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Encyclopedia > Thales

Thales
Name
Thales of Miletos (Θαλής ο Μιλήσιος)
Birth ca. 624–625 BC
Death ca. 547–546 BC
School/tradition Ionian Philosophy, Milesian school, Naturalism
Main interests Ethics, Metaphysics, Mathematics, Astronomy
Notable ideas Water is the physis, Thales' theorem
Influenced Pythagoras, Anaximander, Anaximenes

Thales of Miletus[1] (Θαλῆς ὁ Μιλήσιος, ca. 624 BC–ca. 546 BC), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. Many regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition, while some also consider him the "father of science." According to Bertrand Russell, "Philosophy begins with Thales." The Thales Group (Euronext: HO) is a major French electronics company delivering mission-critical information systems and services for the Aerospace, Defence, and Security markets. ... This file has been listed on Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion. ... The Ionians were one of the three main ancient Greek ethno-linguistic groups, linked by their use of the Ionic dialect of the Greek language. ... The Milesian school was a school of thought founded in the 6th Century BC. The ideas associated with it are exemplified by three philosophers from the Ionian town of Miletus, on the edge of Anatolia: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. ... This article is about methodological naturalism. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary using the Transwiki process. ... In geometry, Thales theorem (named after Thales of Miletus) states that if A, B and C are points on a circle where the line AC is a diameter of the circle, then the angle ABC is a right angle. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... The Seven Sages (of Greece) (c. ... Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ...

Contents

Life

Thales lived around the mid 620s–547 BC and was born in the city of Miletus (Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) an ancient Ionian seaport on the western coast of Asia Minor (in what is today the Aydin Province of Turkey) near the mouth of the Maeander River. The lower half of the benches and the remnants of the scene building of the theater of Miletus (August 2005) Miletus (Carian: Anactoria Hittite: Milawata or Millawanda, Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to the Asian portion of Turkey. ... shows the Location of the Province Aydın Aydin (Turkish spelling: Aydın) is a province of Turkey, and its located in the southwestern Anatolian district, or more specifically in the Aegan region, in Turkish called Ege bölgesi. ... The Maeander River is the classical Latin name for the Büyük Menderes River in southwestern Turkey. ...


Background

The dates of Thales' life are not known precisely. The time of his life is roughly established by a few dateable events mentioned in the sources and an estimate of his length of life. According to Herodotus, Thales once predicted a solar eclipse which has been determined by modern methods to have been on May 28, 585 BC.[2] Diogenes Laërtius quotes the chronicle of Apollodorus as saying that Thales died at 78 in the 58th Olympiad, and Sosicrates as reporting that he was 90 at his death. Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“ródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... Apollodorus was a common name in ancient Greece. ... Sosicrates of Rhodes (Greek: Σωσικράτηs) ( 180 BCE) was a Greek historical writer. ...


As for his origin, the majority opinion considers Thales to have been a Milesian by descent,[1] though Herodotus,[3] Duris of Samos, Democritus[4] and others[5] suggest that his parents were Phoenician. After repeating a story that Thales had been naturalized, or recently enrolled as a citizen, Diogenes Laërtius informs us that "a more common statement is that he was a native Milesian, of noble extraction."[4] Diogenes Laërtius and others further suggested that Thales was the son of Examyas and Cleobulina and that they were of the Thelidae family (hence Thales), who were of noble descent from Agenor and Cadmus of ancient Thebes, Greece. The Milesians of Hellenic (Greek) civilization were the inhabitants of Miletus, a city in the Anatolia province of modern-day Turkey, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and at the mouth of the Meander River. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“ródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Duris of Samos, Greek historian, according to his own account a descendant of Alcibiades, was born about 340 BC. He must have been born and passed his early years in exile, since from 352 to 324 Samos was occupied by Athenian cleruchs, who had expelled the original inhabitants. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. ... Phoenicia (or Phenicia ,[1] from Biblical Phenice [1]) was an ancient civilization centered in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coast of modern day Lebanon and Syria. ... Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... In history and Greek mythology, Agenor (which means very manly) was a king of Tyre. ... Cadmus Sowing the Dragons teeth, by Maxfield Parrish, 1908 Caddmus, or Kadmos (Greek: Κάδμος), in Greek mythology, was the son of the king of Phoenicia (Modern day Lebanon) and brother of Europa. ... Thebes (Demotic Greek: Θήβα — Thíva; Katharevousa: — Thêbai or Thívai) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain. ...


When the Greeks settled Miletus, it included a Carian population. Families on monuments have both Greek and Carian names. Thales' father's name is of the Carian type, like Cheramyes and Panamyes.[citation needed] The Carians (Greek Καρες Kares, or Καρικοι Karikoi) were the eponymous inhabitants of Caria. ... The Carian language was the language of the Carians. ... Cheramyes was a nobleman on the island of Samos, Greece. ...


Diogenes Laërtius reports two stories about Thales' family life, one that he married and had a son, Cybisthus or Cybisthon, or adopted his nephew of the same name. The second is that he never married, telling his mother as a young man that it was too early to marry, and as an older man that it was too late.


Thales involved himself in many activities, taking the role of an innovator. Some say that he left no writings, others that he wrote "On the Solstice" and "On the Equinox". Neither have survived. Diogenes Laërtius quotes letters of Thales to Pherecydes and Solon, offering to review the book of the former on religion, and offering to keep company with the latter on his sojourn from Athens. Thales identifies the Milesians as Athenians.[6] Pherecydes (in Greek: Φερεχύδης) was the name of: Pherecydes of Syros, a pre-Socratic philosopher and author from the island of Syros, by some believed to have influenced Pythagoras Pherecydes of Leros, an historian and mythologic writer from the island of Leros close to Miletos This is a disambiguation page... For other uses, see Solon (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ...


Business

Several anecdotes suggest that Thales was not solely a thinker; he was involved in business and politics. One story recounts that he bought all the olive presses in Miletus after predicting the weather and a good harvest for a particular year. Another version of this same story states that he bought the presses not to become wealthy, but merely to demonstrate to his fellow Milesians that he could use his intelligence to enrich himself.[7] Olive oil extraction is the process of extracting the oil present in the olive drupes for food use. ...


Politics

Thales’ political life had mainly to do with the involvement of the Ionians in the defense of Anatolia against the growing power of the Persians, who were then new to the region. A king had come to power in neighboring Lydia, Croesus, who was somewhat too aggressive for the size of his army. He had conquered most of the states of coastal Anatolia, including the cities of the Ionians. The story is told in Herodotus.[8] The Ionians were one of the three main ancient Greek ethno-linguistic groups, linked by their use of the Ionic dialect of the Greek language. ... This article is about two nested areas of Turkey, a plateau region within a peninsula. ... Language(s) Persian, Kurdish, Pashto, Balouchi, Ossetian and various other Iranian languages. ... Lydia (Greek ) is a historic region of western Anatolia, congruent with Turkeys modern provinces of Ä°zmir and Manisa. ... Croesus Croesus (IPA pronunciation: , CREE-sus) was the king of Lydia from 560/561 BC until his defeat by the Persians in about 547 BC. The English name Croesus come from the Latin transliteration of the Greek , in Arabic and Persian قارون, Qârun. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“ródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ...


The Lydians were at war with the Medes, a remnant of the first wave of Iranians in the region, over the issue of refuge the Lydians had given to some Scythian soldiers of fortune inimical to the Medes. The war endured for five years, but in the sixth an eclipse of the sun (mentioned above) spontaneously halted a battle in progress (the Battle of Halys). Mede nobility. ... Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ... The Battle of Halys, also known as the Battle of the Eclipse, took place at the Halys River (present-day Kızılırmak river in Turkey—(Zoomable Map centered at Mouth locus at 41. ...


It seems that Thales had predicted this eclipse. The Seven Sages were most likely already in existence, as Croesus was also heavily influenced by Solon of Athens, another sage. Whether Thales was present at the battle is not known, nor are the exact terms of the prediction, but based on it the Lydians and Medes made peace immediately, swearing a blood oath. The Seven Sages (of Greece) (c. ... For other uses, see Solon (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ...


The Medes were dependencies of the Persians under Cyrus. Croesus now sided with the Medes against the Persians and marched in the direction of Iran (with far fewer men than he needed). He was stopped by the river Halys, then unbridged. This time he had Thales with him, perhaps by invitation. Whatever his status, the king gave the problem to him, and he got the army across by digging a diversion upstream so as to reduce the flow, making it possible to ford the river. The channels ran around both sides of the camp. The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... The name Cyrus (or Kourosh in Persian) may refer to: [[Cyrus I of Anshan]], King of Persia around 650 BC [[Cyrus II of Persia | Cyrus the Great]], King of Persia 559 BC - 529 BC — See also Cyrus in the Judeo-Christian tradition Cyrus the Younger, brother to the Persian king... In the Aeneid, Halys is a Trojan who defends Aeneas camp from a Rutullian attack. ...


The two armies engaged at Pteria in Cappadocia. As the battle was indecisive but paralyzing to both sides, Croesus marched home, dismissed his mercenaries and sent emissaries to his dependents and allies to ask them to dispatch fresh troops to Sardis. The issue became more pressing when the Persian army showed up at Sardis. Diogenes Laertius[9] tells us that Thales gained fame as a counsellor when he advised the Milesians not to engage in a symmachia, a “fighting together”, with the Lydians. This has sometimes been interpreted as an alliance, but a ruler does not ally with his subjects. For other uses, see Cappadocia (disambiguation). ... A recent view of the ceremonial court of the thermae–gymnasium complex in Sardis, dated to 211—212 AD Sardis, also Sardes (Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda), modern Sart in the Manisa province of Turkey, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, the seat of a proconsul under... Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ...


Croesus was defeated before the city of Sardis by Cyrus, who subsequently spared Miletus because it had taken no action. The Great King was something of a philosopher himself. He was so impressed by Croesus’ wisdom and his connection with the sages that he spared him and took his advice on various matters.


The Ionians were now free. Herodotus says that Thales advised them to form an Ionian state; that is, a bouleuterion (“deliberative body”) to be located at Teos in the center of Ionia. The Ionian cities should be demoi, or “districts”. Miletus, however, received favorable terms from Cyrus. The others remained in an Ionian League of 12 cities (excluding Miletus now), and were subjugated by the Persians. Teos (or Teo), a maritime city of Ionia, on a peninsula between Chytrium and Myonnesus. ... Location of Ionia Ionia (Greek Ιωνία; see also list of traditional Greek place names) was an ancient region of southwestern coastal Anatolia (in present-day Turkey, the region nearest Ä°zmir,) on the Aegean Sea. ...


Ethics

The ethics of Thales can be estimated from the sayings attributed to him, reported in Diogenes Laertius.[10] First, he recognizes a transcendental God, who has neither beginning nor end. He believes that God is just and expects men to behave justly. Neither men being unjust (ἄδικος) nor thinking injustice escape the notice of the Gods (θεοί). In this form of polytheism the transcendental god expresses himself through gods, so that a man can say θεοί and mean God. Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ...


Thales’ idea of justice includes both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Concerning the former, he advises that adultery and perjury about it in court are equally bad. His value of civic law is supplemented by some practical advice. Expect the same support from your children that you give to your parents. Do not let talk influence you against those whom you have come to trust. Be rich, yes, for success is sweet. However, do not be rich badly (κακῶς).


As to the spirit of the law, we find Thales expressing a rather well known principle for leading the best (ἄριστα) and most just (δικαιότατα) life:

ἃ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐπιτιμῶμεν, αὐτοὶ μὴ δρῶμεν
“That for which we blame others, let us not do ourselves”

This rejection of hypocrisy resembles the foundational principle of Jewish law, “Do not unto thy neighbor what is hateful to thyself.” His view of enemies is somewhat more severe than the Old Testament, which supports an equal exchange of penalties: an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth etc (Exodus 21:23–25). According to Thales, a man can better bear adversity if he sees that his enemies are worse off. The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... Parable of the Good Samaritan The ethic of reciprocity or The Golden Rule is a fundamental moral value which simply means It is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, though it is not without its critics. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ...


Thales' view was that men are better than women and Greeks are better than barbarians. (He stated this despite the fact that his proudest ancestor was dethroned in Thebes for being a barbarian.)


Thales was not Democratic. One story has him living with Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus. In his letter to Solon he offers to live elsewhere with him, seeing that Solon finds tyranny so offensive. Ancient philosophers in general tended to support benign tyranny, such as Plato’s ideal philosopher-king. Unquestionably, sages were more at home with absolutism than with democratic forms of government. They could not resist undertaking to reform the morals of the citizens, with well-known results. Philosophers' support of tyrants generally had poor results; the outcome was generally the expulsion or murder of the tyrant and the massacre of the philosophers. Thrasybulus (Ancient Greek: , brave-willed, Eng. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The lower half of the benches and the remnants of the scene building of the theater of Miletus (August 2005) Miletus (Carian: Anactoria Hittite: Milawata or Millawanda, Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near... For other uses, see Solon (disambiguation). ...


According to Thales, a happy man is defined as one

ὁ τὸ μὲν σῶμα ὑγιής, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν εὔπορος, τὴν δὲ φύσιν εὐπαίδευτος
“Who is healthy in body, resourceful in soul and of a readily teachable nature”

which is similar to the Roman “Mens sana in corpore sano”, our “sane mind in a healthy body.” Perhaps Thales did exercise, but he did not cultivate the body, as he preached not beautifying the appearance (ὄψις) but practicing the good, not the bad. Mens sana in corpore sano is a famous quotation by Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis. ...


Sagacity

Diogenes Laertius[11] tells us that the Seven Sages were created in the archonship of Damasius at Athens about 582 BC and that Thales was the first sage. The same story, however, asserts that Thales emigrated to Miletus. There is also a report that he did not become a student of nature until after his political career. Much as we would like to have a date on the seven sages, we must reject these stories and the tempting date if we are to believe that Thales was a native of Miletus, predicted the eclipse, and was with Croesus in the campaign against Cyrus. The Seven Sages (of Greece) (c. ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... The lower half of the benches and the remnants of the scene building of the theater of Miletus (August 2005) Miletus (Carian: Anactoria Hittite: Milawata or Millawanda, Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near... Croesus Croesus (IPA pronunciation: , CREE-sus) was the king of Lydia from 560/561 BC until his defeat by the Persians in about 547 BC. The English name Croesus come from the Latin transliteration of the Greek , in Arabic and Persian قارون, Qârun. ... The name Cyrus (or Kourosh in Persian) may refer to: [[Cyrus I of Anshan]], King of Persia around 650 BC [[Cyrus II of Persia | Cyrus the Great]], King of Persia 559 BC - 529 BC — See also Cyrus in the Judeo-Christian tradition Cyrus the Younger, brother to the Persian king...


Thales had no instruction but that of Egyptian priests, we are told. Whether we should believe that story is a different matter. It was fairly certain that he came from a wealthy and established family, and the wealthy customarily educated their children. Moreover, the ordinary citizen, unless he was a seafaring man or a merchant, could not afford the grand tour in Egypt, and in any case did not consort with noble lawmakers such as Solon. Perhaps the source only meant that Thales had not been instructed in philosophy before proposing his theories about nature. For other uses, see Solon (disambiguation). ...


He did participate in some games, most likely Panhellenic, at which he won a bowl twice. He dedicated it to Apollo at Delphi. As he was not known to have been athletic, his event was probably declamation, and it may have been victory in some specific phase of this event that led to his being designated sage. Panhellenic Games is the collective term for four separate sports festivals held in ancient Greece. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Delphi (disambiguation). ...


Another trophy, a tripod, is said to have been bestowed upon him and was given by him to another sage, going the rounds until it came back to him, at which time he dedicated it to Apollo. The oracle given to the Koans, in obedience to which the tripod was given to Thales (in this story), said that it should go to This article is about prophetic oracles in various cultures. ... Port and city view of Kos town on the island Kos. ...

ὃς σοφὸς ᾖ τὰ ἐόντα τὰ τ'ἐσσόμενα πρό τ'ἐόντα
”Who is wise in the things that are, the things that will be, and the things that were”

which is delivered in dactylic hexameter, the verse form of the Iliad, and contains a formula said of Calchas,[12] a Homeric mantis, or “seer”. Thales did predict an eclipse. Perhaps it was on that basis that he was pronounced sage. One of the verses attributed to him proclaims that Dactyllic hexameter (also known as heroic hexameter) is a form of meter in poetry or a rhythmic scheme. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... In Greek mythology, Kalchas Thestórides (son of Thestor), or Calchas (brazen) for short, a loyal Argive, was a powerful seer, a gift of Apollo: as an augur, Calchas had no rival in the camp (Iliad i, E.V. Rieu translation) Calchas prophesized that in order to gain a favourable... For other senses of this word, see Prophet (disambiguation). ...

σοφώτατον χρόνος: ἀνευρίσκει γὰρ πάντα
Time is the wisest because it discovers everything”

The time, place and reasons for Thales being declared officially sage remain obscure, although the sources made some good guesses, one or more of which were probably right. The essence of his wisdom seems to have been simplicity of theory with emphasis on insight and inspiration, as these words of a song attributed to him by Laertius indicate: For other uses, see Chronos (disambiguation). ...

οὔ τι τὰ πολλὰ ἔπη φρονίμην ἀπεφήνατο δόξαν:
ἕν τι μάτευε σοφόν,
ἕν τι κεδνὸν αἱροῦ:
”Never did many words declare a mindful teaching: strive after a single wise thing, pick one thing you can depend on:”

Death

Thales is said to have died of dehydration while watching a gymnastic contest.[13]


Theories

Before Thales, the Greeks explained the origin and nature of the world through myths of anthropomorphic gods and heroes. Phenomena such as lightning or earthquakes were attributed to actions of the gods. For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... 7th millennium BC anthropomorphized rocks, with slits for eyes, found in modern-day Israel. ... This article is about the term Deity in the context of mysticism and theology. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with lighting. ... This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ...


Nature as the principles in the form of matter

In contrast to these mythological explanations, Thales attempted to find naturalistic explanations of the world, without reference to the supernatural. He explained earthquakes by hypothesizing that the Earth floats on water, and that earthquakes occur when the Earth is rocked by waves. This article is about methodological naturalism. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ...


Thales, according to Aristotle, asked what was the nature (Greek physis, Latin natura) of the object so that it would behave in its characteristic way. Physis (φύσις) comes from phuein (φύειν), "to grow", related to our word "be".[14] (G)natura is the way a thing is "born",[15] again with the stamp of what it is in itself. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary using the Transwiki process. ...


Aristotle[16] characterizes most of the philosophers "at first" (πρῶτον) as thinking that the "principles in the form of matter were the only principles of all things", where "principle" is arche, "matter" is hyle ("wood") and "form" is eidos. In the ancient Greek philosophy, arche (ἀρχή) is the beginning or the first principle of the world. ... In philosophy, hyle refers to matter or stuff. ... Eidos Interactive is a publisher of video and computer games based in Britain. ...


"Principle" translates arche, but the two words do not have precisely the same meaning. A principle of something is merely prior (related to pro-) to it either chronologically or logically. An arche (from αρχειν, "to rule") dominates an object in some way. If the arche is taken to be an origin, then specific causality is implied; that is, B is supposed to be characteristically B just because it comes from A, which dominates it. A principle (not principal) is something, usually a rule or norm, that is part of the basis for something else. ...


The archai that Aristotle had in mind in his well-known passage on the first Greek scientists are not necessarily chronologically prior to their objects, but are constituents of it. For example, in pluralism objects are composed of earth, air, fire and water, but those elements do not disappear with the production of the object. They remain as archai within it, as do the atoms of the atomists.


What Aristotle is really saying is that the first philosophers were trying to define the substance(s) of which all material objects are composed. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what modern scientists are trying to do in nuclear physics, which is a second reason why Thales is described as the first scientist.


Water as a first principle

Thales' most famous belief was his cosmological doctrine, which held that the world originated from water. Aristotle considered this belief roughly equivalent to the later ideas of Anaximenes, who held that everything in the world was composed of air. Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) order + λογια (logia) discourse) is the study of the Universe in its totality, and by extension, humanitys place in it. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The best explanation of Thales' view is the following passage from Aristotle's Metaphysics.[17] The passage contains words from the theory of matter and form that were adopted by science with quite different meanings. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Hylomorphism (Greek υλο- hylo-, wood, matter + -morphism < Greek -μορφη, morph, form) is a philosophical concept that highlights the significance of matter in the composition of being, regarding matter to be as essential to a being as its form. ...

"That from which is everything that exists (ἅπαντα τὰ ὄντα) and from which it first becomes (ἐξ οὗ γίγνεται πρῶτου) and into which it is rendered at last (εἰς ὃ φθείρεται τελευταῖον), its substance remaining under it (τῆς μὲν οὐσίας ὑπομενούσης), but transforming in qualities (τοῖς δὲ πάθεσι μεταβαλλούσης), that they say is the element (στοιχεῖον) and principle (ἀρχήν) of things that are."

And again:

"For it is necessary that there be some nature (φύσις), either one or more than one, from which become the other things of the object being saved... Thales the founder of this type of philosophy says that it is water."[18]

Aristotle's depiction of the change problem and the definition of substance is clear. If an object changes, is it the same or different? In either case how can there be a change from one to the other? The answer is that the substance "is saved", but acquires or loses different qualities (πάθη, the things you "experience"). Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Change For other uses, see Change (disambiguation). ... Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. ...


A deeper dip into the waters of the theory of matter and form is properly reserved to other articles. The question for this article is, how far does Aristotle reflect Thales? He was probably not far off, and Thales was probably an incipient matter-and-formist.


The essentially non-philosophic Diogenes Laertius states that Thales taught as follows:

"Water constituted (ὑπεστήσατο, 'stood under') the principle of all things."[19]

Heraclitus Homericus[20] states that Thales drew his conclusion from seeing moist substance turn into air, slime and earth. It seems clear that Thales viewed the Earth as solidifying from the water on which it floated and which surrounded Ocean.


Beliefs in divinity

Thales applied his method to objects that changed to become other objects, such as water into earth (he thought). But what about the changing itself? Thales did address the topic, approaching it through magnets and amber, which, when electrified by rubbing, attracts also. A concern for magnetism and electrification never left science, being a major part of it today.


How was the power to move other things without the mover’s changing to be explained? Thales saw a commonality with the powers of living things to act. The magnet and the amber must be alive, and if that were so, there could be no difference between the living and the dead. When asked why he didn’t die if there was no difference, he replied “because there is no difference.”


Aristotle defined the soul as the principle of life, that which imbues the matter and makes it live, giving it the animation, or power to act. The idea did not originate with him, as the Greeks in general believed in the distinction between mind and matter, which was ultimately to lead to a distinction not only between body and soul but also between matter and energy. For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ...


If things were alive, they must have souls. This belief was no innovation, as the ordinary ancient populations of the Mediterranean did believe that natural actions were caused by divinities. Accordingly, the sources say that Thales believed all things possessed divinities. In their zeal to make him the first in everything they said he was the first to hold the belief, which even they must have known was not true.


However, Thales was looking for something more general, a universal substance of mind. That also was in the polytheism of the times. Zeus was the very personification of supreme mind, dominating all the subordinate manifestations. From Thales on, however, philosophers had a tendency to depersonify or objectify mind, as though it were the substance of animation per se and not actually a god like the other gods. The end result was a total removal of mind from substance, opening the door to a non-divine principle of action. This tradition persisted until Einstein, whose cosmology is quite a different one and does not distinguish between matter and energy. For other uses, see Zeus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mind (disambiguation). ...


Classical thought, however, had proceeded only a little way along that path. Instead of referring to the person, Zeus, they talked about the great mind:

"Thales", says Cicero,[21] "assures that water is the principle of all things; and that God is that Mind which shaped and created all things from water."

The universal mind appears as a Roman belief in Virgil as well: For other uses, see Cicero (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ...

"In the beginning, SPIRIT within (spiritus intus) strengthens Heaven and Earth,
The watery fields, and the lucid globe of Luna, and then --
Titan stars; and mind (mens) infused through the limbs
Agitates the whole mass, and mixes itself with GREAT MATTER (magno corpore)"[22]

Geometry

Thales was known for his innovative use of geometry. His understanding was theoretical as well as practical. For example, he said: For other uses, see Geometry (disambiguation). ...

Megiston topos: hapanta gar chorei (Μέγιστον τόπος η άπαντα γαρ χωρεί)
”Place is the greatest thing, as it contains all things”

Topos is in Newtonian-style space, since the verb, chorei, has the connotation of yielding before things, or spreading out to make room for them, which is extension. Within this extension, things have a position. Points, lines, planes and solids related by distances and angles follow from this presumption. This article is about the idea of space. ... In metaphysics, extension is the property of taking up space; see Extension (metaphysics). ... Look up position in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A spatial point is an entity with a location in space but no extent (volume, area or length). ... Look up line in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up plane in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This box:      For other uses, see Solid (disambiguation). ... Distance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are at any given moment in time. ... This article is about angles in geometry. ...


Thales understood similar triangles and right triangles, and what is more, used that knowledge in practical ways. The story is told in DL (loc. cit.) that he measured the height of the pyramids by their shadows at the moment when his own shadow was equal to his height. A right triangle with two equal legs is a 45-degree right triangle, all of which are similar. The length of the pyramid’s shadow measured from the center of the pyramid at that moment must have been equal to its height. Several equivalence relations in mathematics are called similarity. ... For alternate meanings, such as the musical instrument, see triangle (disambiguation). ... This is about the polyhedron. ...


This story reveals that he was familiar with the Egyptian seqt, or seked, defined by Problem 57 of the Rhind papyrus as the ratio of the run to the rise of a slope, which is currently the cotangent function of trigonometry. It characterizes the angle of rise. The Moscow and Rhind Mathematical Papyri are two of the oldest mathematical texts and perhaps our best indication of what ancient Egyptian mathematics might have been like near 2000 BC. They are both written on papyrus. ... This article is about the mathematical term. ... Trigonometry In trigonometry, the cotangent is a function (see trigonometric function) defined as: or An interpretation of the cotangent of an angle x is as follows. ... Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Trigonometry The Canadarm2 robotic manipulator on the International Space Station is operated by controlling the angles of its joints. ...


Our cotangents require the same units for run and rise, but the papyrus uses cubits for rise and palms for run, resulting in different (but still characteristic) numbers. Since there were 7 palms in a cubit, the seqt was 7 times the cotangent. For the unit of information, see qubit Cubit is the name for the ancient Egyptian and Sumerian units of measure. ... Three archaic hand units of measurment: 1: Palm * 2: Span 3: Hand * In English, a Palm is commonly used to represent four fingers held together. ...

Thales' Theorem :
Thales' Theorem : textstyle frac{DE}{BC} = frac{AE}{AC } = frac{AD}{AB}

To use an example often quoted in modern reference works, suppose the base of a pyramid is 140 cubits and the angle of rise 5.25 seqt. The Egyptians expressed their fractions as the sum of fractions, but the decimals are sufficient for the example. What is the rise in cubits? The run is 70 cubits, 490 palms. X, the rise, is 490 divided by 5.25 or 93.33 cubits. These figures sufficed for the Egyptians and Thales. We would go on to calculate the cotangent as 70 divided by 93.33 or.75003 and looking that up in a table of cotangents find that the angle of rise is a few minutes over 53 degrees. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Whether the ability to use the seqt, which preceded Thales by about 1000 years, means that he was the first to define trigonometry is a matter of opinion. More practically Thales used the same method to measure the distances of ships at sea, said Eudemus as reported by Proclus (“in Euclidem”). According to Kirk & Raven (reference cited below), all you need for this feat is three straight sticks pinned at one end and knowledge of your altitude. One stick goes vertically into the ground. A second is made level. With the third you sight the ship and calculate the seqt from the height of the stick and its distance from the point of insertion to the line of sight. This article is about Proclus Diadochus, the Neoplatonist philosopher. ...


The seqt is a measure of the angle. Knowledge of two angles (the seqt and a right angle) and an enclosed leg (the altitude) allows you to determine by similar triangles the second leg, which is the distance. Thales probably had his own equipment rigged and recorded his own seqts, but that is only a guess.


Thales’ Theorem is stated in another article. In addition Eudemus attributed to him the discovery that a circle is bisected by its diameter, that the base angles of an isosceles triangle are equal and that vertical angles are equal. It would be hard to imagine civilization without these theorems. In geometry, Thales theorem (named after Thales of Miletus) states that if A, B and C are points on a circle where the line AC is a diameter of the circle, then the angle ABC is a right angle. ... Eudemus of Rhodes (Ευδημος) was an ancient Greek philosopher, who lived from ca. ... For the bisection theorem, see ham sandwich theorem. ...


It is possible, of course, to question whether Thales really did discover these principles. On the other hand, it is not possible to answer such doubts definitively. The sources are all that we have, even though they sometimes contradict each other.


(The most we can say is that Thales knew these principles. There is no evidence for Thales discovering these principles, and, based on the evidence, we cannot say that Thales discovered these principles.)


Astronomy

According to Diogenes Laertius, Lobon of Argos wrote that he saw a statue of Thales at Miletus with an inscription describing him as "most senior in wisdom of all the astronomers (αστρολογοι)." The word, astrologoi, could mean what it does today, the divination of human affairs from the positions of the stars, but it also meant scientific astronomy, as in the case of Thales. Whether he was the first to do these things, as the enthusiastic DL claims, is another matter. This article is about the city in Greece. ...


He set the seasons of the year and divided the year into 365 days. These abilities presume that he had a - to some degree - effective theory of the path of the sun, but we do not know what it was. He estimated the size of the sun at 1/720th of its path and that of the moon at the same ratio of its smaller path. He was able to estimate the heights of the pyramids from the lengths of their shadows. He knew and taught the value of Ursa Minor to navigators, which the sources say he got from the Phoenician, but as far as they were concerned, he "discovered" it. This is about the polyhedron. ... Block quote :See also Ursa Minor Alpha a place in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... Phoenicia (or Phenicia ,[1] from Biblical Phenice [1]) was an ancient civilization centered in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coast of modern day Lebanon and Syria. ...


We know that he observed the stars, as he is related to have fallen into a ditch one night. Answering his cries for help, an old woman (in DL) wanted to know how he expected to know anything about the stars when he did not even know what was on the Earth at his feet. Plato makes the ditch a well and questioner a witty and attractive Thracian slave girl,[23] unless we presume he fell twice and elicited the same sort of comment. For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... The Thracians were an Indo-European people, inhabitants of Thrace and adjacent lands (present-day Bulgaria, Romania, northeastern Greece, European Turkey and northwestern asiatic Turkey, eastern Serbia and parts of Republic of Macedonia). ...


Although many of Thales claims were accurate, he was wrong about some things. For example, he believed that the yearly flooding of the Nile was caused by seasonal winds blowing upstream. For other uses, see Nile (disambiguation). ...


Interpretations

In the long sojourn of philosophy on the earth there has existed hardly a philosopher or historian of philosophy who did not mention Thales and try to characterize him in some way. He is generally recognized as having brought something new to human thought. Mathematics, astronomy and medicine already existed. Thales added something to these different collections of knowledge to produce a universality, which, as far as writing tells us, was not in tradition before, but resulted in a new field, science.


Ever since, interested persons have been asking what that new something is. Answers fall into (at least) two categories, the theory and the method. Once an answer has been arrived at, the next logical step is to ask how Thales compares to other philosophers, which leads to his classification (rightly or wrongly).


Theory

The most natural epithets of Thales are "materialist" and "naturalist", which are based on ousia and physis. The Catholic Encyclopedia goes so far as to call him a physiologist, a person who studied physis, despite the fact that we already have physiologists. On the other hand, he would have qualified as an early physicist, as did Aristotle. They studied corpora, "bodies", the medieval descendants of substances. This article primarily focuses on the general concepts of matter and existence. ... This article is about methodological naturalism. ... Not to be confused with New Catholic Encyclopedia. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ...


Most agree that Thales' stamp on thought is the unity of substance, hence Bertrand Russell:[24] Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ...

"The view that all matter is one is quite a reputable scientific hypothesis."
"...But it is still a handsome feat to have discovered that a substance remains the same in different states of aggregation."

Russell was only reflecting an established tradition; for example, Nietzsche, in his Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, wrote:[25] Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...

"Greek philosophy seems to begin with an absurd notion, with the proposition that water is the primal origin and the womb of all things. Is it really necessary for us to take serious notice of this proposition? It is, and for three reasons. First, because it tells us something about the primal origin of all things; second, because it does so in language devoid of image or fable, and finally, because contained in it, if only embryonically, is the thought, 'all things are one.'"

This sort of materialism, however, should not be confused with deterministic materialism. Thales was only trying to explain the unity observed in the free play of the qualities. The arrival of uncertainty in the modern world made possible a return to Thales; for example, John Elof Boodin writes ("God and Creation"): John Elof Boodin (November 14, 1869- November 14, 1950) was a Swedish-born American idealist and systematic philosopher. ...

"We cannot read the universe from the past..."

Boodin defines an "emergent" materialism, in which the objects of sense emerge uncertainly from the substrate. Thales is the innovator of this sort of materialism.


Method

Thales represents something new in method as well. Edmund Husserl[26] attempts to capture it as follows. Philosophical man is a new cultural configuration based on a rejection of tradition in favor of an inquiry into what is true in itself; that is, an ideal of truth. It begins with isolated individuals such as Thales, but they are supported and cooperated with as time goes on. Finally the ideal transforms the norms of society, leaping across national borders. Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (IPA: ; April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ...


Classification

The term, Pre-Socratic, derives ultimately from Aristotle, a qualified philosopher ("the father of philosophy"), who distinguished the early philosophers as concerning themselves with substance. This is not entirely true. Pre-Socratic philosophers are often very hard to pin down, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine the actual line of argument they used in supporting their particular views. ...


Diogenes Laertius on the other hand took a strictly geographic and ethnic approach. Philosophers were either Ionian or Italian. He used Ionian in a broader sense, including also the Athenian academics, who were not Pre-Socratics. From a philosophic point of view, any grouping at all would have been just as effective. There is no basis for an Ionian or Italian unity. Some scholars, however, concede to Diogenes' scheme as far as referring to an "Ionian" school. There was no such school in any sense.


The most popular approach refers to a Milesian school, which is more justifiable socially and philosophically. They sought for the substance of phenomena and may have studied with each other. Some ancient writers qualify them as Milesioi, "of Miletus."


Influence on others

Thales had a profound influence on other Greek thinkers and therefore on Western history. Some believe Anaximander was a pupil of Thales. Early sources report that one of Anaximander's more famous pupils, Pythagoras, visited Thales as a young man, and that Thales advised him to travel to Egypt to further his philosophical and mathematical studies. Occident redirects here. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ...


Many philosophers followed Thales' lead in searching for explanations in nature rather than in the supernatural; others returned to supernatural explanations, but couched them in the language of philosophy rather than of myth or of religion. This article is about the physical universe. ...


When you specifically look at the influence Thales had in the pre-Socrates era, he was one of the first thinkers who thought more in the way of logos than mythos. The difference between these two more profound ways of seeing the world is that mythos is concentrated around the stories of holy origin, while logos is concentrated around the argumentation. When the mythical man wants to explain the world the way he sees it, he explains it based on gods and powers. Mythical thought does not differentiate between things and persons and furthermore it does not differentiate between nature and culture. The way a logos thinker would present a world view is radically different from the way of the mythical thinker. In its concrete form, logos is a way of thinking not only about individualism, but also the abstract. Furthermore, it focuses on sensible and continuous argumentation. This lays the foundation of philosophy and its way of explaining the world in terms of abstract argumentation, and not in the way of gods and mythical stories. This article is about logos (logoi) in ancient Greek philosophy, mathematics, rhetoric, Theophilosophy, and Christianity. ... Look up muthos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ...


Sources

Our sources on the Milesian philosophers (Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes) were either roughly contemporaneous (such as Herodotus) or lived within a few hundred years of his passing. Moreover, they were writing from a tradition that was well-known. Compared to most persons, places and things of classical antiquity, we know a great deal about Thales. Most modern dissension comes from trying to interpret what we know. The Milesian school was a school of thought founded in the 6th Century BC. The ideas associated with it are exemplified by three philosophers from the Ionian town of Miletus, on the edge of Anatolia: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ...


Diogenes Laertius lists two works, quoted above, written by Thales, and also relates the strange tradition that he did not write. Diogenes, however, had access to two of Thales' letters, which he quotes. Those writings are two more than the surviving works of Socrates, which are none. And yet, thanks to Plato, we know as much about Socrates as anyone. More than likely, the non-writing tradition about Thales is a complaint that such a famous man did not leave enough to be quoted by the secondary sources. This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ...


The main secondary source concerning the details of Thales' life and career is Diogenes Laertius (DL here), "Lives of Eminent Philosophers".[27] This is primarily a biographical work, as the name indicates. Compared to Aristotle, DL is not much of a philosopher. He is the one who, in the Prologue to that work, is responsible for the division of the early philosophers into "Ionian" and "Italian", but he places the Academics in the Ionian school and otherwise evidences considerable disarray and contradiction, especially in the long section on forerunners of the "Ionian School." DL does give us the extant primary sources on Thales (the two letters and some verses). Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ...


Most philosophic analyses of the philosophy of Thales come from Aristotle, an Academic and a professional philosopher, tutor of Alexander the Great. Aristotle may or may not have had access to the now mysterious possible works of Thales. There was also an extensive oral tradition. Both the oral and the written were commonly read or known by all educated men in the region. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Plato is credited with the inception of academia: the body of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations. ... For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ...


Academic philosophy had a distinct stamp: it professed the theory of matter and form, which modern scholastics have dubbed hylomorphism. Though once very widespread, it was not generally adopted by rationalist and modern science, as it mainly is useful in metaphysical analyses, but does not lend itself to the detail that is of interest to modern science. It is not clear that the theory of matter and form existed as early as Thales, and if it did, whether Thales espoused it. Hylomorphism (Greek υλο- hylo-, wood, matter + -morphism < Greek -μορφη, morph, form) is a philosophical concept that highlights the significance of matter in the composition of being, regarding matter to be as essential to a being as its form. ... This article is not about continental rationalism. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ...


Trivia

Rex Stout, full name Rex Todhunter Stout, (December 1, 1886 - October 27, 1975) was an American writer best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe. ... Bitter End — Carl Mueller illustrated Rex Stouts first Nero Wolfe novella for The American Magazine (November 1940) Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created by the American mystery writer Rex Stout, who made his debut in 1934. ... A Nero Wolfe Mystery (a. ... Leonhard Euler, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ...

See also

The Ancient Greek aphorism Know thyself (Greek: ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΕΑΥΤΟΝ or gnothi seauton) was inscribed in golden letters at the lintel of the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b J Longrigg, Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York 1970-1990).

    But the majority opinion considered him a true Milesian by descent, and of a distinguished family.

  2. ^ Herodotus, 1.74.2, and A. D. Godley's footnote 1; Pliny, 2.9 (12) and Bostock's footnote 2.
  3. ^ Herodotus 1.170.3.
  4. ^ a b Diogenes Laërtius, "Life of Thales", The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, <http://www.classicpersuasion.org/pw/diogenes/dlthales.htm>. Retrieved on 22 February 2008 
  5. ^ constellation, Encyclopædia Britannica.

    "Thales, the earliest Greek astronomer of any note, was of Phoenician descent, and, according to Callimachus, he taught the Greeks many astronomical observations." Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. ...

  6. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, 1.43, 44.
  7. ^ Aristotle, Politics 1259a[1]
  8. ^ Book 1
  9. ^ 1.25
  10. ^ I.34–36
  11. ^ 1.22
  12. ^ Book I, Lines 69–70
  13. ^ Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Life of Thales, XII.
  14. ^ English physics comes from it, but the latter is a Greek loan. In addition the quite ancient native English word be comes from the same Indo-European root.
  15. ^ The initial g of the archaic Latin gives the root away as *genə-, "beget."
  16. ^ Metaphysics 983b6
  17. ^ 983 b6 8-11
  18. ^ Lines 17-21 with gaps.
  19. ^ Work cited, paragraph 27.
  20. ^ Quaes. Hom. 22, not the same as Heraclitus of Ephesus
  21. ^ De natura Deorum, i.,10
  22. ^ Virgil:"Aeneid," vi., 724-727.)
  23. ^ Theaetetus 174a)
  24. ^ Wisdom of the West
  25. ^ § 3
  26. ^ The Vienna Lecture
  27. ^ You can arrive at an online version by following the links down, but here is a link to a translation of his article on Thales: Thales, classicpersuasion site, and here is another to the original Greek text, under ΘΑΛΗΣ, the Library of Ancient Texts Online site.

Aristotles Politics (Greek Πολιτικά) is a work of political philosophy. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ...

References

  • Burnet, John [1892] (1957). Early Greek Philosophy. The Meridian Library.  (reprinted from the 4th edition, 1930; the first edition was published in 1892). An online presentation of the Third Edition can be found in the Online Books Library of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Diogenes Laertius, "Thales", in The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers, C. D. Yonge (translator), Kessinger Publishing, LLC (June 8, 2006) ISBN 1428625852.
  • Herodotus; Histories, A. D. Godley (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920; ISBN 0674991338. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Kirk, G.S.; Raven, J.E. (1957). The Presocratic Philosophers. Cambridge: University Press.  (subsequently reprinted)
  • G. E. R. Lloyd. Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle. 
  • Nahm, Milton C. [1934] (1962). Selections from Early Greek Philosophy. Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc. 
  • Pliny the Elder; The Natural History (eds. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S. H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A.) London. Taylor and Francis, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street. (1855). Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... The Histories of Herodotus by Herodotus is considered the first work of history in Western literature. ... Alfred Denis Godley (1856--1925) was a classical scholar and author of humorous poems. ... Professor Sir Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd (born 1933) is a Historian of Ancient Science and Medicine at the University of Cambridge. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Naturalis Historia Pliny the Elders Natural History is an encyclopedia written by Pliny the Elder. ...

External links

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Calippus of Syracuse Callippus (or Calippus) (ca. ... Chrysippus of Soli (279-207 BC) was Cleanthess pupil and eventual successor to the head of the stoic philosophy (232-204 BC). ... Cleomedes was a Greek astronomer who is known chiefly for his book On the Circular Motions of the Celestial Bodies. ... Conon of Samos (circa 280 BC - circa: 220 BC) was a Greek mathematician and astronomer. ... Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius (Greek Κτησίβιος) (flourished 285–222 BC) was a Greek[1] inventor and mathematician in Alexandria. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. ... Dicaearchus (also Dicearchos, Dicearchus or Dikæarchus, Greek Δικαιαρχος; circa 350 BC – circa 285 BC) was a Greek philosopher, cartographer, geographer, mathematician and author. ... Diocles was a Greek mathematician and geometer, who probably flourished sometime around the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC. He was probably the first to prove the focal property of a parabola. ... Title page of the 1621 edition of Diophantus Arithmetica, translated into Latin by Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac. ... Dinostratus (b. ... Dionysodorus of Caunus (ca. ... Domninus of Larissa (ca. ... This article is about the Greek scholar of the third century BC. For the ancient Athenian statesman of the fifth century BC, see Eratosthenes (statesman). ... Eudemus (350-290 BC) was the second major companion of Aristotle besides Theophrastus. ... For other uses, see Euclid (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with Eudoxus of Cyzicus. ... Geminus of Rhodes was a Greek astronomer and mathematician. ... Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (Greek: Ήρων ο Αλεξανδρεύς) (c. ... For the Athenian tyrant, see Hipparchus (son of Pisistratus). ... Hippasus of Metapontum, born circa 500 B.C. in Magna Graecia, was a Greek philosopher. ... Hippias can also refer to a son of Pisistratus and a tyrant of Athens. ... Hippocrates of Chios was an ancient Greek mathematician (geometer) and astronomer, who lived c. ... Hypatia, as depicted in Raphaels The School of Athens. ... Hypsicles (ca. ... Marinus (Μαρίνος ο Νεαπολίτης) was neo-Platonist philosopher born in Neapolis (modern Nablus), Palestine in the mid 5th century CE. He was probably a Samaritan, or possibly a Jew. ... Greek mathematician and geometer said to have been the tutor of Alexander the Great. ... Menelaus of Alexandria (c. ... Nicomachus (Gr. ... Oenopides of Chios was an ancient Greek mathematician (geometer) and astronomer, who lived around 450 BCE. He was born shortly after 500 BC on the island of Chios, but mostly worked in Athens. ... Pappus of Alexandria is one of the most important mathematicians of ancient Greek time, known for his work Synagoge or Collection (c. ... Perseus (c. ... Philolaus (circa 480 BC – circa 405 BC) was a Greek mathematician and philosopher. ... Philon, Athenian architect of the 4th century BC, is known as the planner of two important works: the portico of the great Hall of the Mysteries at Eleusis and an arsenal at Athens. ... Porphyry of Tyre (Greek: , c. ... The bust of Posidonius as an older man depicts his character as a Stoic philosopher. ... This article is about Proclus Diadochus, the Neoplatonist philosopher. ... This article is about the geographer, mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... Serenus of Antinouplis (ca. ... Simplicius, a native of Cilicia, a disciple of Ammonius and of Damascius, was one of the last of the Neoplatonists. ... Sosigenes of Alexandria was named by Pliny the Elder as the astronomer consulted by Julius Caesar for the design of the Julian calendar. ... Sporus of Nicaea was a Greek mathematician and astronomer, born: circa 240, probably Nicaea (Greek Nikaia), ancient district Bithynia, (modern-day Iznik) in province Bursa, in modern day Turkey, died: circa 300. ... Theaetetus (ca. ... Theano was one of the few women in ancient mathematics. ... This article is about Theodorus the mathematician from Cyrene. ... Theodosius of Bithynia (ca. ... Theon (c. ... Theon of Smyrna (ca. ... Thymaridas of Paros (ca. ... Xenocrates of Chalcedon (396 - 314 BC) was a Greek philosopher and scholarch or rector of the Academy from 339 to 314 BC. Removing to Athens in early youth, he became the pupil of the Socratic Aeschines, but presently joined himself to Plato, whom he attended to Sicily in 361. ... Zeno of Elea (IPA:zÉ›noÊŠ, É›lɛɑː)(circa 490 BC? – circa 430 BC?) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. ... Zeno of Sidon, Epicurean philosopher of the 1st century BC and contemporary of Cicero. ... Zenodorus (ca. ... Almagest is the Latin form of the Arabic name (al-kitabu-l-mijisti, i. ... The Archimedes Palimpsest is a palimpsest on parchment in the form of a codex which originally was a copy of an otherwise unknown work of the ancient mathematician, physicist, and engineer Archimedes of Syracuse and other authors. ... Arithmetica, an ancient text on mathematics written by classical period Greek mathematician Diophantus in the second century AD is a collection of 130 algebra problems giving numerical solutions of determinate equations (those with a unique solution), and indeterminate equations. ... Apollonius of Perga [Pergaeus] (ca. ... The frontispiece of Sir Henry Billingsleys first English version of Euclids Elements, 1570 Euclids Elements (Greek: ) is a mathematical and geometric treatise consisting of 13 books written by the Greek mathematician Euclid in Alexandria circa 300 BC. It comprises a collection of definitions, postulates (axioms), propositions (theorems... Aristarchuss 3rd century BC calculations on the relative sizes of the Earth, Sun and Moon, from a 10th century CE Greek copy On the Sizes and Distances [of the Sun and Moon] is the only extant work written by Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer who lived circa... On Sizes and Distances [of the Sun and Moon] (Peri megethoon kai apostèmátoon) is a text by the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus. ... Autolycus of Pitane (c. ... For other uses, see Academy (disambiguation). ... Inscription regarding Tiberius Claudius Balbilus of Rome (d. ... Cyrene (Greek Κυρήνη, Kurene) was an ancient Greek colony in present-day Libya, the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. ... Babylonian clay tablet YBC 7289 with annotations. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... For a timeline of events in mathematics, see timeline of mathematics. ... In the history of mathematics, Islamic mathematics or Arabic mathematics refers to the mathematics developed by the Islamic civilization between 622 and 1600. ... This article is under construction. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... The Milesian school was a school of thought founded in the 6th Century BC. The ideas associated with it are exemplified by three philosophers from the Ionian town of Miletus, on the edge of Anatolia: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Bust of Pythagoras Pythagoreanism is a term used for the esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were much influenced by mathematics and probably a main inspirational source for Plato and platonism. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... Philolaus (circa 480 BC – circa 405 BC) was a Greek mathematician and philosopher. ... Alcmaeon of Croton (mid-fifth century B.C.) was an Ancient Greek philosopher and medical theorist. ... Archytas Archytas (428 BC - 347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief. ... Timaeus of Locri (called Timaeus Locrus in Latin, Timée de Locres in French) was a Pythagorean philosopher living in the 5th century BC. He features in Platos Timaeus, where he is said to come from Locri in Italy. ... Ephesian School sometimes refers to the philosophical thought of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, who considered that the being of all the universe is fire. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek - Herákleitos ho Ephésios (Herakleitos the Ephesian)) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Ancient Greek - ho Skoteinós), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. ... The Eleatics were a school of pre-Socratic philosophers at Elea, a Greek colony in Lucania, Italy. ... Xenophanes of Colophon (Greek: Ξενοφάνης, 570 BC-480 BC) was a Greek philosopher, poet, and social and religious critic. ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... Zeno of Elea (IPA:zÉ›noÊŠ, É›lɛɑː)(circa 490 BC? – circa 430 BC?) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. ... Melissus of Samos, Greek philosopher of the Eleatic School, was born probably not later than 470 BC. According to Diogenes Laërtius, ix. ... The Pluralist School was a school of presocratic philosophers who attempted to reconcile Parmenides rejection of change with the apparently changing world of sense experience. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... Empedocles (Greek: , ca. ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. ... Sophist redirects here. ... Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. ... Gorgias (in Greek Γοργἰας, circa 483-376 BC) // Introduction Due to his ushering in of rhetorical innovations involving structure and ornamentation and his introduction of paradoxologia – the idea of paradoxical thought and paradoxical expression – Gorgias of Leontini has been labeled the ‘father of sophistry’ (Wardy 6). ... Prodicus of Ceos (Πρόδικος Pródikos, born c. ... Hippias can also refer to a son of Pisistratus and a tyrant of Athens. ... Diogenes Apolloniates or Diogenes of Apollonia (c. ... Pherecydes of Syros (in Greek: Φερεχύδης) was a Greek thinker from the island of Siros, Magna Graecia of the 6th century BC. Pherecydes authored the Heptamychia, one of the first attested prose works in Greek literature, which formed an important bridge between mythic and pre-Socratic though. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Thales of Miletus [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (9340 words)
Thales proposed answers to a number of questions about the earth: the question of its support; its shape; its size; and the cause of earthquakes; the dates of the solstices; the size of the sun and moon.
Second, Thales, who is acknowledged as an observer of the heavens, would have observed that stars which are visible in a certain locality may not be visible further to the north or south, a phenomena which could be explained within the understanding of a spherical earth.
It is testified that it was from Egypt that Thales acquired the rudiments of geometry.
Security and Safety - Thales Security (78 words)
Thales builds presence in North American market with secure ticketing system for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) bus and commuter rail networks more
Thales and Infineon take new steps in electronic payment more
Project to strengthen Thales in satellite and security activities
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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