Pythagoras - Philosophy and Learning
Pythagoras (c.570-495 BC)
Greek philosopher (pictured right) and mathematician famous for his theorem about the sides of right-angled
triangles (see point one below).
What did he teach us about learning and thinking?
1. Mighty mathematics
The whole world is governed by mathematical rules.
His most famous rule is,of course, that in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenus equals the sum of
the squares of the other two sides (called Pythagoras' Theorem).
“Number rules the universe”, Pythagoras said.
2. Reason is immortal
Eternal truths come from intellectual analysis based on:
- abstract thinking (superior to what our senses tell us).
- deductive reasoning (see point 3).
3. Deductive reasoning
Pythagoras was the first person to recognize the power of deduction.
For example, if A is true, B is true, and, if B is true, C is true and so on.
4. Love and be good
The most important struggle in life is in your soul - the constant battle between good and
To win this battle:
- love others (but remember that self-respect should be your first priority).
- make friends of your enemies.
- don't act or speak out of anger.
- be self-disciplined (the best way to be good).
Key quote on decision
Choices are the hinges of destiny
Key quote on love
Friends share all things.
Key quote on
Number rules the universe
Key quote on
The oldest, shortest words— 'yes' and 'no'— are those which require the most thought
Key quote on peace of
Respect yourself above all
Key quote on core
Attempt nothing above your strength!
Key quote on time
The best and greatest winning is a true friend; and the greatest loss is the loss of time
Key quote on stress and
It is better to suffer, than to do wrong