Thales was a native of Miletus, in Asia Minor. He flourished in 585 BCE (the date
of an eclipse he is reputed to have predicted). No fragments of his work have
survived, only testimony. Aristotle attributes the followi
Like Thales, Anaximander was a monist. But he rejected Thales supposition that
water is the material arch. Instead, he proposed the apeiron (the indefinite, or the
infinite). Why did he do this?
There is only one
1. Anaximenes postulates air as the arch. This may seem to be a throwback to
Thales, a step backward after Anaximander; but I will argue that is is not.
2. Anaximenes is offering a new world view:
1 Anaximander tho
1. Fl. 500 B.C. in Ephesus, north of Miletus in Asia Minor. He was known in
antiquity as the obscure. And even today, it is very difficult to be certain what
Heraclitus was talking about. As Barnes say
1. Heraclitus stresses the importance of (what he calls) the logos. This term can
have a variety of meanings: word, statement, reason, law, ratio, proportion,
among others. (Barnes translates it as account.) It is r
Identity, Persistence, and the Ship of Theseus
Heraclituss river fragments raise puzzles about identity and persistence: under what
conditions does an object persist through time as one and the same object? If the world
Parmenides: Stage 2
After establishing his central thesis, that it is impossible to think or talk about what
does not exist, Parmenides attempts to deduce from this thesis the following conclusions:
1. There is no coming into
Zenos Paradox of the Race Course
1. The ParadoxZeno argues that it is impossible for a runner to traverse a race
course. His reason is thatmotion is impossible, because an object in motion must
reach the half-way point before
Zeno: Argument against Plurality
1. IntroductionThe argument is contained in 4=B1 and 3=B2 (from
Simplicius commentary on Aristotles Physics). But there is a problem with
the text, and some of the argument is garbled or lost.
1. Parmenides successors seemed to be concerned with these five central
1 Monism: there is no plurality.
2 There is no motion.
3 There is no generation or destruction.
4 There is no quali
1. Like Empedocles, Anaxagoras denied that there could be any coming into being
or passing away (18=B17): The Greeks are wrong to accept coming to be and
perishing, for no thing comes to be, nor does it perish, but
1. Atomism was devised by Leucippus and his student Democritus. Democritus was
born about 460 B.C., which makes him about 40 years younger than Anaxagoras,
and about 10 years younger than Socrates. Atomism is the fina