Phil 20a 1st paper

Phil 20a 1st paper - Gable Parigian Perm#8824302 Phil 20A...

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Gable Parigian Perm #8824302 Phil 20A Paper #1 Quest. #1 The First of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers To try and explain how the world and universe works is obviously a task one could go countless lifetimes pondering. Yet, this is precisely what the Milesians and other Pre-Socratic philosophers set out to do in order to hopefully better understand the world in which they inhabited. They were thought of as scientists by the people in their time and rightly so because they used things in nature, such as water, to explain how the objective world came to be and how things in it continue to be. Surely, their ideas and concepts about the world may not have been extremely precise and logical due to living before a time of great scientific discoveries and such but; they made some very interesting and thought-provoking theories. Thus, the Milesian philosophers named Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes have similar and different uses of a concept of the arche, or starting point, in their theories about nature. These concepts lead to problems and advantages in their theories; with Anaximenes using it with the greatest theoretical effect. The philosopher named Thales uses his concept of the arche to systematically explain that water is the origin or starting point of nature which, in consequence makes his theory strong in some aspects and weak in others. His idea that water is the arche, or source of everything, is very weak in that its scope, how much a theory explains, is very small. Thales mainly suggests from his fragments that water and only water is the only thing essential for life. As it states in Thales fragments, “Most of the first philosophers thought that principles in the form of matter were the only principles of all things. For they say that the element and first principle of the things that exist is that from which they all are and from which they first come into being and into which they are finally destroyed, it’s substance remaining and its properties changing…Thales, the founder of this kind of philosophy, says that it is water.”-Aristotle (Kolak and Thomson, p.9).
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Furthermore, his theory that water is the source for life is inconsistent with the fact that Thales also thought the world was composed of souls too. If he had a more sound argument that water is in fact the arche, he wouldn’t have to introduce this other concept of souls or spirits. He thinks animate things, things that move around like humans or flowers have a soul because they have
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This essay was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 20a taught by Professor Hannen during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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Phil 20a 1st paper - Gable Parigian Perm#8824302 Phil 20A...

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