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Re: [ontolog-forum] Cause and chemical reactions

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 11:50:56 -0400
Message-id: <467BEFE0.9000004@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Paola,    (01)

There is something to that, because the silk route from China
to Europe carried sages and soldiers as well as merchants:    (02)

 > Aristotle's intuition and knowledge are indeed based on older stuff,
 > possibly knowledge coming from the ancient vedic civilizations.    (03)

Both Plato and Aristotle discuss Heraclitus, who was almost two
centuries older and who lived in the Greek colonies in Anatolia,
on the trading routes from the east (and on the routes over which
the Persians and Greeks marched their soldiers).    (04)

It's interesting that Heraclitus was a near contemporary with
Gautama Buddha in India and Lao Tzu (the founder of Taoism)
in China.  Various commentators have observed some remarkable
similarities in their writings.  It's not clear who influenced
whom or what the older sources might have been.    (05)

Pythagoras was slightly older than Heraclitus, and he was another
strong influence on both Plato and Aristotle.  In his youth, he
went to Egypt, where he was trained and inducted into the Egyptian
priesthood.  Pythagoras is also said to have visited Babylon to
learn their mathematics before going to the Greek colony of Croton
(on the Mediterranean, as opposed to my home in Croton on Hudson).    (06)

So there was definitely a flow of ideas from older civilizations
to the Greeks.    (07)

 > Indeed Greek language has roots in Sanskrit...    (08)

More precisely, Greek and Sanskrit both evolved from the older
Proto-IndoEuropean.  And actually, Sanskrit is slightly closer
to the Balto-Slavic languages than it is to Greek.    (09)

 > the word aitia comes from ādya, Sanskrit for primordial,
 > original, beginning    (010)

I just checked the Liddell and Scott Greek dictionary, and the
adjective form, aitios -on, -a, meant 'culpable' or 'responsible'.    (011)

The noun 'ho aitios' meant 'the accused' or 'the culprit'.    (012)

The noun 'to aition', plural 'aitia', acquired the meaning 'cause'.    (013)

By the way, the adoption of legal terms in Greek philosophy was
common.  The word 'kategoria' originally meant an accusation in
a court of law.  Aristotle adopted it in the more general sense
of what is said or predicated of anything.    (014)

The major reason why Greek legal terms moved into philosophy is
that the ancient Greeks has as many law suits as modern Americans.
But unlike Americans, the Greeks required the plaintiff and the
accused to plead their own case in court.  So the sophists earned
their money by training people how to plead their case.    (015)

That's why Plato condemned the sophists for "making the weaker
case seem to be the stronger".  But that's exactly what lawyers
try to do today.    (016)

John    (017)

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