I've been pondering it off and on and thought, hey.. why not put some of it up on my blog? Wouldn't that be fun? :) I have to admit, I am not a philosopher, but sometimes it's fun to see what other people think and then ponder what I think of what they have to say. To that end, here goes the start to a new series on the blog. Thinking Tuesdays.
He was a man who was interested in everything: investigating almost all areas of knowledge, philosophy, history, science, mathematics, engineering, geography, and politics. He was highly regarded in his day and many philosophers and thinkers started with the work that he did. See reference: Thales of Miletus.
Thales opened the way to a more scientific approach to understanding the world around us.
Very little survives of anything that he wrote. "Only few fragmentary sources survive from Thales’ work. Some ancient authors ascribe to him, without serious justification, a work with the name Nautical Star-guide while according to some others he wrote only two works: On the Solstice and On the Equinox." See reference: Thales of Miletus.
Planet Facts tells us "Thales impressed everyone by accurately foretelling a solar eclipse. In those days, it was considered a grand achievement, and rightly so. Solar eclipses were much harder to predict than lunar ones, and the people didn’t have calendars or the mathematical knowhow to predict important astronomical events."
What is the basic material of the cosmos?
It must be
- Something from which everything can be formed
- Essential to life
- Capable of motion
- Capable of change
Ergo: Everything is made of water. From the book "Thales concludes that all matter, regardless of its apparent properties, must be water in some stage of transformation" .(page 23)
I read this to my nine year old and he said "but water can't become dirt!". And I have to admit.. that makes sense to me. So was fascinating and as forward thinking as Thales was, and it's great that he took the focus of understanding the world off the hands of what was thought at the time, capricious gods, I can't get past the "water can't be dirt" reaction of my boy child. :)
Thales set up a school "Milesian School of philosophers" A student Anaximander expanded his scientific theories and later mentored Anaximenes who probably taught the young Pythagoroas" (page 23 of the book).
Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this look at Thales of Miletus. There's tons of information about him on line. Just do a basic search if you want to know more about this fascinating individual. :)