Pythagoras Doctrines

Was knowledge and new beliefs about god. Contribution to the world in music, mathematics and astronomy

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Pythagoras Doctrines

The necessity of mankind to know and understand natural events made him think of the self and his surroundings. The human specie realized the importance to develop methods that will make the human being aware of the universe and life. The most spectacular intellectual achievements conceivable occurred in ancient Greece. These were made up of the artistic, scientific, and political foundations that help form all of Western civilization. Greeks found in philosophy a way to approach their thoughts. Pythagoras and his followers made a contribution to the world in music, mathematics and astronomy. One of the Greeks specialties was mathematics and Pythagoras learned it better then any one else. His teachings were based on the number that was the fundament of all things. His religious beliefs centered in the idea of purity, transmigration and personal integrity. The main aspect of Pythagoras work was knowledge and new beliefs about god. His foundation in science and religion transcended through the years and we are practicing it.

The application from Pythagoras knowledge is common and we can see it in the daily course of our lives. Pythagoras did not see music as entertainment. His observation of a blacksmith stroking an anvil produced a different sound depending on the hammers weight (John Boyd-Brent). After Pythagoras' observation he made the conclusion that the amount of weight in the hammer generates different notes. After this assertion he was able to use this theory in other instruments. He recognized that music was expression of harmonia, and then this harmony creates an order between things.

The mathematics was part of the visible and invisible world for Pythagoras where harmony was essential. Aristotle said on the Metaphysics, “the Pythagoreans, as they are called, devoted themselves to mathematics, they were the first to advance this study, and having been brought up in it they thought its principles were the principles of all things…” (Frederick Copleston) His teachings created a challenge from previous Greek philosophers where the world for them was a combination of elements such as fire, earth, air, and water. The concept about the number for Pythagoreans was mainly on the Unit or Monad. Pythagoras advance in mathematics was not only focusing in science because he saw in numbers an unreal dimension that connects him the purity of the mind. He perceived that the matter was mainly the number since it is material and immaterial that follows an order.

Pythagoras was the first philosopher to call the universe cosmos, which means in Greek order, orderly arrangement and ornaments. The use of this word by Pythagoras comes from his observation to the celestial bodies that have a motion and undergoing change. Nature in the cosmos was fitted together out of unlimiteds and limiters; both the cosmos as a whole and everything in it (#17). The cosmos for Pythagoras was a true relationship between the perfect figures and motions that allow him to see the essence of things where the heavens reveal its beautiful organization.

Beyond Pythagoras theories the knowledge about the universe and the study of numbers was an important instrument. His fascination for leaning made his father send him to the best school in Greece. Pythagoras was the first to use the word philosophy, which means, “love for wisdom.” Knowledge benefits not only the individual, but also society, because the discoveries made by philosophers become the common property of all (John Strohmeier). The author tells how important it was for his knowledge and he wanted to share it with everybody. Pythagoras had an interest for the good of the people and the community. Most of Pythagoras teachings were verbal and we do not have anything in writing from his work. His disciples are the only ones that recorded his work and other philosophers. This was unusual for other philosophers of his time which had proof from their own work.

Pherecydes of Syros who was a famous philosopher in the Mediterranean taught to Pythagoras his work. The instructions of his teachings had elements of secret doctrines of the Phonenicians and Pherecydes who taught him also about the immortality of the soul. Pythagoreanism, he says (Plato), was a movement of reform in the worship of Dionysus. The opposition of the rational and the mystical, which runs all trough history, first appears, among the Greeks, as an opposition between the Olympic gods and those other less civilized gods who had more affinity with the primitive beliefs dealt with by anthropologists (Frederick Copleston). This certain beliefs caused Pythagoras many trouble in his days because he was opposed to the current way of thinking in Greece. Pythagoras clashed with the entire Greek system and its point of views because it was a contradiction of what they knew.

The accomplishment of Pythagoras in philosophy is priceless and more important then his mathematic theorem or his contribution to music. Pythagoras left a foundation to his disciples that acquire and predicate this knowledge through future generations. Pythagoras was able to transmit his ideologies about the universe through music and mathematics that were accessible to his students. The understanding about music made it possible to comprehend the divine elements in the universe and human behavior. The Pythagoreans considered that the number was the unit that facilitated order and it was part of the whole. Meanwhile, Pythagoras theories about motion and the celestial bodies opened the door for future scientists. They explore and study deeply his theories that were controversial in his time. Pythagoras was a creative philosopher that challenged the views of Greeks by his new concepts that seemed blasphemy for many people.

Work Cited

-From Thales To Aristotle “Ancient Greek Philosophy”

-Copleston, Frederick “A History Of Philosophy”

-Strohmeier, John &Westbrook, Peter “Divine Harmony”

-Boyd-Brent, John “Harmony and Proportion”