The Pre-Socratics: Early Greek Philosophers

Published: 2021-06-29 07:07:28
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Category: Philosophy

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Before the era of Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers, there were the pre-Socratics 600 BCE. They were philosophers known as Milesian or natural philosophers because they went against the common idea that gods are the reasoning to all that happens. These pre-Socratic philosophers had a more rational approach, that there has to be one permanent substance on which change could occur. They were the beginning of the paradigm shift, the change from the mythical explanation to the more rational explanation.
First was Thales, the father of western philosophy. The first to measure Egyptian pyramids, and derive accurate measurements, he believed water was the basic substance that all physical change could occur. He meant that life began and would end in water. Thales idea still lasts today. Water is in all living things, the earth is 72% water, humans are 80% water, and the cell is 75%.
His successor, Anaximander, agreed with Thales that water was a basic substance, but there were many other elements that were unlimited and boundless. So the boundless elements separate and can produce everything, but they do not contain the same elements as the object before. Anaximander was the first philosopher to propose the idea of evolution that all life started in water, human evolving from fish, which supports Thales idea that life began in water and ends in water.
Anaximenes, unlike the earlier philosophers believed that air was the element that holds everything together. Water could not be the element of substance because water is condensed air, and then the earth is condensed of water, etc. He believed that air was the breath, body, mind and soul.

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