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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pythagoras and the origins of philosophy


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Szilas


Pythagoras (570-496 BC) was a Greek philosopher and mathematician best known for the Pythagorean theorem and the Pythagoreanism movement. Philosopher Bertrand Russell said,


"The combination of mathematics and theology, which began with Pythagoras, characterized religious philosophy in Greece, in the Middle Ages, and in modern times down to Kant... I do not know of any other man who has been as influential as he was in the sphere of though. I say this because what appears as Platonism is, when analyzed, found to be in essence Pythagoreanism." (A History of Western Philosophy, 1945)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Pythagoras.




"Number is the ruler of forms and ideas, and the cause of gods and daemons." (Quoted in Life of Pythagoras by Iamblichus of Chalcis)


"There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres." (Quoted in The Mystery of Matter by Louise Young)




"Reason is immortal, all else mortal." (Quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius)


"The soul of man is divided into three parts: intelligence, reason and passion. Intelligence and passion are possessed by other animals, but reason by man alone." (Quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius)


"The oldest, shortest words - 'yes' and 'no' - are those which require the most thought." (Quoted in Numerology for Relationships: A Guide to Birth Numbers by Vera Kaikobad)


"When the wise man opens his mouth, the beauties of his soul present themselves to the view, like the statues in a temple." (Quoted in Pythagorean Ethical Sentences From Stobaeus by Florence Firth)




"The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or to evil." (Quoted in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius)


"Educate the children and it won't be necessary to punish the men." (Quoted in Geary's Guide to the World's Greatest Aphorists by James Geary)


"Above all things reverence thy Self." (The Golden Verses)


"As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as man massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." (Quoted in The Extended Circle: A Dictionary of Humane Thought by Jon Wynne-Tyson)