• Thales

    Greek: Θαλῆς
    Place: Miletus, Asia Minor
    Year: c. 624 BC – c. 546 BC
    Affiliation: Seven Sages
    Primary Principle: Water
    Era: pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
    Founder: School of Natural Philosophy (Aristtotle. Metaphysics. 983 b20)
    Contribution: Ethics, Metaphysics, Mathematics, Astronomy

    Mathematician: He used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore.

    He is credited with the first use of deductive reasoning applied to geometry, by deriving four corollaries to Thales' Theorem. As a result, he has been hailed as the first true mathematician and is the first known individual to whom a mathematical discovery has been attributed.

    Scientist: Thales was the first person known to have studied electricity.

    Aristotle: considered Thales as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition
    Bertrand Russell: Western philosophy begins with Thales

    The first known philosopher who made an attempt to answer the natural occurrences of the world rejecting mythological explanation. Thales bracketed Mythology and considered the behavior of individual things. He went away from burning incense to scientific studies and concluded a valid answer to the question where the world is coming from.

    He claimed that everything had once begun from water.
    ‘Thales says that it is water’. ‘it’ is the nature, the archê, the originating principle. For Thales, this nature was a single material substance, water. After that claim, many followed him in their attempt to provide an explanation about the origin of the world without the aid of mythology. With the rise of philosophers ignited by Thales mythology has become a drama that is only performed on stage for leisure but the true role of the gods to the Greeks have gone by which Heidegger puts it as, "The flee of the gods."

    We do not have any objective evidence that Thales had accomplished written documents, but several quotations from thinkers who followed him proved that he had achieved any.
    1. Simplicius (Diels, Dox. p. 475)
    2. Diogenes Laertius: On the Solstice, On the Equinox‘ (D.L. I.23)
    3. Lobon of Argus: (D.L. I.34)
    4. Plutarch: (Plutarch, De Pyth. or. 18. 402 E)
    5. Hesychius; (DK, 11A2)
    6. Callimachus; (D.L. I.23)
    7. Diogenes: (D.L. I.24)
    8. Aristotle: De Anima
    9. Proclus: (A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s Elements 65. 8-9; 250. 16-17)


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