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What was the major difference between ancient Greek and medieval philosophy?

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Western philosophical thought began in Ancient Greece. Loosely translated, the word philosophy means wisdom. How people should live, how they should think, and what they should believe was the focus of philosophy in ancient times.

In the Western world, philosophy might be broken down into three major branches: epistemology, or the study of knowledge; metaphysics, or the study of the nature of reality; and ethics, or the study of morality. Beginning in Ancient Greece, little is definitively known about the pre-Socratics. Records from the era around B.C.E 650 are scarce. What is evident is a trend in philosophy away from mythological explanations of the natural world and toward more rational approaches to the physical world.

For example, Thales and Anaximander examined the four major elements of earth, air, fire, and water to reach rational conclusions about the material world in which they lived. Early philosophers like Pythagoras developed theories on the reincarnation of souls. While their work...

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Ancient Greek philosophy spanned the time period from the Pre-Socratic philosophers (around 6th Century BCE) in Ancient Greece all the way up through the Roman Empire. The transition from ancient to medieval times or the middle ages is commonly marked with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, around the 5th Century C.E. Although a big part of the rise of medieval philosophy was an attempt to revisit the questions of ancient Greek philosophy, philosophy had now changed in one big way: theology.

The main departure from ancient Greek philosophy into medieval philosophy is that philosophers are now trying to incorporate religious doctrine and theological concerns into their philosophical quandaries. Many of the religious ideas were rooted in Christianity. Proofs of the existence of God, such as St. Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument and St. Anselm's Ontological Argument, were common during this time period. Questions of faith versus reason and the attributes of the divine were also common, although they were previously almost non-existent in ancient Greece. However, medieval philosophy also drew heavily on Aristotelian thought regarding metaphysics, logic, and philosophy of mind.

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