Monday, September 8, 2008

Auden's Essay

As you read Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, & Euripides, ponder Auden's essay. Why do you think western culture is so deeply founded on Ancient Greek ideals?

19 comments:

bballinsupasta said...

the greeks are seen as the ideal people. everyone tries to emulate them. they appear to have reached the highest forms and ideals of thought, education, and government to many people.

Stephen Gieger said...

I agree with the Auden essay,which claims that everyone is not necessarity a Platonist or an Aristotelian. I think that everyone Aristotle was correct in saying that everyone is capable of learning and excelling, yet Plato's elitist viewpoint does have some credibility as some people are gifted with a greater natural intellect than others.

Caroline said...

I agree with Jane, and I also like his point that every culture/ different people emulate the greeks in different ways, and two people could study the greeks and come away with different views.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

we have taken so much from the greeks, and yet, we have sanitized it to serve our purposes. Plato was by no stretch of the imagination a supportter for democracy; modern societies cannot take anciet thought out of context. the greeks had their problems too.

Ehren said...

I think Western culture might be founded on Greek ideals because the Greeks manage to encapsulate beauty in aspects of their lives without being meretricious or crass, while still addressing important philisophical questions for the betterment of their society

Dean Elazab said...

I believe that Greeks have really set the standard of living, and that we need to try and emulate their style. But we must also remember that we have progressed and we need to change to fit it.

El Paco said...

Sage Ball and Sage Burglass - Yeah - the Greeks are very important to modern society, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they are the "ideal people." I'm not saying that I disagree with Auden, because I think he makes a great point, but I think we might be taking this a little too far - I mean, we can't forget the importance and influence of the Romans and their representative government. Snoop Nuzzy Nuzz/Sage Nussdorf makes a pretty good point, too.

- Sage Wise

joel derby said...

Well, the Roman's are known as history's greatest copiers, much of what the Greek did was copied by the Romans which is why it may seem like the Romans had a huge influence on us. The Greeks were the foundation of Roman thought and culture.

JP said...

I think Auden goes a little too far in his worship of the Greeks. They were without a doubt the greatest people of their time, but let's not forget that a lot of, say, Aristotle's writings were wrong and pretty much made up - for example, he said that all things possess either gravity or "levity," levity being an imaginary opposite of gravity that causes things to float in the air.

Greece has definitely taken mankind a long way, but nobody should mistake them for infallible. They got a whole lot right, but they got quite a bit wrong too.



Auden seems to love Greece so much he might as well marry it.

El Paco said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111
Seriously though John's right

puddlewonderful said...

I think part of the reason we've absorbed so much of the Greeks is because the Romans did-- perhaps more than any other ancient peoples, they admired the Greeks, and imitated their art, literature, government and ideas. In turn, the Romans were bound tightly to Christianity in the waning days of their Empire, which allowed for the survival of some aspects of Roman culture. Much of the foundation of Western culture, I believe, rests on Rome. More than with the Greeks, many Roman ideas do not sound harsh or strange to our ears; we can hear in them distinct notes of our own modern Western mode of thought. By contrast, as Nussdorf says, to accept the Greeks we previously had to sanitize them. (Today we study them as they were, and wrap our minds around their "oddities.") The other option, besides to purge them of strange notions, is to absorb them through the more palatable Romans.

Mr. Plainview said...

I think Auden does a nice job of summarizing his arguments regarding the Greeks. On the last page he says, "It is they who have taught us, not to think--that all human beings have always done--but to think about our thinking..." This statement cuts right to the chase and explains why Greek influence is so evident here today. Government, education, etc.--all because the Greeks taught us how to think.

bballinsuasta said...

i agree with Caroline in that the greeks have affected different cultures in different ways, and i also think that a bunch of other cultures have affected foreign ones though i doubt as much as the greeks

bballinsupasta said...

sage wise and john make blogging fun! but no seriously, your humor makes reading all the posts less tedious

no offense to anybody...my posts are prob boring for yall too

Caroline said...

Although the Greeks may not be the ideal people, their effects on today's culture/ ideas are indisputable.

Ehren said...

yes, i agree with Jane (that the Greeks affect cultures in different ways). I think each culture takes a certain aspect of Greek culture and incorporates into their own based on what that culture values.

Manal said...

I think the reason the Greeks influnce Western thought as much as they do doos have something to do with the Romans as Michelle said. And i think that the Christianizing of Aristotle's works is a big part of why western thought is influenced by the Greeks. Also, i think that since the Greeks have written about what the perfect forms really are in their viewpoint, we kind of just assume that they are right and continue on with their thoughts. Slight adaptations and changes might be made but essentially it stays similar to the original.

Dean Elazab said...

John was right about not directly following the greeks. They had a lot of errors and those have been corrected over time. But the way they came to their conclusions and their thinking was ideal.

Margaret said...

My opinion is pretty much the same as Stephen's, and I think everyone has made good points that I basically agree with. Everything I say will probably be a reiteration but yeah, like Brandon said, the Greeks taught us how to think and like Michelle said, the Romans have really helped to incorporate Greek thought into our society. And I also agree with Dean. It's not enough to just adopt and copy, we must use these ideas, and grow and improve on them.

I would have to side more with the Aristotelian school of thought. The Greeks were great philosophers. And I think the geography may have helped some. There were many other civilizations in close proximity that could make the transfer of those ideas pretty easy, which is why we don't hold the Chinese culture to such a high standard as we do with the Greeks. Mrs. Scandurro said that the Greeks were basically rediscovered and revamped after the Middle Ages, and so that affected the Renaissance era greatly, which then brought all of that to America.