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Bertrand Russell Reading Forum > Reading Assignment 3

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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike (glaucus) | 75 comments Mod
Reading Assignment 3
Chapter VIII-X, Pages 58-80
Begin Reading December 14


message 2: by Mike (new)

Mike (glaucus) | 75 comments Mod
Hope all are reading this chapter. Personally, I am catching up due to some issues with travel.


message 3: by Mike (new)

Mike (glaucus) | 75 comments Mod
Yes I am reading this section as well. I think that there may be a difference in the page numbers and chapter. So to be clear. We should stick with the Chapter numbers. I know in the book that I have I am finishing chapter 7 and it ends on page 78. My apologies. I will repost this in the main thread. Thanks for everyone's understanding.


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike (glaucus) | 75 comments Mod
Well I hope all are doing well. It have been a very weird holiday season for me. It has been hectic due to the normal average holiday stuff and the job interviews. I am still looking for work in addition to doing this. One reason why I spread out the assignments

Now for Week 3

Atomists: Everything is composed of Atoms that are physically indivisible: that between the atoms there is empty space, that atoms are indestructible; that they always have been, and always will be.

This is the aspect that there are scientific explanations that may be used to explain the world. They may even be the frist to use the notion of Natural Law"

Notes From Book: Atomists-Believed that everything happens in accordance with natural law.

The world may be attributed to a Creator, but even then the Creator Himself is unaccounted for. The theory of the atomists, in fact, was more nearly that of modern science than any other theory propounded in antiquity.

They had an effect upon Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle because they were the first to separate the "religious" from the "scientific" this is a unique trend "Sought to explain the world without introducing the notion of purpose of a FINAL CAUSE" Hence, there is no assigned meaning.

This is what Russell defines in the chapter when he explains waht is the meaning of an event?

In other words: What is meant by this?

When we ask why about an event we mean: What purpose did this event serve? and or we mean What circumstances caused this event.”

Teleological: What Purpose did this event serve
Mechanical: what circumstances caused this event

Mechanical is more scientific. Teleological is the vein that manages to stay around until the Renaissance.

Hence there is an early division that can be seen between scientific thought and theological thought. The Mechanical view is more real world oriented. What is the result? The Teleological notion gets into the reasons behind an event more than just the reality involved as Russell states" The conception of purpose. Therefore, is only applicable within reality, not to reality as a whole."

This gives us a foundation to go to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who look to the teleological to propose a way to change the real world. They rejected the real world and even despised the SOphists who taught that an arugument must go wherever it goes whereas "truth" has only one direction and must not be burdened by moral considerations.

Hence we have Scepticism: which is emphasized by the Sophists who concentrate on how to know. Wheras, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates go into a world of pure thought where they reject the world of the senses.

I know this is much to contemplate. But. What do people think about this aspect. Do we see a division early in the Greek period between what may be called "science" and "thought"


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