2 Thoughts, Thinkers, and Empires Solve problems of human natureIdentify human natureSocial and political solutionsIran’s ZoroasterApprox. 600 BC give or take 100 yearsDualist religion Zoroastrianism (IDEA #7)Ahura Mazda vs. AhrimanLight vs. DarkDominates Iran for 1000 yearsSpreads outward to influence all other thinkers of the Axial Age
7 China’s Sages Lao Tzu c. 450 BC Confucius Warring States Period Detach from the world to avoid sufferingSalvation in another world, not just survival in this(IDEA #10)Use power of mind and ritualsConfuciusc. 500 BCLoyalty to family and state
11 Hebrew Philosophy/Religion Jews of the Levant (Asia’s Med. coast)Inhabit war zone between Egypt and Mes.Pastoral people (herders)Early tribal religion (like Mesopotamians)Est. two warring kingdomsIsraelJudahConquered in 580 BC by BabyloniaKing NebuchadnezzarDeported Jews (Babylonian Captivity)DiasporaAttempt to maintain identity led to codifying religious law (IDEA #11)
16 Old/Hebrew Testament Superior tribal god morphs into 1 true God (IDEA #12)Lack of power in political sphere led to belief that suffering = punishment for sin (IDEA #13)Living according to God’s Law would lead to rewardImmortalityRelief from sinfulnessElimination of evilEmpire over enemies
17 Jesus of Nazareth Jesus last great teacher of the Axial Age Died c. 33 ADIndependent Jewish rabbi with radical messagePurge priesthood of corruptionCleanse temple of money lending practicesSalvation comes from grace (IDEA #14)Personal connection w/ God rather than lawKristus = Greek for “Messiah” or “Anointed One”
21 Plato and Aristotle from Raphael's The School of Athens
22 Big Ideas of the Axial Age Creation (IDEA #15)Invention of the concept of “nothing” or “zero”Earlier myths simply redistributed pre-existing matter“Big Bang” TheoryBrahma spinning Universe like a spiderCreation by intellectual not physical actThoughtEmotionLogosWordNow the fundamental principle of world philosophy
25 Monotheism (IDEA #12) Previous religions diverse and polytheistic Dualism (Persia)Hierarchical (Greece)Multiplicity = Unity (Hinduism)Monotheism develops early in JudaismYahwehTreasure too precious to share with GentilesAbrahamic tradition now most pop. in worldJudaismChristianityIslam
28 Divine Love (IDEA #14)Begins with doctrines of unselfishness common to many religionsMozi in ChinaBrahmanism (world is an illusion)Greek (world is divine)Confucianism (world is neutral)Buddhism (world is transient)Zoroastrianism (world is evil)Christianity (world is good)
29 Divine Love cont. Led to belief that humans are divinely special Previous thinkers tended to see all living things as equalJainistsSouthern Italian philosophersNew hierarchical structuresGreece (Aristotle)China (Xunzi)Christianity pop. because it did not restrict Divine Love to a single people or race
30 New Political Thought Debate regarding basic view of human nature Optimists (man is intrinsically good)(IDEA #16)Pessimists (man is intrinsically evil)(IDEA #17)
31 Pessimists Strengthen state to protect man from himself Plato CensorshipRepressionMilitarismExtreme communismSelective breeding (eugenics)Deception of people by the stateRigid class structureAll power in the hands of philosopher-kings (Guardians) (IDEA #18)Intellectual superiorityHeredity and education
33 More Pessimists Legalism in China (4th Century BC) Law is right regardless of ethics (IDEA #19)Obedience is all that matters“goodness” is irrelevant, only “order” mattersNo equating human law w/ divine lawReaction to inability of Confucianism and Daoism to control Warring StatesSevere punishmentsAnticipation of modern fascismGlorification of “order” and “war”Praised agricultureAnti-capitalismSuppression of the individual in subordination to the state
34 Political Optimists Confucianism Indian Sages Function of state to liberate subjects to fullestStates not working in best interest of subjects should be rebelled againstState obligated to subjects, not subjects to state (IDEA #20)Indian SagesRulers/kings elected by aristocrats (IDEA #21)Usually hundreds or thousands of voters
35 Optimists cont. Daoists Ruler’s job is to enforce virtue Must lead by exampleGreek optimistsStates as practical methodsExperimentsRepublicanAristocraticDemocraticTrue democracy is dangerousBest gov. = flexible aristocracy limited by laws (IDEA #22)Aristotle’s combination governmentRomansUnited States?
37 Still more Optimists Jesus as a political subversive “Render unto Caesar” Political irony (IDEA #23)Welcomed social outcasts from Jewish systemLeads to political execution
38 Challenging Illusions Debate over Appearance vs. RealityPlato’s Allegory of the CaveAttempts to “know” true realityMathematicsIndian sages come up with concept of infinity (IDEA #24)Greeks find incalculable ratiosPiGolden mean (approximately 1.618)Underpin descriptions of the universePythagoras c. 550 BC (IDEA #25)Believed universe made of numbers“5” and “2” exist even if there is nothing to countResult is “Rationalism” (distrust of the senses)Reason will find truth and solve problems
40 Reason Parmenides c. 500 BC Chinese Paradoxes Zeno Geometry = reality“a perfect triangle, like god has never been seen”all objects like this (IDEA #25)Chinese Paradoxesthought its pure because not filtered through sensesZeno1/2 paradoxesAristotle’s exposition on reason taught western world how to think (IDEA #26)syllogism(Nyaya school in India similar)
42 Science Also distrust of senses No differentiation between natural and supernatural until Chinese 679 B.C. (IDEA #27)attempts to explore “natural” to dig out superstition.inanimate substances have no willsGreek science rooted in magicnature worship encouraged natural explanationdeveloped scientific method to know gods better.
43 Science cont. led to Greek scientific achievements Aristotle’s biological textsArchimedes principles of mechanics C. 250 B.C.C. 200 B.C. Eratosthenes calculated almost exactly the size of the planetChinese Science ( systematic investigation of nature)from Daoist nature worshipavoided theory in favor of observation to avoid contamination of reasonChinese science weak on theory and heavy on technology.
46 Medicine Hippocrates C. 500 B.C. Indian C. 550 B.C. balance 4 humors Phlegm, blood, yellow bile, and black bilePhlegmatic, melancholic, sanguine, cholericdiet, vomiting, laxatives, bloodlettingscientifically basedIndian C. 550 B.C.Susutracharaka
49 Skepticism world might be purposeless China Greeks Epicurus Romans Liezi “Mosquito”Wang ChongGreeks Epicurusimaginary world of godsnothing to hope/fearatomic theoryRomansSextus Empiricusman invented gods as a form of social control
50 Stoicism (Greeks) Zeno C. 400 B.C. Nature morally neutral fatalismindifferenceSimilar to Buddism