Sunday, May 10, 2009

02 Hypatia of Alexandria

[13:17] Herman Bergson: First of all I want to bring to your attention that I would like to appoint Aristotle von Doobie as Associate Professor of The Philosophy Class.

[13:17] Laila Schuman: hoorah

[13:17] Herman Bergson: I didn't ask him so I guess he will be highly surprised, but I think it is the best way to show our appreciation for the terrific work he does and to honour him for the time he invests in our philosophy projects here.

[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: hooray!!
[13:17] hope63 Shepherd: no vote?
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: how is the pay????
[13:17] Tiara Calvert: .-'`'-. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE .-'`'-.
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: ***** BR@VO *** BR@VO*****
[13:18] Paula Dix: Great!!
[13:18] Apmel Goosson: yeah
[13:18] APPLAUSE: A Hearty round of applause bursts from the crowd
[13:18] APPLAUSE: A Hearty round of applause bursts from the crowd
[13:18] APPLAUSE: A Hearty round of applause bursts from the crowd
[13:18] APPLAUSE: A Hearty round of applause bursts from the crowd
[13:18] Herman Bergson: Good Gemma..:-)
[13:18] : Qwark Allen joins the applause.
[13:18] : Qwark Allen joins the applause.
[13:18] : Qwark Allen joins the applause.
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: :-))
[13:18] : Qwark Allen joins the applause.
[13:18] Laila Schuman: nice poster Ari
[13:18] Mickorod Renard: congrats Ari
[13:18] Qwark Allen: congratzzzzzzzzzzz

[13:18] Herman Bergson: There is an even more emphatic reason to appoint him. In his preperation of the pages for his .PDF document of our class had not only added links to information about Hipatia, but (to my surprise) also links to articles on Analytic Feminist philosophy and epistemology. To give you a quote:

[13:18] hope63 Shepherd: could i get the title of the most hopeless studen herman?
[13:18] AristotleVon Doobie: :))
[13:18] Alarice Beaumont: wow Ari :-))
[13:18] Alarice Beaumont: Congrats!
[13:19] Laila Schuman: Ari...sure earned it
[13:19] AristotleVon Doobie: a humble bow
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: ah
[13:19] AristotleVon Doobie: Thansk all
[13:19] Mickorod Renard: thats mine Hope

"Feminists criticize the misogyny of philosophers and the overt and covert sexism, androcentrism, and related forms of male bias in philosophy. For example, philosophers have through the centuries made a variety of false and demeaning claims about “the nature of woman”;

they have defined central concepts such as reason in ways that excluded women of their cultures; they have made allegedly universal claims about human nature, desire, or motivation that were, in fact, claims more likely to be true of men of their social class;

and they have believed methods and positions to be “value-neutral” and “objective” that were instead promoting the interests of only the privileged groups."

As a male philosopher I feel pretty uneasy reading this and wished that there never had been a Schopenhauer....^_^.
There definitely is a truth in this quote, but it is not the primary discussion I want to have here. Yet we constantly have to keep the intentions of this quote in mind.

As yet I want to take the women philosophers at face-value and present their ideas as they are. Nevertheless we run into observations like this:"Her renown was such that she was able to move freely in a world dominated almost exclusively by men (Scholasticus, c. 439, VII, xv)."

And that is about Hipatia. Even in our days she is a source of inspiration. On a site we read " Software without borders. Knowledge without frontiers, that is Hipatia. We strive to have free knowledge, in action for towns and villages of the world."

Hipatia lived during the final days of the hellenistic aera. In 415 AD she was murdered by what we nowadays would call a crowd of fundamentalists. In this case disciples of a rising spiritual power, christianity.

Philosophically she lived in the days of Neoplatonism, a mixture of the ideas of Plato and Aristotle, but also of the more practical philosophy o fthe Stoa and Epicurism. One of her major sources was probably Plotinus.

One issue you hear in feminist critics on modern philosophy is, that rationalistic and alienated from the roots of philosophy, which were formulated by the Ancient Greek.

The main theme of philosopy for the Greek was the Virtue, the answer to the question how you can live a good life. As we already saw in Hipparchia, philosophy as a lifestyle.. Hypatia was highly respected because of her virtue.

If there is one thing that the women philosophers bring to our attention, then it may be this aspect of philosophy, the fact that philosophy is not just a rational and cerebral enterprise, but closely interwoven with our life(style) itself

The Discussion

[13:25] Herman Bergson: So much on Aristotle and Hyparchia :-)
[13:25] hope63 Shepherd: where did she live..
[13:25] Herman Bergson: Alexandria...Egypt
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: i saw she was learned in math astronomy
[13:25] hope63 Shepherd: hmmm surprising..
[13:26] Elia Scribe: Are you saying that women are more aware of context?
[13:26] Herman Bergson: Her father was the last Librarian of the Famous Library there
[13:26] Herman Bergson: You make it easy today :-)
[13:27] Tiara Calvert: I'm so very sorry, please accept my apologies Herman, everyone I need to leave. Somethings come up.
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie accepted your inventory offer.
[13:27] Mickorod Renard: bye tiara
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: why was she murdered? egypt was not under romancatholic control..
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: a mob
[13:28] KirShan Andel: Mr Bergson, what were Hypatia's main lines of thought?
[13:28] Herman Bergson: there was a powerstruggle between Orestes the govenor there and Cyril the bisshop
[13:28] Samuel Okelly sighs
[13:28] Herman Bergson: She was thought to be a cause of that
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: we are talking about bycantine rule aren't we?
[13:29] Herman Bergson: She was a neoplatonist scholar and a mathematician
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: Coptic i believe
[13:29] Apmel Goosson: neoplatonist+..alread y in thise days
[13:30] Herman Bergson: Yes....especially formulated by Plotinus
[13:30] hope63 Shepherd: she is a victim of the interconfessional struggles?
[13:31] Teleo Aeon: who sacked and destroyed the library ?
[13:31] Herman Bergson: I dont know the details Hope
[13:31] Herman Bergson: The Library suffered of a great fire once
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: twice.. .. the first with cesar..
[13:32] Herman Bergson: and after that around 400 it was the decline of Alexandria that did the rest
[13:32] Herman Bergson: yes there were more fires
[13:32] Laila Schuman: can you mention her main lines of thought
[13:32] Herman Bergson: Well..I think that you should think of my last remark
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: and what you meant with her virtue..
[13:33] Herman Bergson: If fact philosophy in those days wasnt a rational enterprise,
[13:33] Apmel Goosson: is it today?
[13:33] Herman Bergson: but mainly the question what is a good life
[13:33] Laila Schuman: what did she think was good
[13:34] Herman Bergson: Well Apmel, I would say a lot of it is
[13:34] hope63 Shepherd: herman.. good life.. in the christian sense?, to my knowledge this was the time of the first monastries..
[13:34] KirShan Andel: According to a quick seach, a recurrent theme is that Hypatia was especially known as a mathematician. How does this influence her wrtings, please?
[13:34] Apmel Goosson: not me..ask the mathamaticians
[13:34] Herman Bergson: Good life in the sense Plato, or actually Socrates was discussing the meaning of Virtue
[13:34] Apmel Goosson: that is why most scientists don´t pay any attention
[13:34] Mickorod Renard: are we talking about hipparchia herman?
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: from what i read she belived in education of eveyone
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: no mick
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: oh
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: Hypitia
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: oops
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: ty
[13:35] Herman Bergson: There are as far as I know no direct writing of her.
[13:35] Qwark Allen: HYPATIA
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: ty
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: lol
[13:36] Herman Bergson: But there are commentaries on several books by Euclide and Ptholomy which she wrote in cooperation with her father
[13:36] KirShan Andel: Now, hystorically, the church did demonise Hypatia; this is also mentioned in Umberto Eco's literature
[13:36] KirShan Andel: What is her relevance to today's times?
[13:36] Herman Bergson: True...
[13:37] Herman Bergson: In 1840 or so there was a publication that spoke with great respect of Hypatia
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Immediatelly an english bisshop wrote a counter publication to tell how bad she was
[13:37] KirShan Andel: Thus we are referring to the early stages of the 1st feminist evolution....
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: ty kirshan
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: ys
[13:38] Herman Bergson: But the mathematics in her days were not just mathematics, but a way to understand the world order
[13:38] KirShan Andel: so, is Hypatia now more an image for inscriprtion, rather than an actual body of knoweldge?
[13:38] KirShan Andel: yvw Gemma
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: she becamne like some scapegoat for the church to cruzify women who knew more than was seen as decent?
[13:39] Herman Bergson: I think it is an anachronism to talk about feminism in those days
[13:39] KirShan Andel: Which Feminist cycle, if i may ask?
[13:40] Herman Bergson: Hypatia now is more a symbolic figure than known for her philosophical ideas
[13:41] Herman Bergson: She must have been a brilliant mind, that is for sure
[13:41] KirShan Andel: With good reason, no writing are left of hers
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: she stands for equality of the mind -men women--
[13:41] KirShan Andel: Due to the Arabs burning down the library
[13:41] KirShan Andel: Yet, what is the symbol she represents, and in which context, please?
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: arabs burning libraries:? you fool..
[13:42] Herman Bergson: Read the text I quoted from the site
[13:42] KirShan Andel: Yes, Hope
[13:42] KirShan Andel: Read the literature
[13:42] Herman Bergson: She is a symbol of freedom of knowledge
[13:42] Elia Scribe: Arabs maybe, but not muslims. To early.
[13:43] KirShan Andel:
[13:43] hope63 Shepherd: around 900 there were privat arab libraries which had more books than the whole of france..
[13:43] Apmel Goosson: yes that was a stupid remark KirShan
[13:43] KirShan Andel: not at all
[13:43] KirShan Andel: read the link
[13:43] KirShan Andel: Thank you
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: goodness a little courtesy !!!!!
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Ok,,,,let's stick to philosophical issues here
[13:43] KirShan Andel: Thank you, Gemma
[13:43] Elia Scribe: But what are these Herman?
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: everyone!!
[13:43] Herman Bergson: and indeed keep your voice down somewhat
[13:44] Apmel Goosson: Krírs Shan will get away with it then herman
[13:44] Dar Innis: sorry, i have a loud keyboard
[13:44] Apmel Goosson: if that is the cieling of this philosphy class I will leave
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: then is no need ever for name ceilling
[13:44] KirShan Andel: Apmel, do you have a problem?
[13:44] Herman Bergson: It is her responsability how she inteprets history
[13:45] Apmel Goosson: no you have
[13:45] Ninjah Valeeva: he he he
[13:45] Apmel Goosson: but I´ll leave
[13:45] KirShan Andel: Sucks for you then
[13:45] KirShan Andel: lol
[13:45] Herman Bergson: Dont make this a personal matter plz..
[13:45] Apmel Goosson: bye herman
[13:45] Elia Scribe: OK. Lets evolve above simians.
[13:45] Herman Bergson: And keep it polite
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: history as we have learned is open to interpretation
[13:46] Elia Scribe: Herrrrmannn? What are the philosophical issues that she brings to mind?
[13:46] Herman Bergson: The information we have about Hypatia is al second hand
[13:47] Herman Bergson: In fact, Elia, is mainly an historic figure of which is known that she was brilliant and highly educated in philosophy and mathematics
[13:47] Herman Bergson: Her contributions to the subject are in the commentaries that are left to us and of which is accepted that she wrote them together with her father
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: in those days it was a natural link wasnt it Herman?
[13:48] Herman Bergson: What do you mean, Mickorod?
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: I meant that maths and philo went together
[13:48] Herman Bergson: Yes indeed....
[13:49] Herman Bergson: as I said..the mathematics was a way to understand the world order...
[13:49] Herman Bergson: Like you see in Pythagoras for instance
[13:49] Samuel Okelly: If she behaved “contrary to the norm for women's public behaviour”, are we right to accurately assess her contribution with regards to a feminine viewpoint? (other than judging her ability "to do like men do")
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: and astronomy too i think
[13:49] Ninjah Valeeva: Is it no more the case ?
[13:50] Herman Bergson: It was a way of thinking
[13:50] Herman Bergson: I think it isnt the case anymore Ninjah
[13:50] Herman Bergson: We dont understand mathematics in the way the Greek did
[13:50] Ninjah Valeeva: But we thing logical, no ?
[13:51] Herman Bergson: We use the same principles
[13:51] Herman Bergson: but we dont see them as descriptions of the heavenly spheres or harmonics anymore
[13:52] Ninjah Valeeva: The triangl d'or is always use in architecture
[13:52] Herman Bergson: Maybe I am wrong but nowadays we see mathematics more as a tool
[13:52] Ninjah Valeeva: The nombre d'or, sorry ha ha ha
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: the greeks were mainly concerend with functions-elations between mathematical questions.. the arabs developped algebra..
[13:52] Qwark Allen: a tool and a language
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: not to talk about mumbers.. with the introduction of zero..
[13:53] Herman Bergson: I agree a we saw so emphaticaly in logical positivism for instance
[13:53] Qwark Allen: yes
[13:53] Dar Innis: hindu numerals
[13:53] Mickorod Renard: would she have been seen in the same light of fame if she were a man?
[13:53] Herman Bergson: Yes..the history of numbers is fascinating
[13:53] Paula Dix: yes, zero was also indian
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: 4 months ago i said math is a language of its own.. why did everybody laugh..
[13:53] Elia Scribe: herman, you said "Ok,,,,let's stick to philosophical issues here". So is the role of mathematics in philosophy an issue the Hypatia addresses?
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: zeero is iondian.. but the introduction to europe came from the arabs..
[13:54] Herman Bergson: Yes Elia
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: india was part of the arab world then..
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: at least part of it.
[13:54] Paula Dix: true hope
[13:54] Dar Innis: i think hypatia addresses that the best way to be regarded well long after your death is to get killed and not leave behind any pesky views for people to pick apart
[13:54] Ninjah Valeeva: Can you sit down Hope ?
[13:54] Elia Scribe: By the fact that she was a mathematician, or by specific thoughts credited to her?
[13:54] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. i crashed..
[13:55] Ninjah Valeeva: Your feet are on the Muschroom
[13:55] Paula Dix: Dar, she got that from Socrates or Jesus? :)
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: a vos ordres madame:)
[13:55] Herman Bergson: I would say that mathematics in fact was a part of philosophy in those days
[13:55] Dar Innis: prolly both
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: SHE WAS A PAGAN
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: and math in a way could it have been a danger to religion?
[13:56] Elia Scribe: Yes, but what insight does Hypatia bring to this issue of the role of math in philo?
[13:56] Hello: Gemma Cleanslate donated L$50. Thank you very much for supporting us, it is much appreciated!
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: Before any one has to go, I would like the offer my heartfelt thanks to Herman for this great honor. It, indeed, means a lot to me. And to the entire class for the wonderful communion we have. Believe me, the balance of the rewards is tilted in my direction. It is an honor to be associated with you all.
[13:57] Elia Scribe: You're the best Doobie.
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:57] Qwark Allen: :-) o/
[13:57] Herman Bergson: You are welcome Aristotle..^_^
[13:57] hope63 Shepherd: come on ari.. you are juast a great pal:)
[13:57] Ninjah Valeeva: Congratulation !
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: i think we have to go soorry another engagement see you on Tuesday !! congrats again ari!
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. congrats :-))
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: thanks :)
[13:57] hope63 Shepherd: no class sunday?
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: not?!
[[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: did i miss something?!
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Ok...let me conclude with saying that Hypatia primarily is a historic figure with a symbolic meaning
[13:58] Elia Scribe: Political?
[13:58] Qwark Allen: congratz ari!!!! ty herman!!! good as usual, lecture!! cya all soon
[13:58] Herman Bergson: symbolic in the sense that she was a woman philosopher and symbolic for the freedom of educatin and knowledge
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: cleopatre was a student at the university of alexandria..
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: she was a shining light , I think
[13:59] Paula Dix: herman, people at that time were all religious? in a way or other?
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: and for sure no stupid woman..
[13:59] Ninjah Valeeva: lol
[13:59] Alarice Beaumont: lol
[13:59] Ninjah Valeeva: lol
[13:59] Ninjah Valeeva: ha ha ha ha
[13:59] Herman Bergson: I thank you for the discussion and would add that soem of you should keep a sharper eye on mutual couresy. I would appreciate that
[14:00] Herman Bergson: courtesy
[14:00] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you, Professor
[14:00] Alarice Beaumont: thanks Herman :-)
[14:00] Elia Scribe: I think religion had a substantially different role back then Paula.
[14:00] Herman Bergson: Class dismissed...
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-11-08 07:37:40

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