Greek philosophers and life Cover Image

A görög filozófus és az élet
Greek philosophers and life

Author(s): György Geréby
Subject(s): Philosophy, History of Philosophy
Published by: Korunk Baráti Társaság
Keywords: Hellenistic philosophy; Justin Martyr; Tryphon the Jew; theology

Summary/Abstract: The encounter between the Christian philosopher Justin Martyr, of Samaritan background, and Tryphon the Jew (around 150 AD) offers essential pointers to understand more precisely what “Greek”, or rather Hellenistic, philosophy meant. First, Greek was not a nationality, but a culture, a langue axiale in which Greeks and non-Greeks could exchange and debate ideas. Again, as educated persons, they shared a literary canon (in artificial Greek) and methods of conceptualisation. Consequently, they shared a common framework in terms of the rationality of discussion, which also extended to theology. Rational theology was a legitimate branch of philosophy as the third theoretical discipline according to Aristotle. The inclusion of theology in philosophy shows that the ultimate subject for philosophy was not sterile speculation, or pure theory, but the principles which, in forms of practical syllogisms (Aristotle, NE 1144a 31-2), would lead to action, thereby answering the fundamental problem “how to live”. Greek philosophy was supposed to prepare a “way of life” (P. Hadot). More than that, it was not without reason that successive Roman emperors invited the advice of philosophy in the complexities of the imperial polity.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 62-70
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Hungarian