101 Great Philosophers: Makers of Modern Thought by Madsen Pirie

By Madsen Pirie

A consultant to a hundred and one thinkers within the background of philosophy. It summarizes the contribution a hundred and one key philosophers who've made to the improvement of philosophical inspiration, because the old Greeks. It bargains a glimpse into every one philosopher's lifestyles and paintings.

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34 101 Great Philosophers Epicurus elevated friendship as one of life’s greatest pleasures, and praised the satisfaction of ‘natural’ desires for food and shelter, over the ‘vain’ desires for power and wealth. Anxiety and fear were great sources of pain and unhappiness, especially fear of death or divine punishment, he taught, whereas in fact earthquakes and natural disasters were caused by the movement of atoms rather than the wrath of the gods. His disciples shunned politics on the grounds that it led ultimately to pain.

His three-book collection, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, sets out arguments supporting the position taken by Pyrrho of Elis some 500 years earlier. Sextus follows Pyrrho in urging that there can be no certain knowledge of truth or falsity, and that the only defensible position is to suspend judgment. Sextus also wrote a series of works arguing against the positions taken in various disciplines. The collection was called Against the Mathematicians, with the first six books commonly known as Against the Professors.

The water-screw he developed had a spiral rotating in a cylinder to lift water from a lower to a higher level. Originally designed to pump water out of ships, it had applications in irrigation. His most famous discovery was ‘Archimedes’ principle’. Tasked with finding if King Hieron’s golden laurel crown had been diluted with silver, Archimedes realized, allegedly in his bath, that bodies displace their own volume of fluid. Establishing the volume of the crown enabled its density, and therefore purity, to be calculated from its weight.

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