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Ancient Philosophy

Introduction

Why did philosophy start in ancient Greece?

The ancient Greeks had a broad democratic cultural tradition that encouraged individual independence of mind, the questioning of authority, and disagreement among peers.

The sea-faring, trading, and warring nature of the ancient Greeks was conducive to the development of intellectual cosmopolitanism among the privileged classes in this slave-owning society. From the Pre-Socratics on, Greek philosophers were not merely thinkers, but also men of action, capable of leadership and civic involvement. Moreover, the Greeks were warlike and valued the virtues of combat, such as courage and honor. When it came to polite interaction, they did not hesitate to voice disagreement, a trait conducive to philosophical debate, as well.



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