Saturday, May 9, 2009

02 Pythagoras

I want to build a bridge...I take my calculator..input values and the button...write down the results...and with these numbers I start building my bridge...I am sure it will hold

Have you ever thought about this strange relation between reality and numbers?
Nowadays we are so used to the fact that reality is quantifiable, can be put into numbers, statistics.....and so on. We first make calculations before we send a rocket into space.....

Pythagoras was a remarkable person.....he was obsessed with numbers. I think it was because he played a sting instrument.
When a string produces a tone it has a certain sound. When you put your finger exactly in the middle of the string you get so to speak two string. They sound the same like the whole string but just an octave (8 tones) higher....Fascinating....
I think it was that and of course the general believes of his aera that made Pythagoras obsessed with relations between numbers.

While Thales was very concrete.... his principle of nature was water....Pythagoras went one step further....his basic principle of nature was the number and the relations between numbers.
Maybe this was the moment in development of the human mind, that we began to interpret the world as quantifiable.
It is this development of thought that fascinates me.....Like the question of Anna in the former lecture...why at that moment in history.....we dont know what caused it..we might speculate....but it keeps on fascinating me...

Pythagoras and his followers, for he organized a kind of school....he had some guru role, I think, developed a kind of mystic about numbers and numerical relations

The picture shows one....the number 10 was considered the perfect number, for it was the sum of the first four whole numbers.

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The whole numbers were symbols of fundamental ideas: one symbolized the point, two symbolized the line, three symbolized the surface, and four symbolized the body.
These are also roots of Euclid geometry developed 200 years later. The mind was set. The mind was set.....reality and numbers. For Pythagoras it had mystic meanings, like the triangle of the ten dots in the picture.
Later the school of Pythagoras split up in two that hold to the mystic believes related with numbers and an other group that continued the development of real mathematics.

I know there is a lot more to tell about Pythagoras...we all know him from higschool with his A2 + B2 = C2...but all that you can read about yourself. Read the Wikipedia article about Pythagoras.

What fascinates me in this history is that the human mind began to use numbers to look at reality......and even numerology, the esoteric use of numbers , is contributed to him.

Oh and another thing....

Pythagoras thought that the earth and other planets (10 to be true..he had his own theory about that) were revolving in perfect circles around a big fire.....He didnt mean the sun .....but the idea of a heliocentric universe was in man's mind then......the seed was there.
That is so fascinating in the history of the development of mind....we will meet the first nuclear physicist among those old greeks....

Main Resources:
Philip Stokes, Philosophy: 100 essential thinkers
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition

The Discussion
[13:12] You: If you have any questions or remarks...plz dont hesitate
[13:12] Phaethon Comet: I have always thought that mathematics and esoteric use of the numbers contradict each other
[13:12] oola Neruda: i am curious about the other cultures around greece.... especially the middle east... and egypt... weren't numerical calculations being used there?
[13:13] Phaethon Comet: Interesting that both of them come from one man in a way
[13:13] You: I dont think it is contradictory....
[13:13] You: Pythagoras was a kind of mystic...
[13:14] You: his school split up in two parties
[13:14] Phaethon Comet: In one case it is representation of physically countable quantity, it other case it is about some absolutely non-physical
[13:14] Cailleach Shan: I would like to hear more about the mystical connections.
[13:14] You: we have to run people....nuclear attack imminent...Linden bomb coming
[13:14] Aaron23 DeCuir: :)
[13:15] Cailleach Shan: Oh no! rolling restart.
[13:15] Aaron23 DeCuir: should we re-assemble

The Discussion resumed
[14:27] You: the first steps on a journey of the mind into abstraction
[14:27] You: it was not him, Phaethon...he never wrote a single paper....
[14:28] You: all we know of pythagoras is by the reports of others
[14:28] Phaethon Comet: what is a chance, that we are trying to imagine those seeds based on our current understanding of the world and just trying to define a point in history from which it originates?
[14:30] You: I dont think it is a is a reported fact that these thoughts occured inthe human mind of those days
[14:31] Phaethon Comet: i am just challenging, what exactly is the reported fact?
[14:31] Osrum Sands: Phaethion, how do we know and history to be true or any recorded part of it either by written word or by vioce.
[14:31] You: the fact is that we started to relate reality with number
[14:31] Cailleach Shan: Does it matter if the idea still lives.
[14:32] Pearl Moonlight: yes
[14:32] Phaethon Comet: from historical point it matters
[14:32] Anna Parisi: yes it does...but it is not the subject of tihis discussion...
[14:32] Pearl Moonlight: no because we use it ever day we use don't know it
[14:33] Pearl Moonlight: even this subject
[14:33] You: I agree Anna...
[14:33] Phaethon Comet: if we understand better how humans came to ideas of today through the centuries, we will understand more about human reasoning and philosophy itself
[14:34] You: well..I think Thales came to his ideas through daily experience...water was the life givig thing to him....very down to earth
[14:35] Pearl Moonlight: just like tis day and time
[14:35] You: What is so fascinating is that Phytagoras went an abstracion further
[14:35] Pearl Moonlight: after live
[14:36] You: using suh abstract things like numbers, tho he thought of them as conctete objects
[14:36] Pearl Moonlight: r bebore live
[14:37] You: yes Pearl..another difficult subject...the existence of time...
[14:37] Phaethon Comet: on the other hand greek gods were to some extent abstract too, and they talked about them as concrete beings
[14:37] Pearl Moonlight: mathin that
[14:39] You: the gods are an other matter.....polytheism against monotheism...also a reductionist step in thitory of mind
[14:39] You: history
[14:39] Phaethon Comet: next reduction level after one is none :) so this is where we are going :)
[14:40] herman Bergson smiles
[14:40] Phaethon Comet: in future we will consider that the world consists of nothing as its basic element :)
[14:41] You: we stillhave 98 philosophers to go to find that out Phaethon
[14:41] You: so ..I welcome you to next class this Sunday...same time same place..:-)
[14:42] Pearl Moonlight: ok
[14:42] Chimera Little: thank you
[14:42] You: I thank you for the fine discussion and your attention..:-)
[14:42] Gray Cardiff: thank you herman
[14:42] oola Neruda: thank you...smiles
[14:42] Anna Parisi: tnx herman
[14:42] Cailleach Shan: Great Herman... thank you.
[14:42] Aaron23 DeCuir: bye herman see you next time
[14:43] You: Love to see you next lecture..:-)
Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-10-06 06:46:10

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