Who coined the term Philosophy or Philisopher?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by exile, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    I'm doing an investigation into Zarathushtrian influence on the Greek philosophers. The Zarathushtrians in a sense worshipped wisdom. Ahura Mazda was their "Lord of Wisdom." Thales is considered the first Greek philsopher and he was with Croseus in Asia Minor when Cyrus invaded Lydia. This would have been the starting point for contact between the Milesian school of philosophy and the Zarathushtrians. What I'm trying to ascertain is whether it's possible the word philosophy itself could have been influenced by Ahura Mazda. Of course, if the term wasn't coined back then this deduction would make no sense. But if the word philosophy wasn't coined by Thale's time when was it coined?
     
  2. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    It was definatelly in use by Plato (d 348 BCE) and Isocrates (d 338 BCE). however, the dating proves nothing because of all the classic tests missing and because the use of "philo" for love and "sophos" as wisdom date from much earlier and the use of build words using either date (all the way back to linear B).

    So because the exact phrase "φιλοσοφία" may not predate your dating of "the Zarathustrian influence" but that does not argue for its origin in Zoroastrianism. First, the classic Greek works you have cited in the past never explain what the groups of Magi were or what Greeks adopted them. Second, the "over the top" criticism of Persians and the Persian Empire would seem to support a pretty huge cultural basis (especially among the philosophical classes) against all things Eastern. Third, the texts used to prove "Zarathustrian influence"are actually written a little later than the earliest use of "φιλοσοφία"). Fourth, even if "love of wisdom" was first used as a phrase in Zarathustra, that does not mean that it evolved separately in the Greek mind (the same conjunction were possibly used even earlier in Chinese, so by this logic, Zarathustra borrowed it from the Chinese) and what is meant by "φιλοσοφία" is quite distinguishable from "lord of wisdom". Oh, Thales slightly predates the conquest of Lydia (one to five years before the conquest to one year after, depending on what estimated date of death and date of conquest is used). His work was done well before the conquest.
     
  3. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    Can you tell me more about the Chinese "love of wisdom"? In any event I'm not saying that the phrase "love of wisdom" was borrowed from Zarathushtra, just that it's possible that the Zarathushtrian worship of Mazda "Wisdom" as Lord may have contributed to the coining of the Greek word philosophy. I don't doubt that Thales work was written before the conquest of Lydia, but according to Mary Boyce's History of Zoroastrianism there is slight evidence to suggest that prior to the conquest of Lydia there were Persian propagandists, probably Magi, in Asia Minor already predicting that Cyrus success in his conquest. The Oracle of Delphi's prophecy of the mule that would defeat Croseus in Herodotus is an example of this. Boyce says that the Zarathushtrians had a significant influence on Milesian cosmology. I found her History of Zoroastrianism vol. I-III are a great resource. The should have been the first books I read on the subject, but ended up being one of the last books I've read. Unfortunately I didn't have access to them until I discovered ebooks. Her discussion on Zarathushtrian influence on the Greeks is in the second volume. Her books are here: A History of Zoroastrianism
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Boyce is overall a good reference, but one should look for verification. See, there is a lot of conjecture. The original greek texts, while showing there was a knowledge of Zoroastrianism, does not say greeks practiced it to any extent. And while it is true it was possible that Zoroastrians did influence Miletus, we have no record of how or any direct link between Thales and them. Similarly for her discussion of Herodotus... it does not link Thales and Zoroastrianism (as I remember). I will read further in the reference, thanks.

    zhixue or "study of wisdom" dates from the Analetics of Kungfuzhu (Confucius).
     

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