Speech of Christina Fili Professor, member of Greece China Association – Science Department

During the Forum of Philosophy – Reflections on China-West Cultural Exchanges

Held in Athens 7-10 August, 2013

At the coasts of Ionia    around the 6 th century  B.C.   took place an  important event concernig the passage of the mythical to the rational. Thus the cosmological interpretation   based on the myth   gave birth   to the creation of a new rationalist type of knowledge . People started to search  for the truth ,whose concept at first belonging  to philosophy rather than mathematics.

The frontiers of that period  were traced  through the introduction of the concept of demonstration by Thales

,which henceforth  characterize   mathematics as rational beings  From the myth and the experience  mathematucs were developed under the guidance  of demonstration  and attended  abstractness. in the school of Pythagoras

in Croton South Italy.  There  they  developed a philosophical system  based on the notion of  integer number. Every thing  is number  was their moto . From this cult  music was thereby conceived  as numerical ratios .

In the Platonic Academy  however   Plato (4 th century B.C.) created  a mathematical philosophy which was more advanced  than the Pythagorean one . as he adopted that  not only things  imitate the numbers  but they paricipated to them .

Through the Elements of Euclid  (ca  300 B,.C.)  the ancient Greek  mathematical thought   testified  the modern creation  of mathematics;  while Archimedes    conceived a very powerfull instrument : the infinitesiamal calculus    and at the same time he worked for pure  and applied mathematics.

During the late hellenistic  period  in Alexandria   Hypatia ( ca   370-415)    taught  Plato and Aristotle  considering philosophy  as a way of religious mysticism. Moreover she tried  to preserve the ancient Greek  cultural inheritance in Alexandria  , where  all the institutions  (Museum , Library )  collapsed  due to the fanatism of the first christians.