Pythagoras is the Best Philosopher

This was my friend’s answer when I asked him (an A.B. Philosophy graduate from a reputable Catholic Seminary) who is the best philosopher in his opinion.

Why? According to my friend, the world now is controlled by mathematics – mobile gadgets, electrical devices, communication, transportation – a neverending list. Math has become the fundamental test for everything expensive, destructive, constructive or even depressive. I said, I must agree. We all owe this math thing to its human father “Pythagoras.”

Pythagoras is a Greek philosopher and mathematician who founded the mystic Pythagorean cult. The cult he founded was devoted to the study of numbers, which the Pythagoreans saw as concrete, material objects. Weird? Take this, “[W]hen joining Pythagoras’s group, you had to remain silent for five years before you could contribute to the group. ” Now that’s more than a fraternity hazing or a Philippine Military Academy-experience.

Bertrand Russell once said that “[I]t is to this gentleman (Pythagoras) that we owe pure mathematics. The comtemplative ideal — since it led to pure mathematics — was the source of a useful activity. This increased it’s prestige and gave it a success in theology, in ethics, and in philosophy.”

After philosophy was born, mathematics immediately came after. There is even a chance that they both came at the same time. Mathematics, so honored, became the model for other sciences. Thought became superior to the senses; intuition became superior to observation.

Now, my friend’s reason for regarding Pythagoras as the best philosopher was not at all hard to accept. The reasons are very evident, they easily create this notion that the reasons he gave are rather truthful facts rather than justifications for an argument. Maybe Pythagoras or mathematics itself was not that important during the intermittent ages such as the dark ages, the renaissance and the industrial revolution ages but still, in the end, in this post-modern age, mathematics prevailed over all sciences in the degree of importance and danger.

Might as well review calculus once in a while. 😀

PS: My friend is also taking the Bar this year. I am confident his Philosophy background will never let him down.


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