The Beginnings of Greek Philosophy Essay

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The Beginnings of Greek Philosophy The Milesians and Heraclitus Long before the time of Thales, a citizen of Miletus, in the district of Ionia on the west coast of Asia Minor, Chaldaen astrologers had listed data on the position of the stars and planets. As Thales studied these tables he thought he discerned a pattern or regularity in the occurrence of eclipses, and he ventured to predict a solar eclipse that occurred on May 28th 585BC. Some scholars think that this was just a lucky empirical guess, but if it was the discovery of an astronomical regularity or natural law, then Thales may be credited with distinguishing Greek philosophy and science from the somewhat aimless observations and disjointed information of the Eastern wise…show more content…
Since, too, a general theory must attempt to explain biological phenomena as well as physics and astronomy, another reason for selecting water may have been its indepensibility to life. And a little ingenuity can invent other considerations. But Anaximander (610-545?BC), Thales' successor, in additions to specific contributions to science, saw a difficulty in Thales' general cosmology. If water were he basic substance, he thought, fire could never have come into existence, for there is an essential antagonism between their peculiar qualities. For the same reason, if the substratum were fire, the existence of fire could not be explained.. Therefore, Anaximander assumed a Boundless that was neither wet or dry, hot or cold, but rather indeterminately both wet and dry, cold and hot. Thus, the matter of the universe was Boundless, not merely because it extended throughout infinite space, but also, and mainly, because it was not bounded, limited, or defined by any quality. This original substance produces the world and its content by a swirling motion that separates four qualities out of the chaotic mass. This swirl explains the revolution of the starts and planets. The third member of the Milesian school, Anaximenes (590-525BC) could not be persuaded to look for the universal substratum beyond the
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