Megara, School of

Megara, School Of one of the schools founded by disciples of Socrates, but so modified in position from their teacher as to deserve the name of a peculiar society. Its principal supporter was Euiclid of-Megara, who was born about 440 BC., and was himself a pupil of Parmenides, one of the most prominent leaders in the Eleatic School (q.v.). After the death of Socrates, his disciples, fleeing for safety from Athens. found a pleasant home in the house of Euclid, and there, guided by him, finally established principles which gave them the name of Megarists. They taught that ethics stands in the service of dialectics. The essence of good is unity-unity so entire as to embrace immobility, identity, and permanence. Hence the sensible world has no part in existence. Being and good are thus the same thing, viz. unity; good therefore alone exists, and evil is but the absence of existence. It does not follow, however, that there is but a single being and a single sort of good, for unity may be found contained in various things. Euclid expressly taught that, in spite of their unity, being and good clothe themselves in different forms, present themselves under different points of view, and receive different names, as wisdom, God, intelligence, and the like. Euclid also anticipated Aristotle in distinguishing the act from the power, and resolved, according to his ideas of being, the relation between the two. Other supporters of this school were Eubulicles, Alexinos, Diodorus, Chronos, Philo, and Stilpo. See Dyck, De Megaricorum doctrina (Bonn, 1827); Ritter, Ueber die Philosophie der Megarischen Schule; Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, vol. i.

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