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KARAGANDA STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY Department: History of Kazakhstan and social-political disciplines Lecture 6. Schools of ancient Greek philosophy. Ancient Greek’ medicine. Temirbekova M.Y. - teacher of department’s History of Kazakhstan and SPD, Master of Humanities. Brief contents

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schools of ancient greek philosophy ancient greek medicine

KARAGANDA STATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITYDepartment: History of Kazakhstan and social-political disciplines

Lecture 6

Schools of ancient Greek philosophy.Ancient Greek’ medicine

Temirbekova M.Y. - teacher

of department’s History of Kazakhstan and SPD, Master of Humanities



  • Socrates’ philosophy
  • Plato and his theory of cognition
  • Aristotleandhisphilosophicthoughts
  • Epicuresandstoicism
  • Ancient Greek’ medicine

Socrates’ philosophy

  • Sophist and Socrates. The term sophism originated from Greek sophistes, meaning "wiseist", one who "does" wisdom, one who makes a business out of wisdom (sophós means "wise man").
  • The term sophists was a synonym for "poet", and (by association with the traditional role of poets as the teachers of society) a synonym for one who teaches, in particular through the performance of prose works or speeches that impart practical knowledge.
  • The beliefs of Socrates, as distinct from those of Plato, are difficult to discern. Little in the way of concrete evidence exists to demarcate the two. The lengthy theories given in most of the dialogues are those of Plato, and it is thought that Plato so adapted the Socratic style as to make the literary character and the philosopher himself impossible to distinguish. Others argue that he did have his own theories and beliefs, but there is much controversy over what these might have been, owing to the difficulty of separating Socrates from Plato and the difficulty of interpreting even the dramatic writings concerning Socrates.

Socrates often said that his wisdom was limited to an awareness of his own ignorance. Socrates believed that wrongdoing was a consequence of ignorance and that those who did wrong knew no better. The one thing Socrates consistently claimed to have knowledge of was "the art of love" which he connected with the concept of "the love of wisdom", i.e., philosophy.

  • Socrates believed that the best way for people to live was to focus on self-development rather than the pursuit of material wealth. He always invited others to try to concentrate more on friendships and a sense of true community, for Socrates felt that this was the best way for people to grow together as a populace. Socrates stressed that "virtue was the most valuable of all possessions; the ideal life was spent in search of the Good. Truth lies beneath the shadows of existence, and that it is the job of the philosopher to show the rest how little they really know.”

Plato and his theory of cognition

  • Plato (427 -347 B.C.) If our world and Homer's are no longer the same, that is largely because of Plato, and perhaps most of all because of Plato's most famous book, the Republic, This work was its author's main weapon in his fight to forge a new world, to replace the quarrelsome magnificence of Archilles and Odysseus with the rational grandeur of Socrates, and its success can be measured by comparing our present atti­tudes to the protagonists of the Odyssey and the Iliad on the one hand, and to the dominant figure in the Republic on the other. We still admire Homer's heroes, but we can no longer try to emulate them. And though we may not always admire Socrates, the question of emulation does not arise in his regard: he has become part of what we are; to the extent we don't admire him, we are at war with ourselves.

Philosophy for Plato. Philosophy for Plato consists essentially in the belief that the world possesses an intelligible nature distinct from the sensible appearances with which we are generally acquainted. The intelligible is more real and more valuable than the sensible, and the object of any knowledge we can over have. Philosophers, especially from their training in mathematics, understand that the objects of knowledge are only illustrated, but never understood, through their sensible representations. As a result of their education, they eventually become aware of the existence of the Forms, of the single intelligible essences which underlie and give substance to the multiple, changing sensible phenomena which surround us. Any doubts about the existence of an intelligible world or of a set of objective, absolute truths regarding it are incompatible with philosophy: they are at the other side of the line which separates philosophy from sophistry.



  • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) is important to contemporary philosopher most of all because he does not share exactly our immediate concerns in moral theory. He does not ask the questions we would find it natural to ask about ethics. The contents of the Ethics look rather different from the contents of modern works on ethics. But when we take the trouble to understand Aristotle's questions, we can see that they are worth asking.
  • Aristotle's Life and Works. Aristotle was born in Stagira in Macedon, in 384, and hence was never a citizen of Athens, where he spent most of his life. He was a member of Plato's Academy from 367 to Plato's death in 347, when he left Athens, first for the eastern Aegean islands, and then for Macedon. Here he was a tutor of Alexander, the son of Philip, the king of Mace­don. He returned to Athens in 334 and founded his own school in the Lyceum. In 323 Alexander died, and Aristotle apparently because of anti-Macedonian feeling in Athens left for Chalcis, where he died in 322.

Aristotle's works can be divided into groups:

  • (1) Logic and dialectics have no specific subject-matter, but are relevant in principle to all areas of inquiry. They examine the proper forms of argument for different pur­poses: dialectic, syllogistic and demonstrative.
  • (2) Philosophy of NATURE considers the principles required for understanding MOVEMENT and change in general, especially for living organisms with SOULS.
  • (3) First philosophy considers being in general, both unchanging (theology) and changing (hence the principles also used in natural philosophy). The Metaphysics addresses these matters.
  • (4) Practical science considers ACTION in the narrow sense), and hence includes the Ethics and Politics.
  • (5) Productive science is concerned with PRODUCTION,) including the Rhetoric and Poetics.
  • Background. Aristotle faces questions partly set by «the many and the wise», both common views and more or less systematic reflection on them.

Ancient Greek’ medicine

  • Epicurus is one of the major philosophers in the Hellenistic period, the three centuries following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B. C. (and of Aristotle in 322 B.C.). Epicurus developed an unsparingly materialistic metaphysics, empiricist epistemology, and hedonistic ethics. Epicurus taught that the basic constituents of the world are atoms, uncuttable bits of matter, flying through empty space, and he tried to explain all natural phenomena in atomic terms. Epicurus rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul, and he said that the gods have no influence on our lives. Epicurus also thought skepticism was untenable, and that we could gain knowledge of the world relying upon the senses. He taught that the point of all one's actions was to attain pleasure (conceived of as tranquility) for oneself, and that this could be done by limiting one's desires and by banishing the fear of the gods and of death. Epicurus' gospel of freedom from fear proved to be quite popular, and communities of Epicureans flourished for centuries after his death.
  • Epicurus believes that the basic constituents of the world are atoms (which are uncuttable, microscopic bits of matter) moving in the void (which is simply empty space). Ordinary objects are conglomerations of atoms. Furthermore, the properties of macroscopic bodies and all of the events we see occurring can be explained in terms of the collisions, reboundings, and entanglements of atoms.

Ancient Greek’ medicine

  • In Ancient Greece, people believed that the art of healing was originally taught taught to Aesculapius by the gods Apollo and Chiron. Aesculapius was probably a real man who lived about 1200 BC, but, as years passed, he came to be worshiped as a god. In the temples of Aesculapius, the sick were treated by priests with a combination of rest, exercise, diet, and magic.
  • In 460 BC, Hippocrates, the most famous of all ancient physicians, was born on the island of Cos. He and his students wrote over 70 books that tell much about ancient Greek healthcare and the beginning of professional medicine. The Greeks believed that physicians should not work for personal gain but for love of mankind, and many of our professional standards can be traced back to the Hippocratic school. Even today, physicians still swear to the Hippocratic Oath before beginning practice.
  • Greek physicians believed that the entire person was affected as a result of an imbalance between the four "humors" blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile-their associated conditions - hot, cold, moist, and dry and the four "elements"-earth, air, fire, and water. When patients were ill, they were often bled or given potions to induce vomiting in order to bring their four humors back into harmony. Although this may seem strange to us today, the Greek treatment methodology is more familiar. Physicians carefully recorded case histories and conducted tests-usually by sight, touch, hearing, or smell-in order to provide better diagnoses. Their simple treatments included prescriptions, careful diet, and very minor surgery.