Greek's Contribution to the Foundations of Western Civilization

Topics: Philosophy, Western culture, Reason Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: October 18, 2013
Hist 101-010
Western Civilization
Summer 2012
“The ancient Greeks’ major contribution to the evolution of the foundations of Western Civilization entailed the foundations of the systems of thought which in many ways are still at work in the modern world.” How are your readings of Plato and Aristotle and the Play Oedipus the King evidence of the above statement.  The first two might be examined in terms of how we come to know what we know and to what extent what we know approximates the truth.  Sophocles’ play could be examined as an analysis of human nature and the human condition.  Consider all three works in an essay supporting the introductory statement.

The Greek's notion of rational thought is a very strong reason why Western Civilization has become so influential in the world today. During their time, the Greeks began an intellectual revolution. They questioned the meanings of life and began using their minds to expand the world. Major ideas came about like politics, governing laws, literature, art, history, and new inventions. Scientific thinking was also major among Greek minds, along with the ideas of mathematics, astronomy, architecture, and anatomy. This revolution of rational thought dominated society and began a transition in Western Civilization because people began using reason to explain human and natural events, rather than the gods. Even today, rational thought is used by all of us and continues to influence society. The power of the modern mind is greatly influenced by the Greek mind.

Among the most famous Greek philosophers were Plato and Aristotle. These two very intelligent men influenced Western Civilization with their quest for knowledge and thought. Their writings are still widely read today, influencing much of the modern systems of thought.

Plato was one of the most influential philosophers in Western history. In his “Allegory of the Cave”, with the example of the prisoners he conveys the point as to what it is like for one...
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