Socrates

  • 470-399 B.C,- NEVER wrote anything
  • Gave philosophy its preeminent method- Socratic method or questioning (form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate rational thinking and to illuminate ideas)
  • Believed knowledge does not come from memorizing facts & repeating them
  • True wisdom comes from being able to answer why?

Plato

  • Pupil of Socrates (427 -347 B.C.)
  • Founded the 1st multi-subject, multi-teacher institution of higher learning in Western Civilization
  • Wrote a number of dialogues, most famous of which is the Republic
  • Platonic metaphysics formed model for Christianity for around 15 centuries

Aristotle

  • Taught by Plato (384-322 B.C.)
  • Coined term metaphysics, which translates to “after the things of nature”
  • Wrote about numerous subjects including metaphysics, biology, poetry, physics
  • Believed in the importance of direct observation of nature & having factual data before theorizing
  • In 13th century A.D., his metaphysics came to dominate Christian theology

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