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Submitted By elytista
Words 17879
Pages 72
Pre-Socratic Period
Thales of Miletus
Background: Thales of Miletus (fl. c. 585 BC) is regarded as the father of philosophy. Thales of Miletus was considered one of the Seven Wise Men of ancient Greece. Thales was the first of the Greek natural philosophers and founder of the Ionian school of ancient Greek thinkers. Works/Writings/Philosophy:  His is said to have measured the Egyptian pyramids and to have calculated the distance from shore of ships at sea using his knowledge of geometry.  He also predicted an eclipse of the sun. In geometry Thales has been credited with the discovery of five theorems like the one that a triangle inscribed in a semicircle has a right angle. He tried to discover the substance from which everything in nature is made off and suggested water.  Thales is important in bridging the worlds of myth and reason. He initiated the revolutionary notion that to understand the world one needed to know its nature and that there was an explanation for all phenomena in natural terms. That was a giant step from the assumptions of the old world that supernatural forces determined almost everything.  While considering the effects of magnetism and static electricity, he concluded that the power to move other things without the mover itself changing was a characteristic of "life", so that a magnet and amber must therefore be alive in some way (in that they have animation or the power to act). If so, he argued, there is no difference between the living and the dead. If all things were alive, they must also have souls or divinities (a natural belief of his time), and the end result of this argument was an almost total removal of mind from substance, opening the door to an innovative non-divine principle of action.  Thales recognized a single transcendental God (Monism), who has neither beginning nor end, but who expresses himself through other gods

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