Sunday, July 12, 2009

Induction in Ancient Greek Thought

This post is one in a series on the Epistemology and Worldview Throughout History.  

Previously in this series: The Worldview of the Metaphysical Dualist

I have written of three major schools of thought in the ancient world.

As divergent as these three schools were in worldview, they were very similar in their methodology and implied epistemology.  They all used induction.

The theologi saw that (B) orderly human affairs was generally the work of (A) purposive action.  They noticed that (C) certain aspects of the universe were, like human affairs, also orderly (for example the cycles of the heavens.  Based on that similarity, they inductively concluded that (C) orderly aspects of the universe was also the work of (A) purposive action.

The physiologi on the other hand focused on the simple fact that (B) everyday terrestrial motion was the generally the work of (A) mechanistic forces.  They noticed that (C) heavenly bodies also moved.  Based on that similarity, they inductively concluded that (C) motion in the heavens was also the work of (A) mechanistic forces.

The Metaphysical Dualist Pythagoreans found orderly commensurability in geometry and music, and inductively concluded that there must be orderly commensurability in the heavens as well.  They saw the alleged order and commensurability of the heavens to be associated with eternity and divinity.  So they inductively concluded that if they only concerned themselves with pure order and commensurability, they could become eternal and divine as well.

Next in this series: The Ontological Revolution: The Proto-Skepticism of Heraclitus

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So good topic really i like any post talking about Ancient Greece but i want to say thing to u Ancient Greece not that only ... you can see in Ancient Greece The Trial of Socrates (399 BC) and more , you shall search in Google and Wikipedia about that .... thanks a gain ,,,