What Are The Roots Of Western Philosophy?


Beginning of Philosophy

Philosophy has no single beginning, but it would be naive to assume philosophical thinking erupted spontaneously in various spots around the world.

Exchange of Ideas

  • Caravans across Asia.
  • Extensive trade around the Mediterranean, up and down the Nile, and throughout the Middle East.
  • Early Hebrews were nomads.
  • India was a crossroads for many different cultures.
  • Egypt was a source of ideas that  later became the basis for Greek philosophy.

Sophisticated Cultures

In addition, there were great civilizations south of the Mediterranean, not only in Egypt, but in Nubia (now Ethiopia) and further up the Nile. These cultures had sophisticated systems systems of astronomy, advanced mathematics, complex and thoughtful views of the nature of the soul, and an obsession with the question of life after death.

Greek Philosophy

Many of the leading ideas of Greek philosophy (which arose in 6th century BC), including interests in geometry and the concept of the soul were imported imported from elsewhere. Indeed, it might be most accurate to see the great “miracle” of ancient Greece not as a remarkable beginning, but as a culmination – the climax of a long story the beginnings of which we no longer remember.

A Passion for Wisdom
A Passion for Wisdom: A Very Brief History of Philosophy

Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins

What Thoughts Should We Concentrate On?

Thoughts to Live By

Think on These Things

  • What you can control – not what you cannot control.
  • The positive – not on the negative.
  • What you can do not on what you cannot do.
  • What you have – not on what you do not have.
  • The present – not on the past and future.
  • What you need – not on what you want.
  • What you can give not on what you can take.

Finding Strength

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will  find strength.

…..Marcus Aurelius

7 Thoughts To Live Your Life By
7 Thoughts to Live Your Life By: A Guide to the Happy, Peaceful, & Meaningful Life
I. C. Robledo

The Virtue Of Tolerance

The peak of tolerance is most readily achieved by those who are not burdened with convictions.

…..Alexander Chase

Tolerance is a Virtue

Tolerance is a rare and important virtue. What underlies tolerance is the recognition that there is plenty of room in the world for alternatives to coexist, and that if one is offended by what others do, it is because one has let it get under one’s skin. We tolerate others best when we know how to tolerate ourselves – learning how to do so is one aim of the civilized life.

Tolerance vs Intolerance

Tolerance and its opposite, intolerance, are not or even invariably forms of acceptance or rejection respectively. One can tolerate a belief or a practice without accepting it oneself.

Meditations for the Humanist
Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age

A.C. Grayling

How Can We Achieve Lasting Happiness?

Lasting Happiness

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.

……— Chinese Proverb