February 21, 2017

Ancient Views on the Quality of Life by Alex C. Michalos

By Alex C. Michalos

This monograph describes the contributions to our present realizing of caliber of lifestyles made by means of an important old philosophers within the Western culture. It does so from the viewpoint of a latest researcher in caliber of existence or human wellbeing and fitness. Revisiting old texts from approximately six hundred BCE to three hundred BCE, the booklet explores the earliest rules in recorded western philosophical and clinical background that have been considerably concerning present study and knowing of the standard of existence or health and wellbeing for people and groups. It examines the issues and suggestions present in those texts and their connection to nonetheless present basic concerns and questions reminiscent of: ‘What is an effective life?’, ‘What is the simplest type of individual to be?’ ‘How can one inform if one’s society is making growth to a couple kind of fascinating nation or falling backwards?’ The e-book exhibits that throughout time and throughout many cultures, the human species bears a few extraordinary similarities.

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Options ran from Thales’s single watery substance to Democritus’s infinite number of atoms and the void. Several authors of the Corpus drew on the work of Empedocles, especially his idea that the basic building blocks of the world were the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. These “cosmic elements” were supposed to be connected to the four “opposites” of Anaximander, fire to hot, air to cold, water to moist and earth to dry. The “opposites” are not elemental substances, but only revealed “powers” or “properties” of substances (Hippocrates 1923, p.

Xxx). According to Nutton (2013, pp. 145–146), in the Hellenic period from roughly 330 to 30 BCE, “The idealization of Hippocrates as a medical authority…gave rise to, and was in turn influenced by, biographical invention. The letters and speeches within our Hippocratic Corpus, all of them spurious, describing or purporting to derive from incidents in his life, date from this period. They emphasize Hippocrates’ wisdom…schrewdness…and, above all, his patriotism”. As well, he was known as “a wonderfully versatile doctor, capable of treating both a monarch’s lovesickness and the great plague of Athens (which Thucydides had deemed incurable)” (Nutton 2013, p.

Adding his philosophic, especially his hedonistic views and his lifestyle to his alleged sophistry, he became a target of abuse. He was criticized for enjoying good food, drinks and prostitutes, and responded to his critics by saying that “it is not abstinence from pleasures that is best, but mastery over them without ever being worsted” (Laertius 2000a, pp. 203–205). Like many of his contemporaries, Aristippus placed a high value on self-mastery and self-sufficiency. While none of the books now exist that Laertius (2000a, pp.

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