
Praise for The Dream of Reason
Also by Anthony Gottlieb
Copyright
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 213

purpose could work in just three sorts of ways. First there were the intelligent
actions of living things, such as when an animal pursues some prey in order to
eat it, or when a man goes for a walk because he wants some exercise. The
animal had a meal in mind, the man some air. That is why they did what they
did. Nobody has any problem with that sort of ‘purpose’, or ‘final cause’.
Equally uncontroversial is the second class of final causes: those involving
artefacts, such as a house. The reason why we can speak of final causes, or
purposes, in explaining why a house has, say, a certain sort of roof is that the
person who built it will have had certain aims. Like the hungry animal or the
health-conscious person, he will have had a plan and a purpose in mind. He may
have built it that way in order to keep the rain out, for example, in which case we
can say that the roof is the way it is ‘for the sake of’ protecting its inhabitants
from rain. Nothing odd about that either. The third class of final causes is the one
that fills the pages of Aristotle’s biology. It covers the explanation of those
features of living things that perform some useful function for the creature
concerned, such as the intricacies of the eye, the shape of the teeth or the root-
system of a plant. As Aristotle stressed, the big difference between this
physiological sort of case and the other two is that it does not involve any mental
activity, e.g., any goal envisaged by a living creature. Nevertheless, eyes, teeth
and roots do serve a purpose for the organisms of which they are part, even if
that purpose is not part of any conscious plan; and you cannot understand the
way they work unless you understand what they are doing. This is what Aristotle
realized, and why his biological explanations spoke of final causes. He did not
know the parts of the eye exist and function ‘for the sake of sight’—he just
knew that they did.

One should not be misled by the terminology of ‘final’ causes into thinking
that Aristotle regarded them as in any sense ultimate. To him they were the most
beautiful sorts of causes to apprehend, but he certainly did not think that once
one had found the final causes of a phenomenon, everything else was
unimportant. Other things would still remain to be investigated, such as its
‘causes’ in the modern sense of the word, i.e., the prior circumstances which
brought it about. He was not trying to abolish these ‘efficient’ causes and replace
them with final ones. Nor were Aristotle’s final causes ultimate in the sense that
they revealed some overall plan of the universe. Many later thinkers believed
that the universe was created by God for man’s benefit and that He had arranged
things to serve the purposes of His favourite creatures. Certain animals and
plants, for example, existed for man to eat (it was in this spirit that a British
clergyman argued in 1836 that God had laid down the earth’s deposits of coal so
that man could eventually burn them). But all this was entirely foreign to

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immortality of, 22–23, 30–31, 152, 240–41, 306, 333, 364, 418, 446; afterlife Socrates on, 148–
49, 170, 193, 325

Spain, 411
Speusippus, 236
Spinoza, Benedict de, 406
Stalin, Joseph, 209
Stevens, Wallace, 436
Stoics, 266–67, 294–97, 300, 319–36, 347, 371, 373
and Christian theology, 332–33, 393–94
on death and suicide, 327
and Epicureanism, 321–22, 334–35
and fate, 328–32
legacy of, 374
and Scepticism, 342
on wealth, 335

Strife (Empedocles), 79–80, 83–84, 85
suicide, 326–27

(Aquinas), 365, 368, 412–13
sun, 437
sunspots, 234
superstition, 100, 215, 306, 307, 386, 393
swerve (atomism), 314–16, 322, 329
Swift, Jonathan, 41
syllogisms, 265–66, 272–73, 368, 419

(Plato), 137–41, 179, 373, 381, 436
Syracuse, 184–85, 186–87

taboos, 171, 320
technology, 235

(Shakespeare), 434
Tennyson, Alfred, 110
Tertullian, 394
Tethys, 7
Thales, 5–9, , 9, 10, 214, 228, 298

(Plato), 126–30
theatre, 286–87, 288
Theodoric the Ostrogoth, 401

(Hesiod), 57
, 4, 97, 215, 397

theology, Christian theology; pagan theology , 28, 280–82
theurgy, 385
Thirty Tyrants, 143, 183
Thrasymachus, 189, 206–7

(Carroll), 56
thunder, 17, 307

(Plato), 31, 182, 212–28, 405
creation story in, 212–13, 307, 320, 342, 372, 435

timocracy, 201–2
Timon of Phlius, 339, 345
Titans, 27
Tolstoy, Leo, 70

(Aristotle), 271

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totalitarianism, 209
tragedy, 235, 287
transubstantiation, 360, 444–45
Trinity, Holy Trinity
truth, 117, 119, 124, 127, 173, 238, 340, 395, 420, 440

(Shakespeare), 23
tyranny, 201, 206
Tyrants, Thirty Tyrants

universals, problem of, 403, 405
universe:
origin of, 19, 36, 45, 55, 59, 246, 322; creation stories theories of, 10–12, 13–14, 15, 39, 93, 109

universities, 367–68, 411, 428
utilitarianism, 305
utopias, 188–96, 209, 320

Valla, Lorenzo, 427–28
vegetarianism, 24, 26, 85, 384, 392
Vespucci, Amerigo, 429–30
virtue, 152–53, 157, 158, 160–64, 165–66, 173, 277–79, 283

good
Vives, Luis, 429
Voltaire, 398

(Tolstoy), 70
water, 6–7, 15, 49

(Parmenides), 57, 65–66
(Parmenides), 55, 57, 58–63, 65–66, 68

wealth, 148, 325, 335
Whewell, William, 299
Whitehead, Alfred, 70, 269

(Sanchez), 443
William of Ockham, 364
wisdom, 28, 145–48, 164, 173, 176, 184, 388–89
women, 190, 193, 275
Wordsworth, William, 154–55
world, universe

Xeniades of Corinth, 340
Xenophanes, 3, 56, 57, 66, 339
Xenophon, 150

Yeats, W. B., 436

Zeno of Citium, 319–22, 327, 329, 342
Zeno of Elea, 56, 68–75, 298, 339, 340
Zeus, 27, 133, 175, 331
zoology, 230, 243, 297
Zoroastrianism, 392

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