ancient vs today's philosophers

methodology, physics of the mind and universe
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franksmitha
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ancient vs today's philosophers

Post by franksmitha » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:38 pm

Quora recently posed the question: "Who are the best philosophers ever and why?" Some chose Aristotle, and Socrates and Plato have been given the honor.

What makes a good philosopher? First: having knowledge (rather than a head full of falsehoods). Aristotle deserves some credit for improving philosophy beyond Plato, but we have philosophers today who don't believe in slavery or adhere to the ethnic chauvinism or racism that Aristotle did. (Alexander the Great did well by ignoring Aristotle in this regard.) And Aristotle thought that spirit in objects caused falling. (He didn't know about the force of gravity.) Aristotle's work titled Politics deserves praise, but with knowledge so closely associated with wisdom and so much a part of philosophy how can he be considered a better philosopher than those who have the advantage of the accumulation of scientific knowledge across recent centuries to today? A dumber philosopher can't be the best philosopher. And there is the advantage that today's philosophers have in the backlog of debates to draw from — debates that put the scholastics and Descartes as less than the best. There is a popular silliness to this particular Quora question, and it exposes the exaggerated reverence that some have for the thinking of ancients. Thales and Anaximander deserve respect. Socrates and Plato not so much — as I've described on my section on the philosophers.

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