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By Brian Phillips The Greeks around the sixth century BCE invented philosophy The word philosophy itself derives from the greek meaning love of wisdom The Hellenistic philosophy was a manifestation of Greek influence Although the Hellenistic literary works lacked the inspired slendor of the great Greek tradgedies and while none of the philosophers matched the insightfulness of Socrates Plato and Aristotle the Hellenistic philosophy had its own accomplishments to offer Greek thinkers between the sixth and forth centuries BCE started addressing a wide range of questions about the nature of the universe and the meaning of life The first Socrates was one of the most famous individuals in the history of Western thought He wished to subject all inherited assumptions to reexamination and concluded that those who believed they knew everything actually knew nothing at all His insights were that one should think of the meaning of ones own life and actions at all times for according to one of his most memorable sayings the unexamined life is not worth living The only hinderance to Socrates thinking is that it is difficult to determine exactly what he believed in since he wrote nothing for himself Plato was a student of Socrates until Socrates passed away Plato sought to vindicate Socrates by constructing a philosophical system based on Socratic precepts The Platonic dialogues articles in dramatic form in which Socrates was the main speaker are regarded as enduring works of literature as well as the earliest surviving complete works of philosophy His main idea was that there was a higher spiritual realm that existed composed of external forms or ideas that only the mind could grasp Platos moral philosophy was founded on his doctrine of ideas He believed since earthly life is delusive and corruptible as opposed to the realm of Ideas which is true and external the goal of human existence must be to enter as fully as possible into the realm of
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