History of Ancient Philosophy

History of Ancient Philosophy

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History of Ancient Philosophy

History of Ancient Philosophy

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Excerpt

Scientific interest in ancient, especially in Greek, philosophy, is not confined to the value that it possesses as a peculiar subject for historical research and for the study of the growth of civilization. But it is also equally concerned in the permanent significance that the content of ancient thought possesses by reason of its place in the development of the intellectual life of Europe.

The emphasis falls primarily upon the lifting of mere knowing to the plane of systematic knowledge, or science. Not content with his storing of practical facts, and with his fantastic speculations born of his religious needs, the Greek sought knowledge for its own sake. Knowledge, like art, was developed as an independent function from its involvement in the other activities of civilization. So, first and foremost, the history of ancient philosophy is an insight into the origin of European science in general.

It is, however, at the same time the history of the birth of the separate sciences. For the process of differentiation, which begins with distinguishing thought from conduct and mythology, was continued within the domain of science itself. With the accumulation and organic arrangement of its facts, the early, simple, and unitary science to which the Greeks gave the name φιλοσοφíα, divided into . . .

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