Ancient Greek Philosophy

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Just as senses receive, via the sense organ, the form of things, but not the matter, mind receives the intelligible forms of things, without receiving the things themselves.

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Ancient Greek Philosophy. From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition.

Darin besteht nun auch der Unterschied zur klassischen Essstörung, bei der die Betroffenen denken, zu dick zu sein, und Körpermasse vermindern wollen anstatt sie zu vermehren. Die genauen Ursachen für die Entstehung der körperdysmorphen Störung sind unbekannt. Es wird mittlerweile angenommen, dass sowohl biologische als auch soziokulturelle Faktoren hierbei eine Rolle spielen könnten.

Vor allem im angelsächsischen Wissenschaftsbetrieb wird die körperdysmorphe Störung ebenso wie u. Hypochondrie , Trichotillomanie und Anorexia nervosa zu den Zwangsspektrumserkrankungen Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders gezählt.

Die Ursachen seien daher ähnlich wie bei der Zwangsstörung. Die Betroffenen nehmen ihren Körper oder einzelne Körperteile als hässlich oder entstellt wahr. Am häufigsten werden das Gesicht und der Kopf so wahrgenommen, z.

Die Betroffenen leiden wegen dieser Einschätzung ihres Aussehens oft unter zwanghaften Gedanken, die bis zu mehrere Stunden am Tag andauern können. Weiterhin zeigen sie oftmals sogenannte ritualisierte Verhaltensweisen: Überprüfen des Erscheinungsbildes in Spiegeln oder anderen reflektierenden Oberflächen, Vergleichen des eigenen Aussehens mit dem von anderen Personen, Auftragen von Makeup oder anderen Kosmetikartikeln. Viele der Betroffenen haben keine oder eine geringe Krankheitseinsicht, sondern sind fest davon überzeugt, enorm un attraktiv zu sein.

Der Dopingforscher Luitpold Kistler hat darauf hingewiesen, dass die Krankheit auch bei Bodybuildern auftritt, die trotz objektiv enormer Muskelmasse Defizite an sich feststellen würden: Since non-being is not and cannot therefore be thought, we are deluded into believing that this sort of change actually happens. Similarly, what-is is one. If there were a plurality, there would be non-being, that is, this would not be that.

Parmenides thus argues that we must trust in reason alone. In the Parmenidean tradition, we have Zeno c. Zeno seems to have composed a text wherein he claims to show the absurdity in accepting that there is a plurality of beings, and he also shows that motion is impossible. Zeno shows that if we attempt to count a plurality, we end up with an absurdity. If there were a plurality, then it would be neither more nor less than the number that it would have to be. Thus, there would be a finite number of things.

On the other hand, if there were a plurality, then the number would be infinite because there is always something else between existing things, and something else between those, and something else between those, ad infinitum.

Thus, if there were a plurality of things, then that plurality would be both infinite and finite in number, which is absurd F4. The most enduring paradoxes are those concerned with motion. It is impossible for a body in motion to traverse, say, a distance of twenty feet.

In order to do so, the body must first arrive at the halfway point, or ten feet. But in order to arrive there, the body in motion must travel five feet. But in order to arrive there, the body must travel two and a half feet, ad infinitum. Since, then, space is infinitely divisible, but we have only a finite time to traverse it, it cannot be done.

Presumably, one could not even begin a journey at all. Achilles must first reach the place where the slow runner began. This means that the slow runner will already be a bit beyond where he began. Once Achilles progresses to the next place, the slow runner is already beyond that point, too. Thus, motion seems absurd.

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae c. Closely predating Plato Anaxagoras died around the time that Plato was born , Anaxagoras left his impression upon Plato and Aristotle, although they were both ultimately dissatisfied with his cosmology Graham He seems to have been almost exclusively concerned with cosmology and the true nature of all that is around us. Before the cosmos was as it is now, it was nothing but a great mixture—everything was in everything.

The mixture was so thoroughgoing that no part of it was recognizable due to the smallness of each thing, and not even colors were perceptible. He considered matter to be infinitely divisible. That is, because it is impossible for being not to be, there is never a smallest part, but there is always a smaller part. If the parts of the great mixture were not infinitely divisible, then we would be left with a smallest part. Since the smallest part could not become smaller, any attempt at dividing it again would presumably obliterate it.

The most important player in this continuous play of being is mind nous. Although mind can be in some things, nothing else can be in it—mind is unmixed. We recall that, for Anaxagoras, everything is mixed with everything. There is some portion of everything in anything that we identify. Thus, if anything at all were mixed with mind, then everything would be mixed with mind. Mind is in control, and it is responsible for the great mixture of being.

Everlasting mind—the most pure of all things—is responsible for ordering the world. Anaxagoras left his mark on the thought of both Plato and Aristotle, whose critiques of Anaxagoras are similar. He was most excited about mind as an ultimate cause of all. Yet, Socrates complains, Anaxagoras made very little use of mind to explain what was best for each of the heavenly bodies in their motions, or the good of anything else.

That is, Socrates seems to have wanted some explanation as to why it is good for all things to be as they are Graham Aristotle, too, complains that Anaxagoras makes only minimal use of his principle of mind. It becomes, as it were, a deus ex machina, that is, whenever Anaxagoras was unable to give any other explanation for the cause of a given event, he fell back upon mind Graham It is possible, as always, that both Plato and Aristotle resort here to a straw man of sorts in order to advance their own positions.

Indeed, we have seen that Mind set the great mixture into motion, and then ordered the cosmos as we know it. This is no insignificant feat. Ancient atomism began a legacy in philosophical and scientific thought, and this legacy was revived and significantly evolved in modern philosophy. In contemporary times, the atom is not the smallest particle. Etymologically, however, atomos is that which is uncut or indivisible.

The ancient atomists, Leucippus and Democritus c. They were to some degree responding to Parmenides and Zeno by indicating atoms as indivisible sources of motion. Atoms—the most compact and the only indivisible bodies in nature—are infinite in number, and they constantly move through an infinite void. In fact, motion would be impossible, says Democritus, without the void. If there were no void, the atoms would have nothing through which to move. Atoms take on a variety, perhaps an infinite variety, of shapes.

Some are round, others are hooked, and yet others are jagged. They often collide with one another, and often bounce off of one another. Sometimes, though, the shapes of the colliding atoms are amenable to one another, and they come together to form the matter that we identify as the sensible world F5.

This combination, too, would be impossible without the void. Atoms need a background emptiness out of which they are able to combine Graham Atoms then stay together until some larger environmental force breaks them apart, at which point they resume their constant motion F5.

Why certain atoms come together to form a world seems up to chance, and yet many worlds have been, are, and will be formed by atomic collision and coalescence Graham Once a world is formed, however, all things happen by necessity—the causal laws of nature dictate the course of the natural world Graham Much of what is transmitted to us about the Sophists comes from Plato.

Thus, the Sophists had no small influence on fifth century Greece and Greek thought. Broadly, the Sophists were a group of itinerant teachers who charged fees to teach on a variety of subjects, with rhetoric as the preeminent subject in their curriculum.

A common characteristic among many, but perhaps not all, Sophists seems to have been an emphasis upon arguing for each of the opposing sides of a case. Thus, these argumentative and rhetorical skills could be useful in law courts and political contexts.

However, these sorts of skills also tended to earn many Sophists their reputation as moral and epistemological relativists, which for some was tantamount to intellectual fraud. One of the earliest and most famous Sophists was Protagoras c. Plato, at least for the purposes of the Protagoras , reads individual relativism out of this statement.

For example, if the pool of water feels cold to Henry, then it is in fact cold for Henry, while it might appear warm, and therefore be warm for Jennifer. The idea of communication is then rendered incoherent since each person has his or her own private meaning.

That is, the question of whether and how things are, and whether and how things are not, is a question that has meaning ostensibly only for human beings. Thus, all knowledge is relative to us as human beings, and therefore limited by our being and our capabilities. It is implied here that knowledge is possible, but that it is difficult to attain, and that it is impossible to attain when the question is whether or not the gods exist.

We can also see here that human finitude is a limit not only upon human life but also upon knowledge. Thus, if there is knowledge, it is for human beings, but it is obscure and fragile. Along with Protagoras was Gorgias c. Perhaps flashier than Protagoras when it came to rhetoric and speech making, Gorgias is known for his sophisticated and poetic style. He is known also for extemporaneous speeches, taking audience suggestions for possible topics upon which he would speak at length.

His most well-known work is On Nature , Or On What-Is-Not wherein he, contrary to Eleatic philosophy, sets out to show that neither being nor non-being is, and that even if there were anything, it could be neither known nor spoken. It is unclear whether this work was in jest or in earnest. If it was in jest, then it was likely an exercise in argumentation as much as it was a gibe at the Eleatics.

If it was in earnest, then Gorgias could be seen as an advocate for extreme skepticism, relativism, or perhaps even nihilism Graham We cannot be sure if or when Xenophon or Plato is reporting about Socrates with historical accuracy. In some cases, we can be sure that they are intentionally not doing so, but merely using Socrates as a mouthpiece to advance philosophical dialogue Döring Xenophon, in his Memorobilia , wrote some biographical information about Socrates, but we cannot know how much is fabricated or embellished.

Socrates was the son of a sculptor, Sophroniscus, and grew up an Athenian citizen. Similarly, Aristophanes presents Socrates as an impoverished sophist whose head was in the clouds to the detriment of his daily, practical life. While Xenophon and Plato both recognize this rhetorical Socrates, they both present him as a virtuous man who used his skills in argumentation for truth, or at least to help remove himself and his interlocutors from error.

He did so by asking them questions, often demanding yes-or-no answers, and then reduced their positions to absurdity. He was, in short, aiming for his interlocutor to admit his own ignorance, especially where the interlocutor thought that he knew what he did not in fact know. Thus, many Platonic dialogues end in aporia, an impasse in thought—a place of perplexity about the topic originally under discussion Brickhouse and Smith This is presumably the place from which a thoughtful person can then make a fresh start on the way to seeking truth.

Socrates practiced philosophy openly, did not charge fees for doing so and allowed anyone who wanted to engage with him to do so. Socrates lived ever in the open; for early in the morning he went to the public promenades and training-grounds; in the forenoon he was seen in the market; and the rest of the day he passed just where most people were to be met: Memorabilia , Book I, i.

Indeed, as John Cooper claims in his introduction to Plato: Often his discussions had to do with topics of virtue—justice, courage, temperance, and wisdom Memorabilia , Book I, i.

This sort of open practice made Socrates well known but also unpopular, which eventually led to his execution. Lycon about whom little is known , Anytus an influential politician in Athens , and Meletus, a poet, accused Socrates of not worshipping the gods mandated by Athens impiety and of corrupting the youth through his persuasive power of speech. In his Meno , Plato hints that Anytus was already personally angry with Socrates. This is not surprising, if indeed Socrates practiced philosophy in the way that both Xenophon and Plato report that he did by exposing the ignorance of his interlocutors.

Socrates claims to have ventured down the path of philosophy because of a proclamation from the Oracle at Delphi. The god replied that no one was wiser than Socrates. Socrates, who claims never to have been wise, wondered what this meant. As a result of showing so many people their own ignorance, or at least trying to, Socrates became unpopular 23a. This unpopularity is eventually what killed him. Both Xenophon and Plato 40b claim that it was this daimon who prevented Socrates from making such a defense as would exonerate him.

That is, the daimon did not dissuade Socrates from his sentence of death. At any rate, Xenophon has Socrates recognize his own unpopularity. Socrates practiced philosophy, in an effort to know himself, daily and even in the face of his own death.

He and Crito first establish that doing wrong willingly is always bad, and this includes returning wrong for wrong 49b-c. Then, personifying Athenian law, Socrates establishes that escaping prison would be wrong.

In it, he famously claims that philosophy is practice for dying and death 64a. Indeed, he spends his final hours with his friends discussing a very relevant and pressing philosophical issue, that is the immortality of the soul. Socrates is presented to us as a man who, even in his final hours, wanted nothing more than to pursue wisdom. Euthyphro, a priest, claims that what he is doing—prosecuting a wrongdoer—is pious. Socrates then uses his elenchos to show that Euthyphro does not actually know what piety is.

Socrates, we are told, continued this practice even in the final hours of his life. He grew up in a time of upheaval in Athens, especially at the conclusion of the Peloponnesian war, when Athens was conquered by Sparta.

We cannot be sure when he met Socrates. He also seems to have spent time with Cratylus, the Heraclitean, which probably had an impact primarily on his metaphysics and epistemology. At last I came to the conclusion that all existing states are badly governed and the condition of their laws practically incurable, without some miraculous remedy and the assistance of fortune; and I was forced to say, in praise of true philosophy , that from her height alone was it possible to discern what the nature of justice is, either in the state or in the individual, and that the ills of the human race would never end until either those who are sincerely and truly lovers of wisdom [that is, philosophers] come into political power, or the rulers of our cities, by the grace of God, learn true philosophy.

Plato saw any political regime without the aid of philosophy or fortune as fundamentally corrupt. This attitude, however, did not turn Plato entirely from politics. He visited Sicily three times, where two of these trips were failed attempts at trying to turn the tyrant Dionysius II to the life of philosophy. He thus returned to Athens and focused his efforts on the philosophical education he had begun at his Academy Nails 5.

Since Plato wrote dialogues, there is a fundamental difficulty with any effort to identify just what Plato himself thought. Plato never appears in the dialogues as an interlocutor. If he was voicing any of his own thoughts, he did it through the mouthpiece of particular characters in the dialogues, each of which has a particular historical context. As John Cooper says,. Both of these words are rooted in verbs of seeing.

Thus, the eidos of something is its look, shape, or form. But, as many philosophers do, Plato manipulates this word and has it refer to immaterial entities. Why is it that one can recognize that a maple is a tree, an oak is a tree, and a Japanese fir is a tree?

What is it that unites all of our concepts of various trees under a unitary category of Tree? The forms can be interpreted not only as purely theoretical entities, but also as immaterial entities that give being to material entities.

Each tree, for example, is what it is insofar as it participates in the form of Tree. That is, if anything can be known, it is the forms. Since things in the world are changing and temporal, we cannot know them; therefore, forms are unchanging and eternal beings that give being to all changing and temporal beings in the world, if knowledge is to be certain and clear.

In other words, we cannot know something that is different from one moment to the next. The forms are therefore pure ideas that unify and stabilize the multiplicity of changing beings in the material world. The forms are the ultimate reality, and this is shown to us in the Allegory of the Cave. We are to imagine a cave wherein lifelong prisoners dwell. These prisoners do not know that they are prisoners since they have been held captive their entire lives.

They are shackled such that they are incapable of turning their heads. Behind them is a fire, and small puppets or trinkets of various things—horses, stones, people, and so forth—are being moved in front of the fire. Shadows of these trinkets are cast onto a wall in front of the prisoners. The prisoners take this world of shadows to be reality since it is the only thing they ever see.

If, however, we suppose that one prisoner is unshackled and is forced to make his way out of the cave, we can see the process of education. At first, the prisoner sees the fire, which casts the shadows he formerly took to be reality. He is then led out of the cave. After his eyes painfully adjust to the sunlight, he first sees only the shadows of things, and then the things themselves. After this, he realizes that it is the sun by which he sees the things, and which gives life to the things he sees.

The sun is here analogous to the form of the Good, which is what gives life to all beings and enables us most truly to know all beings. This dialogue shows us a young Socrates, whose understanding of the forms is being challenged by Parmenides. Parmenides first challenges the young Socrates about the scope of the forms. It seems absurd, thinks Parmenides, to suppose stones, hair, or bits of dirt of their own form c-d.

The forms are supposed to be unitary. The multiplicity of large material things, for example, participate in the one form of Largeness, which itself does not participate in anything else. Parmenides argues against this unity: In other words, is the form of Largeness itself large? If so, it would need to participate in another form of Largeness, which would itself need to participate in another form, and so forth.

In short, we can see that Plato is tentative about what is now considered his most important theory. Indeed, in his Seventh Letter , Plato says that talking about the forms at all is a difficult matter.

The forms are beyond words or, at best, words can only approximately reveal the truth of the forms. Yet, Plato seems to take it on faith that, if there is knowledge to be had, there must be these unchanging, eternal beings. We can say that, for Plato, if there is to be knowledge, it must be of eternal, unchanging things.

The world is constantly in flux. It is therefore strange to say that one has knowledge of it, when one can also claim to have knowledge of, say, arithmetic or geometry, which are stable, unchanging things, according to Plato. Moreover, like Cratylus, we might wonder whether our ideas about the changing world are ever accurate at all.

Our ideas, after all, tend to be much like a photograph of a world, but unlike the photograph, the world continues to change. Thus, Plato reserves the forms as those things about which we can have true knowledge. How we get knowledge is difficult. How will you aim to search for something you do not know at all? If you should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing that you did not know?

If so, then it seems that one cannot even begin to ask about X. In other words, it seems that one must already know X in order to ask about it in the first place, but if one already knows X, then there is nothing to ask.

The theory of recollection rests upon the assumption that the human soul is immortal. At any rate, Socrates shows Meno how the human mind mysteriously, when led in the proper fashion, can arrive at knowledge on its own.

Again, the forms are the most knowable beings and, so, presumably are those beings that we recollect in knowledge. Plato offers another image of knowing in his Republic. True understanding noesis is of the forms. Below this, there is thought dianoia , through which we think about things like mathematics and geometry.

Below this is belief pistis , where we can reason about things that we sense in our world. The lowest rung of the ladder is imagination eikasia , where our mind is occupied with mere shadows of the physical world de. In any case, real knowledge is knowledge of the forms, and is that for which the true philosopher strives, and the philosopher does this by living the life of the best part of the soul—reason. Plato is famous for his theory of the tripartite soul psyche , the most thorough formulation of which is in the Republic.

The soul is at least logically, if not also ontologically, divided into three parts: Reason is responsible for rational thought and will be in control of the most ordered soul.

Spirit is responsible for spirited emotions, like anger. Appetites are responsible not only for natural appetites such as hunger, thirst, and sex, but also for the desire of excess in each of these and other appetites. Why are the three separate, according to Plato?

The argument for the distinction between three parts of the soul rests upon the Principle of Contradiction. Just because, however, that person might desire a drink, it does not mean that she will drink at that time. In fact, it is conceivable that, for whatever reason, she will restrain herself from drinking at that time. Since the Principle of Contradiction entails that the same part of the soul cannot, at the same time and in the same respect, desire and not desire to drink, it must be some other part of the soul that helps reign in the desire b.

The rational part of the soul is responsible for keeping desires in check or, as in the case just mentioned, denying the fulfillment of desires when it is appropriate to do so. Why is the spirited part different from the appetitive part? To answer this question, Socrates relays a story he once heard about a man named Leontius.

Despite his disgust issuing from the spirited part of the soul with his desire, Leontius reluctantly looked at the corpses. Socrates also cites examples when someone has done something, on account of appetite, for which he later reproaches himself.

The reproach is rooted in an alliance between reason and spirit. Reason, with the help of spirit, will rule in the best souls. Appetite, and perhaps to some degree spirit, will rule in a disordered soul. The life of philosophy is a cultivation of reason and its rule. The soul is also immortal, and one the more famous arguments for the immortality of the soul comes from the Phaedo.

This argument rests upon a theory of the relationship of opposites. Hot and cold, for example, are opposites, and there are processes of becoming between the two.

Hot comes to be what it is from cold. Cold must also come to be what it is from the hot, otherwise all things would move only in one direction, so to speak, and everything would therefore be hot. Life and death are also opposites. Living things come to be dead and death comes from life. But, since the processes between opposites cannot be a one-way affair, life must also come from death Phaedo 71c-e2. The souls must always exist in order to be immortal. We can see here the influence of Pythagorean thought upon Plato since this also leaves room for the transmigration of souls.

The disordered souls in which desire rules will return from death to life embodied as animals such as donkeys while unjust and ambitious souls will return as hawks 81ea3. The best life is the life of philosophy, that is the life of loving and pursuing wisdom—a life spent engaging logos. The philosophical life is also the most excellent life since it is the touchstone of true virtue. Without wisdom, there is only a shadow or imitation of virtue, and such lives are still dominated by passion, desire, and emotions.

On the other hand,. The soul of the philosopher achieves a calm from such emotions; it follows reason and ever stays with it contemplating the true, the divine, which is not the object of opinion.

Nurtured by this, it believes that one should live in this manner as long as one is alive and, after death, arrive at what is akin and of the same kind, and escape from human evils. The Republic begins with the question of what true justice is. Socrates proposes that he and his interlocutors, Glaucon and Adeimantus, might see justice more clearly in the individual if they take a look at justice writ large in a city, assuming that an individual is in some way analogous to a city ca.

So, Socrates and his interlocutors theoretically create an ideal city, which has three social strata: The guardians will rule, the auxiliaries will defend the city, and the craftspeople and farmers will produce goods and food for the city. The guardians, as we learn in Book VI, will also be philosophers since only the wisest should rule.

This tripartite city mirrors the tripartite soul. How is it that auxiliaries and craftspeople can be kept in their own proper position and be prevented from an ambitious quest for upward movement? Maintaining social order depends not only upon wise ruling, but also upon the Noble Lie.

The Noble Lie is a myth that the gods mixed in various metals with the members of the various social strata. The guardians were mixed with gold, the auxiliaries with silver, and the farmers and craftspeople with iron and bronze a-c. He even seems to recognize this at times. For example, the guardians must not only go through a rigorous training and education regimen, but they must also live a strictly communal life with one another, having no private property.

Adeimantus objects to this saying that the guardians will be unhappy. In anticipation that such a city is doomed to failure, Plato has it dissolve, but he merely cites discord among the rulers d and natural processes of becoming as the reasons for its devolution. Not even a constitution such as this will last forever. Yet, it is possible that the lust for power is the cause of strife and discord among the leaders.

In other words, perhaps not even the best sort of education and training can keep even the wisest of human rulers free from desire. Yet, just as he challenges his own metaphysical ideas, he also at times loosens up on his ethical and political ideals. Socrates, to his own pleasure, rubs his legs after the shackles have been removed 60b , which implies that even philosophers enjoy bodily pleasures.

Phaedo recounts how Socrates eased his pain on that particular day:. I happened to be sitting on his right by the couch on a low stool, so that he was sitting well above me. He stroked my head and pressed the hair on the back of my neck, for he was in the habit of playing with my hair at times.

Plato, with these dramatic details, is reminding us that even the philosopher is embodied and, at least to some extent, enjoys that embodiment, even though reason is to rule above all else. He was the son of Nichomacus, the Macedonian court physician, which allowed for a lifelong connection with the court of Macedonia. After serving as tutor for the young Alexander later Alexander the Great , Aristotle returned to Athens and started his own school, the Lyceum.

Aristotle walked as he lectured, and his followers therefore later became known as the peripatetics , those who walked around as they learned. When Alexander died in , and the pro-Macedonian government fell in Athens, a strong anti-Macedonian reaction occurred, and Aristotle was accused of impiety. He fled Athens to Chalcis, where he died a year later. Unlike Plato, Aristotle wrote treatises, and he was a prolific writer indeed. He wrote several treatises on ethics, he wrote on politics, he first codified the rules of logic, he investigated nature and even the parts of animals, and his Metaphysics is in a significant way a theology.

His thought, and particularly his physics, reigned supreme in the Western world for centuries after his death. Aristotle used, and sometimes invented, technical vocabulary in nearly all facets of his philosophy. It is important to have an understanding of this vocabulary in order to understand his thought in general. Like Plato, Aristotle talked about forms, but not in the same way as his master. For Aristotle, forms without matter do not exist. I can contemplate the form of human being that is, what it means to be human , but this would be impossible if actual embodied human beings were non-existent.

Similarly, we cannot sense or make sense of unformed matter. There is no matter in itself. Die Gefiederzeichnung ist bei den Geschlechtern sehr ähnlich, adulte Männchen sind auf der Oberseite etwas dunkler und mehr blaugrau als adulte Weibchen und zeigen eine etwas kontrastreichere Kopfzeichnung. Diese Rufe sind bei ruhigem Wetter mehrere Hundert Meter weit hörbar. In der westlichen Paläarktis fällt die nördliche Verbreitungsgrenze mit der nördlichen Grenze der borealen Nadelwälder Taiga in Skandinavien , Finnland und Russland zusammen, im Süden reicht die Verbreitung im Westen bis Nordafrika, weiter östlich bis Griechenland , Kleinasien und den Norden Irans.

Die für ein Vorkommen des Habichts zwingend erforderlichen Habitatvoraussetzungen beschränken sich in Europa auf einen für die Horstanlage geeigneten über ca. Aus Gründen, die bisher unklar sind, ist das Vorkommen des Habichts in Nordamerika auf naturnahe Wälder beschränkt, er gilt dort als stenöker Bewohner von Urwäldern, vergleichbar etwa mit dem Status des Auerhuhns in Mitteleuropa.

Der Habicht ist eine von zurzeit weltweit mindestens 20 Greifvogelarten, die auch in oder im Umfeld von Städten urbanen Habitaten leben. Die Besiedlung urbaner Habitate durch Habichte ist ein relativ neues Phänomen, bis Ende der er Jahre gab es entsprechende Beobachtungen nur sporadisch. Die urbanen Populationen sind bisher auf Europa beschränkt, zurzeit sind derartige Populationen aus Berlin , Köln , Saarbrücken , Hamburg und Kiew bekannt. Die Abgrenzung der in der Paläarktis vorkommenden Unterarten ist komplex und wird in der Wissenschaft intensiv diskutiert.

Je nach Autor unterscheiden sich Anzahl und geographische Abgrenzung der Unterarten daher oft erheblich. Habichte erjagen ihre Beutetiere überwiegend aus dem bodennahen Flug oder vom Ansitz aus in einem kurzen, schnellen und sehr wendigen Verfolgungsflug direkt auf dem Boden oder im bodennahen Luftraum. Dabei werden natürliche Strukturen wie Hecken, Bäume, im Siedlungsraum aber auch Häuser sehr geschickt für einen gedeckten Anflug genutzt. Seltener werden aus dem hohen Kreisen heraus im Sturzflug Vögel im freien Luftraum oder in Bodennähe angejagt.

Im Frühjahr und Sommer suchen Habichte systematisch in höherer Vegetation und auf Bäumen nach Nestern und erbeuten so zahlreiche nestjunge Vögel. Bei kleineren Vogelarten wird dabei häufig das ganze Nest mit Inhalt gegriffen, die leeren Nester sind dann häufig an den Rupfplätzen zu finden. Amphibien , Fische und Wirbellose werden von Habichten sehr selten als Nahrung genutzt. Habichte sind monogam und streng territorial. Bei diesen Schauflügen werden in geradem Flug die Flügel langsam tief nach unten und wieder nach oben geschlagen.

Im Gegensatz zu anderen Greifvögeln erfolgen direkte Angriffe mit Körperkontakt bei Habichten im Rahmen territorialer Auseinandersetzungen offenbar nur als allerletztes Mittel. Das Mindestalter der für den Horstbau genutzten Bäume liegt bei etwa 60 Jahren.