Romano-Hellenistic Period -|- Educational Philosophy Theory

Romano-Hellenistic Period

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n rise of individualism as communal city-states are replaced by empires

n practical philosophy emerges to show people how to personally live a good life and find tranquillity

n focus on ethics; less interest in metaphysics and cosmology

n materialism (matter alone exists; nothing spiritual) emerges

n loss of focus on the spiritual dimension leads to the dying of philosophy

n Stoics (early - Zeno, Cleanthes; late - Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius)

n reduce all reality to matter (a cosmic fire), but still identify an active “spiritual” force in the material world, called Nature or Reason

n ethics - man should control his soul by reason and keep it tranquil

n man should assent to the will of fate / Nature, which determines all things

n man should not be disturbed by external things, such as loss of wealth or death of a loved one, because they cannot harm the soul

n thus, the passions and emotions should be suppressed

n Epicureans (Epicurus)

n strong materialists - the world is composed of atoms constantly re-arranging

n ethics - seek pleasure, avoid pain (hedonism); pleasure the end (goal) of life

n sensible pleasure creates restlessness; intellectual pleasure is better

n Skeptics (Pyrrho)

n “I know nothing” - reach tranquillity by suspending all judgments

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