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托福北美机经Milesian Philosophy爱尔兰哲学

来源:考试吧 2015-02-02 18:04:45 考试吧:中国教育培训第一门户 模拟考场
考试吧为您整理了“托福北美机经Milesian Philosophy爱尔兰哲学”,希望能为您提供帮助!祝您备考顺利!

  Milesian Philosophy

  ①The first known philosophers of ancient Greece were from a city-state called Miletus. Even before the onset of philosophy, religious mythology was already setting the conceptual stage for philosophical speculation. Religion, then as now, was such a powerful social force that it always played an predoninant role in shaping views of human nature and the cosmos. (句型同百句译翻译句子) Yet the first philosophers of ancient Greece moved beyond such traditional mythological explanations of the world and stressed the rational unity of things. The three first philosophers from Miletus were Thales, Anaximander and Anaximines, all of whom attempted to look for the “origin” or “principle” (the Greek word “arche” has both meanings) of all things.

  ②Thales was the very first among the Milesian philosophers. He himself didn’t write anything, and what we know of him comes from later sources. The bestaccount of the details of Thales’ philosophy is from Aristotle, who notes that all of the first philosophers attempted to discover the underlying stuff of all things, but they disagreed about what that particular stuff was. The Greeks then had already held to the view that there were four basic elements: earth, air, fire and water. From these, Thales selected water as the primary stuff of nature. As Aristotle explains, Thales chose water because moisture seemed to be an essentialelement in all living things. It’s at a middle state between earth and air insofar as some moist substances can evaporate and turn into air, and otherssolidify and turn to slime or earth.

  ③There is some haziness about what it means for water to be the source of all things. On the one hand, it could mean that the world originated from water, a view that had been around in mythology for a long time. On the other hand, it could mean that the world is made of water and things as they are now arecomposed of water as their primary stuff. The second interpretation of Thales is the more common one, and the one that constitutes Thales’ legitimate claim to fame. It seems like an easy thing to identify a single element like water as the primary stuff of all things, but it is a very sophisticated move to abandoned mythological foundations of the natural world in favor of physical explanations, and this is precisely what Thales did.

  ④Following Thales was his student and fellow named Anaximander (c. 610–545 BCE). Anaximander agreed with Thales that there was a single source of all things, yet he criticized Thales for selecting water as the fundamental element. Instead he held that the underlying cause of everything was indefinable stuff that he called the boundless (Greek: “apeiron” which means that which has no boundaries). More precisely, he argued that none of the traditional four elements could be the primary stuff. According to his theory, as explained by Aristotle, there is a fundamental conflict between the qualities that we see in the four primary elements: something which is wet cannot cause something which is dry. If any one of the four elements was the primary substance, spread infinitelythroughout the cosmos, then it would counteract the others and prevent them from existing. Thus, the ultimate cause of things must be some invisible and limitless physical substance, which is capable of morphing into all the physical things that we see. The importance of Anaximander’s theory is that he was the first to ground ultimate reality in something which is non-perceptible. Many philosophers after Anaximander similarly proposed a non-sensory explanation of things.

  ⑤The third of the founding philosophers from Miletus was Anaximenes (c. 585-525 BCE), who was a student of Anaximander. Different from his tutor, Anaximenes believed the underlying substance of the universe was what we translate as “air” because air is neutral but can take on various properties, especiallycondensation and rarefaction. This is a more specific substance that Anaximander’s. According to him, physical objects differ only in how condensed the air is in a given space. The more compressed, the more it becomes solid, and the less compressed, the more it becomes watery or airy. This theory made Anaximenes the first to suggest that reality could be measured, which provides a more scientific account of reality.

  ——2013年3月3日北美机经

  The word “haziness” in Paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to____.

  A. uncertainty

  B. contradiction

  C. sophistication

  D. duality

  题目答案:A

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