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This Documentary describes Pythagoras. It was produced by Cromwell Productions in 1996. Pythagoras (fl. 530 BCE) must have been one of the world’s greatest men, but he wrote nothing, and it is hard to say how much of the doctrine we know as Pythagorean is due to the founder of the society and how much is later development. The word Genius perfectly describes Pythagoras; at times his ideas and theories were so radical, they were considered dangerous or subversive by the rulers of their day. Set against the backdrop of Ancient Greece, this film tells the story of a true genius.
In the 4th century BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle traveled to Lesvos, an island in the Aegean teeming, then as now, with wildlife. His fascination with what he found there, and his painstaking study of it, led to the birth of a new science – biology. Professor Armand Leroi follows in Aristotle’s footsteps to discover the creatures, places and ideas that inspired the philosopher in his pioneering work. A film that examines Aristotle’s discoveries about nature on the island of Lesvos and how they influenced his views on human biology. Watch the full documentary now (playlist – 1 hour)
To be told, you are responsible for the period of history that you are living in. You have not only the right to choose, but the duty to choose and if you are now surrounded by poverty, by war, by oppression, by cruelty – that is what you have chosen. Sartre was the leading advocate of atheistic existentialism in France but he was also interested in the novel, drama, literary criticism and politics. He is best remembered for his philosophical works and his idea of communistic existentialism which he expressed in novels and plays such as his debut novel Nausea (1939), which depicted man adrift in a godless universe, hostage to his own freedom.
Confucius had a hard life, and he had intimate knowledge of the sufferings of his people. He lived in an era that saw constant warfare between competing warlords and the casting of shadows upon the impressive Chinese civilization that came before. Confucius wanted above all else to change Chinese society of his time and to rescue his nation and her people from the suffering and misery that stalked the land at that time. He was the son of an elderly great warrior and his concubine, and he apparently inherited the unbecoming looks of his father. After his father’s death, he and his mother were rejected by the family, but great poverty did not stop Confucius from constantly seeking to learn and grow.
German philosopher Martin Heidegger addressed the central question of human existence full on, by examining how human self-awareness depends on concepts of time and death. His preoccupation with ontology – the form of metaphysical inquiry concerned with the study of existence itself – dominated his work. The central idea of his complex Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) (1927) could be summed up in the phrase ‘being is’. Man had to ask himself ‘what is it to be?’ and only by doing this, and standing back from absorption into objects and other distractions, could he actually exist.
A brilliant young man, he was appointed professor at the University of Basel aged 24 having not even finished his degree. His evanescent philosophical life ended 20 years later when he went insane and died shortly afterwards. Nietzsche’s argued that the Christian system of faith and worship was not only incorrect, but harmful to society because it allowed the weak to rule the strong – it suppressed the will to power which was the driving force of human character. Nietzsche wanted people to throw of the shackles of our misguided Christian morality and become supermen – free and titanic. However, without God he felt that the future of man might spiral into a society of nihilism, devoid of any meaning; his aim was for man to realise the lack of divine purpose and create his own values.