Milesian School of Philosophy (briefly). The first philosophical schools of antiquity

In the 7th century BC Greek philosophy is becoming established. This century was marked by important changes and revolutionary processes. Outstanding legislators, thinkers, artists appear in their activities, expressing the interests of the whole society. They are known as the seven wise men.

The main features of the philosophy of Miletus School

One of the seven wise men, Thales, became the father of a new trend in philosophy. He is the founder of the school, which is called Miles. The Milesian School of Philosophy, which we will briefly describe in this article, was separated from other areas of the first. It was in her that the question of the fundamental principles of being was deliberately raised. Philosophy in this period is a combination of all forms and types of knowledge (both practical and theoretical). But despite this, the main interest of all representatives of this school covers a very specific range of problems. The question of the essence of the world comes first.It was solved in different ways by individual representatives of such a direction as the Miletus School of Philosophy. The summary of their works, however, comes down to a common denominator. These thinkers see the basis of the world in a certain material principle.

Materialism in the Milesian School

Milesian school of philosophy can be briefly described as follows: it spontaneously to materialism. Its representatives understood the world intuitively as material, but at the same time the question of the interaction of spiritual and material principles has not yet been raised. Naive dialectic is also manifested in this period. That is, development appears in all its complexity, inconsistency and variety of forms. Miletus representatives with the help of dialectics want to comprehend the world in the dynamics of change and development. With the help of materialism, they overcame religious and mythological views of other thinkers. They gave a completely materialistic answer to the question of the fundamental principle of the world, although such ideas were still naive.


Milesian School of Philosophy briefly

We have already noted that Thales is the founder of such a trend as the Miletus School of Philosophy. Briefly tell about his life and teaching.

Around 640-562 years BC. er Thales lived from Miletos. He came from a well-to-do family and was engaged, apart from theoretical studies, in political activities and trade. Thales gained good knowledge in various fields of activity. He managed to do this thanks to the high development of his homeland - the city of Miletus. Thales traveled a lot. He collected all the available knowledge and information. Thanks to the Babylonian education, he became acquainted with the works of Chaldean scientists.

ancient philosophy Milesian school

It is believed that Thales even predicted an eclipse of the sun, which occurred on May 28, 585 BC. er In the philosophy of ancient Greece, his idea of ​​the division of the "celestial sphere" is very curious. It is divided, according to Thales, into 5 bands: the Antarctic (invisible constantly), the Winter Tropical, the Equinoxes, the Summer Tropical and the constantly visible Arctic.

Geometry in the teachings of Thales

ancient greece philosophy

Thales met during the trip to Egypt and Babylon with agriculture, which was quite developed in these parts. This contributed to the formation of his geometric knowledge. This thinker, as most of the authors of Antiquity believe, not only accepted knowledge, but also tried to streamline and put them into a certain system. A number of provisions were formulated by him, for example, regarding the triangle.Thales noted that the angles at the base in an isosceles triangle are equal. Also this thinker, a representative of the philosophy of ancient Greece, determined the conditions under which the triangles are similar.

A certain influence on the further development of his teachings had the diverse interests of Thales. For example, at this time geometry was so developed that it was considered the basis of scientific abstraction. This was reflected in the views of Thales, which were aimed at comprehending the very essence of the world.

The basis of the world, according to Thales

The Thinker considered the basis of all water. He understood it not as a personification of a mythological force or a concrete form, but as a current, amorphous concentration of thought. In the "endless water", according to Thales, contains the potential for further development. By "dilution" or "thickening" of this primal matter, everything else arises.

Thales Teaching about the Earth

Thales' astronomical and philosophical views are closely related to his thoughts, which are now called geographic and geological. The Thinker believed that the Earth is disk-shaped. His view was connected with the consideration of water as a fundamental principle,that in the endless water floats the Earth, which has holes and pores. He explained earthquakes to vibrations in agitated water. The materialistic views of this thinker, apparently, were associated with the development of the science of Antiquity, in particular astronomy and mathematics. However, Thales did not avoid practice.


philosophy of representatives of the Milesian school

What other names can offer us ancient philosophy (Milesian school)? Anaximander (years of life - from 610 to 545 BC. E.) Was another prominent Milesian philosopher. Like Thales, this thinker spontaneously to materialism. He was a student of the famous founder of the School of Miletus. One can judge by the surviving evidence that, like his teacher, he studied nature first of all. Anaximander has thoughts that develop and deepen Thales's views, for example, in the field of astronomy. However, unlike his teacher, he did not pay much attention to geometry.

The question of the Earth and the beginning of the world

The most interesting of the astronomical views of Anaximander is the idea that our planet freely ascends, that it is not bound by anything and is not held, since it is equally distant from everywhere.This is the prototype of a geocentric view of the Universe. Anaximander also says that our planet is in constant rotational motion, which serves as a source of cold and heat. This thinker, like Thales, touches the question of the beginning of the world. In his opinion, the basis and the origin of it is something infinite. Anaximander did not define it as water or anything else. He taught that the whole remains unchanged, while parts of it change. Anaximander, therefore, offered his arche. He went away from material certainty in his philosophy. Archae is characterized as something vague, unlimited.

How did life on Earth and man, according to Anaximander?

Milesian and Eleatic schools of philosophy

In Anaximander, we find the problematics that his teacher means only in the abstract. This is the question of how life arose and took shape. Anaximander writes that the first animals of our planet were born "in the wet." They had a spike cover. After they grew up, the animals came to land. When the cover broke, they lived for a short time. Thus, the ability to live Anaximander ascribes to a particular type of matter.This view was characteristic of various representatives of the Miletus School. It can be defined by the term "hylozoism" (from the Greek word for "life", "matter"). According to Anaximander, all matter is alive.

Another manifestation of materialism can be considered the fact that this thinker relates to a number of animals and man. The man, in his opinion, was born at first from an animal belonging to another species. Thus, Anaximander’s thoughts deepen materialism, which characterizes the philosophy of the representatives of the Miletus School.


ancient greek philosophy miletus school

Anaximenes (years of life - from 585 to 524 BC. E.) Was the third prominent philosopher of this school. This is a follower and disciple of Anaximander. As well as Anaximander and Thales, he studied various astronomical phenomena. He sought to explain them in a natural way. It can be said that in a certain sense he completed and strengthened the tendency of materialism, which marks the ancient Greek philosophy (Milesian school). She was to find the natural causes of things and phenomena. This worldview was new, arising in the process of dealing with the old, religious and mythological foundations.Representatives of the Miletus School in ancient philosophy, therefore, consider it an important task to explain natural phenomena. They make a lot of effort in this direction.

The fundamental principle of the world, according to Anaximenes

representatives of the Milesian school in ancient philosophy

From this point of view, Anaximenes, as earlier Anaximander and Thales, raises the question of the root cause of action and being, the basis of the world. Like his predecessors, he believes that a certain type of matter, namely air, is the fundamental principle of everything. Note that this is not just air, but an infinite, unlimited, with an indefinite form. Everything else arises from it. Its vacuum leads to the appearance of fire. On the contrary, the thickening of the air causes winds, then clouds, water, earth, and finally stones. Anaximenes spreads an explanation of how the world arose and developed, and on the appearance of the gods. He notes that air is the beginning of everything. All of it arises, all divine and divine things. In his opinion, the air is constantly fluctuating. Anaximenes is the last representative of the Milesian school. In his writings one can find important features that mark the early Greek philosophy.

The value of Miletus School

This school, apparently, sought to explain the world materialistically. She also tried to interpret some of his phenomena, and its basis, or principle. It laid the foundations of science, because it offered (for the first time) an understanding of the fundamental principle of the world as something material.

Other philosophical schools of antiquity

In ancient Greece, the first philosophical schools emerged in the early polis in the 7-5 centuries. BC er The most famous are the following:

  • Milesian School;
  • atomists;
  • Eleatic School;
  • Heraclitus School of Ephesus;
  • Pythagoreans.

Their views have common features:

  • cosmocentrism;
  • non-discussion (doctrinaire) nature of their philosophies;
  • animate inanimate nature (hylozoism);
  • search for the origin of all things;
  • increased attention of philosophers to the explanation of various environmental phenomena.

The Milesian and Eleatic schools of philosophy played a role in the development of this science. Many thinkers subsequently turned to the works of their representatives, developing their views or arguing with them. The Eleatics, in particular, studied the problems of cognition, considered everything to be a material expression of ideas (that is, they were harbingers of idealism), and shared higher spiritual and sensory cognition.

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