6 Answers

  1. Depends on who. If we talk about real philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, or Zeno, for example, they wrote simply because they couldn't help but write. They may have been approved (or disapproved) by great / noble / rich contemporaries, or they may not have been. It is known that the same Zeno of Citia, the founder of stoicism, was very shy of people. When he was surrounded by people who wanted to hear the essence of his conversations, he very rudely pushed them away from him and even usually sat on the edge of the bench, so that at least on one side he did not have a neighbor. Here it is important to understand that these people, in their opinion, were in contact with the good. Some of them did not write at all, such as the great Socrates, for whom it was more important to stand in one place all day and learn something for himself than to write some work that would make him famous. In this sense, the work, although later, of Marcus Aurelius is significant. These are personal notes addressed “to yourself”. It is quite another matter – screamers who have signed up as philosophers. Such Musonius called�” worthy of money “(i.e., “worthy of money”). beggars worthy of being “respected” by material goods that mean nothing to a true sage), and Herod Atticus said that he sees only cloaks and beards, but does not see philosophers in them. Such, of course, decided on a variety of spectacular antics and could scribble works only to become famous and gain a name for themselves. Calvisius Taurus very aptly described this state of the “philosophers”: they run to the doorsteps of rich young men, waiting for their hangover-ridden students to wake up and teach them about life for a fee.�

    If we talk about Aristotle, then the full body of his works has not reached us. Most of the works of Aristotle at our disposal are acroamatic, i.e. addressed to students. In fact, these are manuals. It is no coincidence that in” Physics”and” Metaphysics”he considers the opinions of many philosophers of the past – this is a kind of” historiography of the question”, so that it is more convenient to study the subject, relying on the already existing foundation of opinions. So the target audience is very narrow. Moreover, Aristotle had a special,” secret ” teaching, which was not widely publicized. When Aristotle published some of these lectures, he received a terrible letter from his most famous student, Alexander the Great, who wrote quite frankly about the inadmissibility of publishing these”sublime ideas”. In response, Aristotle noted that such works are available only to people with a high level of education and special training. So again, there is no question of popularity among a wide range of readers, or the desire to stand out.

  2. Ancient philosophers wrote their works for a few people, whom we would call the political elite, while at the same time distancing themselves somewhat from it. In any case, they assumed that their thoughts would primarily affect those who already have the skill to perceive abstractions: people with strategic thinking, who are able to think several steps ahead and wrap all impressions in concepts.

  3. It is for us that they are Philosophers, Classics, authors of tedious drudgery written in an archaic language. And for their contemporaries, they were coaches of personal growth trainings, which were mandatory for all free young men and replaced secondary school for them. Lectures and seminars (monologues and dialogues) were held in the form of conversations during walks in the courtyards of churches and alternated with mandatory gymnastic exercises and joint meals. Philosophers competed with each other, endlessly bickering in the squares and writing offensive comments on each other's posts. Naturally, they also wrote long sheet posts describing their ideas and smaller posts replying to their opponents. The most seedy philosopher in the Roman province had a lot of people who wanted to learn the “science of life”, as philosophy classes were called at that time. Kings fought for the right to invite Zeno of Kitia or Aristotle to live with them. It was written for them: for rich clients, for other philosophers, for students at school, for self-promotion, for themselves, to formalize the thoughts that had formed in their heads” completely”.

  4. Not everyone wrote (Socrates, Pyrrhon, etc. didn't write it). Plato did not like to write. Aristotle wrote a lot. If we assume (as is usually done) that philosophers presented their ideas and ideas (worldviews), then they wrote for a narrow circle of intellectuals. If you see in the constructions of ancient philosophers texts-constructs, whose task is not to present a picture of the world, but to participate in the transformation of your life and build your own life scenario (more precisely, choosing the right one), then Merab Mamardashvili is for everyone who has “awakened the dignity of existence”.

  5. Initially, the word philosopher meant any intellectual in ancient Greece, but later this word acquired a modern meaning. Accordingly, the study of philosophy was part of the activity of any educated person, for example, it was taught by Pythagoras, along with music and mathematics. Aristotle was the first to give the philosophical treatise its modern form — before him, works on philosophy were written in the form of prose or poetry. And he wrote them, respectively, for his students and descendants. The legacy of ancient philosophers is still relevant, mainly in ontology-the doctrine of being. Aristotle was referred to by Heidegger in his 1924 work. Derrida deconstructed Platonic texts in the 70s of the twentieth century.

  6. Philosophers wrote for different motives and for different audiences.�

    Birth of the practice of writing-specifically, the transition from Socrates (who did not write anything, only talked to people on the street, and generally did not approve of writing) to Plato, who wrote a lot of letters – this was generally an important turning point in the history of philosophy.

    Initially, Greek philosophers were not “writers”, they were teachers, teachers – for example, it is known that many of the texts of Plato and Aristotle, which we now consider “their works”, were actually originally notes that they made for themselves (preparing for lectures), or even student notes (by the way, this practice is still alive today: many important works of major philosophers (Wittgenstein, Foucault, Heidegger) are lecture notes published by students). So their audience was their students-usually young, affluent citizens, for whom philosophy classes were part of a comprehensive education – moral, political, scientific and rhetorical (philosophers, among other things, taught to speak fluently, and then write).

    On the other hand, many philosophical “treatises” have specific addressees: they were just random people (Seneca's” Letters to Lucilius”, for example, is literally his correspondence with a friend), students (John Locke's” Thoughts on Education ” is actually a textbook written by him for his ward), politicians. Such texts generally came to the attention of the general public only by coincidence: initially, they were written based on the interests and competence of one particular addressee.�

    Many texts were written with very pragmatic goals. For example, “The Sovereign”: Niccolo Machiavelli served in the Florentine Republic as a political adviser and ambassador, and when Lorenzo de ' Medici came to power, Machiavelli was in disgrace under house arrest. So Machiavelli wrote The Sovereign as a gift to Lorenzo, hoping, of course, that the Medici would be impressed by his knowledge and hire him. That is, it was practically a resume (and, by the way, an unsuccessful one: Machiavelli was never hired).�

    Some philosophical texts were written simply for a commission: for example, Rene Descartes worked for Queen Christina of Sweden, she commissioned him a treatise on the nature of emotions-Descartes wrote The Passion of the Soul

    Many philosophical texts, especially medieval ones, are dissertations. That is, their “target audience” was exclusively those people who took part in the defense of this very dissertation (then there were no dissertation councils, the defenses were open). The dissertation was a pathway to obtaining a church or university position. This is still working: one of the most famous dissertations is Ludwig Wittgenstein's Logical and Philosophical Treatise.�

    Well, since the Middle Ages, texts have been the main way of communication in the scientific community (as, in fact, they are now): if you want to argue with someone, prove your point of view, or advance your theory, write a treatise and send it to your opponent. If you want to be hired (as a teacher, for example, or a government official), write a treatise and send it to a potential employer. So in most cases, philosophers wrote either for other philosophers or for very specific select readers. Such a phenomenon as the distribution of philosophical texts among the general public is a relatively new phenomenon.

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