Plato's Academy, A Mathematical History

1250 words - 5 pages

Plato's Academy--A mathematical historyThe opening of Plato's Academy in about 387 B.C. is heralded as the turning point in mathematics and was the first European university (Copleston, 127). The word Academy is derived from the name Academos -- the prior owner of the land on which the school was built -- and has become synonymous with higher thought and learning. Prior to the opening of the academy, mathematics was viewed as a subject relevant only to practical matters. Plato regarded the world that we are aware of through our senses as a place of deception, and proposed a world of ideas which were constant and true. (O'Connor and Robertson, Plato). Plato's new philosophy on teach ...view middle of the document...

Believing that the study of mathematics would provide the finest training for the mind, Plato proposed that the study of math should occupy a student for the first ten years of his education (O'Connor and Robertson, Teaching, 1).Erich Friedman, in Plato states that "All of the most important mathematical work of the fourth century B.C. was done by friends or pupils of Plato, including Eudoxus, Aristotle, and Archytas." S. Copleston in History of Philosophy states that Eudoxus was so impressed with Plato's teachings that he moved his entire School from Cyzicus to the Academy. It would appear then, that Plato's academy was the most influential and respected school of its time. According to O'Connor and Robertson, Plato's works on proof directly influenced the content in Euclid's Elements (Plato, 1), one of the most respected mathematics books of all time.Plato's academy was closed down by Emperor Justinian in 526 AD as it was considered a Pagan establishment. However, the mathematical principles taught at the academy were solid and influenced many generations of mathematicians. Some members of the Academy looked for refuge in the pagan stronghold of Harran (located in modern day Turkey), fueling the Arab Renaissance in the 9th century A.D. (Wikipedia). The renaissance produced many notable mathematicians and mathematical works. For example, at the Bayt al-Hikma (House of wisdom), Al Ma'mum led a translation project that included many Greek texts from Plato's Academy. Abu l'Hasan al-Uqlidisi c.950 used these texts as a basis for his book on Hindu Arithmetic with new additions on algorithms and fractions (Allen, 1).One person to be directly influenced by the Academy was Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), a student of Plato's and a tutor of Alexander the Great. At one point Plato stated that Aristotle was the "intelligence of the school". While not primarily a mathematician, Aristotle wrote extensively on logic and used mathematical examples in his work (Berlinghoff and Gouvea, 19). Aristotle attended the Academy for almost twenty years until Plato's death in 347B.C. The reason he gave for leaving was that he disapproved of the emphasis on mathematics and theory in the Academy, and the decline in natural philosophy (Busse et al. 1). Despite this disapproval, Aristotle's mathematics would leave an outstanding path for others to follow.Aristotle's theories formed the foundation of formal learning during the middle ages and carried down through the next two millennia where his work on infinity influenced K...


Plato's Life Essay

969 words - 4 pages Free western suburbs of Athens in the year 387 B.C.E. Plato's school was named after the legendary Greek hero Academus. The Academy was a prominent school with bright students. The Academy's most prominent student was Aristotle. Members of the academy believed that the study of mathematics held key to all understanding. Plato himself was a teacher at The Academy. He gave lectures to students on mathematics, astronomy, and his theory of Forms. When

The Amalgamation Of Science And Technology: An Essay About The Factors And Events That Lead To The Development Of Science From The Greek Period To The Scientific Revolution

4258 words - 18 pages mathematical relationships among measurable, quantifiable qualities; and they believed that the machinery of the world was best studied by isolating its various components, thus turning big problems into sets of separate, simpler problems33.A hugely important period in the history of science is that known as the scientific revolution, which took place during the 17th century. The new experimental method developed by Galileo (1564-1642) and defended

Greek Literature Essay

4447 words - 18 pages 'Metaphysics' reads: 'All men by nature desire to know.' He has, therefore, been called the 'Father of those who know.' His medieval disciple Thomas Aquinas referred to him simply as 'the Philosopher.'Aristotle was a student at Plato's Academy, and it is known that like his teacher he wrote dialogues, or conversations. None of these exists today. The body of writings that has come down to the present probably represents lectures that he delivered at his own

Amedeo Avogadro: Research Paper - Chemistry - Research Paper

969 words - 4 pages in a intermediate range of nobility. Avogadro later inherited this title in 1787, making his full name Count Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro di Quaregna e di Cerreto. His mother, Anna Vercellone di Biella, was a noblewoman. His father came from a family which has an ancient history of being in the legal profession. Avogadro was highly intelligent at a young age and he followed his father and studied law at first. However he later dedicated

The Symposium, A Philosophers Guide To Love

2171 words - 9 pages many generations. There has yet to be a one universal explanation of love and there has yet to be one who understands it's powers fully. As we see from Plato's Symposium, even the wisest of men in a time when the search for knowledge was seen as the pathway to enlightenment love was still a concept that was not understood and unknown. Though many of the guidelines and characteristics of love are wise, some may not apply to modern society.The

Socratic Dialectic Essay

1336 words - 6 pages . According to Socrates, to do wrong is to turn a blind eye to the 'truth that misconduct results in harm to oneself,' which no one can truly will. In order to achieve the goal of happiness, or eudemonia, the person must conduct themselves morally. However, self deceit and flattery blinds people to their ultimate ignorance, paving the way for misguided evil to take place. In Plato's Euthyphro, the improper use and understanding of moral concepts becomes a

Creating Law: Philosophers Of Law

2129 words - 9 pages Free , his guardian, sent Aristotle to Athens, know as "the intellectual center of the world" at the age of seventeen to further and complete his education (The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). There he met Plato, whom was his greatest influence. Aristotle attending Plato's lectures at the academy for twenty years, later, he also began to lecture. In 342 BC, Aristotle was the tutor or Alexander, the great, who at that time was thirteen and grew up

Sophocles, Life, Teachings, And Trial

1407 words - 6 pages Socrates trial, Plato made The Apology in Socrates defense that was a bold vindication of his whole life. The most accurate of Plato's writings on Socrates is probably The Apology. The word "apology" comes from the Greek word for "defense-speech" and does not mean what we think of today as an apology. Plato made the speech to show a justification for Socrates' life. In it, Plato outlines some of Socrates' most famous philosophical ideas: the necessity


2294 words - 10 pages Dying While Living The history of philosophy and religion abounds with descriptions from romantics and visionaries who vehemently proclaim that "man's common consciousness is only a shadow of reality": witness Plato's Cave, Dostoevsky's Underground, and Plotinus, who said, "Insofar as the soul is in the body it rests in deep sleep" ( Plotinus III, V.6.). What does Plotinus mean by this statement? Does he echo Euripides, who would have us

Summery of Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum - Lane Community College, Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree - Assignment

780 words - 4 pages curriculum, method of teaching and student engagement in their assignments. For example, the students are asked to make the complex sentence, memorizing irregular verb conjunction-, to take participation in open debate on social issues, mathematical formula, etc. in a word, she made a contrast with the working class school with the elite school. here is the main theme of this article that Anyon has unveiled the main secrecy comparing the same aged

The Life Of Issac Newton

892 words - 4 pages attract each other varies by the distance between them. However, his claims were later ruled false by historians. However by 1693, Newton was beginning to have some emotional problems. Though he recovered, he was no longer had the creativity of his past. In 1703, he become the head of the Royal Society, and used this position to attack Leibniz for plagiarism. Newton led a quiet life until his death in 1727, having been the greatest mathematician, astronomer, and scientist of his life, and perhaps of history.

Play, Art, And Subject In Freud And Gadamer

1205 words - 5 pages Play, Art, and Subject in Freud and GadamerThrough history, we have already seen the attempt in Plato's Ion to define the literary imagination. Now, in Sigmund Freud's "Creative Writers and Day-dreaming," we find an attempt to give a scientific explanation for the nebulous process of artistic creation on psychoanalytical grounds. Freud establishes that human desire leads us to alter the existing and often unsatisfactory or unpleasant world of

Euler's Zeta Function Approximation - Johns Hopkins, Introduction to Abstract Mathematics - Presentation

724 words - 3 pages An Interesting Equality for Sum of Reciprocals of the Squares ∑∞ k=1 1/k 2 = pi2/6 March 28, 2007 Overview Some History about the Sum Review: Maclaurin Series Euler’s “Proof” Expanding sin−1 x (or arcsinx) Choe’s Proof Sources for Further Reading Some History about the Sum Let I denote the sum ∑ ∞ k=1 1/k2 Jakob Bernoulli (1654–1705) proved that I < 2. Although he and his brother (Johann) tried very hard, they were not able to find the exact

African Art history before 1800 - Art History - Essay

580 words - 3 pages Eric Moore Art History I 10/29/18 Essay #1 Connect the philosophy and religion of the ancient Greeks to their values in art and architecture. Provide a minimum of five relevant examples, accurately citing the title, artist or region, medium, size, date, and location. Describe in your own words the thought processes evident in the work that are inspired by the philosophy and religion from the time. Philosophy and Religion shape the Greek culture


574 words - 3 pages interests of society, helps to increase the well - being of people and develops public education. Computer technology plays the most important role in the progress of science. The ability of computers to solve many mathematical problems more effective than man does, has given rise to new trends in mathematics.Computer science is a new field of study and research. In recent years scientists of the world have achieved great success in the development of