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02/07/2009 13:58:00

XENOPHANES

1. agnosticism/uncertainty
openness, knowing-unknowing (open-ended with knowledge he

possesses)
- not dynamic, can make things up

*philosophy wisdom IS NOT EQUAL to knowing it all/certainty

exaggerated version of unknowingness


unknowing approach to knowledge
grasping pursuit to knowledge NOT dogmatic/assertive
- very open-ended with what he knows

2. dialogical character/way of thinking

- ask a question and wait for an answer

- important is the PROCESS

- exemplified in the phrase tossing my thought throughout the land

of Greece
eg. Popes ex cathedra this is invariably true (not inviting us to toss
his thoughts around but rather accept them as final)
put out ideas through discussion
- Xenophanes was a rhapsode sort of some rockstar- entertainer who

went from town to town


recited poetry from Hesiod and Homer

- preternatural memory = had to memorize


tells Homeric legends
poetry for all and would add some of his own verse
tossing back and forth made a living of telling poetry of Homer
(throws it out for discussion)
interplay/dialectic/dialogue
o invites us to this
o does this really make sense?
o Keeps pendulum swinging
Doesnt assert something as true but throws thought out for us to
respond to and it becomes part of a dialogue

ACTIVITY 1: Xenophanes

- active as an intellectual at the age of 91 (T)


- found gods of Homer and Hesiod (Heh-siod) to be immoral (T)
F: didnt believe in their gods (couldnt be immoral cause they dont
exist)
T: fragments 7.3 and 7.2
- said if we want to know what the gods are like, we can

extrapolate from our best attributes (FALSE)


- found idea of hierarchy of gods and goddesses absurd (T)

- believed there was one true God (T)

- thought many of the things popularly attributed to the gods

could easily be explained by natural processes (TRUE)


- believed that critical examination was a viable source of info about the

gods (T)

- believed that only sense data is unquestionably true (FALSE)

NOVEMBER 18, 2008

Two Characteristics:
1. NON-DOGMATIC
2. DIALOGICAL
Socratic method: keeps asking questions, probing
Confidence in their ability to think for themselves and supply their own
view
+entering into discussion (Xenophanes)

Explosion of news entertainers

- makes a living through Hesiod and Homer


- analogies
- like authority in the church/of the pope
denigrating Christian scriptures is eroding his authority cause if you
challenge his authority, where can he stand? He speaks from authority.
- Xenophanes takes authorities that are making him a living and he says

this is nonsense
The gods cant be this way
How can the gods, a standard for moral behavior, be immoral?
absurd, cant possibly be true
Taking weight of responsibility taking out of himself and giving it to
hearers and non-authorities
o Those who need to think about god for themselves

o Xenophanes thought in terms of dialectic


o Works as a middleman to distribute thinking back and forth
o Doesnt hold it but wants you to listen to H&H (way he makes a
living) and engage them critically...get angry at what hes saying
(7.2) always to be mindful to the gods is good

what X is not doing is eroding belief, not trying to make atheists out of
us (or philosophers or critical thinkers who rip everything apart)
pious have a rel. reflective life...think critically of the gods (to our
advantage to respect/venerate/promote a sort of right understanding of
the gods)
*when things we believe in come to be shaken (get to presupposition and ground
and things we take for granted) when moved or questioned by a real question,
it doesnt negate the things we hold dear. Instead, X encourages us to take them
seriously
proper understanding of gods is so impt that Socrates is willing to die
for it
takes gods people believe in and say cant be a god and be immoral
(eg. Athena)
o moral outrage: how can you teach our children to be athiests?
o mistake/misunderstanding...they ARENT teaching impiety
be more rigorous than we have been in our thinking about god
o if its the truth itll stand up and correct me when Im wrong
o if its the truth, it doesnt do me any good in my pocket or if I
accept it on the basis of authority
o must get into text and undo it and make it my own
o to have a life changing effect on me, I gotta throw out parts that
dont make sense for me
o to inherit teachings of jesus, may have to read it with a pen in
your hand
o cant believe this is true, I dont even understand it
o rework the gospel/philo of religion into something that does work
for you
X doesnt wanna undermine our piety but wants to make us more pious
that we have ever been
o Severs religious conviction so what is to our advantage will
become even more prominent in our lives

o Does not shake power of religon over our lives...he makes us


authentically religious

*if a person is self-critical, they have no leg to stand on to say thats

wrong, forget about it...it should say I dont know..but are you sure you know?
where is the idea coming from and whats the effect in your life?
Shape not to undermine but to make it strong and vigorous to
demonstrate what you think props out whole life
Your thinking is the root of your being must be active and your own
or else its weak and ineffectual
*coming to agreement is the way of getting to the truth

Question 3:

not at all like mortals in body and thought

7.10

BUT cant have a god-man nothing wrong with it but you just cant
have both
genesis tells us human person is created in image of god
7.5
created in image of god what could that possibly mean? No two
people created in the same image (different features in every possible
way)
understand it as a capacity to love
o describing and orientation of who we are in contrast to a
physical attribute
HP is fundamentally oriented toward otherness not in a way how other
beings are
o Eg. can understand a horse by studying another horse
o Potentiality for radical difference in HPs
o HP is an undecided being

Cant make a decision about classmates on the basis of


the length of their hair or clothes theyre wearing
o Were on a path, we have an orientation and were going
somewhere
o Let us make the human person fundamentally different from
himself
Gods holiness is so great that when he makes beings in
his image and likeness, theyre wholly diff from each other
- Xenophanes insists on radical difference in God
divine person is fundamentally diff from me
start from what is God?
not like the chicken-dog idea (make a dog from starting with a chicken
and adding legs)
fundamental shift that we need to make when we think about God
o does incarnation challenge this? NO.
o divine person (what it means to be god) steps out of himself and
into my role/into my life
doesnt hold power to self and stay in heaven
divine person is for others like how being created in image
of god means we are capable of love and opening
ourselves to you
jesus is every bit different from me (fundamentally diff)...god is not at
all like mortals in thinking and action
when god makes something out of himself, he makes it have within
itself its own otherness

7.4
jesus, born of the virgin mary, was with god in the beginning
one with god
incarnation does not mean jesus is my buddy/just like me
is very god himself

will not understand person of jesus if you take yourself as a starting


point

7.5

jesus was a jew but not only a jew (jew and god at the same time)
o god reaching into humanity
o representation of god who is for others
for-otherness that we share with the divine person
national history, personal history, physical characteristics of the HP are
not to the point in the incarnation
o no difference toward my salvation even if jesus was a woman
o no difference in terms of the truth of the gospel
oneness that I have with god is not based on a charac. that is within
me
capacity for relationship
*capacity to be for-others also means we have the capacity to not be for-others
this is why thinking of god changes your life
we are fundamentally open for others if we get this, it can change
the way we live our lives
we can decide to be totally wrapped up in ourselves
o mother teresa, mahatma gandi

Question 4: (T)

if god is god, then god is not the servant of another god


he is the most powerful being or is not there cant be two

category argument: if god is god then there is only one and he has to
be supreme

Xenophanes believed there was only one true god (T)


god is one there is one god (Xenophanes is monotheistic)
greatest: emphasize superiority of god (he is above everything that will
follow)
greatest among all beings
euphemism/way of speaking for all beings that might be in this world in
which god will be compared
gods and men
way the greeks will speak to each other about spectrum of intelligent
life
o one side: gods lesser gods, demi-gods, demons, spirits,
kings/rulers, wealthy people, respectable people, workmen,
workmens wives, servants, slaves, rifraf
o spectrum is interrelated to one another not same but
gradiation running between it
women as less than men (both human but men are more
important than women)
no point when women got equal rights
Xenophanes IS NOT SAYING THAT: gods are not on the spectrum
(theyre just relatively higher than men)
o Really really good man is more like a lesser god
o BUT: do away with hierarchy, put gods on another page and say
by category, gods are this way... and on this page, X says that
by definition there can only be one god/one winner in the race
Nature of a superlative: greatest force is greater than all
of the others

02/07/2009 13:58:00

xenclass@yahoogroups.com
12/2 is xens god more like the old/new gods in 300?
Did xen fight the persians?
To understand social situation xen is writing in
yes and no answers are fine but EXPOUND!
Graded only if we submit it
*move paper to TUESDAY, NOV. 25
recycled paper, double spaced, 3 pages MAX, reasonable margins,
readable font, needs a TITLE
dont say what Xenophanes thinks
choose 1 fragment and write about it
dialogue between you and Xenophanes
needs to see an interaction/back and forth with Xenophanes

discussion of fragments on Tuesday


reading ahead: classics (Aristotle and plato excerpts)

NOVEMBER 25, 2008

SUMMARY:
*Xenophanes: reconciling his thinking with traditional greek thinking
- god going out of himself: revelation

meeting between god and man


muslim: speaking
- xen uses euphemism cause writes with poetry
uses popular term/phrase
among gods and men is now not a colloquialism for us though
o not linked to a plurality
o when we say things inside out
eg. invite out for coffee doesnt mean dont order soda..just means
well talk
uses something that indicates some quantity but it doesnt imply
quantity
o eg. I love you so much (NOT quantity)
o say things that may not necessarily indicate what we mean
Let these things be believed as resembling the truth (7.20)
Thing: mcdonalds statue (very welcoming) and middle-aged woman
o Confusing: cause it should appeal more to children
o

(clown...mcdonalds is associated with fun)


Sad because when you take a picture with something jolly, you
usually assume tha attitude

Truth:
o Whats really there?
o May be a disjunct between what you see and what is really there
o How is the truth and the thing associated?
By belief and resemblance

Theres a belief that binds our empirical observation to the


truth that we are searching for
Tried capturing the belonging together in the photographs

Believed:

Gods arms really are open, but in every practical sense, might as well be

closed cause community is not experiencing goodness of god


Though they want to
Character of belief of people: closed-minded??

Bar: represents how we bar ourselves from god


Impose a barrier between ourselves and the truth in contrast with the
gospel being open
The only real bar/barrier thats there is our belief/something we have
imposed ourselves

No religious acknowledgement in the picture but more of a depiction of

how important the idea of family is in our country?

Reality we are living in is being determined by our beliefs

- project image of the good life even when things have not gone right

Ronald mcdonald: good time but shes not having a good time

We try to purchase a good time with money/material things


details: grand universal in image is that god would be represented by
Ronald mcdonald
o she looks awestruck by the great icon of Americanization

middle-aged woman, not a kid


o picture is staged, doesnt ring true at all
o detail that the bag that said details is blurry cause the camera is
out of focus
o connection between whats really there/what we see with the
naked eye and the truth that is being represented there
o mind makes a leap over all this details: theres much
unfittingness in my life and yet Im still aspiring toward the
universal
o

truth of excess/waste: half-eaten cheesecake


carnal swirl on the plate there simply and strictly for decoration
chef wants us to think before we even eat it that this is worth wasting
the caramel (momentous moment)
making a big point
way we see food/its presented to us has an effect on how we taste it
eg. shop for wine by how much we can afford
cheesecake is presented to our tastebuds through our eyes
truth presented to our eyes through our belief/credulity
tradition/stories of our fathers present the world to us in a certain way
and so we buy it, accept it, receive it. Its how we perceive the world

Christian worship service

Dont have anything tangible to hold on to but that is their truth


Whole shift of reality takes place not because anything in the room
changed (state of ecstasy) but when he turns around, the whole world
is different to him
o Or maybe he doesnt get it
o Needs tangible sign

Or maybe from another faith and tries to wonder what the rest
are doing
*Situation were in, truth were aspiring to and a credulity that has to bridge that
gap (but maybe it doesnt bridge that particular gap)
maybe wants to encounter god but then he just doesnt get it (unlike
other people who are really encountering god)

john: were gonna live a whole different life if we trust in god/live in faith

wont even see the life/light if we dont trust in god

Q8: only sense data is unquestionably reliable FALSE

True: 7.21
False: 7.22 (if god had not created yellow honey, they would say figs
are far sweeter)
o If the sweetest thing youve ever tasted was an olive, then your
spectrum will adjust
o Our perception is relative
Eg. canadians eat marshmallows so they dont think figs
are sweet
The sun is the size of a human foot we all know it isnt
true but you can block it out with your foot (relative to
where you are right now)
Sense perception must make adjustments for difference
Eg. object at bottom of water is farther than it
looks...senses will take this into account
FALSE: 7.20 (let these things be believed as resembling the truth)
o Xen thinks thing are presented to us according to some sort of
credulity
o We see things acc to our belief system, not whats really there
7.19 (no man has seen nor will anyone know the truth about the gods
and all the things I speak of. For even if a person should in fact say
what is absolutely the case, nevertheless he himself does not know,
but belief is fashioned over all things).
o belief is fashioned over all things
o

in traditional philo, things are thought of acc to category of being


Parmenides: it either is or is not
Nave empiricism POV: things are simply there/what they are and we
look at them and see ah its a chair
Edmund (teacher of Heidegger) directed attention back to early
Greek thinkers who thought nave empiricism was uncritical (not taking
into account effect as an observer has on what is observed)
o Every object that I perceive is also determined
o There is a chair there but my perception of that chair is also
determined by me
o INTENTIONALITY: every object of perception is first an intention
of something
Every perception is a perception of
Necessarily, what Im looking for will help determine what
I see
If I cant even imagine there being a chair there, I couldnt
see it
Way/mode I am present to an object determines how I will experience it
o I dot simply take in what is outside of me I am thrown into
being
o Chair as being an entity with me in the world
o I am not basically removed from objects around me but there is
a belonging together I am always already present to the
beings in my world (its what makes it my world)
*God cant empirically observe; mysterious
how much more true in the things we cant see?
Not that philo of religion asks for license to talk about nonsense cause
were talking about heaven after all
Belief is fashioned over all things
o Access to truth of things in my world is determined by things I
believe about them (not dogma or catechism)
o Way we perceive world around us/objects of science...what we
believe shapes world we believe in (whether supernatural
phenomena or whatev)
o Our world/Hard fact of reality is not a hard fact of reality
determined by presence of observer...our belief, how we choose
to look at the world

Could easily be explained by natural processes.... TRUE (7.21)


Rainbow: promise of God or when light passes through a droplet of
water?
Even if we perceive it as rational, doesnt mean god cant speak to us
Viable source of info: TRUE (7.21)
We can learn about God
We can engage the mind and be mindful of the gods

02/07/2009 13:58:00

(I have no idea what these notes are for!! TITANS I THINK??)


Exiled 546bc by persians in colophon
Divine right
Xerces: emperor, god,
Killed darius
Battle of thermopolae
Titans
Chronos
poseidon
guia and Uranus: asked 12 children to help her
imprisoned
chronos castrated Uranus

ARISTOTLES METAPHYSICS

(Par 1)
- Men and women by nature want to know
esteem for the senses
sight: 75-80% of advertising dollars
we trust our eyes over other senses that we have
20% hearing and almost nothing on other senses
we come to know the world through our hearing and our seeing
- our eyes make many distinctions

we are always oriented


o our work takes into consideration our orientation to sight
work: framed, mounted or if not, that is the point
perspective: happens in vision and not in other senses
inclusion of me as an observer in the sense of sight thats not in
the other senses
- our eyes can also be deceptive BUT As point is that in so far as we

trust our senses, we trust our eyes more than anything


we want to understand the world
natural condition
we like our eyes and privilege our eyes cause understanding is
impt to us
- what can we know? What can we understand? What is the range of

our thinking/understanding?
In ph103: Possibility of experiencing god/holy
Conclude: HP is not capable of understanding god cause no ones
ever seen god
Question: can we ask for/expect more from our senses?

(Par 2)
- association between hearing and learning
Not just content with seeing world/receiving sense perception of
world
Paradigmatic about hearing and association with learning
Vision always orients me into the situation/object
In contrast, Hearing always comes to me from outside (frame of
reference: Torah)
o To hear = to obey
o More than just perceive, I want you to listen and obey
o hear O Israel
o something has to catch us off guard
o de facto authority: catches our attention and makes a
demand on us before we even consider what our response
will be
sound makes a demand on us
eg. hey you! thief identifies himself by not
responding
we respond naturally/out of instinct we just turn
theres a natural learning/understanding that occurs
through hearing (an address, a call) we respond
more that just to what is said but to that person
we turn and look in respect for him but comment
itself is disrespectful

knowledge that comes to us to our senses

HP capable of learning and intelligence, not just empirical


observation
o Capable of seeing something they didnt know

o Of a new experience

(Par 3)

1. sense

2. intelligence

3. EXPERIENCE

- more than just understanding something

- experienced person is someone who lives through their

experiences
- experience is more than learning

eg 1930s: learned to live with very little (sirs grandmother and


how it makes her physically uncomfortable to see someone now
wasting water)
- experience is living through that learning (after youve acquired

the understanding how do you use it and how do you live it out in the
world?)
experience and art: artisan knows how to do something
o artisan understands how the engine works (doesnt need to
see the hose to know whats missing)
o artisan works through experience and
expertise/understanding route/cause of something
o if a person is merely
perceptive/knowledgeable/experienced, we are right to
hold our regard for their wisdom/knowledge in check
o we dont normally respect experience
lets get someone who actually knows how this
works
artisan really understands cause and thus can see
other things
o eg. artist is not a good drawer BUT he sees the way things
work
eg. Picasso doesnt just see silhoutte but how the
jacket really works (he draws the cause of the
appearance) for the jacket to hang that way, its
gotta be buttoned right there
experience and science:

knowledge and proficiency...cause


standard of human knowledge is much higher than simple sense
perception must understand and perceive causes

WISDOM: stage beyond expertise and artisanship/science


Beyond knowing cause of things is to know primary cause (first
or last, big cause)
Wise person is the person who knows what is the ultimate
purpose of our endeavor right now
Eg. understand Aristotle to get a grade BUT our primary cause is
to graduate and get a job to make money to buy things to
make me HAPPY (notion of the highest good, eudaimonia)
o Real goal and impetus is what?? WISDOM/highest cause
o Artisan knows not only how to make a painting look a
certain way but how thinks look, move and act the way
they do
o Mechanic knows what the parts do and why theyre
necessary for the car
*Wise person true standard of our knowledge is not sense

perception, learning or intelligence (not experience or expertise)


BUT the ability to choose a PURPOSE
purpose: dont really present themselves to the understanding
not to sense perception or to learning either
purpose doesnt really present itself to experience (eg. just cause
she saw we shouldnt waste water doesnt mean shes living a
good life)
o can make good use of resources but cant supply direction
for what w should invest our energy/efforts into
even science, art and expertise cant tell us what were doing
- standard of human understanding is aimed at and in the natural

element of: men and women by nature desire understanding


what we want and expect of ourselves is more than info,
understanding and capacity to do something its an ability to
CHOOSE what we can do
if its the standard of human knowing, if what we expect of
ourselves is to grasp something that is in a specific way
unknowable, wouldnt it be right that we would be able to do it??

(such in kind and in number)

the man who desires knowledge in its own sake...in the whole of nature
(end)
turning his whole hierarchy on its head
o sense perception new learning experience
expertise wisdom
o not really the case
FOR PAPERS: integrate info with how I live in the world

* it is through wisdom, perception of universals and big picture that

we are able, in the first place, to perceive the particular


eg. heat: relative (not absolute) measure
our sense perception takes place within the larger context
o frostbite: coldest place in house becomes unbelievably hot
even at point of expertise, science or art
person of motivation can develop an ability to portray the world
in a way people should see??
Sense of direction which provides impetus for science
Throughout entire spectrum of human understanding and
knowledge, the big picture comes first
o things which are most knowable are the first principles
and causes are the hardest to grasp cause theyre farthest
removed from senses..through these and from these that
others (particulars) come to be known..etcetc
o wisdom = profound insight
o knowledge begins with wisdom (what is farthest away from
senses)
dont develop a good life by experimenting what its like
o we gain an insight into first cause, primary cause, end
cause then through that we can interpret experiences that
come our way

HOMEWORK: see what first philosophy (best translation of

metaphysics) has to say about possibility of experiencing god


Can we experience/know what is removed from the senses

02/07/2009 13:58:00

DECEMBER 4

SEATWORK 2
Thales
Anaximander
Anaximenes
Xenophanes

air
apeiron
earth and water
god
Water

Characterize&Differentiate Intelligence and Experience


Difference between intelligence/learning and experience
- when you have an experience, you learn

- when something happens to me, I can learn from it (this is

intelligence)
- experience lasts a long time in profound people Nietszche

- experience doesnt end when event ends

not just one instance


ability to generalize from one instance to another
eg. all hot things burn me
generalize from physical to an emotional one (not physically
burnt but might hurt my emotions)

EDSA II: phil democracy living through EDSA I

Experienced democracy

Know how to do this cause weve done it before (diff from


learning)

Freud: working through

*experience comes after intelligence (higher form of knowledge)


Only an intelligent person can have experience
experience lasts a long time
experienced person: knows how to deal with the world
o eg. street smart
o intelligent: can be really smart and useless in a crisis
Ive done this before in another setting so I think this can work
too (extract from a confined experience and apply it to similar
circumstances)
Like theory and fact
o Theory should include the idea of being able to apply it
o Theory without practice (eg. faith but never demonstrated
it)
o Theory means and the ability to put it into practice

Sensation/sense perception intelligence experience

art, science, expertise wisdom

(ART and SCIENCE)

Artisan: understands underlying cause of whats going on

Curious people (curious about the way the world works)


Eg. master physician:

First and last cause


- primary: 1. First
2. most important/characteristic
principle cause/key/basic/effective cause that makes everything
else work

trying to ask: can the HP know God?/What can the human person know?
Ask with sense perception and what the first thinkers thought

-might think its beyond HPs capacity

(p.238/9) for this reason...

- no empirical phenomenon to tell you key to a situation/what you

should do
cant look at one moment in your life and determine your destiny
no way to see with natural eye the first cause of things (so we
might think we cant grasp it/beyond human power and that we
shouldnt grasp it)

- human nature is servile

Xen: even if we spoke what was absolutely the case, we dont


know it to be the truth cause theres a veil of perception/belief
between me and what Im seeing
If wisdom is beyond my grasp, X would say dont pretend to
know what you dont have. If its divine knowledge, leave it
alone

a science is divine if...

A: divine knowledge if its ... 1. Knowledge about god (beyond our


capacity to know) 2. Knowledge that only a god could
have/absolute knowledge

o I dont have absolute knowledge so maybe only a god can


have it
Can we know god?
Problems: 1. Calls for an absolute knowledge (maybe only an
absolute being could grasp this) 2. Knowledge of the absolute
other (which might just be outside my range. As other, I cant
grasp what is outside of me).

However, the acquisition of this knowledge....

Sensation/sense perception intelligence experience

art, science, expertise wisdom


Intelligent people can have experience which produces expertise
Multiple experiences of the same thing eventually produce a
universal understanding/judgment
o Have particulars (distinct from one another) but eventually,
all these things produce a universal judgement/one thing
o Out of the particular emerges a universal
o Eg. met a number of filipinos so now you have a concept of
the flipino
- seems like theres an ascendency in the forms of knowledge

from ____ to universal principle


but A says we should REVERSE this entire situation
NOT through particulars that we come to know the universal but
the other way around
o In all cases like this, you should give this type of medicine
*stars were accepted as divine cause they didnt move

predictable, fall on nature directly


Aristotle: we think by way of causes

there has to be some reason for why the marionette is dancing


(even with no access to cause/backstage, we know theres a
reason/human practitioner behind it)
we think in terms of how is this happening?

first time I saw a doll, I understood it by way of cause (the cause


was not empirically present)
we discern all particulars through universal judgment
CORRECT (not so much correct, but that is how we are)
o dont understand universal by accumulating particular
experiences

- a wise person is not wise because hes accumulated a lot of

information
he becomes wise because he can apply a universal knowledge to
particular situations (he can apply what he learned to different
experiences)
- an experienced person is not necessarily wise

just because I can get my way doesnt mean you should let me

*we expect more than success for ourselves

*final cause isnt produced

cant reason it out and come to a brand conclusion


wisdom is not a sum of grand experiences(?)

*the formula doesnt produce the line, the practitioner produces the

line
theres a LEAP that happens in human knowing (dont pass
through all stages of acquiring information in order to get
here)..its the other way around
practitioner draws diagonal first and then exercises formula on it

all begin, as we have said, by wondering what they are....

diagonal is not measurable in a sense that the formula doesnt


produce it
formula becomes a universal that helps us see the particular

line is not a unique instance but an example of a hypotenuse of a


triangle
- when we look at a situation..if it doesnt make sense to us

immediately (doesnt fit into our nave thinking), what is natural to us is to


look for the principle/cause/first cause behind it
cause is not only result of our thinking BUT also the way we
think/beginning of what we think
o way we look for knowledge and information is by having
the first cause and working our way to the particular
o look for cause/universal and when we realize its what
weve experienced before, we know what we can do in the
particular situation already

NEXT WEEKS STUFF:

exercise for next tue!!!!

1. read ionians

2. read euthypro

DECEMBER 9, 2008

heiddeger: center of your vision, there is a dead spot where neither

of your eyes actually see


panoramic view, learn from both eyes and place something
homogenous in between
we see discerningly (physical apparatus of vision or hearing
works by way of a generalization)
o not that we see first and generalize from it
o we are already looking at something and see what we look
for

A: even when we experience world through senses, we are using

causes to think about the world


Using something that doesnt necessarily present itself to us in
order to understand what does
Our apperception determines our perception

Primary cause: proposed by pre-Socratics to the world


Pay attention to what it says about god

THALES: water (fragment 4.6, p. 153/154)

- Earth rests on water

- A thinks its absurd cause its a carry-over myth

- Homer: earth is surrounded by river Oceanus (source of living

things) & Thetus(?)


First gods and parents of everything that comes to be
*Xenophanes critiques anthropomorphism of God

1. Saying same thing Homer already said

Carries image over but demythizes it


speaks now of water (element, not a river god), not Oceanus
already god-water is not oceanus, not a person, just an element
demythologizes and critiques: scientific
2. Stays within myth

tries to make myth reasonable (rationalizes it)


for thales, water is not cause of all things in terms of parentage
water causes things (reasonable relationship with other things)
- water is still a god of thales

all things are full of gods (4.9)


o 10 (x) stone (MAGNET) has a soul (causes
movementmoves items and has a principle of
discernment movement not just to any object but to all
objects) no shrines in ancient Greece to the stone, it is a
non-cult god but still a god nonetheless
o no matter what part of world we look at theres a rationality
(eg. rational explanation for stones is in the stone
itself...wanna know what it does look at it, watch it,
experiment with it) and an internal integrity
world is animated and full of demons
nowhere does he speak of Olympian dieties
theyre demons, demi-gods, little gods
- when thales populates gods, he says all things in the world are

divine (even common stone) remove thinking of world from


confines/protection of cult worship
no one will call you a heretic for what you have to say about he
stone
no politics as to what you have to say about the stone
free to wonder, hypothesize, inquire into what is this thing and
our view about it
o disagree without worrying that your view is more
appropriate than mine
o explodes space on thinking about god (no longer confined
to temple)
o thinking about god is everywhere and has to do with
anything
o god is principle of everything, not just messiah who died on
the cross
not cosmic BUT material, scientific, explanatory
principle
*see theres a progression of scientific thinking, rationalization,

imposition of reason onto the gods


7.8: xen its unholy for any of the gods to have a master

xen is willing to have his reason stand against authority over


tradition
reason to have precedence over authority
thales gods as explanatory principles in the world (they are demi
gods)
demi-gods vs. olympians: demi-gods give us freedom to think
about it/them

usually we are bound, think within constraints, careful with what


we say (if we characterize Him as a stone, demi-god, one of
many theres possibility to engage in discussion without fear)
from Oceanus to water (not an anthropomorphic diety but is still
a diety) capital to small-case letter

ANAXIMANDER
- student of thales
leaves off with water as the cause of all things
- cause of all things: APEIRON (fragment 5.3): the unbounded or the

unlimited
how is unbounded different from water?
o Water is cause of a plant (needs water and be alive)
o How can water which extinguishes fire and makes dirt be
the cause of fire and dirt?
o Any particular Anaximander thinks doesnt work as the
ARCHE (cause of all things) because of the particular cause
its limited
o Any particularity is a problem for causing something else
o Eg. even earth (how does it create the heavens??)
Anaximander: it will have to be something, some arche that is

totally without limit (the unbounded; the thing that is not a thing in order
to produce all things)
- his thinking is already theological

motion is eternal
out of apeiron came to be all the heavens...this is eternal and
ageless
uses theol language to describe the principle
that out of which the heavens came to be
anaximenes: his arche would even be the cause of the gods

o but anaximanders was already explicitly a theological


principle
o thales: already full of gods; principle of all things already a
divine being
o anaximander/anaximenes: not only divine but also the
cause of the gods
all things would have to emerge out of this
[5.5] apeiron is divine (called a god)
anaximenes explicitly says it would have to be the cause of the
gods [6.2] hinted at by Anaximander

ANAXIMENES
- unlimited, unbounded air
shares principle with Anaximander
I can move my hand in without hitting anything...and yet it is a
material element like thales water (like a correction for both
Thales and Anaximander)
- air, as cause of all things, must be cause of gods and divine things

rest come to be through products of this


[6.2] start with air (clear), motion comes (wind) clouds (air has

become something else...more concrete, less transparent thing) water


water + mud = earth earth hardens and becomes stone
all things are in this basic way made up of air (changes basix
forms and depending on density, is all things)
critique of thales: cause air accounts for and is the cause of
thales water

XENOPHANES

- xenophanes answer to what is the cause of all things: not really an

answer cause he gives 2 answers


earth and water

o earth passing away into water, will flex back and can see
diff forms of life
looks off into the heavens and answers god
- dogmatic about it: we cant know final answer about divine (up

against something that is beyond us, more than we can say and what we
can know)
doesnt mean to say he thinks we cant know god and the cause
of the world
- cant know everything there is to know about god but its not the

same as saying we cant know so your opinion is the same as mine


- xen is willing to mount a full assault on the gods

all (Anaximander, anaximenes, thales) present ideas/stories of


gods/theologies causes of world) as a well rounded whole
expect to fit in a whole
xen is the first to stand out of the whole and critique it
o stories of homer and Hesiod are forgeries
ready to check the whole business if it doesnt make any sense
- for xen, answer to what can I know? includes the possibility of

knowing god
reasonable that god is one
if what is being presented by religious authorities is a polytheism,
it isnt true
my reason has access to god
there are lots of things I dont see and I can know them anyway
[7.9] he always remains in the same place not moving at all...

reason as criterion of what god should and shouldnt do


not suggesting he can force god to do what he ought to do but it
doesnt make sense, unfitting cause gods shouldnt move around
xen rejects religious tradition in favor of rational considerations
[7.20] possibility of revelation and knowing and xen sides with
what we can know
o xens premise/thesis: there is an access to god through
reason

does

READ EUTHYPRO
- Socrates willing to die for what he knows about god
- equally agnostic by saying theres more he doesnt know than he
know
but what he does know, hes confident of and sure of and willing
to die for

DECEMBER 11, 2009

- ionians wanted a substance that persists through change: ARCHE


eternal Anaximander
o no matter what happens, this basic thing doesnt change
o eg. human person: I can become cultured or more
intelligent, but my basic element underneath still persists
eg. Id still be myself after a birth of a child
persistence
changeless, immortal, divine is like everything they expected
gods to be

*how does Xenophanes supercede the three philosophers that come

before him?
Cause of all things: earth and water
Concept of god
o Says something about god that the others arent willing to
say
The others: gods as a well-rounded whole
o Expect insights to fit into populous insights about gods

o Homer, Hesiod, Anaximander, thales, anaximenes


Ill stake my claim on what I understand/know to be
true
Always go with reason/rationalism
On basis of reason alone, if its not reasonable, its not true
Xen stands outside box
*each philosopher gives more credence to reason than the previous

(progression in reason)

PLATOS EUTHYPRO:

SOCRATES

knows Socrates isnt going to indict or prosecute sometone

if ever, someone is indicting him


wont go to court to prove himself right
he is a questioner whose interest is not to be proven right but to
find the truth
doesnt present himself as an authority (unlike Euthypro who
is...hes gonna indict someone

S: speaking in praise of MELETUS

Is S being fortright or ironic?


S is possibly excited about learning from Meletus but will he
really learn from him?
Theme: questioning them of their knowledge, not claiming to know but
excited to learn from people who say they do know
But in fact, people actually dont know what they think they do

Result: frustration of human knowing


Person who speaks with authority doesnt in fact know his own
mind
- speaks of importance of kind of information, wisdom that meletus

claims to have

- contrast between his ignorance and Ms great learning

said to have been the wisest man who ever lived cause he
claimed not to know everything
o oracle: Socrates is wise cause he does not know anything
M claims to be wisest man in Athens who understands root of
problem well enough in order to indict Socrates
*negative or inside-out fashion

has something to do with persons attitude or approach to


knowledge rather than what they say
(222) might be a page or paragraph number

- diff between what E and S are concerned about

E: laughed at in court
o What he expects to be able to do is to make the person
who would indict him to be laughed at instead
S doesnt mind being laughed at as long as theyre willing to
engage me in a conversation
o Doesnt charge when he shares opinions with people
o Willing to pay them to listen and engage him in
conversation
o Happy for this encounter to happen at my expense
o Dont wanna win argument but wanna find truth
o Willing to be proven wrong if it can mean he can
understand (I contrast to E who feels/fears he will be
laughed at and subjected to ridicule)
Opposite directions concern

Prosecutor: sets himself up as an authority; will tell other people

what they should be thinking


Starts out with E incredulous that S would never be there to
indict someone els (but hes gonna be there to indict someone
else)
- prosecuting his father

- very humbly yes, by zeus, it is so..

(223)

S: you think your knowledge is so accurate

Problem of justice
E is not wrong cause father did murder someone
o Issue for him is not justice but rather social class and what
I can get away with
- S problem is with the question of PIETY not justice is it pious to

prosecute your father?


Not a question of whether hes right or not but just the question
of certainty (how can you be so sure youre not afraid of being
impious? How can you claim to know you know better than
everyone else?)

- E claims to have special/esoteric knowledge of divine

personal insights that no one else has (private visions of the


gods)
o claimed that never predicted anything that didnt come
true
S proposes that E should be his teacher IRONY
Problem here: E is foolish and theres nothing that S can learn
from here
Deeper irony: S is proposing you become my authority (you tell
me what to say and if I say it, Ill just point to you and say not to
blame me but you *E*)

- Person S thought most highly of PARMENIDES

Great old sage


Very god-like that his face literally shone
Full-fledged assault of parmenides knowledge

- E sets himself up as an authority and S ironically pretends or goads

him into becoming his own authority


E should understand but hes not that smart (doesnt catch on)
E thinks he can win the argument by his rhetoric and eloquence
- S doesnt care about being embarrassed in the situation

if E can teach S anything, S will stake his claim there and own
what he now knows about the gods from E (IF...but E cant teach
him anything)
*inheritance from Xenophanes X is willing to stake own reason

from inheritance of tradition


if it doesnt make sense, Xen will just say it isnt true
not a hubris of Xenophanes and S (not proud of themselves that
they dont know ore than everyone else)
o profound humility (if theres truth to be had, I can know it)
o first step of learning: I dont know (insistence that if
theres meaningful info to be gained/understanding of the
gods available, then I should be able to get it, understand
and claim it for my own)

(224)

Euthypros argument

Zeus acted impiously against his father and yet people honor
zeus and call him the greatest among the gods
Im only doing what the father of gods did to his father
Xen says their position is illogical
1. defn that E gives of piety is to do what you know to be right

not

to do what Im doing now..to prosecute the wrongdoer


if someone does something wrong, you should correct it
impious know something to be wrong but out of considerations
for social prestige or friendships, you wont do what you know to
be right
o how would you know that what is being done is wrongful,
unjust or impious?
S is not arguing that if you know something to be true pretend it is

Hes asking how do you know your actions are right and not
impious?
There has to be one working definition/criterion to help us
recognize PIETY in whatever instance
o Not about a litany of different acts
Question: what is it that makes all these actions pious? What is
that form or working definition that works/applies in every
situation?
S: to know this one particular situation is pious, must know DEFN
OF PIETY
o Wont be able to follow tradition
o Tradition can be very particular BUT to have genuine
knowledge of something, we would have to know what
makes this the proper response
o Must know form or working definition/essence of what
makes this true

HOMEWORK:
1. SHEET OF PAPER
is it important to do good deeds because god commands them or
does god command them because theyre good for us to do?
2. ETHYPHRO
3. PRINT NOTES
4. IMAGE for at least 1 thesis statement (all if you can)

02/07/2009 13:58:00
explain fragment, what xen means, and implications for thinking

about god

what does this say in the context of group thinking (objective part)

integrate in own understanding of god (subjective)

Greece to phil
3000 years ago to today

bring an image per thesis statement (pic, statue, video clip,

slideshow)
image that will help us discuss together xens statement
can also paint a picture with words
correlate content of thesis to something outside of the thesis (do
it beforehand)

THESIS STATEMENTS:

7.2, 7.9, 7.10, 7.21


what does Xenophanes mean?
What are the implications for our thinking about God?
Can bring notes that youve written
Advised against reading a script

Can come in as a group (4 people = 40 minutes)


*wed-fri, 10 mins each


whats common to atheist, agnosticist, catholic and scientologist

have in common? If they were in the same room, what happened?


Theres a religion that doesnt believe in god
There can be 2 monotheistic god and yet very diff from one
another
So which god?
Mabe all gods will come to agree on one object of desire
Euthyphro: what all of the gods love would be the pious

what is specific to the pious


Being carried does not inhere to the book
Our reason is not satisfied until we find the thing that is pious,
virtuous in itself irrespective of what people led me to believe
*what is it that is about godness

in each of these instances theres a thinking about god and an


effect on the people
whats the effect of thinking about godness on us
*WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT GOD?

Not interested in our emotional response


Supply theology to what you read (more interested in this than
what we take out of the text)
Looking for thing that is specific to god in god itself; rather than
some doctrinal formulation
Whatever book you read prob wont answer this question
Not really what author has to say but what we have to say
- ...that a scientific view of the world emerges (from early greeks

thinking about God..their god-problems produed what to us today seems


like just normal rationalism..scientism which is how we see the world)
as cause and effect, coherent system

MIDTERM ORALS IN-CLASS REVIEW

(7.10)
- image and likeness of god
image:
likeness:
we could never really be like him
hes too great
even if we get glimpses from heroes, teachers, god is too great
o on a different spectrum
limited human faculties
- greek gods: human like, meddle with human affairs, physically

embodied
- there is only one god

no human attributes, cant look like us


- greatest among gods and men

something theyd understand


gods were really great at the time
*mona lisa: pinnacle of artistic success

recognizable immediately
lapse in our knowing where something can represent absolute to
us without us being able to walk the whole distance between in

o disciples saw god do mundane things, asked him about


theology yet at the end of their lives (though they lived
with embodiment of what god is), still jesus has to ask
them you lived with me all this time and yet you say you
havent seen the father?
- not at all like mortals in body and thought

cant see what makes the mona lisa the greatest of all paintings
*images of the greatest

Michael Jordan (pinnacle of athletic success)


Wheres the difference between the symbol and whats being
represented? If hes the greatest basketball player who ever
lived, how do you get to not at all like mortals in body or
thought?
Thales: earth rests on water superstition

Myth is what holds him in air


Belief that is fashioned over all thigns (Xenophanes)
Even MJ needed a superstition to keep him up in the air
*theres the image of the greatest then theres a BREAKAGE

somewhere between image/icon/greatest and the human condition


public school teacher: hero but dont have everything that can be
idealized that is god
o merely an icon of the greatest person
o even the greatest person you can imagine is NOT god
*image must present both ideal and lacuna

(7.9)

he always moves in the same place....

SUN

- motionless, governing, revolving in perfect harmony

(planets=human beings who have reason and free will)


*dont miss the idea of the FITTINGNESS

- sun doesnt have any particular power


power of sun is not represented
its a positional force
law of gravity is an overall system that works by fitting pieces in
the puzzle
not an innate force (its not in the sun but has to do with the
relationship between them)
- fittingness of our reason for discovering truth about god (xen)
- not fitting for god to move to different places at different times
if new doctrine or old tradn of god doesnt make
sense/correlative to my knowing/fit within reason, it is simply not
true
BUT grav pull between planets: good example for how reason
exerts a force effortlessly over planets in solar system
Not just reduce to doctrine of immobility
Force in xen is FORCE OF REASON
*affects all already, no need to move
- nor is it fitting that god would go to a diff place in a diff time
always there, omnipresent?
Sacramental vision?
Why is he unmoving???
(7.21)
- image: sitting Buddha
- buddhas sitting down position: time of searching
- in life of Buddha, you have idea of eternal search

sets out to know answer to question of life


never discovers it
does most rigorous training but still unsatisfied
sheer dissatisfaction isnt the philosophical position either
Socrates is not the wisest person in the world because he knows
he doesnt know anything (not cause he was stupid)
emphasizes what he does know
- when he gets to tree and sits down, doesnt represent the end of

his search (for eternal life) but what it meant when he sat down was that
he was going to let the truth emerge from itself
let the truth come from within
enlightenment comes to us from everywhere
- sitting Buddha showes person enjoying time for search, embracing

what he doesnt know, accepting impossibility of finding answer to his


question with grace and a hopeful patience
- Buddha leaves off with what he has revealed

brings all into this moment of enlightenment


moment of enlightenment is NOT the end of the search
- fragment ends with they discover better but the Buddha being

enlightened means he became the teacher, he became in the primary


sense a person who pursued enlightenment
- profound patience and confidence in letting enlightenment come

to us/trusting understanding to reach what it cannot reach and Buddha


would be best example of what Xenophanes is talking about
- other image: image of mary

treasured things in her heart


incredulous with angel asks angel a logical question
how can these things be? Doesnt accept what she says straight
treasure searchingness in her hear; bears questioningness of her
time and place as a treasure, gift, grace (doesnt stop with her
logical questioning)

(7.2)

- tradition is a forgery but always to be mindful of the gods is good


- mother teresa holding an armless orphan
against homer and traditional gods cause they were fighting all
the time
conflict doesnt make sense
- girl: product of war, big countries, fighting
*war doesnt make sense
what it doesnt mean is there are better was to solve our
problems
there is only one god so god doesnt fight with other gods cause
there is only one god (no other gods!)
grew up with that thinking and it didnt make sense dialogical
so he resolved there was only one god
- reminding us that there is a god
god punishes injustice
- there is still goodness even if child has suffered
*mother teresa works well for latter part of fragment
dint just care for orphans cause shes really nice but cause she
was mindful of the gods (did it in service of Christ)
not so good for critique of gods and tradition
*has to represent tradition as forgery
edsa revolution
conflict between govt and people
people united in war against govt
like Xenophanes, the filipinos grew intolerant of the status quo
and authorities of the political tradition and so they called it a
forgery, unjust, illegal and they excised it (brought an end to it)
but at the same time, its not as if they just had a revolt and did
away with authority what they tried to do/what edsa
represents is to establish a new and better govt (always to be
mindful of the gods)...no one thought country cant govern
itselves (not that we have chopped authority but our standard is
higher than tradl populist standard)
o there is critique in the same breath as respect for authority
o *respects authority: wants new authority (acknowledge
there is need for one but needs a better one..to give justice
to what authority should really be like)
o picture of cardinal sin: speaks as an authority against the
abuse of authority and gods name
*have you reflected on what this image means???
*image: helps discussion