Thales of Miletus

Philosophy

Thales of Miletus

Thales of Miletus in Ionia, Asia Minor, was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and pre-Socratic philosopher from Miletus. He had been one of Greece's Seven Sages. Some, most especially Aristotle, considered him the first philosopher in Greek history, and he is generally traditionally regarded as the first person known to have entertained and participated in scientific philosophy in Western civilization. As a predecessor to modern science, Thales is known for breaking from using myths to describe the earth and the cosmos, and then describing real events and phenomena by theories and hypotheses. While describing reality as deriving from a unity of all based on the presence of a single supreme material, nearly all the other pre-Socratic thinkers preceded him, instead of using mythological explications. Aristotle believed him to be the father of the Ionian School and confirmed Thales 'theory that a single material element was the original concept of existence and the essence of matter: water. In algebra, Thales used geometry to measure pyramid heights and ship's reach from land. He is the first known person to use geometry-applied deductive reasoning by deriving four corollaries from the theorem of Thales. He is the first known person to whom has been credited a mathematical discovery. The dates of Thales 'existence are not entirely known, but a few datable events listed in the sources loosely determine the dates. According to Herodotus, Thales predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC. The chronicle of Apollodorus of Athens cites Diogenes Laërtius as saying that Thales died at the age of 78 after the 58th Olympiad and attributed his death to heat exhaustion while attending the games. Thales was presumably born in mid-620s BC in the town of Miletus. Writing during the 2nd century BC, the ancient writer Apollodorus of Athens believed Thales was born in the year 625 BC. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus identified Thales as "a Phoenician by distant descent." Tim Whitmarsh noted that Thales considered water as the primary concern, and his name may have originated from this situation as thal is the Phoenician term for moisture. According to the later historian Diogenes Laërtius, in his third century AD Lives of the Philosophers, quotes Herodotus, Duris, and Democritus, all of whom agree that "Thales was the son of Examyas and Cleobulina, and belongs to the Phoenician Thelidae. Their titles are the Carian and Greek tribal, respectively. Diogenes then notes that "Most authors, however, portray him as a native of Miletus and of a respectable family. However, his supposed mother Cleobulina was also identified as his companion. Diogenes then provides further contradictory reports: one that Thales married and either fathered a son or adopted a nephew of the same name; the other that he never married, saying his mother as you. Plutarch had mentioned this storey earlier: Solon visited Thales and asked him why he stayed single; Thales said he didn't like the thought of having to think about kids. Nevertheless he adopted his nephew Cybisthus many years later, desperate for love. He has been said to be approximately the technical counterpart of a typical option trader. It is thought that Thales visited Egypt at one point in his career, where he studied geometry. Diogenes Laërtius wrote that Thales described the Milesian colonists as Athenian. A novel, with various versions, relates how Thales, through weather forecast, received riches from an olive harvest. In one storey, after forecasting the weather and a good harvest for a given year, he bought all the olive presses in Miletus. Another version of the storey has been clarified by Aristotle that Thales had rented presses at a discount in advance and could rent them out at a high price when demand peaked, despite his forecast of an unusually successful harvest. This first version of the storey would be the first historically known possible development and usage, while the second version would be the first historically documented choice development and use.

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