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The first signs of philosophy began in the 7th and 6th century BC in Greece. Before this time, myths created by Hesiod and Homer were accepted by mostly all in Greece. Stories which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God answered any and all questions people may have asked. These gods had enormous powers of a personal nature and engaged in tremendous feats of creation, often in struggle with one another and superseding with human life for good or bad. Although for many years these traditional stories were believed, in the 7th and 6th century a discontent for the traditional stories began. The myths of Hesiod and Homer were being rejected and answers were being given through observation and argument. The very first philosophers dissatisfied with the traditional stories were the Milesian s, named for their city of Miletus in the 7th and 6th century. The Milesian s made the first contributions to the idea of philosophy and science. The Milesian s, or the nature philosophers were preoccupied with the notion of arche or principle of being. An arche was matter that formed the basis of all other things. Any form of matter or ’stuff’ that existed would be made from the arche. The basic problem was to determine what the basic stuff is, of which the universe was made. The variety of things gives no suggestion of what this basic stuff or material might be. The very first Milesian was Thales, it is to him the we owe the first appearance of science and philosophy in the West. He postulated the question What are all things?, this required tremendous insight and imagination. The question assumes that everything forms a part of some single world of being , and that all things have some common property. Thales had assumed that there is enough system among the variety of things in the world to permit some sort of single answer. This assumption marks the beginning of philosophy. His theory is best understood as an account or explanation — one which seeks to describe and explain how the world has come to be as it is. Thales’ stated thatAll things are of water While this sounds simple-minded, this makes sense. It is not hard to think of all things in the world as divided into three classes solids, liquids, and gases. Water is known from direct experience to exist in each of these states. Perhaps the origin of all solids, liquids, and gases is water, precisely the element known to transform into each state. This makes the theory scientific or philosophical. Unlike religious explanation which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God, Thales’ account was ultimately a result of observation and argument. On the other hand, the greatness of Thales would lie in his having asked the question, rather than in the particular answer he gave. The fact that Thales asked such a question is much more important in history than the actual answer and the backing given for it. This thought points in a different direction from the tradition of Homer and Hesiod. It suggests that in order to understand this world, we should look at the world and not to one another. The next generation of the Milesian school is Anaximander. Anaximander was also very concerned with the principle of being and wanted a naturalistic account of origins. He wanted one that did not appeal to the supernatural gods of Homer and Hesiod. Anaximander agreed with Thales in thinking that all things are made of some common stuff, but he thought this could not be a familiar substance, such as water, but rather a boundless something. This boundless something originally contained every sort of shape and quality but had no definite, specific characteristics of its own. The boundless was a beginning for all other things and it was infinite, had no beginning and also no end. Anaximander uses a fascinating analogy to prove his belief in the boundless. To fill a circular pan with water, add some bits of limestone, granite and lead and then swirl the water around. You will see that the bits of heavier metal move toward the center and the lighter bits move towards the outside. What starts as a clutter begins to take some order, if the boundless were swirling in the same type of motion than what was indistinguishable was now in order. He backed his swirling motion by looking up at the clouds and seeing how the sky swirls around the earth. Anaximader s reasoning her is very interesting. He states that if everything real is matter with definite quantities, it must be possible for this matter to be hot in some cases and cold in others, sometimes wet and sometimes dry. Anaximander thought of qualities as always being contrary pairs. Thales identifies matter with one quality all things are water, if this is true, how can one explain the existence of the contrary quality. If all matter was made up of water and is wet, then drying would destroy the matter of things. These things would cease to be, and in this way Anaximander disagreed with Thales. The next and last Milesion philosopher was Anaximenes. Anaximenes thought that all changes were the result of changes in density brought about by the condensation and rarefaction of one form of matter, air. He argued that the different qualities and states observed in matter are simply the result of shifting pressure, creating different levels of density. Air was everywhere and essential for life and it was self- supporting. Anaximenes used an experiment of blowing air into his hand. He observed that when air is expanded it creates warmth, which he correlated to fire. On the other hand, when air condenses it is cool, produces clouds, water, and earth. It seems to be a backward step for Anaximenes to believe that air was the basic form of stuff. However, the boundless may have suggested a dark haze or a fog, thus we can see why air might occur to Anaximenes as a more concrete specification of what the boundless was. Anaximenes rejected Anaximander theory of the boundless because it had no physical value. Anaximenes was confused by the boundless, how can something with no physical value be real. This confused him and caused Anaximenes to try to give a value to the boundless, thus he concluded that air was the basic principle of being.The metaphysics of thales is important for the question he raised. He thought there must be one substance underlying all the various things in the world. This was not an obvious idea. Traditionally, the Greek thinkers had held that the basic elements were earth, air, fire, and water. Thales speculated that earth, air, fire, and water were not ultimate, but that there was an original substance underlying those four elements and thus all the diverse things in the world. The step from water to the boundless was an advance from a primitive description of matter to one that is almost our own. The description of matter in modern science and philosophy was often neutral stuff, much like Anaximander s boundless. The direction taken by this attempt to define the basic stuff of physical reality led straight toward the later refinements in philosophy. Anaximenes view seems like a disappointment after Anaximander s creative theory about the boundless. Anaximenes gives a primal answer, one that seems to be a copy of his earlier teacher, Thales. All three of these theories were incredibly revolutionary in the history of philosophy as well as science. Each philosopher uses observation, logic, and argument to come up with an answer to the principle of being. To me, the most plausible theory is the one that is the least physical, and the one that may be the hardest to believe. The boundless of Anaximander is the most interesting and intriguing theory out of the three. Anaximander realized that neither water nor nay other such ordinary material could be the fundamental form of matter. He saw the basic stuff as a more sophisticated though somewhat obscure boundless something. This theory gives the most meaning to me. It is not limited to any concise element and is more than just air or water. Although it may be vague, it gives the best answer out of the three. There is no question that cannot be answered by the boundless. Anaximander also performs the experimant with water and to prove his swirling method he suggests one to look up at the skies. These experiments are intriguing and much more interesting compared to the other two philosophers. Anaximander, with his combination of scientific curiosity, poetic imagery, and genius for provocative insight, can certainly share with Thales the credit for the dawn of Greek philosophy. Greek thinkers could now begin to see that the new questions raised by Thales had implications that went far beyond the answers that either Thales or Anaximander proposed. We can also see science and philosophy with a whole new world of meaning opening before philosophers to come.The value of the Milesian philosophers lies in their asking some of the right questions and trying to give naturalistic answers instead of mythological explanations. This was a humanistic approach, which kept the questions alive and led eventually to scientific investigation of the nature of matter. The fact that these philosophers came up with theory s and began to think about the many questions that could not be answered by the gods but by there own observations and human senses in itself is a great feat. These men began a legacy that to this day is The first signs of philosophy began in the 7th and 6th century BC in Greece. Before this time, myths created by Hesiod and Homer were accepted by mostly all in Greece. Stories which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God answered any and all questions people may have asked. These gods had enormous powers of a personal nature and engaged in tremendous feats of creation, often in struggle with one another and superseding with human life for good or bad. Although for many years these traditional stories were believed, in the 7th and 6th century a discontent for the traditional stories began. The myths of Hesiod and Homer were being rejected and answers were being given through observation and argument. The very first philosophers dissatisfied with the traditional stories were the Milesian s, named for their city of Miletus in the 7th and 6th century. The Milesian s made the first contributions to the idea of philosophy and science. The Milesian s, or the nature philosophers were preoccupied with the notion of arche or principle of being. An arche was matter that formed the basis of all other things. Any form of matter or ’stuff’ that existed would be made from the arche. The basic problem was to determine what the basic stuff is, of which the universe was made. The variety of things gives no suggestion of what this basic stuff or material might be. The very first Milesian was Thales, it is to him the we owe the first appearance of science and philosophy in the West. He postulated the question What are all things?, this required tremendous insight and imagination. The question assumes that everything forms a part of some single world of being , and that all things have some common property. Thales had assumed that there is enough system among the variety of things in the world to permit some sort of single answer. This assumption marks the beginning of philosophy. His theory is best understood as an account or explanation — one which seeks to describe and explain how the world has come to be as it is. Thales’ stated thatAll things are of water While this sounds simple-minded, this makes sense. It is not hard to think of all things in the world as divided into three classes solids, liquids, and gases. Water is known from direct experience to exist in each of these states. Perhaps the origin of all solids, liquids, and gases is water, precisely the element known to transform into each state. This makes the theory scientific or philosophical. Unlike religious explanation which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God, Thales’ account was ultimately a result of observation and argument. On the other hand, the greatness of Thales would lie in his having asked the question, rather than in the particular answer he gave. The fact that Thales asked such a question is much more important in history than the actual answer and the backing given for it. This thought points in a different direction from the tradition of Homer and Hesiod. It suggests that in order to understand this world, we should look at the world and not to one another. The next generation of the Milesian school is Anaximander. Anaximander was also very concerned with the principle of being and wanted a naturalistic account of origins. He wanted one that did not appeal to the supernatural gods of Homer and Hesiod. Anaximander agreed with Thales in thinking that all things are made of some common stuff, but he thought this could not be a familiar substance, such as water, but rather a boundless something. This boundless something originally contained every sort of shape and quality but had no definite, specific characteristics of its own. The boundless was a beginning for all other things and it was infinite, had no beginning and also no end. Anaximander uses a fascinating analogy to prove his belief in the boundless. To fill a circular pan with water, add some bits of limestone, granite and lead and then swirl the water around. You will see that the bits of heavier metal move toward the center and the lighter bits move towards the outside. What starts as a clutter begins to take some order, if the boundless were swirling in the same type of motion than what was indistinguishable was now in order. He backed his swirling motion by looking up at the clouds and seeing how the sky swirls around the earth. Anaximader s reasoning her is very interesting. He states that if everything real is matter with definite quantities, it must be possible for this matter to be hot in some cases and cold in others, sometimes wet and sometimes dry. Anaximander thought of qualities as always being contrary pairs. Thales identifies matter with one quality all things are water, if this is true, how can one explain the existence of the contrary quality. If all matter was made up of water and is wet, then drying would destroy the matter of things. These things would cease to be, and in this way Anaximander disagreed with Thales.

The next and last Milesion philosopher was Anaximenes. Anaximenes thought that all changes were the result of changes in density brought about by the condensation and rarefaction of one form of matter, air. He argued that the different qualities and states observed in matter are simply the result of shifting pressure, creating different levels of density. Air was everywhere and essential for life and it was self- supporting. Anaximenes used an experiment of blowing air into his hand. He observed that when air is expanded it creates warmth, which he correlated to fire. On the other hand, when air condenses it is cool, produces clouds, water, and earth. It seems to be a backward step for Anaximenes to believe that air was the basic form of stuff. However, the boundless may have suggested a dark haze or a fog, thus we can see why air might occur to Anaximenes as a more concrete specification of what the boundless was. Anaximenes rejected Anaximander theory of the boundless because it had no physical value. Anaximenes was confused by the boundless, how can something with no physical value be real. This confused him and caused Anaximenes to try to give a value to the boundless, thus he concluded that air was the basic principle of being.The metaphysics of thales is important for the question he raised. He thought there must be one substance underlying all the various things in the world. This was not an obvious idea. Traditionally, the Greek thinkers had held that the basic elements were earth, air, fire, and water. Thales speculated that earth, air, fire, and water were not ultimate, but that there was an original substance underlying those four elements and thus all the diverse things in the world. The step from water to the boundless was an advance from a primitive description of matter to one that is almost our own. The description of matter in modern science and philosophy was often neutral stuff, much like Anaximander s boundless. The direction taken by this attempt to define the basic stuff of physical reality led straight toward the later refinements in philosophy. Anaximenes view seems like a disappointment after Anaximander s creative theory about the boundless. Anaximenes gives a primal answer, one that seems to be a copy of his earlier teacher, Thales. All three of these theories were incredibly revolutionary in the history of philosophy as well as science. Each philosopher uses observation, logic, and argument to come up with an answer to the principle of being. To me, the most plausible theory is the one that is the least physical, and the one that may be the hardest to believe. The boundless of Anaximander is the most interesting and intriguing theory out of the three. Anaximander realized that neither water nor nay other such ordinary material could be the fundamental form of matter. He saw the basic stuff as a more sophisticated though somewhat obscure boundless something. This theory gives the most meaning to me. It is not limited to any concise element and is more than just air or water. Although it may be vague, it gives the best answer out of the three. There is no question that cannot be answered by the boundless. Anaximander also performs the experimant with water and to prove his swirling method he suggests one to look up at the skies. These experiments are intriguing and much more interesting compared to the other two philosophers. Anaximander, with his combination of scientific curiosity, poetic imagery, and genius for provocative insight, can certainly share with Thales the credit for the dawn of Greek philosophy. Greek thinkers could now begin to see that the new questions raised by Thales had implications that went far beyond the answers that either Thales or Anaximander proposed. We can also see science and philosophy with a whole new world of meaning opening before philosophers to come.The value of the Milesian philosophers lies in their asking some of the right questions and trying to give naturalistic answers instead of mythological explanations. This was a humanistic approach, which kept the questions alive and led eventually to scientific investigation of the nature of matter. The fact that these philosophers came up with theory s and began to think about the many questions that could not be answered by the gods but by there own observations and human senses in itself is a great feat. These men began a legacy that to this day is The first signs of philosophy began in the 7th and 6th century BC in Greece. Before this time, myths created by Hesiod and Homer were accepted by mostly all in Greece. Stories which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God answered any and all questions people may have asked. These gods had enormous powers of a personal nature and engaged in tremendous feats of creation, often in struggle with one another and superseding with human life for good or bad. Although for many years these traditional stories were believed, in the 7th and 6th century a discontent for the traditional stories began. The myths of Hesiod and Homer were being rejected and answers were being given through observation and argument. The very first philosophers dissatisfied with the traditional stories were the Milesian s, named for their city of Miletus in the 7th and 6th century. The Milesian s made the first contributions to the idea of philosophy and science. The Milesian s, or the nature philosophers were preoccupied with the notion of arche or principle of being. An arche was matter that formed the basis of all other things. Any form of matter or ’stuff’ that existed would be made from the arche. The basic problem was to determine what the basic stuff is, of which the universe was made. The variety of things gives no suggestion of what this basic stuff or material might be. The very first Milesian was Thales, it is to him the we owe the first appearance of science and philosophy in the West. He postulated the question What are all things?, this required tremendous insight and imagination. The question assumes that everything forms a part of some single world of being , and that all things have some common property. Thales had assumed that there is enough system among the variety of things in the world to permit some sort of single answer. This assumption marks the beginning of philosophy. His theory is best understood as an account or explanation — one which seeks to describe and explain how the world has come to be as it is. Thales’ stated thatAll things are of water While this sounds simple-minded, this makes sense. It is not hard to think of all things in the world as divided into three classes solids, liquids, and gases. Water is known from direct experience to exist in each of these states. Perhaps the origin of all solids, liquids, and gases is water, precisely the element known to transform into each state. This makes the theory scientific or philosophical. Unlike religious explanation which appeals ultimately to the mysterious gods/goddesses/God, Thales’ account was ultimately a result of observation and argument. On the other hand, the greatness of Thales would lie in his having asked the question, rather than in the particular answer he gave. The fact that Thales asked such a question is much more important in history than the actual answer and the backing given for it. This thought points in a different direction from the tradition of Homer and Hesiod. It suggests that in order to understand this world, we should look at the world and not to one another. The next generation of the Milesian school is Anaximander. Anaximander was also very concerned with the principle of being and wanted a naturalistic account of origins. He wanted one that did not appeal to the supernatural gods of Homer and Hesiod. Anaximander agreed with Thales in thinking that all things are made of some common stuff, but he thought this could not be a familiar substance, such as water, but rather a boundless something. This boundless something originally contained every sort of shape and quality but had no definite, specific characteristics of its own. The boundless was a beginning for all other things and it was infinite, had no beginning and also no end. Anaximander uses a fascinating analogy to prove his belief in the boundless. To fill a circular pan with water, add some bits of limestone, granite and lead and then swirl the water around. You will see that the bits of heavier metal move toward the center and the lighter bits move towards the outside. What starts as a clutter begins to take some order, if the boundless were swirling in the same type of motion than what was indistinguishable was now in order. He backed his swirling motion by looking up at the clouds and seeing how the sky swirls around the earth. Anaximader s reasoning her is very interesting. He states that if everything real is matter with definite quantities, it must be possible for this matter to be hot in some cases and cold in others, sometimes wet and sometimes dry. Anaximander thought of qualities as always being contrary pairs. Thales identifies matter with one quality all things are water, if this is true, how can one explain the existence of the contrary quality. If all matter was made up of water and is wet, then drying would destroy the matter of things. These things would cease to be, and in this way Anaximander disagreed with Thales. The next and last Milesion philosopher was Anaximenes. Anaximenes thought that all changes were the result of changes in density brought about by the condensation and rarefaction of one form of matter, air. He argued that the different qualities and states observed in matter are simply the result of shifting pressure, creating different levels of density. Air was everywhere and essential for life and it was self- supporting. Anaximenes used an experiment of blowing air into his hand. He observed that when air is expanded it creates warmth, which he correlated to fire. On the other hand, when air condenses it is cool, produces clouds, water, and earth. It seems to be a backward step for Anaximenes to believe that air was the basic form of stuff. However, the boundless may have suggested a dark haze or a fog, thus we can see why air might occur to Anaximenes as a more concrete specification of what the boundless was. Anaximenes rejected Anaximander theory of the boundless because it had no physical value. Anaximenes was confused by the boundless, how can something with no physical value be real. This confused him and caused Anaximenes to try to give a value to the boundless, thus he concluded that air was the basic principle of being.The metaphysics of thales is important for the question he raised. He thought there must be one substance underlying all the various things in the world. This was not an obvious idea. Traditionally, the Greek thinkers had held that the basic elements were earth, air, fire, and water. Thales speculated that earth, air, fire, and water were not ultimate, but that there was an original substance underlying those four elements and thus all the diverse things in the world. The step from water to the boundless was an advance from a primitive description of matter to one that is almost our own. The description of matter in modern science and philosophy was often neutral stuff, much like Anaximander s boundless. The direction taken by this attempt to define the basic stuff of physical reality led straight toward the later refinements in philosophy. Anaximenes view seems like a disappointment after Anaximander s creative theory about the boundless. Anaximenes gives a primal answer, one that seems to be a copy of his earlier teacher, Thales. All three of these theories were incredibly revolutionary in the history of philosophy as well as science. Each philosopher uses observation, logic, and argument to come up with an answer to the principle of being. To me, the most plausible theory is the one that is the least physical, and the one that may be the hardest to believe. The boundless of Anaximander is the most interesting and intriguing theory out of the three. Anaximander realized that neither water nor nay other such ordinary material could be the fundamental form of matter. He saw the basic stuff as a more sophisticated though somewhat obscure boundless something. This theory gives the most meaning to me. It is not limited to any concise element and is more than just air or water. Although it may be vague, it gives the best answer out of the three. There is no question that cannot be answered by the boundless. Anaximander also performs the experimant with water and to prove his swirling method he suggests one to look up at the skies. These experiments are intriguing and much more interesting compared to the other two philosophers. Anaximander, with his combination of scientific curiosity, poetic imagery, and genius for provocative insight, can certainly share with Thales the credit for the dawn of Greek philosophy. Greek thinkers could now begin to see that the new questions raised by Thales had implications that went far beyond the answers that either Thales or Anaximander proposed. We can also see science and philosophy with a whole new world of meaning opening before philosophers to come.The value of the Milesian philosophers lies in their asking some of the right questions and trying to give naturalistic answers instead of mythological explanations. This was a humanistic approach, which kept the questions alive and led eventually to scientific investigation of the nature of matter. The fact that these philosophers came up with theory s and began to think about the many questions that could not be answered by the gods but by there own observations and human senses in itself is a great feat. These men began a legacy that to this day is


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